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Then what connection does morality have to it at all? If these decisions are taken on a factual basis then where are the morals?

And incidentally, the Romans didn't just kill slaves for fun, they killed each other as well. Gladiators could be anyone in the society, criminal, slave, or free.

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Either way, I suppose. For example, you can do bad things and come up with all sorts of seemingly-good excuses which, assuming you're dealing with a police officer, you intended to present in order to somehow remove responsibility from yourself for your bad deed. Most criminals do this. It is also ironic, because doing such a thing almost requires the recognition of what done as a social wrong.

Basically, recognize that the justifications for something do not, and should not, change the inherent nature of that thing. I suppose this is much like saying "things just are" -- but its more practical than just that. At least, I like to think so.

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Then what connection does morality have to it at all? If these decisions are taken on a factual basis then where are the morals?

And incidentally, the Romans didn't just kill slaves for fun, they killed each other as well. Gladiators could be anyone in the society, criminal, slave, or free.

1.)

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Assumes assumes... Never assume...

Let me put it differently: academics who believe there is a natural law conclude there is such a natural law from emperical evidence: the fact that certain values are present in every civilization. Small tribes who think it's a good idea to kill eachother don't count- they don't even get off the ground, and cannot be called civilizations.

Nonetheless, reorganising the idea does not make it correct.

That De Groot "secularised" natural law was only a side remark. The Vatican believed natural law was of divine origin but that doesn't reduce it's validity, as the question of its origin is irrelevant to it's existance, like De Groot said.

Idiots! If there weren't any legal grounds then hire some lawyers and make some! There's always a legal loophole to exploit... Depending on vague justifications "that everyone knows!" Is just pathetic.

Sorry Dust Scout, but it's obvious you don't know much about law at all. According to the so called nulla poena rule (accepted by just about every nation, except facist ones and similar) nobody can be punished if the act he committed wasn't a crime at that time. There isn't always a "legal loophole".

Dust Scout, I'd like to see an explanation from you for why homocide was considered to be a crime in ancient Rome, Israel, mandarin China and many others, some of wich had absolutely no contact with eachother.

The fact that some obviously immoral acts weren't considered to be special by some civilizations at some times is not an argument. There is nothing in the human mind that can't be supressed under conditions.

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That De Groot "secularised" natural law was only a side remark. The Vatican believed natural law was of divine origin but that doesn't reduce it's validity, as the question of its origin is irrelevant to it's existance, like De Groot said.

That's more or less what I wanted to get across in my earlier posts. Despite whatever justifications for an act you might disagree with, there is still the inherent value an act has. If you want to nitpick and tell me there is no inherent value, fine, then we can say that each act has inherent consequences that stimulate, more often than not, the same inherent result in human beings.

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Dustscout said:

""People eat food." That what 'is.' It is the 'is' for the rule. Following this is the "you ought to eat food." part of the equation. Arguing from an is to an ought. The whole point is that there shouldn't be any connection between the two, and I'm not sure what you're saying about that.

Let me explain further.....

"Ought"

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All Ethics is simply Ethical Egotism. Altruism is the ultimate fallacy. Thus, for an action to be 'right' it has to benefit you - whether in the short or long term.

You shouldn't kill people because to do so would mean that others would feel you were granting them the license to act likewise against you.

---

Except that argument doesn't justify anything.

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posts were combined because they were the same person. -Gobalopper

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All Ethics is simply Ethical Egotism. Altruism is the ultimate fallacy. Thus, for an action to be 'right' it has to benefit you - whether in the short or long term.

First of all, change your user name. The chances of having two people on the same forum who independently picked "Nema Fakei" as their nickname are so ridiculously remote that it's practically obvious you stole Nema's nick (for some strange reason).

Second of all, your argument is a fallacy. It's circular logic: "If you freely choose to carry out an action then you must gain something from it, so people only freely choose to carry out an action if they gain something from it".

Besides being circular, this argument can easily be refuted:

Suppose I sacrifice my life to save others. How on Earth can this action EVER benefit me? Giving your life for others is an act of pure altruism, and there is simply no way to get around that fact. Also, giving your life to save others is one of the most good and noble acts a human being can carry out - certainly a "right" action! So your "Ethical Egotism" comes crumbling to the ground.

Quod erat demonstrandum. Next, please. ;)

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Suppose I sacrifice my life to save others. How on Earth can this action EVER benefit me? Giving your life for others is an act of pure altruism, and there is simply no way to get around that fact. Also, giving your life to save others is one of the most good and noble acts a human being can carry out - certainly a "right" action! So your "Ethical Egotism" comes crumbling to the ground.

First of all, I was planning on using that to help me argue out the Heinleinian democracy -- but decided not to, you'll probably figure out why. Second of all, how does one define "altruism"? Are you saying that individuals, even if they are physically harmed or at loss from helping others, profit in some "mental" justification of themselves (the moral high ground), and therefore cannot be altruistic? So be it. I would rather see a man who helps others at a loss to himself for inner satisfaction rather than a man who hurts others at a gain to himself for material satisfaction.

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First of all, change your user name. The chances of having two people on the same forum who independently picked "Nema Fakei" as their nickname are so ridiculously remote that it's practically obvious you stole Nema's nick (for some strange reason).

Second of all, your argument is a fallacy. It's circular logic: "If you freely choose to carry out an action then you must gain something from it, so people only freely choose to carry out an action if they gain something from it".

Besides being circular, this argument can easily be refuted:

Suppose I sacrifice my life to save others. How on Earth can this action EVER benefit me? Giving your life for others is an act of pure altruism, and there is simply no way to get around that fact. Also, giving your life to save others is one of the most good and noble acts a human being can carry out - certainly a "right" action! So your "Ethical Egotism" comes crumbling to the ground.

Quod erat demonstrandum. Next, please. ;)

Actually Mordecai's point is a valid one.

The Brittish philosopher Hobbes invented the idea that in a natural state humans are immoral savages. Hobbes "social contract" is a covenant between the people not to do eachother harm. To protect yourself from murder you give away your own liberty to murder. You didn't crumble anything to the ground.

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They are communities, they count. There are some values absent in some civilizations and there are some present in others.

The Romans used the distinction between law that was common in all civilizations, ius gentium, and that wich every civilization had unique, ius civilis. There are certain elemental principles of justice that every civilization encountered had developped and wich were therefore considered to be universal.

Well firstly because homicide is not rationally sensible. It removes a defender of the community, it could harm the economy and make a mess, it would also upset people and might make them irrational and prone to do something worse. It
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It is perfectly possible to make decisions without morality. Rationality will tell you which decision will give you the desired consequences (which depend on opinion) and then you can act on that. Morality need not enter the equation at all.

Morality will not be needed for every decision but thats not the point... it IS needed for moral decisions.

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"You said it yourself, mathematics. Mathematics and the following logic. Without doubting the entire basis for whether anything can be known at all (philosophical scepticism), mathematics and logic cannot be refuted. They are certain, and far removed from the wishy-washy, subjective world of morality. And unlike morals, which can be changed depending on circumstances and are not innate to our thinking, mathematics is inherant to the way we think. This is shown in a very good quote I learnt in philosophy class: "The laws of logic must be used to be learned." To be learned, we must have them already. And since everyone learns them, everyone must have them already! Completely unlike ethics.

Well some people would argue that Morality goes in the same category with mathematics.

Meaning we cant imagine a world where 2+2 = 5

and we cant imagine a world where there is a COMPLETE REVERSAL OF MORALITY....

we cant imagine a world where

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