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Morality is relative.

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Most is relative, some is universal. Rape is universally immoral, for example. I can think of no scenario when it would be acceptable to sexually penetrate a person against their will. Another example would be genocide.

@VicZinc Most is relative, some is universal. Rape is universally immoral, for example. I can think of no scenario when it...

There is no such thing as universal, especially with morals. A moral is a value that we are not born with, and instead we are taught. If the teacher teaches differently than others than the moral of the student shall be different. If morality were universal than we would get all get along, and genocide would be a laughable thought. But neither of these is true, which means that morality is contextual, both to the people involved and those on the outside.

Furthermore, there are untold animal species whose only means of procreation is a means we would define as rape... not that i'm defending rape. Anyhow, what about the potential aliens in the universe, that we don't know about, maybe they have a system of morals different than our own, one in which genocide is the only means of survival. Its nearsighted to say something will always be, and is always, true because there are literally trillions of scenarios that we have not accounted for, in which something we think is morally reprehensible today is a necessity tomorrow. I would prefer it if our morals were constant, and I can't honestly tell you what such a scenario would be, but its foolish to say that there isn't one.

@Qeez oh wait you ended your argument civilly? DAMN! I wrote all of this for nothing!!!

No, I like your argument, and I have professed (many times) that there are no absolutes. So I must agree that morality is relative; I do not however believe that we are born without morals. I believe that if this was not true then they could not (by your claim that they are taught) be handed down unless they where there. Whoever made them up felt it and human taboos are very consistent across cultures - not everyone thought up the same ones unless there was some hardwired principle(s).

I do not know what the instinctual values are, but it/they must exist or how could they be universally taught? But yes, there are people born who are devoid of the instinct, otherwise there would be no crime. But that does not make their actions moral, just because they don't think it is.

I expect it is along: integrity, truthfulness, responsibility. But I can imagine a species that did not share it with human. But, as demonstrated by some videos posted here, it may extend beyond the human race.

At any rate you are correct in that, even if I believe there is a least one natural moral principle I can not deny it would be relative to humans and some humans are not born with it

@VicZinc No, I like your argument, and I have professed (many times) that there are no absolutes. So I must agree that...

Fair enough. We could sit here and argue for all eternity about the how we are instilled with are morals, i simply believe they stem from something we do not want done to ourselves, and society comes together to agree which ones will be enforced. Its interesting to think of how we get our morals, but at the end of the day i am just glad we have them at all.

@Qeez Fair enough. We could sit here and argue for all eternity about the how we are instilled with are morals, i simply...

Not to get in the last word but your response caught my eye in that "something we do not want done to ourselves," could very well be the sought after instinct. Your phrase can be easily transposed into the so-called golden rule. I wonder if that could be the universal moral?

@VicZinc Most is relative, some is universal. Rape is universally immoral, for example. I can think of no scenario when it...

What if they were the last people on earth and it was a choice between raping the person or letting humanity die out? What if there was a group of people who spread an infectious, deadly, incurable disease and there was no way to quarantine them because the disease would still be able to spread through any set up we had designed to keep it contained?

@VicZinc Still wrong. Let it die out. If someone says no, the answer is no.

I disagree. But I won't get into that. I edited my comment to include the genocide one.

@Frank_n_Furter I disagree. But I won't get into that. I edited my comment to include the genocide one.

Let's say there was a monkey living in my spleen and it was forcing me to ... never mind. Rape and genocide are universally immoral. If you saved the world by either method you would be resorting to an immoral act to save the world. I would not do either. Many people would do both with a smile on their face. Those people would be immoral.

@VicZinc Let's say there was a monkey living in my spleen and it was forcing me to ... never mind. Rape and genocide are...

You're not really providing reasoning, just stating the same opinion in a different way. I can't argue.

@Frank_n_Furter You're not really providing reasoning, just stating the same opinion in a different way. I can't argue.

I think there are a few universal morals. I named two. The two dilemmas you presented are pretty far fetched. I strongly believe that most of what society calls ethics is indeed relative. But I have never met anyone who would say there is a situation when it would be OK to rape me, or kill everyone in my gene pool.

If someone did say "go ahead and rape me" then that person would be giving consent and it would not be rape.

If someone said "go ahead and kill everyone in my gene pool" then I would seriously doubt that person's ability to make reasoned decisions for all the other members of their homologous group.

On the other hand, let's look at the classic "steal a loaf of bread to feed a starving child." I know many people who would say (after they learned of the child's condition) "never mind, I do not want to press charges against the thief." These types of morals are relative.

Is that better?

@VicZinc I think there are a few universal morals. I named two. The two dilemmas you presented are pretty far...

Well, yes, they are far fetched, I don't think either would actually happen, I was wondering why you think those are immoral. And in both cases, neither party is giving permission. Yes, but I still wonder why in your opinion it's better to put the survival of many above the comfort of a few.

@Frank_n_Furter Well, yes, they are far fetched, I don't think either would actually happen, I was wondering why you think those...

Interesting twist. It seems to imply that morality is based on the greatest good. So I would argue that the greatest good is relative. Hitler (and others) certainly thought removing an entire gene pool from the earth was important to the survival of the many, other disagreed.

There have been cultures that used virgin rape as a method to appease their gods and ensure the survival of the many.

I guess that is why I claim that some morals are universal, because I believe that in a very few cases the right of the individual trumps the perceive or imagined good that the violation would bring.

@VicZinc Interesting twist. It seems to imply that morality is based on the greatest good. So I would argue that the...

Well no, it's not just based off the greater good, it's still relative. Hitler was wrong. Not letting everyone die because of an incurable disease is a bit different. The virgin rape method isn't comparable either.

Understandable, good reasoning.

I believe the set of morals that I live by are universal...but that's relative to my mindset. Like VicZinc's example of rape, I don't think it's ever okay to rape somebody and therefore consider that to be universally immoral. But there will always be someone who disagrees therefore making it relative

I learned that from a young age if I talk long enough I can make anything 'moral' or 'immoral'; so either I'm god, or morality is relative.

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