Author Topic: A Morality Question  (Read 1869 times)

Offline josephpalazzo (OP)

A Morality Question
« 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?

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #1 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
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline josephpalazzo (OP)

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #2 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?

Offline PickelledEggs

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #3 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.
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #4 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
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #5 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.
???  ??

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 11:44:58 PM »
No.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2014, 02:12:02 AM »
Define "moral."

Offline SGOS

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #8 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?

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #9 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.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #10 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.
Science doesn't give a damn about religions, because "damns" are not measurable units and therefore have no place in research. As soon as it's possible to detect damns, we'll quantize perdition and number all the levels of hell. Until then, science doesn't care.

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #11 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.

Offline josephpalazzo (OP)

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #12 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:

Offline PickelledEggs

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #13 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.
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Offline josephpalazzo (OP)

Re: A Morality Question
« Reply #14 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?