Atheistforums.com

Humanities Section => Philosophy & Rhetoric General Discussion => Topic started by: josephpalazzo on July 26, 2014, 04:48:05 PM

Title: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 26, 2014, 04:48:05 PM
Can someone who is moral use a tactic that would be considered immoral to correct an immoral act?
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Solitary on July 26, 2014, 04:51:11 PM
No! Because then they would not be moral accept in their own emotional delusions and want for retribution. Solitary
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 26, 2014, 05:01:37 PM
No! Because then they would not be moral accept in their own emotional delusions and want for retribution. Solitary

Let me give you a concrete case: suppose your friend has been brainwashed (an immoral act) to believe a falsehood, and the only way to save your friend from this falsehood is to use a brainwashing technique against his will. Would you do it?
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: PickelledEggs on July 26, 2014, 05:10:22 PM
Let me give you a concrete case: suppose your friend has been brainwashed (an immoral act) to believe a falsehood, and the only way to save your friend from this falsehood is to use a brainwashing technique against his will. Would you do it?

If he is not spreading his false beliefs and also not hurting anyone and if he is also not hurting himself, his belief is harmless and it is is not moral to do that...


BUT

If he is doing one of those things, and he is either spreading his beliefs and other people are starting to believe, if he is hurting someone else, and/or he is hurting himself, it is not only moral to use brainwashing techniques to un-brainwash him, I would almost argue that it would be immoral to not do anything, if you knew you could do something about it.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Solitary on July 26, 2014, 05:13:16 PM
I don't believe brain washing actually exists accept in the minds of psychologists. If a person believes in a falsehood they are not brain washed but delusional, and the truth should set them free from it, if not, they are mentally challenged to begin with. Solitary
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Jmpty on July 26, 2014, 10:49:02 PM
Can someone who is moral use a tactic that would be considered immoral to correct an immoral act?
No.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: stromboli on July 26, 2014, 11:44:58 PM
No.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on July 27, 2014, 02:12:02 AM
Define "moral."
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: SGOS on July 27, 2014, 03:47:56 AM
How does brainwashing differ from convincing someone of something?  Are we talking extraordinary means to accomplish the conversion?  And where is the line in the process that separates moral from immoral?
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Johan on July 27, 2014, 08:45:17 AM
suppose your friend has been brainwashed...
Six words in and the wheels have already fallen off as far as your premise goes.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Moralnihilist on July 27, 2014, 08:59:05 AM
the answer to your question is answered by this:

It depends on what the morality of the society that the "moral" person lives in is. If the society says it would be ok, then it is and the man is still moral. If not, nope.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: stromboli on July 27, 2014, 09:29:28 AM
the answer to your question is answered by this:

It depends on what the morality of the society that the "moral" person lives in is. If the society says it would be ok, then it is and the man is still moral. If not, nope.

Right, and we are back to the what is moral issue. Not going there again.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 27, 2014, 10:33:30 AM
Thanks for all the answers. Let me play devil's advocate for a little while.


If he is not spreading his false beliefs and also not hurting anyone and if he is also not hurting himself, his belief is harmless and it is is not moral to do that...


BUT

If he is doing one of those things, and he is either spreading his beliefs and other people are starting to believe, if he is hurting someone else, and/or he is hurting himself, it is not only moral to use brainwashing techniques to un-brainwash him, I would almost argue that it would be immoral to not do anything, if you knew you could do something about it.

Ok, you're defining morality in terms of whether it is harmful (immoral) or not (moral). But how would you define "harmful"? For instance, a "white" lie might seem harmless at the time it was done, but down the line, years later, it might turn out to be harmful. Also, as Solitary has pointed out, he might be just delusional. But who knows if being delusional is harmful or not (to oneself)?

Define "moral."

Lets take PickelledEggs 's definition for now.

How does brainwashing differ from convincing someone of something?  Are we talking extraordinary means to accomplish the conversion?  And where is the line in the process that separates moral from immoral?

Lets assume that brainwashing against one's will is immoral for the sake of this argument.

Right, and we are back to the what is moral issue. Not going there again.

Chicken... :lol:
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: PickelledEggs on July 27, 2014, 11:02:08 AM
I would argue that is's perfectly harmless to be delusional as long as you aren't spreading your delusion and your delusion isn't causing abuse for yourself or others.

For instance: If you believe there is a god, but he is not going to be sending anyone to hell because you don't believe in hell, by all means.... go ahead. It's not hurting anyone. It might be holding you back in your intelligence a bit in what you might be able to learn, but as ling as you aren't spreading that to other people that might go in to helping our advances as a culture and with our technology, it doesn't really matter.


The belief of karma is something I would define as a moral belief. It isn't really a god, but it is a speculation of how people that do positive things will have positive things happen to them, and people that do negative things have negative things happen to them.

That I would define as harmless.... maybe not moral.... but definitely not immoral. I don't think moral or immoral even applies to that situation. I say just leave it be.

on the other hand: if your belief causes any harm or abuse.... mental or physical... that is immoral. People that tell children if they don't believe in god, they will suffer for eternity, people that suppress sexuality, people that believe that others need to believe so they don't suffer for eternity, people that think they can do whatever they want as long as they pray for forgiveness, people that think faith healing is a good substitute for medicine... holding them off from getting real treatment, people that cockblock technological and cultural advances, etc...... have very harmful and abusive beliefs. It hurts other people and themselves, therefore it is immoral.

I would argue that if you have the tools to at least try to make the difference and stop or slow that spread of hurtful belief, it would be moral to do so. Because it is stopping the harm of others.

It's kind of like watching someone get mugged on the street. Would you try to stop it or at least call the police on them? It would be immoral not to.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 27, 2014, 03:22:00 PM
I would argue that is's perfectly harmless to be delusional as long as you aren't spreading your delusion and your delusion isn't causing abuse for yourself or others.

For instance: If you believe there is a god, but he is not going to be sending anyone to hell because you don't believe in hell, by all means.... go ahead. It's not hurting anyone. It might be holding you back in your intelligence a bit in what you might be able to learn, but as ling as you aren't spreading that to other people that might go in to helping our advances as a culture and with our technology, it doesn't really matter.


The belief of karma is something I would define as a moral belief. It isn't really a god, but it is a speculation of how people that do positive things will have positive things happen to them, and people that do negative things have negative things happen to them.

That I would define as harmless.... maybe not moral.... but definitely not immoral. I don't think moral or immoral even applies to that situation. I say just leave it be.

on the other hand: if your belief causes any harm or abuse.... mental or physical... that is immoral. People that tell children if they don't believe in god, they will suffer for eternity, people that suppress sexuality, people that believe that others need to believe so they don't suffer for eternity, people that think they can do whatever they want as long as they pray for forgiveness, people that think faith healing is a good substitute for medicine... holding them off from getting real treatment, people that cockblock technological and cultural advances, etc...... have very harmful and abusive beliefs. It hurts other people and themselves, therefore it is immoral.

I would argue that if you have the tools to at least try to make the difference and stop or slow that spread of hurtful belief, it would be moral to do so. Because it is stopping the harm of others.

It's kind of like watching someone get mugged on the street. Would you try to stop it or at least call the police on them? It would be immoral not to.

Thanks PickelledEggs  for that post.

So the scenario proposed was:

(1) The general consensus was that brainwashing against one's will is immoral.

(2) Your friend was brainwashed against his will to believe in a falsehood.

(3) The only cure is to brainwash your friend against his will so that he no longer believes in that falsehood.

(4) You are moral. Would you do (3)?

In your case, it depends if that falsehood is harmless - in that case, you would do nothing; and if it's harmful, you would do it. So, IOW, it's the old adage: do the lesser of two evils. You presume there is a scale/degree of evilness: some deeds are more evil than others.

There are some who have questioned (1) - SGOS ,Moralnihilist ; and to some extent, Hijiri Byakuren. In that case, one would argue whether morality is objective - exists independent of humans - or is it subjective - humans make up the rules as they go along in their history. In this scenario, the given rules are obviously a general consensus, meaning, society decides its moral scale. Of course this is a matter of debate.

Solitary and Johan questioned the validity of brainwashing in terms of whether the technique works or not, and not its immoral/moral aspect.

Jmpty and Stromboli gave a categorical "no". In their case, there are no shades or degrees of evilness. A deed is either all evil or not. They would have to answer such questions as: is it okay to lie (immoral) in order to save a life?

Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: aitm on July 27, 2014, 04:10:00 PM
The definition of morality is as firm and solid as a puff of smoke in a windstorm.
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: the_antithesis on July 27, 2014, 04:21:58 PM
Can someone who is moral use a tactic that would be considered immoral to correct an immoral act?

That question implies that morality is black and white and I don't think that's the case. I think morality is many shades of grey because life is many shades of grey. This is the thing many whole proclaim their moral superiority tend to miss. Often there is no right answer and no objectively best answer. It's a series of subjective choices which say less about right and wrong than about you as a person. Which is why moral quandaries can be very interesting.

So the answer is, it depends. Will I get a BJ out of it?
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 27, 2014, 04:23:51 PM
The definition of morality is as firm and solid as a puff of smoke in a windstorm.

We still have to make our laws according to that "puff of smoke in a windstorm".
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: josephpalazzo on July 27, 2014, 04:25:22 PM



So the answer is, it depends. Will I get a BJ out of it?

A categorical "NO". :evil:
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Solitary on July 28, 2014, 12:51:40 PM
If brain washing doesn't work, whether it is moral, or not, is irrelevant. Who's morals are we talking about? Does morality depend on society, religion, philosophy, or emotions? Do we have a built in moral code from evolution? My puppies without being taught feel shame or guilt when they hurt each other. Is morality based on our finer instincts and emotion, or logic. I base my moral code on whether I do physical, or emotional, harm or not. But yet if hurting a child with a needle hurts him to save his life is it harmful, if a religious nut uses extreme punishment to correct a child's behavior, is it immoral? Who decides what is hurtful and immoral. Some primitive societies see nothing wrong with all the men of a village having intercourse with a girl that reaches puberty with no harm done. Does what we teach as immoral determine what is right or wrong, and this teaching itself causes harm? I think our basic higher feelings (not irrational emotions) and intelligence determine what is right or wrong, or our moral compass, not religion or philosophy. Then there is the problem with sadomasochist, is it good or bad if they hurt each other?  :eek:  :think: :popcorn: Solitary
Title: Re: A Morality Question
Post by: Contemporary Protestant on July 28, 2014, 04:53:38 PM
is this what you're talking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavellianism

I would say the end does not justify the means