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February 27, 2010

Comments

Boatbuilder

"The study takes the American view of liberal vs. Conservative. It defines "liberal" in terms of concern for genetically unrelated people and support for PRIVATE RESOURCES that help those people."

Read that again.

Narciso--what's that line from Inigo Montoya again?

All you liberals who are taking this "study" seriously and high fiving (or in Bunky's case, low-fiving) yourselves on your intellectual superiority should perhaps reconsider. But you won't, which is why you are liberals.

Boatbuilder

Jane--If he had a "real" girlfriend it might count. The imaginary one seems rather unconcerned about such matters.

Pops

Bunkerbuster.
I think we all pretty much get that your morality is external based on what others do and think, while having a moral code is an internal. Now your just attempting to duck and cover.

Just like when you stated :""Nor would I, for example, set up a joint bank account with another woman, if that would violate any agreement with my girlfriend.""

So you would do that in the absence of an agreement. Thus again, your moral code is based on external situations.

I can tell you I would make such a decision based on whether I was doing soemthing good, nice, decent, caring, etc, vice knowing if my actions were nefarious.

For instance, I set up a bank account with my girlfriends Mother without her knowledge, so we could put aside money during the year for her to attend college.

I didn't need agreement with any external source to understand I was doing a moral, good thing.

cathyf
By the way, I don't recall God ever saying anything about screwing someone else girlfriend, perhaps you can provide a reference?
Actually, God has a thing or two to say about screwing your own girlfriend...
JM Hanes

bunkerbuster:

"For Hanes, apparently, sexual fidelity is simply a commandment from God, without which, we would have no reason not so screw our friend's girlfriend."

You'll note that I didn't mention God or belief. I was critiquing your logic. The kind of personal empathy and putative reciprocity you describe differs substantively from the concept of reciprocity as a generator of societal norms.

The idea that religion = primitive superstition is a favorite, kneejerk, liberal construct which is more self-serving than useful, and which also relies more on assertion than evidence. It's a real stretch to cast the 10 commandments, for instance, as the product of paranoia. If nothing else, their utility and historical importance should be obvious to anyone, quite independently of religious belief or the lack of it.

sbw

BB: SBW: what does morality have "come from" in your view?

Morality comes from a several step process where first your consciousness extracts patterns from your own personal experience, which leads you to recognize that your imperfect mental map of reality has led to mistakes. This leads to doubt and humility.

Humility leads you to value society--interaction--with others who, living their lives as acutely aware as you, discovered their own doubt and humility.

Reciprocity--respect for others similarly engaged--and humility may be handed down from God on tablets (the Golden Rule in many religions) but they do not require heavenly intervention to be deduced by mankind. Neither do they rise from natural law or cultural tradition. Each individual can deduce them from personal experience, regardless of cultural experience.

Neither moral relativism nor religion offer a cross-cultural framework for peacefully adjudicating minimum standards of behavior between one another. Moral relativism falls back on Machiavelli, and, frankly, so does one religion against another.

But those who discover humility and reciprocity from personal experience share thin threads of common understanding that can be used on the one hand to manufacture a peaceful process of problem resolution and, on the other hand, to deduce useful processes that result in what we call virtues.

Along the way, where you see no humility and reciprocity, your "friend or foe" detector should sound, because the fragile creation of society is mankind's creation to lift it just a little above the rest of the animals in the jungle, and where society itself is threatened by those who by their actions do not agree to abide by the minimums of society, it falls to us to defend that society with all the weapons at hand.

Morality is deciding what to do and when to do it. Morality is not a thing to be learned by rote, but a process to be practiced that is honed by exercise and experience. Morality is not the droplets of water in a river, but the course of the river itself.

Virtues, meanwhile, are wasted as thay are often taught because they are not 'the' answer so much as 'an' answer to a given situation thought through. Virtues are the rote learning given to children to guide them as they practice character and grow into the role.

It is a joy to discover that virtues can be deduced from humility and reciprocity and that society and the processes worth living by can be reinforced anew by each generation, much as they were by Confucius, Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, and others to the best of their language, ability, and place in time.

To think of morality in this way is a change of mind no more complicated than the sudden appearance of perspective in art in the 1300s--so easy a concept to master once brought to consciousness.

Pops

Perhaps it is a good day to ponder the recent New York Times article which declared scientists had discovered that belief in religion is actually part of evolution.

So to deny religion is to deny evolution.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/weekinreview/12wade.html

sbw

Religion may have its place in ordering one's personal state, or in evolution, it just can't be effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all. Trying to 'faith' someone is as effective as moral relativists saying 'whatever.'

Ignatz

--Religion may have its place in ordering one's personal state, or in evolution, it just can't be effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all.--

If a society's moral structure is built upon a religion's moral structure, as I would argue most human societies are, then it seems to me it most assuredly can be pretty effective at it.

sbw

as I would argue most human societies are

Ignatz, you are one of JOM's most respected commenters and I admire so much of what you kindly put on our table, but this comment does not even stand up to even casual scrutiny because it makes the same mistake the libs made about Iraqi Shia and Sunni never working together. It fails to disaggregate.

Religions often fail to agree, and almost as often fight over their disagreements about whose "morality" ought to rule.

Porchlight

Bingo, Ignatz.

boris

'fight over their disagreements about whose "morality" ought to rule'

Kinda reminds me of evolution. Go figure.

bgates

Religions often fail to agree, and almost as often fight over their disagreements about whose "morality" ought to rule.

And while those fights may have no permanent end, they do at least have very long pauses. In Spain, Islam just was effective forcing a particular code of morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all for 700 years. In Italy, the Catholic Church just was effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all for 2000 years.

sbw

bgates, the goal is neither long pauses between battles nor forced morality.

Porchlight

Religions often fail to agree, and almost as often fight over their disagreements about whose "morality" ought to rule.

So what? How does that affect Ignatz' argument?

sbw

Porch, perhaps my response to bgates shows why it affects Ignatz' argument.

Porchlight

bgates, the goal is neither long pauses between battles nor forced morality.

Whose goal?

Any moral structure taught from cradle to grave is "forced" if that's the definition you want to give it.

If we teach our children and citizens about the virtues of liberty, independence, hard work, and charity (to throw a few out there), is that "forced"?

Competing systems compete. The fact that there is more than one system out there doesn't mean that all are equally valid or virtuous.

sbw

Porch, somewhere, somehow, understanding must be the laudable goal. If it is not, what is the point of education when indoctrination will suffice?

Porchlight

Sorry, sbw, I just don't see it. Western society *is* ordered on a Judeo-Christian moral structure. We've all been "faithed." The argument we're having is evidence of it.

Porchlight

sbw, have you been indoctrinated by the idea that the Golden Rule is a good rule? Or is it based on what you have come to understand about human nature? Is your view of the vision of the Framers for the founding of this country based on understanding, or indoctrination?

At some point you arrived at a system of belief and understanding. No matter how much you may think it is due to education and reason, someone else out there thinks it's merely indoctrination. Does that mean you're wrong?

sbw

Porch, I know you don't see it. We've discussed this before, and each time I try new phrasing to make it more accessible.

Western society has been ordered on a Judeo-Christian moral structure, but because it has been does not mean that we can't express the basics of that moral structure in a way that makes them more accessible to other cultures, or to those who do not believe in our own culture, without having to "faith" them.

Porchlight

Sorry, an idea can't indoctrinate someone. Make that "indoctrinated to believe that the Golden Rule..."

sbw

At some point you arrived at a system of belief and understanding.

Several different times. In no particular order, one by faith, one by tradition, and one by conscious reflection on my personal experience.

The task at hand is to find mechanism by which to establish peaceful society with others not similarly inclined to my faith, my tradition, or my conscious reflection on my personal experience.

boris

"but because it has been does not mean that we can't express the basics of that moral structure in a way that makes them more accessible to other cultures"

Suppose you and I agree on that general idea. My way of asserting JC morality is as a naturalist. It is an evolved system that has proven itself over time through the action of natural selection and it works.

Your way seems to be based on some kind of reasonable argument.

So which is more compelling?

Does the FDA base it's approval of a medication on whether it's tested effective and safe? Or on whether the medication has a plausible explanation for why it should work as intended?

Granted, most of the time both apply, but in those cases where it is one or the other ... pretty sure safe and effective is good enough in the absense of a plausible explanation. Pretty sure just a plausible explanation is not good enough when it comes to risking life.

My opionion of the "reasonableness" of your arguments falls short of plausible. As a result I consider it highly unlikely your arguments will be of much use with the Imams of Death. Of course neither will my way, but ... if one of their supporters claims "Our morality makes perfect sense even for infidels", I don't have to bother with trying to refute their logic.

As soon as you claim "proven safe and effective ... PLUS ... I have a compelling reason based argument ..." their "reason" based arguments can be used against yours.

You seem to consider it sort of like playing trump. The trick is already won and your "trump" opens the trick to thier counter trump.

Elliott

A bridge too far?

bunkerbuster

Porchlight writes: ``Let me dumb it down for a smart liberal like you: is the only reason you don't murder your friend's girlfriend because he hasn't murdered yours?''

Dumb indeed, though it is telling that your moral code does not alert you to the definitive difference between murder and sex with someone other than your girlfriend.

If my friend murdered my girlfriend, there would indeed by moral warrant to kill him, and we wouldn't call that murder, we'd call it justice. Given that we have, as a society, a system in place specifically to deal with that, the morally superior course would be to turn the murderer over to the authorities for justice. As for killing my friend's girlfriend, it's not parallel to sex, which is consensual in my example.

Some other commenters failed to explain why they think my moral code is "external" when, as every example shows, God is external, in that his morality is based on rules independent of pre-existing or intrinsic human values.

If the rules pre-exist God, then your not relying in God, you're relying on the rules that pre-existed God.

If you say your morality is delivered to you via the Christian God, then your morality must change if you change religions, since it is "external" and not a derived from your own personal, intrinsic view of humanity.
My morals are internal in that they do not change according to the culture or religion or political system.
Presumably, for a Christian, sex outside marriage is taboo, so there would be no moral dilemma about sleeping with your friend's girlfriend. It's immoral, in the Christian view, to sleep with anyone you're not married to. The Roman Catholic view, in fact, is that it's immoral to sleep with your wife, even, using contraception, though I guess there would be some debate among Catholics about that.
As we can see, making one's moral code external by deriving it from God actually makes it less consistent, not more, since we have no rational paradigm at it's base, we have only the scripture and faith in the supernatural.


Cecil Turner

If my friend murdered my girlfriend, there would indeed by moral warrant to kill him, and we wouldn't call that murder, we'd call it justice.

Obviously Tom is screening out the smart/sane lefties again. Pretty dang diabolical, that one. Wonder how he squares it with his religion?

Clarice

Tom has a super secret smart left screener. It is frightening how accurate it is.

Now, cecil, if your girlfriend, murdered the poster's mistress' first cousin......................

Jane

My morals are internal in that they do not change according to the culture or religion or political system.

Actually by your own admission your morals are situational. You exercise fidelity until your friend doesn't, killing is wrong unless you decide it is justified.

That certainly says as much about your ethics as it says about your morals, with or without God in the equation.

Cecil Turner

I would be trying to explain how that wasn't my girlfriend (and my wife wouldn't be buying any . . . I don't think I like the way this is going).

Next question.

It's easy, son; do not lie, steal, kill, or commit sexual folly. These are simple rules, derived from the Ten Commandments and expanded from the Golden Rule.
===============================

sbw

Boris, I'm glad the FDA isn't in charge of asserting morality. ;-)

Boris: My way of asserting JC morality is as a naturalist. It is an evolved system that has proven itself over time through the action of natural selection and it works.

Your way seems to be based on some kind of reasonable argument.

What is "works" but that it can be conveyed to others. What is "reasonable argument" but that those others can accept it because it is reasonable to them, not to me.

And, to be sure, as you suggest, some others will not care for any argument of reasonableness.

That makes it all the more important to understand that the foundation of your morality is more solid that evolutionary good fortune. If you are called upon to defend something, it steels one's resolve when one understands why.

daddy

If Pelosi's husband banged my wife, would I have to bang Pelosi?

Please, please, please tell me no.

Rick Ballard

"A bridge too far?"

Doubled and redoubled.

I hope that all passersby realize that we're dealing with a member of the London Underground who espouses Buddha's "every man for himself" message as derived from the famous Belgian philosopher, Aristotle. It's almost as if Rush had initiated a Moby program using the dumbest blend of Hugh Hefner's hedonism mixed with Soros' inane reflexivity to illustrate the two micron depth of progressive "thought".

boris

"important to understand that the foundation of your morality is more solid than evolutionary good fortune"

See the problem with "reason based arguments" is somehow that actually makes sense to you. Not to me.

DrJ

daddy,

I'd be pleased to have a beer with you. Anything to spare you from that untimely death.

bunkberbuster

``You exercise fidelity until your friend doesn't.''

No, it doesn't transgress fidelity to sleep with my friend's girlfriend in a circumstance in which all parties have demonstrated that monogamy has been abandoned. It is no longer a violation of trust, nor an issue of fidelity in that case, barring the caveat I cited previously.

Simple question for Jane: if I break up with my girlfriend and marry my friend's girlfriend. Would I be abandoning fidelity if I slept with my wife? Would I be maintaining fidelity if I slept with my old girlfriend? Is it "situational ethics" to sleep with my wife?

Your assumption about fidelity is that it's only meaningful if it applies in exactly the same way to any situation.

One of the big 10 is: "Thou shall not kill." Does anyone believe that means all war or killing in self-defense is a violation? Is it "situational ethics" to apply the commandment differently to, say, a policeman taking fire during a bankrobbery than to the robbers?

Jane

No, it doesn't transgress fidelity to sleep with my friend's girlfriend in a circumstance in which all parties have demonstrated that monogamy has been abandoned.

As I said -for you, it's situational. Your actions are not dictated by your own moral code but your reaction to others.

As for your question, I assume once you break-up with someone you are no longer cheating on her. But that's not the situation you described now is it? You described a situation where your morality was contingent on someone else's morality - which in my book, makes it no morality at all.

That's okay with me, I couldn't care less if you subscribe to morality in any form. But I also wouldn't brag about your moral superiority if I were you. It must be a liberal thing.

Porchlight

sbw, I know we've tried to untangle this before. I do see where you are coming from and you're not wrong. I just think there's more needed than the ability to develop a rational argument for why our moral code is and should be what it is.

For example, when you have young children, you explain to them at the earliest age that hurting others is wrong and they must apologize when they've hurt someone else. Later they learn the whys and wherefores. But you have to start with the moral law, so to speak. So as a society, we both indoctrinate (though I think that is a negative word) and then teach, when the child's reasoning power develops.

Janet

"Thou shalt not kill" is found in Exodus 20:13. The Hebrew word "ratsach" is used which means murder a human being.
"Thou shalt not murder" is the better translation.

JM Hanes

DoT:

"But it's been clear from the jump that the house would not pass the senate bill as is; they would only do it if the senate pre-passed some changes (via reconciliation)"

I think there's a lot of confusion because there are actually two different processes which are both referred to as "reconciliation." Perhaps it's easier to understand by distinguishing between lower case reconciliation, and upper case Reconciliation. I'm open to correction, but I figure I might as well take a shot at explaining it:

In the ordinary course of things, if one House passes a bill, the other can pass the same bill as is and send it directly to the President, or they can pass their own bill. If they do the latter, the Senate & House leadership meet in conference and conduct the horse trading required to "reconcile" (i.e. combine) the two bills into one which they think both houses will pass. The new bill which results (the "conference report") is sent back to both Senate and House to be voted on, "as new" in the usual manner.

That m.o. can make it extremely difficult to address compelling financial issues in a timely manner, so the process of "Reconciliation" was devised. I don't believe you actually need to start with bills passed in either House at all. You essentially jump straight to the conference step, where a bill can be produced out of whole cloth and sent to the House & Senate for ratification by a simple majority vote. There are considerable limitations on the content of such bills, and the legislation which results comes with a mandated expiration date -- both of which are strictures intended to forestall precisely the kind of abuse that the Democrats are contemplating.

In short, the first process involves reconciling House and Senate bills, the second is -- or was -- aimed at reconciling the budget. The Democrats are desperately looking for a way to use it as a foot in the healthcare door instead, and that's why it's so incredibly controversial.

bgates

the goal is neither long pauses between battles nor forced morality.

OK. Nonetheless, in Christendom, the Islamic world, and probably older civilizations I'm not as familiar with, religion has been effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all.

JM Hanes

BTW, I suspect the real hold up on going the Reconciliation route, may be that the Democrats can't actually figure out how to translate 2400 pages of healthcare imperatives into a defensible Reconciliation bill that will actually do what they want it to do.

JM Hanes

Oh crap, I posted in the wrong thread. Sorry for the interruption, and for the imminent cross posting at length!

sbw

Porch: But you have to start with the moral law, so to speak

Yes, it's why in George Washington's day in northern Virginia, historian Brookhiser described character as a role to be played until you grow into it.

But if morality remains rule based beyond childhood--learning what to do but not why-- then it has not matured.

For example, one should be loyal... until one shouldn't. One should be obedient... until one shouldn't. One should not kill... until one might be so obliged.

Porchlight

But if morality remains rule based beyond childhood--learning what to do but not why-- then it has not matured.

Absolutely. I totally agree.

I guess my larger point is, let's not pretend these moral codes arrived out of the blue. They weren't reasoned out of thin air. They came from somewhere. *We* hold these truths to be self-evident - but not every society does or has. We may desire to transmit them to other societies by example and by rational persuasion, but that is not how they were transmitted to us as a society, originally.

sbw

bgates: religion has been effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all.

Should it have? Shouldn't it have? And how could one decide.

And if one pauses at these questions, they demand one ask what are the minimum requirements for society with others, and how can one know.

That's what caused me to try to solve the puzzle of whether morality can be transportable, or ought to be.

Jane

I have had a long standing belief that a lot of people confuse ethics and morality - and I maintain that morality is personal, and ethics is societal. So I care about my actions, but don't care as much about whether BB sleeps with his friend's girlfriend. I care more about the lie than the action.

Does anyone else understand that distinction, even if you don't agree with it?

sbw

Jane, I can understand it as a distinction but it is not what I found when I went looking for the difference.

sbw

Jane, I meant that I understand you making a distinction between personal morality and societal ethics, but the difference doesn't seem to show up in dictionaries.

And I agree that BB can sleep with anything he wants, and you are absolutely correct about lying being uncivil.

God is my Prisoner.

Where did it all come from? Easy, from working out the Prisoner's Dilemma in small groups.
==========================

bgates

Should it have? Shouldn't it have?

All interesting questions which I have no interest in pursuing at the moment. My entry into this conversation was to respond to your statement,

Religion may have its place in ordering one's personal state, or in evolution, it just can't be effective forcing morality on those of different faith or of no faith at all.

Quite obviously it can and has been.

Jane

I meant that I understand you making a distinction between personal morality and societal ethics, but the difference doesn't seem to show up in dictionaries.

I know. I just think it would be a good thing if it did.

Ignatz

--Ignatz, you are one of JOM's most respected commenters and I admire so much of what you kindly put on our table, but this comment does not even stand up to even casual scrutiny because it makes the same mistake the libs made about Iraqi Shia and Sunni never working together. It fails to disaggregate.

Religions often fail to agree, and almost as often fight over their disagreements about whose "morality" ought to rule.--

Sheesh. Looks like I set off a stink bomb and walked away. Didn't mean to. And thanks for the [undeserved] compliment, SBW. I always enjoy your comments too.

But all I was asserting was that non believers and those of different faiths usually adopt to a greater or lesser degree the social and moral norms of the society they live in, which norms are usually derived from the dominant religion of the society and both of which assertions seem self evident.
I wasn't really addressing the issue of imposing them on other societies or countries. If that's what you meant originally then have it with the folks making that argument.

Ignatz

Oops. I meant "have at it" not "have it".

sbw

bgates: Quite obviously it can and has been.

I have always loved the line from Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, "And we were so very happy... for a time."

bgates

I have always loved the line from Eugene O'Neill

That's nice. It's not the least bit responsive.

sbw

Sorry. I didn't mean to be obscure.

The greater problems of this world are to find a better tomorrow, not relive yesterday.

My newsroom staff asked if their work over the past ten years was good. I said they could be very proud of what they have done. They asked why they couldn't keep doing what they have been doing. I said that if they continued as they were, in five years we may not be around.

We have limited success dealing at the edge where cultures interact. We need to do better.

sbw

Night all. Work starts early. I'll check back tomorrow.

And thanks for this discussion. It really helps me refine my ideas and discover how to make them more accessible.

[Maybe a double post because of a Typhus hiccup]

bgates

The greater problems of this world are to find a better tomorrow, not relive yesterday.

I'd be satisfied if you were just willing to admit yesterday happened.

bunkerbuster

Jane asserts: ``You described a situation where your morality was contingent on someone else's morality - which in my book, makes it no morality at all.''

I suspect you don't really believe that. It's immoral to murder someone, but if someone bursts into your house and tries to rape your daughter, would killing them be a case where "your morality is contingent on someone else's?"

Rules like monogamy don't exist for their own sake, as some religious people believe, but are rather, based on core values like empathy, honesty and consistency.

boris

"We need to do better"

Secular morality tends to be fair weather morality. When Katrina flooded NO it was the traditional neighborhoods that organized, patroled and protected their communities while others disintegrated under stress.

There seems to be no evidence that taking a workable traditional morality and secularizing it makes it stronger. More evidence suggests former strength becomes dhimminished.

Pofarmer

Rules like monogamy don't exist for their own sake, as some religious people believe,

Dude, you sound like an idiot. It's a shame you can't realize that.

bgates

It's immoral to murder someone, but if someone bursts into your house and tries to rape your daughter, would killing them

God Almighty and every state in the Union recognize that those two bolded words are not synonyms.

sbw

bgates: I'd be satisfied if you were just willing to admit yesterday happened.

Tee hee! That's great advice. Thanks. An oversight on my part that could come across as offensive and certainly not intended.

Boris: Secular morality tends to be fair weather morality.

That's an unsubstantiated generalization. Robert Heilbronner gave a wonderful analogy using arithmetic to show that when you master logic it masters you. You can say that 2+2=5 but once you understand that 2+2=4 it becomes compelling. The logic has mastered you.

It leads to the kind of courage that George Washington had, and Joshua Chamberlain at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. And that faith can give you, too, if you believe like Sir Thomas More.

Boris: There seems to be no evidence that taking a workable traditional morality and secularizing it makes it stronger.

I didn't say that secularizing morality makes it stronger; it makes it more transportable and potentially more accessible across cultures.

Jane

I suspect you don't really believe that. It's immoral to murder someone, but if someone bursts into your house and tries to rape your daughter, would killing them be a case where "your morality is contingent on someone else's?"

My morality dictates that if someone is raping my daughter it is my job to stop them bunky. There is no contingency involved. And self-defense, or defense of your daughter, is not "murder".

Just as an aside bunky, what I find most telling about your comment is your complete lack of respect for either of the women involved - which seems quite typical of the left. You want all sorts of rules to force you to treat women equally because you would never do it on your own.

Rules like monogamy don't exist for their own sake, as some religious people believe, but are rather, based on core values like empathy, honesty and consistency.

Monogamy is not a rule, it's a choice. And it's based on your personal beliefs and integrity, not what your best friend does.

boris

"once you understand that 2+2=4 it becomes compelling. The logic has mastered you"

I'd say you need to master logic a little better.

Suppose: a = b
Then : a2 = ab
Then : a2 - b2 = ab - b2
Then : (a-b)(a+b) = b(a-b)
Then : a+b = b
Then : 2b = b
Therefore: 2 = 1

boris

Where a2 and b2 are squared

bunkerbuster

Indeed, Judeo-Christian morality didn't develop "out of thin air."

Rather, it's based on fundamental principles that, by definition, pre-date it. So it is perfectly possible to derive exactly the same morality with zero belief in burning bushes, parting seas and crucified God/Men.

The idea that our concept of morality is defined by Judeo-Christian values ignores the question of what Judeo-Christian values are based on. Presumably, Christians believe that those values are based on God's commandments and are extrinsic from any pre-existing human values and therefore not subject to rational analysis or transferability or, even, full representation in a secular society, since they are the product of supernatural wisdom.

My view is that Judeo-Christian "morality" was an effective political construct for centuries but has outlived its usefulness.

People are perfectly content to apply the principles that pre-dated Judaism and Christianity that are INTRINSIC to humanity and definitive of human beings, without the need to label those as deriving from one religious concept or another.


Jane, read my comment again. I said from the beginning that consensuality is assumed, so it has nothing to do with respect for women.

``Monogamy is not a rule, it's a choice.''

Well, yes. That makes sense. And when the circumstances change, you may be presented with a new set of choices. Suppose my girlfriend says: I'd like to sleep with your friend, and I don't mind if you sleep with his girlfriend and she'd like you to as well.

How is my integrity diminished by agreeing to this?

And if my integrity -- which you admit is the basis of fidelity -- is not compromised, how could the act be immoral?

bunkerbuster

``And self-defense, or defense of your daughter, is not "murder"

Exactly. Whether killing is murder or not murder changes with the circumstances. The same goes for sleeping with your friend's girlfriend. If it's consensual and demonstrably OK with your friend, there's no betrayal, so it isn't immoral, since honesty and trust are the basis of sexual fidelity.

I'm surprised at the degree to which some people here have difficulty identifying the basis of the morality they claim, yet are so confident in how they apply that morality.

Cecil Turner

Then : a+b = b

Nope, you cheated right there (dividing both sides by zero).

Whether killing is murder or not murder changes with the circumstances. The same goes for sleeping with your friend's girlfriend.

I'm thinkin' this will rarely be murder. (Unless my wife finds out, but that's a different subject.) Not sure where you're going with this, but I'd suggest dividing by zero.

Pagar

"Wonder how he squares it with his religion?"

Over at Pajamas Media, this Article explains how "Almost anything is permissible if it can help advance the jihad."
IMO, the leftists use the same theory, only instead of jihad, they use the word religion or conservatives or anything thing else they dislike about America.

Jane

Bunky,

Can we agree that self defense or defense of your child is not the same as murder? That was, in fact the premise of your argument.

Well, yes. That makes sense. And when the circumstances change, you may be presented with a new set of choices. Suppose my girlfriend says: I'd like to sleep with your friend, and I don't mind if you sleep with his girlfriend and she'd like you to as well.

How is my integrity diminished by agreeing to this?

It's not in my view, but that was not the situation you described. You described a situation where you sought revenge on your best friend for sleeping with your girlfriend. I just can't see any integrity in that.

Jane

My view is that Judeo-Christian "morality" was an effective political construct for centuries but has outlived its usefulness.

My view is that people who deign to determine what is useful for others have outlived their own usefullness.

Why on earth would you care what works for other people? Why is that such a threat to you? I'm one of the least religious people here and I love the talk of religion, and I admire the commitment of others to their faith. None of that threatens me in any fashion. None of it makes me defensive. And none of it makes we want to declare their views have outlived their usefullness.

Just how on earth would you know? It sounds like a lefty need to urge people to all be the same so you will feel better.

I got news for you Bunky, differences are the most interesting thing in the world.

Ignatz

--I got news for you Bunky--

Jane,

It appears to me the vast majority of this planet and its history and shared facts are news to bunky.

Tom Maguire
I've noticed on conservative blogs that number one theme is "we're so much smarter and more moral than those idiotic, dishonest liberals.''

I think bunky has noticed that on blogs where he comments.

Still, we all know not to leap to conclusions based on small samples.

Jim Ryan

Indeed. I don't go to those blogs because belaboring the obvious is boring. It should only be the number 11th or 12th biggest theme.

pagar

IMO, once a person has decided that they have the moral right to destroy inconvenient kids, it's is a waste of time to discuss morals with them.

bunkberbuster

A better example of the difference between rational morality based on human principles of reciprocity and empathy and the external system of religious rules based on supernatural tenets outside human experience might be the prohibition against gay sex.
I see no logic for a ban on sex with a particular gender, as long as it's consensual and honest. Christians tend to see sex between men as immoral in any circumstance based not on any concept of loyalty or honesty or consensuality, but merely on faith in supernatural causes.

sbw

What I describe as secular morality and what Bunky discusses are so different I am embarrassed to have the word 'secular' describe them both. It's like calling both the church and the inquisition identical because they might both be called Catholic.

bunkerbuster

indeed, sbw, secular morality covers a wide swath -- virtually infinite. Why do you find that embarrassing?

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