Trickle-Down Morality

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

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Purple Knight
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Trickle-Down Morality

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

People generally assume equality when it comes to moral questions: They assume that all [sentient]* entities are equal and that if one murders and it is wrong, then another one that murders is also wrong.

*probably add this, not entirely sure
TheGreatDebate wrote:I am just very curious as to why all the charges of “murderer,� “disgusting,� etc… are flying around. I assume you all are atheists? From what moral authority do you assign these terms from?
But this gem of a quote (referencing people calling the God of the Bible evil) I believe exposes the fact that underneath the surface, this is not the case.

If a government kills, for its own purposes, or to defend its ideology, it's war, not murder. If an individual person kills for these same reasons, it is.

I ask the question: Do you believe morality trickles down, or up, or in any other direction?

Or do you believe that higher moral authority equals more morally permissible actions?

Bonus question: If you're religious, and your answer was no, morality does not trickle down, how does this sit with the idea that one should imitate Jesus or some other figure? Wouldn't that mean that you definitely shouldn't try to do this, since [insert religious figure] had moral authority, and you don't, making the act you imitate potentially an evil one when you do it?

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The Tanager
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Post #51

Post by The Tanager »

Purple Knight wrote:No no no no no. Two versions of theism satisfies my original question to the point where is is now more probable than atheism (...if there are no other factors...) fine. But not if there are three more versions of theism where you would say the god thereof is not God.

1. There is no creator
2. There is a creator and he's benevolent
3. There is a creator and he's malicious

Even if 1 sinks in a sea of other possibilities, the 3 sea outnumbers the 2 sea. See? There are far more ways for God to be nasty than nice, because he has to check no to a lot of boxes. And if the creator was nasty, you would say it was not really God and that atheism was true.
But that's a different question. I was talking about theism vs. atheism. With the three choices, using your principle, you would be a person who thinks God exists but is not worthy of worship, unless you could prove otherwise. But why stop there? Why not throw in other characteristics? Regardless, atheism loses out by your principle unless you can prove the other options false.
Purple Knight wrote:Even if your interpretation is spot on, a couple pregnant women and children is not equal to all the children and all the babies.
Those passages don't provide the scope of the other nations' actions.
Purple Knight wrote:Alright then. What do you suggest as a judge of moral truth? I have to look at people and how they react to each other. I have to look at which ones get praised and which ones get flamed into the ground.

Rationality? Seeing if I can find a contradiction? Following the most moral axioms (like tolerance)? I've tried all that. It leads me to horrible ideas that get me flamed into the ground by rational people because I'm saying horrible things like white people are equal, should be treated equally, and it's okay to be white.

I got this idea from the people crying for tolerance. They defended anyone who was beaten down or treated unfairly. I saw people being beaten down and treated unfairly. I acted on the axiom I was given, and it led me to say and think the worst things on the planet.
If people are really saying "it's not okay to be white" or putting clarifications on that and not putting those same clarifications on other races, then they are not being rational.

Ultimately, I think rationality can only get so far in establishing something like this. People disagree on foundational facts and then apply the same level of rationality to those distinct foundational facts and get different beliefs. The real disagreement is on the foundational facts. Outside of pure mathematics, I'm not sure we can say the foundational facts are 100% certain. We are left with what the inference to the best explanation is in a lot of things. I think that ultimately leads one to (Christian) theism. As the best judge of moral truth, therefore, I think the Christian God as revealed by Jesus is the judge of moral truth. But that judgment of mine relies on a lot of groundwork that isn't 100% certain.

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