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Why do we have morals?

Pretender

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I recently found myself in an interesting discussion about morals and why we have them. So why do we?

Are morals to keep us inline? Are they to get us to an after life? Or do we just have morals made into laws so a select group can benefit from them and get rich?

Another point that was brought up is that if we lived like other creatures on this planet it would be survival of the fitest. What caused us to create the morals?

Was is the fear of dying? The belief that we were above the animals and have a soul?

From a religous perspective, I believe we have morals to follow a higher beings example. We follow the example because of the promise of an after life, which would fall in the category of fear of dying.
 

conan

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I think the appropiate question is "Do we have morals?" Is there a true universal basis for right and wrong? How do we explain the similarities between the moral codes of ancient cultures?

Logically for abstracts such as morals laws to truly exists, there must be a law giver. There must be a standard or basis on which to judge right and wrong. However in a materialistic world view (time/chance/matter) there is absolutely no basis or justification for any moral code or laws whatsoever. A true materialist cannot say "Murder is wrong or rape is wrong."

Therefore, to admitt there is such a thing as right or wrong universally is to accept some idea or belief in God. However, this still leaves much to debate about and discuss. So to answer the question "Why do we have morals?", I would have to say because there is a God. "So why does there being a God reguire the premises of right and wrong, good and evil?" The answer is becuase God in his infinite wisdom desired offspring, which would be in His likeness. He did not desire "clones", but true individual "persons" who could share in His glory. In order to create such persons God gave us volition, which enables us to make wrong choices in order to understand who God is. For example, it is the absence of light (darkness) that helps us define and understand what light is and what it does. Likewise, if God did not allow evil but only good, then there would be no basis for individual freedom and persons. In other words, there would be no basis for relationship if we were holy robots. It was by design that we were permitted to sin against God, which ultimately is what ALL immorality is.

While the basis of God's moral law resides in the conscience (Ro. 2:15), the Law (10 commandments) were not given so that we might keep them, but to show us that in and of ourselves, we cannot keep them and need a Savior. Man of course is continually trying to save himself. We make our own laws and have instituted judicial systems to enforce those laws which have proven to be ineffective and corrupt. The problem is, the same men who try to enforce their man-made laws, do so in the context of breaking God's law and they prove themselves corrupt. That is undeniable.

As Paul said in the book of Galatians, "the Law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." It is through salvation that we take the first step to understanding who God is. It is a step that requires humility and broken-ness. The reason many don't take that step is because of pride ...moral pride. It is an oxymoron when you think about it.
 

DonRicardo

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conan said:
I think the appropiate question is "Do we have morals?" Is there a true universal basis for right and wrong? How do we explain the similarities between the moral codes of ancient cultures?
Yes, indeed, that is a very interesting question. But it's the same like asking "What is a car?". How do you define a genus/kind of an object? Where at microscopical level is the difference in a car and another object? And what is ressemblance? At what level, which exact limit does one object start to ressemble another? Though, you know what a "car" is, I assume.

conan said:
Logically for abstracts such as morals laws to truly exists, there must be a law giver.
There has never been an exact definition of morality, neither a common agreement what to do in each situation.

conan said:
There must be a standard or basis on which to judge right and wrong. However in a materialistic world view (time/chance/matter) there is absolutely no basis or justification for any moral code or laws whatsoever. A true materialist cannot say "Murder is wrong or rape is wrong."
Morality is indeed quite ambigious. One must observe all sides and decrease "suffer" as much as possible. Not always a good solution is possible, but we can take the "best".

Think the example of genus/kind further (above). How can you exactly define what a car is? You can't, but we can keep working more precisely, watching smaller and smaller equalities of an object compared to a car. Well, it's the same with morality. Keep trying to improve it.

conan said:
Therefore, to admitt there is such a thing as right or wrong universally is to accept some idea or belief in God.
Ultimate claims are false and those who believe are ignorant. Absolute views do not allow increasement/improvement, while logic morality can be enhanced.

Only a fool watches an issue from one side. Morality is to view it from all sides. He who allows evil, is evil himself, hence so are we and your fictive "Lord".

conan said:
In order to create such persons God gave us volition, which enables us to make wrong choices in order to understand who God is. For example, it is the absence of light (darkness) that helps us define and understand what light is and what it does. Likewise, if God did not allow evil but only good, then there would be no basis for individual freedom and persons. In other words, there would be no basis for relationship if we were holy robots. It was by design that we were permitted to sin against God, which ultimately is what ALL immorality is.
If God defines nature, he can create its laws, which means he can create a world with good and love only (without evil), because if he couldn't, he wouldn't be allmighty, would he?

Would you claim that any non-religious person is not moral? I don't even know my prayings, but I do have clear notion of morality. Obviously religion should not be confused with morality.

Please, look up a definition of religion once.

conan said:
While the basis of God's moral law resides in the conscience (Ro. 2:15), the Law (10 commandments) were not given so that we might keep them, but to show us that in and of ourselves, we cannot keep them and need a Savior. Man of course is continually trying to save himself. We make our own laws and have instituted judicial systems to enforce those laws which have proven to be ineffective and corrupt. The problem is, the same men who try to enforce their man-made laws, do so in the context of breaking God's law and they prove themselves corrupt. That is undeniable.
How do you know if "God's" laws are fully moral? Human laws do not represent morality, but ORDER.
 

DonRicardo

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Pretender said:
I recently found myself in an interesting discussion about morals and why we have them. So why do we?

Are morals to keep us inline? Are they to get us to an after life? Or do we just have morals made into laws so a select group can benefit from them and get rich?
Morals exist do define difference between good and bad. Good is considered as a degree of goodness. If you have a scale from 0 to 10, what would you define as "good"? Because, there is not exact limit where good is being seperated of bad (p.e. 5 or 4), I'd say "10" is good.

Morals come along with intelligence. Other animals don't have them. it's normal, because we are all egocentric. Morals do have good use for ourselves as well. If everyone acted without morals, you and I would both suffer. However, morals are not applied optimal or even far from good these days - P.e. world poverty.

Pretender said:
Another point that was brought up is that if we lived like other creatures on this planet it would be survival of the fitest. What caused us to create the morals?
Intelligence. We have the notion to recognize other beings have a "soul" as well. Other animals are not intelligent enough to realize and to move within another's feelings.

Pretender said:
Was is the fear of dying? The belief that we were above the animals and have a soul?
All animals fear to die; it's instinct.

Pretender said:
From a religous perspective, I believe we have morals to follow a higher beings example. We follow the example because of the promise of an after life, which would fall in the category of fear of dying.
Well, I can't agree here. Why do animals not commit suicide? They lack intelligence. We are far much more advanced than other species. Our morality is defined by our intelligence.

As you question it now, this obviously proves that you are using your intelligence, which a monkey or a dog can't.
 

conan

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DonRicardo said:
Yes, indeed, that is a very interesting question. But it's the same like asking "What is a car?". How do you define a genus/kind of an object? Where at microscopical level is the difference in a car and another object? And what is ressemblance? At what level, which exact limit does one object start to ressemble another? Though, you know what a "car" is, I assume.
greetings Don-

That was basically the question Plato was trying to answer when he presented the concept of "forms". The fact of the matter is that we do know what a car is and our identity of a car based on a limited, but certian criterion. So you seem to be arguing that "cars" don't exist, despite the use of them. Likewise, morality exist based on the criterion of someting being right or wrong, which cause requires a standard. So do you suppose the moral came before standard?

There has never been an exact definition of morality, neither a common agreement what to do in each situation.
How did you figure that?

Morality is indeed quite ambigious. One must observe all sides and decrease "suffer" as much as possible.
One must? Is that an absolute standard? Would it be wrong to do otherwise?

Ultimate claims are false and those who believe are ignorant.
Are you saying the claims you have made are false and you are ignorant?

Absolute views do not allow increasement/improvement, while logic morality can be enhanced.
Is that absolutely true?

That is like saying "All statements are false". You are in a whirlwind of circular reasoning my friend.

Only a fool watches an issue from one side. Morality is to view it from all sides.
If my congressman proposed the legalization slavery and wife beating, how many sides should I view that from?

If God defines nature, he can create its laws, which means he can create a world with good and love only (without evil), because if he couldn't, he wouldn't be allmighty, would he?
I am convinced you haven't spent near enough time meditating and processing that question.


Lastly, thanks for your reply. I think you have some fair, but difficult questions to answer. I look forward to your thoughtful reply.

grace and peace,

conan
 

DonRicardo

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conan said:
greetings Don-

That was basically the question Plato was trying to answer when he presented the concept of "forms". The fact of the matter is that we do know what a car is and our identity of a car based on a limited, but certian criterion. So you seem to be arguing that "cars" don't exist, despite the use of them. Likewise, morality exist based on the criterion of someting being right or wrong, which cause requires a standard. So do you suppose the moral came before standard?
Hi,

Has there ever been a standard for a car? Can you explain the exact characteristics of a kind? That's impossible. Well, your idea of morality is wrong. As a definition of a car cannot be given, so can morality not have one.

You cannot define a "kind", a.k.a. genus. Split every object until you have electrons and protons. Every proton and electron has a different structure of quarks within itself. For one argument I agree with Aristotle and that is the inexistance of a "kind".

Every tree has a different number of cells, leaves, sticks, etc. Every man is unique. What is a "kind"?

You do know what morality is and you do know what a car is. Morality can not be restricted to the content of a book or religion. Just like every man is unique, morality changes that way in each situation, thus you cannot give an accurate explanation for it. But you do know what "morality" is, as you do know what a "man" is.

conan said:
One must? Is that an absolute standard? Would it be wrong to do otherwise?
What is the difference between a car and a bicycle? You do know what a car is, but you can't explain. Explain for me what a car is. Every word inside the definition must be explained again.

conan said:
Are you saying the claims you have made are false and you are ignorant?
Man fails to explain an object or concept. Language is a circle of built definitions, as every definition requires another series of. But still you do know what a car is. So I assume you can know what morality is as well.

We have to aim for the best solution.

Is that absolutely true?

That is like saying "All statements are false". You are in a whirlwind of circular reasoning my friend.
With an absolute view, I meant that the Bible explains morality and its knowledge is finite - thus not subjected to change or deeper analysis. The Bible contains too few examples and I think religion has nothing to do with morality. A definition can never be finished, because it has to be enhanced over and over.

That way morality can neither be achieved; we must aim for it. You and I are not moral, are we? No one is.

If my congressman proposed the legalization slavery and wife beating, how many sides should I view that from?
I didn't express myself good enough here.

We must look from all sides and see which conscient being has disadvantage at a certain issue. Obviously women would have a disadvantage. If you would look from 1 side only, wouldn't there be danger you view it from the wrong side?

In order to achieve your point of view, you think as next:
- Congressman allows slavery and wife beating: good for him
- Women: harm

We simply have to run through all possible views in order to view for who it is a disadvantage. We have to eliminate.

I am convinced you haven't spent near enough time meditating and processing that question.
If I watch television and see millions of people die. Yet, after I go drink a cup of thea, would you call me moral? Then you have not viewed it from all sides.

God created me - according to religion - so he must have allowed this "dis-morality". However, I exclude his existance. I can't understand why people believe it. I am not against it. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but I simply think they haven't considered it deeply enough.

I believe in the existance of anything supernatural and if it would exist, it would be immoral. That is how I view it.

- DonRicardo
 
Y

y not peace?

We have morals because we are evolved creatures that can think accordingly in response to certain events, these events create certain reactions that then lead to thoughts such as morals.


the bible for example would be a little different and harder to explain.
 

kingpin

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ya, morality is separate from religion. I kinda see it as what people have come up with to coexist with each other in society. Each differant region has their own morality, they cling to it for the same reason zebras stay in groups. Its survival, differant groups of people have found this in their own differant ways, based upon their experiences or region or anything in their environment that effects their thinking. The question of god comes in with the origin of consciousness.
Morality is just the basis upon which society is built, people understand there is a need for society because they understand that working together produces more progress.
 

Dogger807

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Morality is doing what is right no mater what you are told.

Religion is doing what you are told not mater what is right.


Morality is independent of religion. It existed pre christian and exists without religion. Atheists have moral values just as religious people do. They simple are not all the same values. Buddhist have morals, wiccans have morals, agnostics have values, etc..... It is an arrogant person who ascribes morality as the offspring of his religious views.


Only 33% of the world population is christian or it's derivatives. Does this mean everyone else is amoral? No, society demands moral conformity to a certain level. Murder being the biggest "no no" agreed upon by all.
 

ravens24

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All of your commments have been interesting. I believe that morals are learned and have been given to us in religious doctrine. (Bible and other books)

morals are to protect us...

Abstaining from sex until marriage and being loyal to our spouse are morals to protect us from sorrow, emotional problems, unwanted pregnancies, and disease.

-A moral (more of a warning actually) learned from the Bible is that homosexuality is evil in the eyes of God. That is if you believe the Bible and the story of Sodom & Gomorrah.

Im not aware of the Bible preaching against abortions but I'll have to research that.

Theres 3 hot topics with morals telling us the right choices. (well 2 at least i'll look for the third )

anyone have any other info cuz i already know most of your opinions....
"It's okay for life to be a giant orgy! Use a condom and your good!"
 

DonRicardo

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ravens24 said:
-A moral (more of a warning actually) learned from the Bible is that homosexuality is evil in the eyes of God. That is if you believe the Bible and the story of Sodom & Gomorrah.
Then I cannot agree. You must have a wrecked view of morality, as morality is the difference between good and bad considering all parties.

If two homosexual people want to have sex, then it has to be moral to allow it.

ravens24 said:
"It's okay for life to be a giant orgy!
Yes, and neglect all of the famine in the world. Every 3 seconds a child dies. Obviously you do have a naieve view of morality, claiming we are moral.
 

ravens24

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You took my orgy phrase out of context.i'm saying that is probably the opinion of some people on here. I never claimed we're moral-cause we most defintely are not-it is valid to say that it has to be moral to allow gay people to have sex, but if one believes that homosexuality is immoral, then it would be immoral to allow people to be immoral...well thats that... i know that everyone will never agree on that.....
 

Peralin

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DonRicardo said:
Morals come along with intelligence. Other animals don't have them. it's normal, because we are all egocentric.
Other animals dont have intelligence or morality? You've got to be kidding! Studies have shown that animals have both, just look on google.com
 

FinnMacCool

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Morals serve to protect us from ourself. If I had no morals I would want to nuke anyone who disagreed with us but that might lead to a chain reaction that could destroy all of man kind so morality has saved us. or thats my opinion anyways.
 

vergiss

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Pffft, humans don't really have morals.

I'm something of a misanthrope though, so you'd be best ignoring me.
 

wxcrazytwo

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Why do we have morals? Let's see we have morals to subconsciously keep us inline. It allows us to determine between what is bad and what is good. Who knows, I guess once we have found the answer as to why we are on this planet, then we'll know why we have morals.
 

jamesrage

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I recently found myself in an interesting discussion about morals and why we have them. So why do we?

To keep us in line and to help us peacefully coesist in society.


Are morals to keep us inline? Are they to get us to an after life? Or do we just have morals made into laws so a select group can benefit from them and get rich?
Morals are to keep us in line and to make sure we can go to heaven.

People by nature will be scumbags if left to their own devices.If you think about it we have laws governing commen sense and being respectful of others,we need these things to funbction as a soceity or it will fall into chaos..Laws like no stealing ensure we do not take other people's property,laws governing road speed ensure that we do not get killed by some ass on the road doing 150mph.

You look at half the commandments in the bible they are to make sure the peace is kept and the desease is kept to a minimum.

If you look at it from why God wants us to obey his commandments(not suggestions as liberals/fake christians would have you beleave) look it from a perspective of would you want a total inconsiderate slob living in your house?
 

UtahBill

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I think Kingpin and Dogger are on the right track here. There are rules of civil behavior that existed long before organized religion, but religion has done a lot to spread the idea that a moral code is good for us. The "golden rule" exists in every culture, ancient and modern, in some form or another.
We have morals, then, as a set of standard rules for behavior in polite society.
Begs the question, is farting a moral issue?:roll:
 
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