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Thread: Why Morality?

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    Post Why Morality?

    Kierkegaard put the question pretty simply. Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life - regardless of whether it's Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Kantian morality, whatever - the life where some actions are simply not to be done, while others are actively encouraged?
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Hegelian and Marxian philosophy explains it well, with the concept of "Species Being" (Artväsen in Swedish). I have a nature, and according to that nature some actions are natural and some are not.

    This also correlates to the magical/pagan idea of macrocosm and microcosm. There are, in the Cosmos, some Laws, and they are in us as individuals as well. We can follow these laws/our nature, or we can break them and act against our own nature. Of course if we act against our own nature we harm ourselves, and eventually turn into unhappy and twisted beings.

    The nice thing with this approach is that it is more Aryan than the "thou shalt not"-morality (not that I don't believe that there are insights of this kind also in the teachings of Jesus and several Christian thinkers).

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucifer
    Kierkegaard put the question pretty simply. Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life - regardless of whether it's Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Kantian morality, whatever - the life where some actions are simply not to be done, while others are actively encouraged?
    Why: measurement of self.

    Morality: Aryan morality is morality of the whole; bureaucratic morality is morality of the collective; Judaic morality is morality of the individual as a social, external construct.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Assuming by morality you mean principles or rules that shape and constrain the scope of human behaviour (implying ethics as well, and social norms generally), it would seem that morality raises a sort of collective action problem that touches on issue of how to efficiently organize social and economic cooperation. By promoting honesty, abstention from unprovoked violence, and other virtues, morality decreases the transaction costs inherent in social interaction by ensuring that behavioural rules that encourage social cooperation are internalized in individuals. Absenct such an internal constraint on behaviour, external authority is needed, i.e. law and coercion of the individual by the state. In so far as morality and/or law enable and facilitate social cooperation, they make possible economic exchanges that promote specialization and the division of labour, trade and the gains from it, consequent technological progress, and ultimately civilization itself.

    To elaborate, it would seem that in a civilized society any one individual would be better off behaving immorally rather than morally, as long as the majority of their colleagues remain moral. By being dishonest, manipulative, etc., they can potentially shift the distribution of available gains from social and economic interaction in their favour (beyond what they would attain through behaviour recognized as moral).

    However, if every individual were to behave in a totally immoral or amoral way, it is difficult to conceive of how highly organized social and economic cooperation would be possible - "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is in effect the law of the jungle, and a mode of behaviour incompatible with the requirements social cooperation in a civilized society, since it would result in the breakdown of mutual trust and personal security required to enable social cooperation. Thus, to the extent that morals are internalized, they provide a check on behaviour that would otherwise disrupt the web of social cooperation and decrease net welfare. To the extent that morals are not optimally internalized by all individuals in a society, the law is a necessary requirement of a civilized society, since it can provide disincentives to behaving contrary to social norms by ensuring that coercive measures are applied against lawbreakers.

    One could conclude that morality, to the extent that it is internalized, enhances the efficiency of social cooperation, since the more individuals behave in a civilized, cooperative manner based on their own internalized behavioural code, the less coercive intervention is required by the state in order to maintain social order.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Either/or - why should humans follow the moral life -
    God created the world to function in a certain way (and perfectly, in accordance with his holiness), and any violation of that will stop it from functioning, or will cause it at least to misfunction.
    Because man sinned, he has a natural aversion for God and God's holiness, and that is why God made the moral law; if man was sinless, then man would conform to the moral law without being 'coerced'.

    Also, for obvious reasons God hates sin, and punishes it.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Rhydderch and I are going to have fun if the Gladiator Pit opens But for the moment I don't have time to answer his explanation, I have to get ready for work soon.

    I mostly agree with Telperion, except for his statement regarding 'Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law'. Azdaja once explained this to basically mean 'do what's in line with your true will', similar to the concept of species being which Osokrei put foward.

    I assume most (excluding Rhydderch) agree with the statement: 'morality is a set of rules, obedience to which results in the enhancement of the power (or well being) of both the individual acting and the community of which he is a part'.

    I suspect even Rhydderch can agree with this, if I leave the option that morality was decided by God as a means for us to become more well (i.e. virtuous) to get into heaven, and to avoid sin, i.e. self-destruction.

    That being the case, supposing we were to focus on the virtues (the excellent qualities) required to live in a non-super-sensible community (i.e. virtues required to live here on earth), what virtues would you suggest would be best for living in a mono-ethnocultural community?
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucifer
    I assume most (excluding Rhydderch) agree with the statement: 'morality is a set of rules, obedience to which results in the enhancement of the power (or well being) of both the individual acting and the community of which he is a part'.
    I wouldn't disagree with that (unless my concentration has lapsed). Morality is a set of rules, and obedience to it does result in the enhancement of the well-being of an individual and his community. Taken at face value, that's a true statement, but it's only part of the story.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhydderch
    I wouldn't disagree with that (unless my concentration has lapsed). Morality is a set of rules, and obedience to it does result in the enhancement of the well-being of an individual and his community. Taken at face value, that's a true statement, but it's only part of the story.
    We agree on that much, which is the important part - it's the part where our 'stories' coincide.

    I agree with the American moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, that rule based ethics (Kant - "Act so that the maxim [determining motive of the will] may be capable of becoming a universal law for all rational beings.") is rather, well - stupid, and unjustifiable (this rolls back onto the question "Why should we be moral?"). What I'm pushing - virtue ethics - depends on the simple fact of existence. Man exists as a social animal, the purpose of ethics is to provide guidance for living the good life, and so the virtues are the qualities which, when practice, grant man well being for both himself and his community.

    Well, does anyone want to venture a few suggestions on the virtues desirable for us as Germanic nationalists?
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    The fundamental virtue is self-control. Without it, all other virtues are useless. And once one creates a personal set of rules to follow, honor, courage and loyalty comes naturally.

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    Post Re: Why morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskorei
    The fundamental virtue is self-control. Without it, all other virtues are useless. And once one creates a personal set of rules to follow, honor, courage and loyalty comes naturally.
    What is self-control? Assuming man possesses (or is possessed by) a number of competing desires, can self control really be said to be 'restraining' one's desires, or simply regimenting them in the most effective order to be achieved?

    My suggestions.

    The primary virtue of all is intelligence: the willingness to be open to alternative pathways of action, to be open to amending one's outlook if one's ideas are refuted on rational grounds, the capacity to act on information regarding a situation if it has the potential to improve one's odds of success.

    Fortitude: The firmness of mind which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency.

    Integrity: The unwillingness to bow before anything not derived from reason.

    Honesty: The unwillingness to distort reality as is known to one's self.

    Pride: The desire to enhance one's own power in service of one's own being, the desire not to have that power infringed upon or reduced.

    Productivity: The desire to sustain one's own being only by one's own efforts.

    Those are the ones I've thought up. Feel free to add more.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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