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Started by lammaMia on Jul 20, 2021 5:18:15 PM
Is there a reason to be ethical?

Why would a human animal care about the plight of others and worry about what's right and wrong, instead of maximizing its own pleasure and enjoy living in the moment, given each human animal is aware that its existence is limited by death?

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donttellhimpike - 20 Jul 2021 17:18:43 (#1 of 83)

Yes, there is.

lammaMia - 20 Jul 2021 17:25:17 (#2 of 83)

How would you go about convincing a fellow human animal that your assertion isn't arbitrary or just your personal taste?

Agaliarept - 20 Jul 2021 17:26:22 (#3 of 83)

Why would a human animal care about the plight of others and worry about what's right and wrong, instead of maximizing its own pleasure

Isn't this assuming people's pleasure is some way harmful to others?

Give me a quiet corner, a copy of the racing post, a tenner in my Ladbrokes account and a few bitters and I'd be as happy as I could be.

Not sure who would have to suffer for my happiness there.

limegreen - 20 Jul 2021 17:26:48 (#4 of 83)

Because if we all don't care about each other and life in general becomes horrible for everyone, and that includes you. I spend all my time stealing from you so you spend all of your time stealing from someone else to make up for it. There's no point making anything nice because someone else will take it. The biggest, strongest person ends up with the majority of the loot. Even worse than it is now. Human relationships become meaningless. We may as well enjoy life. As a group.

Agaliarept - 20 Jul 2021 17:27:28 (#5 of 83)

I spend all my time stealing from you so you spend all of your time stealing from someone else to make up for it.

Why wouldn't I just stop/attack/kill you?

donttellhimpike - 20 Jul 2021 17:28:53 (#6 of 83)

I've never known an unethical person to be truly happy or content. I don't believe it's possible to be both unethical and happy.

lammaMia - 20 Jul 2021 17:32:24 (#7 of 83)

Human relationships become meaningless.

If that's what brings pleasure, it still can mean only caring about a few others. A childless person (or someone who finds their children's behavior unsatisfactory) may not want to care about environmental costs of his or her consumption, for example.

thisonehasalittlehat - 20 Jul 2021 17:36:46 (#8 of 83)

I think ethical behaviour is stronger and more robust when predicated on choice, rather than compulsion, like with god and stuff.

Be nice. Let the cunts win. Who cares?

Intowntonight - 20 Jul 2021 17:36:48 (#9 of 83)

I've never known an unethical person to be truly happy or content. I don't believe it's possible to be both unethical and happy.

Not true of quite a few Nazis - and similar

tasselhoff - 20 Jul 2021 17:41:13 (#10 of 83)

Why would a human animal care about the plight of others and worry about what's right and wrong, instead of maximizing its own pleasure and enjoy living in the moment

They're not incompatible

moto748 - 20 Jul 2021 17:53:56 (#11 of 83)

Julia, is that you?

lammaMia - 20 Jul 2021 18:04:56 (#12 of 83)

I don't know who Julia is but in case if there's any misconception, this thread is not meant to be polemic and was intended to discuss the rationality behind ethics. A real life conversation with someone who differs from my view is the inspiration for this.

LobsangRampa - 20 Jul 2021 18:10:26 (#13 of 83)

Hume is your man here. He correctly states that it is "not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger”. He does not, of course prefer the destruction to the scratch but (correctly in my view) states that you have to look to something other than reason or science for a basis for morality. The 'passions', in Hume's view, provide this. The passions being sentiment - particularly sympathy and empathy - that provide the driver for value judgements.

I can't see how you can disagree with Hume's central position. If you say, again correctly (?), that a virtuous life tends to be a happy one then your 'passion' is for happiness. Which is a value judgement not a rational one.

thisonehasalittlehat - 20 Jul 2021 18:10:48 (#14 of 83)

Humans are social animals that live in groups. It is in our nature to take into account the good of others. You can justify that as moral or ethical in many ways. Of course it is also in our nature to exploit others when the opportunity arises. Just people doing what people do.

donttellhimpike - 20 Jul 2021 18:11:06 (#15 of 83)

Sorry but seeking to exterminate an entire race can not be synonymous with a content and happy disposition. No nazi is happy.

thisonehasalittlehat - 20 Jul 2021 18:12:23 (#16 of 83)

Maybe they'd be happier and more content if they'd succeeded? Thus making it immoral to prevent them.

jamalade - 20 Jul 2021 18:12:32 (#17 of 83)

A lot were on drugs, particularly when they found out where the fuck everything was landing.

moto748 - 20 Jul 2021 18:12:35 (#18 of 83)

#12

Of course. Small joke. Nothing to see here.

LobsangRampa - 20 Jul 2021 18:13:48 (#19 of 83)

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that pike. It's just not a rational decision. It's an emotional value judgement.

Perhaps we need to agree what reason is?

Ricolas - 20 Jul 2021 17:16:59 (#20 of 83)

Is there a reason to be ethical? It is certainly no barrier to success, our PM shows that. No barrier to money either.

So then it is a personal thing.

No, I don't like my answer either.

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