lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

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lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:34 pm

This is a very religious article, but I found this concept interesting.

The failure to teach moral values and general moral discipline leads to the need for more government to compel "civil" conduct.

I would add a corollarly that as government establishes more rules defining civil conduct... moral discipline and decay continue until laws are the only guides of civil conduct.

http://lds.org/general-conference/2009/ ... e?lang=eng

The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as “value judgments.”...

As a consequence, self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior. ...

“Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.” ...
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kindi » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:15 am

atheists have morals too
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ashiwi » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:20 am

Perhaps you could move back past US history and review a few other cultures and ages, and compare what that article is saying to the weight of cultural theology in government and tradition in a few other places and times.

Ancient Rome? Babylon? Aztecs/Incans/Mayans? Age after age in the Middle East? The Middle Ages? Century after century in European societies? The beginning of the Industrial Age in England? Ireland ... at any time. The Victorian Age? The Inquisition? Almost the entirety of Christian history? They're all a portrait of very strict moral standards supported by government regulation.

If you really want to stick with the US you could pull tons of info from the Salem Witchhunt era and Prohibition.

"The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline." A lot of people come up with theories like this, where they seem to be envisioning a Golden Age of their childhood and comparing their protected naievety to today's glut of negative media. History just doesn't bear it out, though.

"One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior." History shows that "gentlemanly behavior" didn't really offer a whole lot of protection, except in the highest society households, and even then women were treated like property. Regency romances are very popular fiction, but that strict behavior code applied only to a very few of the very elite, and even then it didn't apply behind closed doors.

"In most of the world, we have been experiencing an extended and devastating economic recession." The one in the 20's was far more severe and left a higher percentage of our population in a level of poverty we can't seem to even imagine today. The US and the world has experienced an untold number of mass declines and has managed to recover somehow time and again.

"Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become." Or a measure of how much more crowded our society has become, and how much less people want good manners to interfere with good profits. If you're going to be studying the "moral compass" and government regulation, you could review the impact of free enterprise and easy wealth on the behavior of human beings, and the impact of the demands of business and economic propsperity on the government as it pertains to the tightening of regulations and the loosening of societal moral standards.

And another thing ... "uncivilized" according to whom? In comparison to what? Held up to what standard?

Great quote...

‎"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." - Teddy Roosevelt

Now my personal feeling is that you just posted this link as an excuse to get some of us to read religious propaganda. I found his arguments to be baseless except within his own framework, with little historical support. All that said...

"The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as “value judgments.”" I understand that you judge the right and wrong of behavior on your own personal moral compass, based upon what you believe to be a Christian viewpoint. If this minister preaches that society is tanking because we foster the belief that truth is relative and the concepts of sin and wrong are value judgements, and if this is a theory you accept and support, then what do you believe would be the acceptable truth and how do you feel those particular moral disciplines should be enforced among the masses so that they might improve society? Would enforced morality be successful in society in practice?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kindi » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:23 pm

theocracy

it's only bad when the muslims do it
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:11 pm

Who else does it?
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:31 pm

Corth wrote:Who else does it?


Conservatives seem to want to...
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:53 pm

Please cite your evidence that conservatives want to institute a theocracy in the US.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:52 am

Actually, Sarvis, conservatives of all kinds are quite against a theocracy. They want to be their own kind of Christian, after all.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kindi » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:34 pm

Corth wrote:Please cite your evidence that conservatives want to institute a theocracy in the US.

i thought kiryan's initial post was a good start. obviously they would never use the word 'theocracy', since that's a word for bad guys. they'd use something like 'conservative values' or 'republican base'
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:22 am

Theocracy: a form of government in which god or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kindi » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:42 am

how's this: there's too much religion in politics, and as far as i can tell, they only want more.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:46 am

Kindi wrote:how's this: there's too much religion in politics, and as far as i can tell, they only want more.

The values with which the nation was originally established was heavily influenced by Quaker ideals and values - religious in and of themselves.

When you say there's "too much religion in politics" it both means nothing by itself and probably doesn't imply quite what you think. A nation with laws that don't exhibit religious influence is a nation without religious freedom.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:05 pm

kiryan wrote:The failure to teach moral values and general moral discipline leads to the need for more government to compel "civil" conduct.

Yes... we know. Religious conservatives feel they need to legislate moral values.

Unfortunately for the author, "gentlemanly conduct" never precluded abuse of women. There has never been a time when rape and sexual abuse were not commonplace. It sounds like the author is lost in rosey-colored nostalgia for a time that never existed.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Corth wrote:Theocracy: a form of government in which god or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler.

Actually, a theocracy is a form of government in which the officials are regarded as being "divinely guided." If you want to argue semantics, George W. Bush turned this country into a theocracy when he unilaterally went to war with Iraq because his god told him so, against the wishes of the UN and without going through the proper Congressional channels to declare war.

As for more timely examples, how's this:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z ... 00013:@@@P

How about "In Our Gods, We Trust" instead?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:43 pm

Ragorn wrote:Actually, a theocracy is a form of government in which the officials are regarded as being "divinely guided."

Citation for your incredibly loose definition that encompasses nearly every government on the planet?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Teflor Lyorian wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Actually, a theocracy is a form of government in which the officials are regarded as being "divinely guided."

Citation for your incredibly loose definition that encompasses nearly every government on the planet?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy

Problem?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:56 pm

I took my definition from the first thing that came up on google. But let's go with your definition..

1. There is a difference between a government that is divinely guided and a person that believes he/she is divinely guided. Just because GWB indicated that he received divine guidance in making presidential decisions doesn't mean that the government as a whole is structured in such a way that it acts upon divine guidance. There have been plenty of religious politicians over the years and yet nobody has ever accused the US of being anything but a secular state.

2. The president (executive branch) represents one third of the US government. No president can unilateraly 'turn the country into a theocracy', as he/she simply does not have the power to do so. I think the two chambers of the legislature, and the supreme court would take issue with you lumping them in. Moreover, we have a famous principle of separation of church and state which formally precludes the institutuion of a formal theocracy.

At best what you have here is a religious president. So what. Saying that a religious president turns the government into a theocracy is not a very serious argument. But that isn't surprising since it seems that the liberals on this board tend to argue in witty sound bites rather than utilize logic..
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:20 pm

Corth wrote:formally precludes the institutuion of a formal theocracy.

At best what you have here is a religious president. So what. Saying that a religious president turns the government into a theocracy is not a very serious argument. But that isn't surprising since it seems that the liberals on this board tend to argue in witty sound bites rather than utilize logic..


Funny that you accuse us of arguing in witty sound bites and not using logic, while you play games with words. Just because we can't have a formal theocracy doesn't mean we can't have a theocracy, and it CERTAINLY doesn't mean the millions of people who cheered when Bush said God put him in power don't want a theocracy.

How many times has Kiryan cited religion as justification for a law, Corth? Can we have an abortion debate without anyone mentioning the bible? Gay marriage? There is a large group of people who want their religious views codified as law. You can denounce a "formal" theocracy all you want, but these people would be happy if Palin stood at a podium and starting talking about "God's Plan for America."
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:07 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Teflor Lyorian wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Actually, a theocracy is a form of government in which the officials are regarded as being "divinely guided."

Citation for your incredibly loose definition that encompasses nearly every government on the planet?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy

Problem?

Yes, using that definition with your interpretation, the vast majority of goverments on the earth are "theocracies." Congratulations on your useless distinction.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:13 pm

Ragorn wrote:Religious conservatives feel they need to legislate moral values.


1. We need to protect the planet and our future, and must mandate changes to ensure it. (light bulbs, emissions, etc.)
1b. We need alternative fuels, for cleaner air and less global warming. (corn fuel, sugar fuel, etc.)
1c. Humans are destroying Earth, and we must change our ways. It is our fault.

2. All gay and lesbians should be able to legally marry and receive all benefits, because it is their right.
2b. And transgendered, transvestites, hermaphrodites, transsexuals, etc.
2c. No one should believe there is anything wrong with gays, lesbians, etc. It is wrong.

3. Women are the ones who must decide whether they kill their unborn child or not. It is their choice.
3b. And it should be covered by their healthcare insurance.

4. All people must receive good healthcare, and we as a society must pay for it. It is our duty.
4b. Even those who do not work, are criminals, are illegally here, etc. It is their right.

5. Citizens with a lot of money must pay more to help others. It is their obligation.
5b. And even pay to help those who do not work, are criminals, are illegally here, etc. It is their right.

6. Rich people are bad. (*Exceptions: movie stars, athletes, celebrities, etc.)
6b. Capitalism is bad. It is immoral.
6c. Socialism and Communism are about the common good, the working class, and are universally accepted as the best.
6d. Poor people are better than everyone else.
6da. Even those who do not work, are criminals, are illegally here, etc.

7. Everyone must respect all religions. (*Exception: Christianity)
7b. It is acceptable to mock, insult, parody, and belittle religions. Mainly Christianity. (*Exception: Islam)
7c. Religion is an old-fashioned myth. It is a lie.
7d. Hate speech is wrong.

Non-binding addendum:

8. Good and evil, morality and immorality, right and wrong, are subjective values and are not universal truths. It is old fashioned to believe in them.
8b. Conservative values are not universal truths. (and are wrong)
8c. Liberal values are about universal truths.
8d. Nothing on this list is a value, a moral, or anything of the sort.



Damn Conservatives trying to legislate morality and values!

Darn, I'm sure I'm missing some, but these just came to me really quickly.

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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:25 am

Adriorn Darkcloak wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Religious conservatives feel they need to legislate moral values.


1. We need to protect the planet and our future, and must mandate changes to ensure it. (light bulbs, emissions, etc.)
1b. We need alternative fuels, for cleaner air and less global warming. (corn fuel, sugar fuel, etc.)
1c. Humans are destroying Earth, and we must change our ways. It is our fault.



Hey Adriorn, I'll go through the rest later but one question:

1) Do you have kids?
2) If so, do you let them trash the house without admonishing them?
3) If you do admonish them, is it a moral issue or are you just protecting the only home you have?

I'll care a little less about global warming when we can go live on another planet. Until then it's not a moral issue, it's a practical issue.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:27 am

Sarvis wrote:
Adriorn Darkcloak wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Religious conservatives feel they need to legislate moral values.


1. We need to protect the planet and our future, and must mandate changes to ensure it. (light bulbs, emissions, etc.)
1b. We need alternative fuels, for cleaner air and less global warming. (corn fuel, sugar fuel, etc.)
1c. Humans are destroying Earth, and we must change our ways. It is our fault.



Hey Adriorn, I'll go through the rest later but one question:

1) Do you have kids?
2) If so, do you let them trash the house without admonishing them?
3) If you do admonish them, is it a moral issue or are you just protecting the only home you have?

I'll care a little less about global warming when we can go live on another planet. Until then it's not a moral issue, it's a practical issue.

Sarvis, do you live on a slippery slope?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:19 am

nice posts corth

straight up adriorn, liberal hipocrisy on display

Teflor, how could he possibly know if he's living on a slippery slope, he's too busy trying to keep you from falling down one.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kindi » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:08 pm

so it's back to direct, personal insults?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:27 pm

Ah, we haven't had a good dose of Christian Persecution Syndrome in a while, thanks Adriorn :) Darn those straight, white, married Christians, always being persecuted by the majority!

Also, I love how you call "Hate speech is wrong" a "liberal value." We certainly know it isn't a conservative value :)

Spot on post! Very well done!
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:07 pm

Adriorn, hell... all the conservatives here:

How can you characterize the protection of a person's ability to act in accordance with their own morals a legislation of morality?

What we have here in many items of Adriorn's list is a situation where conservatives are trying to create legislation that limits choices. Preventing a woman from making a choice about abortion, preventing people from choosing to marry a person of the same sex... then accusing liberals of legislating morality when we try to block those measures.

That is flat out lying, at best. You are trying to create moral legislation and we are trying to prevent that so that individuals can chose their own behavior in accordance with their own morals.

You can make a case out of affirmative action, sure. You can even make a weak case out of corporate legislation and global warming.

Gay Marriage and Abortion, however, are purely YOUR attempts to legislate morality. We are only trying to prevent you from legislating morality.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:09 pm

Outlawing murder is legislating morality as well. I doubt many people have an issue with outlawing murder. Is abortion murder? All law, at it's core, legislates morality. The disagreement is probably over different conceptions of what is moral and what isn't.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:20 pm

Corth wrote:Outlawing murder is legislating morality as well. I doubt many people have an issue with outlawing murder. Is abortion murder? All law, at it's core, legislates morality. The disagreement is probably over different conceptions of what is moral and what isn't.


That's certainly a better argument than "trying to prevent a law against abortion is legislating morality!"
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kifle » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:14 pm

Corth wrote:Outlawing murder is legislating morality as well. I doubt many people have an issue with outlawing murder. Is abortion murder? All law, at it's core, legislates morality. The disagreement is probably over different conceptions of what is moral and what isn't.


Actually, outlawing murder is not legislating morality. When you murder somebody, you are preventing them from liberty. If you steal, you prevent someone from owning property and rob them of their work. These were not moral laws, they are simply laws that protect our inalienable rights as granted by life (some through use of deductive reasoning). The fact of the matter is, with these specific laws protecting these specific rights, they are the backbone of any government. I know you've studied Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc. These are rights we agree upon to give any governing body justification for existence.

Conversely, moral laws, such as no abortion, gay marriage, segregation, women voting, etc., are laws which place one man's opinion over another with respect to how one should or should not lived -- according to opinion, usually brought on by taught morals derived from some religion. Murder laws are divined rationally through logic; Abortion laws are divined through the bible. Do you see the difference?
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:34 pm

there are different moral theories which result in different "correct" actions for different situations. while the moral theories advocated by the experts you cite is well established and of the more popular today, there was a time when virtue ethics domainted world thought and again gaining traction due to the ethics of care philosophy. However ethical egoism is a moral philosophy as well as divinely inspired moral value philosophies such as Christianity.

The question is not whether we should legislate morality, the question is what moral theory we will legislate morality under.

I would strenuously object to a utilitarianism basis because its focused on "greater good" and the ends justify the means. This is probably the dominant theory today. I would be more in favor of kantism where the right decision is the decision that you would want others to make. I would also admit that ethical egoism generally results in a worse result for each person individually than other codes. However ultimately, I am probably in the camp of virtue ethics which allows for Christian values despite its problems as a "proper" moral theory.

Under various moral theories murder would be perfectly fine so I disagree that outlawing murder is somehow not legislating morality. You can't justify it under many if not most moral theories, but it is still a moral question and can be justified under some.
Last edited by kiryan on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:34 pm

double
Last edited by kiryan on Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:36 pm

Kifle,

I was a philosophy major too, but unlike you I absolutely hated it and (thankfully) don't remember much of it at all. I'm going to assume that you have a more nuanced understanding of what morality means - as I'm really not interested in such a debate (quite frankly, having teeth extracted sounds like more fun). That being said, it has always seemed to me that the rules we put in place to govern our conduct, our laws, reflect some sort of societal consensus on what is right and what is wrong. And to me, 'right and wrong' go to the essential nature of the question of morality. But like I said before - you probably have a much more nuanced take on the subject than me so I will defer.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kifle » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:45 pm

Corth wrote:Kifle,

I was a philosophy major too, but unlike you I absolutely hated it and (thankfully) don't remember much of it at all. I'm going to assume that you have a more nuanced understanding of what morality means - as I'm really not interested in such a debate (quite frankly, having teeth extracted sounds like more fun). That being said, it has always seemed to me that the rules we put in place to govern our conduct, our laws, reflect some sort of societal consensus on what is right and what is wrong. And to me, 'right and wrong' go to the essential nature of the question of morality. But like I said before - you probably have a much more nuanced take on the subject than me so I will defer.


Taking the morality debate away from morality seems to make topics of law impossible. With that being said, I think I can add more clarification without having to rely on moral theory as a foundation.

If we want to say that "right and wrong" valuations are quantified morality, per se, then all laws are indeed based on individual morality; so, the argument of legislating morality becomes a dead topic and hypocritical in essence. But at this point, we are simply arguing semantics and sidestepping the debate. What would need to happen here is some sort of demarcation using the implications derived from the original argument -- that legislating morality is either mixing religion and politics or forcing others to live by your standards which were not taken as logical inference or deduction from natural law or necessity.

From here we can easily show that laws which outlaw murder, theft, and rape are easily derived from necessity. With a society which deems murder acceptable in all forms is a society that has failed from inception. One person would not live next to another if the neighbor could walk next door and take his life or his belongings. A society which deludes labor to the point where it is worthless (theft) is a society which cannot sustain life -- labor would either never be born into society or it would die shortly after. There are many laws which fall under this category, and that is why they are laws.

Now, laws which are generally targeted with the tag "moral legislation" are those which are not necessary for a society to form or be sustained -- such as abortion, stem cells, segregation, gay marriage, etc. One would be extremely hard-pressed to find some logical reasoning to outlaw these things with respect to creating or sustaining society. The argument could be made, as it has in the past, that these things degrade society, and they could be right; however, this is a personal perspective. Society is degraded, for sure, but only for them and those with similar realities. For instance, showing tits on tv would degrade society for Kiryan but not for me. In this light, legislating boobs on tv is a perspective issue rather than a necessity issue.

So, if we ignore semantics arguments such as "all laws are morals" and get down to what is actually being argued, that laws birthed from necessity are necessary while laws birthed from perspective are inherently tyrannical and separatist, we can easily bypass moral theory -- again, unless you want to have a semantics argument.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:49 pm

Said better than I ever could.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:29 pm

fair enough, that is exactly the point I want to establish. That all laws are essentially legislating morality which yes is a semantics argument.

Now the next semantics argument we need to have is differentiate for me laws based on a "man made" morality vs a "divinely" inspired morality (which since God doesn't exist is just another "man made" morality). Folks want to say that EPA is not legislating morality... yet it is. They want to claim a separation of church and state while designating my views as religion and their animal rights views as not religion. In reality both are moral views, both can be thought of as "man made" for all I care.

Your arguments against murder and theft are supported by the proposition that we all need to live together which has already accepted a definition of what is good... which is overall, public good. Ethical egoism is a moral code, not one without serious flaws, but one none the less that does not accept the same definition of good. While you can make the case that cooperation (social living) is the proper choice in some situations for a ethical egoist it is not always. Under ethical egoism you'd be fine to steal or kill when it benefits you or cooperate when it benefits you.

In fact, ethical egoism is probably the code that most closely resembles the average person's conduct while the others are what they would profess as their ideal (for whatever reason)... So we are constantly legislating morality that does not fit with the average person. and the purpose of this morality legislation? To promote the public good at the expense of those who don't follow this standard of morality imposed upon them.... because the public good is good. So instead lets just impose christianity because it is by definition good... or ethical egoism because thats what the majority at xyz point in time determines is good.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:34 pm

kiryan wrote:fair enough, that is exactly the point I want to establish. That all laws are essentially legislating morality which yes is a semantics argument.

Now the next semantics argument we need to have is differentiate for me laws based on a "man made" morality vs a "divinely" inspired morality



Only if you completely missed his point...

The division he just made is: Necessary for society to function vs. NOT necessary for society to function
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:03 pm

Kifle somewhat accepts my first argument which I reiterate in preparation to make the second argument. That there is no difference between religion and other moral codes.

He goes on to return the argument to the context Ragorn wants to argue it in... which is the common acceptance of "legislating morality" as being christian vs non christian. I attempt a weak counter this argument by saying that his absolute truths... murder is wrong... is only absolute if you accept that the "public good" is the highest good where as ethical egoism does not. In reality its not an absolute law, its not common to all moral codes... as a matter of fact, who would disagree that you should actively kill one to save several?

In reality, I'm only interested in pursuing the argument of whether you can discriminate between two "man made" moral philosophy simply because one claims divine inspiration... calling one legislating morality and the other not... Once we can accept that, then we can start evaluating whether or not "legislating morality" by banning abortion is any different than banning theft. both are in fact legislating morality, its just one enjoys near 100% support and the other one only 40-70% support.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Ragorn wrote:Also, I love how you call "Hate speech is wrong" a "liberal value.")


Placed right under the section dealing with attacks on Christianity/religion. You know it was placed there to reflect the liberal hypocrisy regarding "Hate Speech" and its non-application on Christianity/religion and Conservatives. Please... Don't tell me you're going to start glossing over threads and responding with a sarcastic sound bite too? (well-worded Corth) Man, I wasn't worried about you before, but lately you've seemed more hostile, negative and just meh. Something up?


Adriorn(Sarvis) wrote:What we have here in many items of Sarvis' posts is a situation where liberals are trying to create legislation that limits choices. Telling me what light bulbs to use, telling me what to do with my hard-earned money, telling me what I can and cannot say, telling me how much energy to use... then accusing Conservatives of legislating morality when we try to block those measures.

That is flat out lying, at best. You are trying to create moral legislation and we are trying to prevent that so that individuals can choose their own behavior in accordance with their own morals.


Same thing right? Limiting choices and legislating morality?

The difference is I KNOW we do it sometimes, I know it. But, you and many others here either do not realize you do EXACTLY the same, or purposefully refuse to acknowledge it publicly. God knows why...

Also,

Abortion is murder. Murder, like Kifle said, prevents them from liberty and their inalienable right to life. We're not just saying "abortion is bad", we're stating abortion is murder. Murder. Want to argue about gay marriage? Sure, that fits under the "degrading society" part that Kifle mentioned. But murder is murder. Setting a date on when it's okay is sinister.

Kifle: The last few posts I've seen from you seem to indicate a more Classic Liberal approach? Or at least more rational/common sense, if that term isn't to your pleasing. Props.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:54 pm

Adriorn, they refuse to acknowledge it publicly because then they would have to defend their morality on its merits like we have to... instead they just pretend its just a more intelligent more rational approach and not one that is inherently and irrevocaly flawed as well as unconstitutional.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Ashiwi » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:36 am

You guys do morality a disservice.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Corth » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:56 am

The progressive income tax. Minimum wage. Compulsory overtime benefits. Is someone going to argue that any of these are required in order to even have a civil society? In the same way as the outlaw of murder? Somehow the human race made do without them for thousands of years, so as far as I can tell, this is also a form of legislating morality. To wit, the idea that those with means have a moral obligation to supplement the lifestyle of those without. While I generally do not support legislation from the right imposing certain values upon me: restriction of abortion, stem cell bans, gay marriage bans, etc., I find that the left has it's own ideas of what is right and wrong which I disagree with even more so.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kifle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:37 am

Corth wrote:The progressive income tax. Minimum wage. Compulsory overtime benefits. Is someone going to argue that any of these are required in order to even have a civil society? In the same way as the outlaw of murder? Somehow the human race made do without them for thousands of years, so as far as I can tell, this is also a form of legislating morality. To wit, the idea that those with means have a moral obligation to supplement the lifestyle of those without. While I generally do not support legislation from the right imposing certain values upon me: restriction of abortion, stem cell bans, gay marriage bans, etc., I find that the left has it's own ideas of what is right and wrong which I disagree with even more so.


I think at face value, your argument has merit, but I would like to ask a few questions, honestly, that may demonstrate a marked difference between the two forms of "moral legislation".

First, with respect to the economy, there are arguments that these economic laws are not simply made or passed due to moral obligation. Granted, that is a recurring theme when they are defended by the less learned -- myself included at times; however, there are strong arguments on the economic benefits to those laws as well. In the end, the argument tends to gravitate towards the moral implications because that is the weakest of the liberal arguments. Nevertheless, if we remove moral obligation out of, say, the minimum wage argument, there are distinct benefits to society when implemented and hazardous pitfalls if not. I suppose when it comes to distribution of wealth, in any form, the stronger argument on the liberal side is that the economy would crash if you remove the majority of purchasers. Sure, demand would maintain, but the ability to purchase would vanish. The key to a capitalist society is the majority of purchasers. The United States is one of the largest consuming countries in the world, and I suppose if the average American could no longer afford to purchase Glade plug-ins, computers, remodeling service, nail polish, etc., the wealthy would soon crumble. Jobs would disappear, companies would vanish, and, and I hate to use slippery slope, but the logical conclusion would be the destruction of the global economy. Now, the counter is usually that hard work leads to wealth, and that is true to an extent; however, it is an impossibility, due to the structure of scarce resources, that everyone be able to amass over a certain amount of wealth. Not only that, but it would be irrational to imagine a country where everyone graduated college, got a great job, and lived in the middle class. There must be those working at McDonald's; I need somebody to sell me books; There has to be somebody there at the gas station to sell me gas and cigarettes. I think that it is in society's best interest for these workers to be able to maintain a live with conditions that are livable. Do they need to buy glade plug-ins? No. Do they need a BMW? No, but it would be irresponsible of the American people to not allow them to live in a decent apartment/house, eat nutritious foods, and enjoy a movie once in a while (I throw in entertainment as I feel a life without some fun is no life at all). In short, guaranteeing the lower class the stability of life at the minimum is necessary for an operational and sustainable economy, which is explicitly necessary for an operational and sustainable society.

Conversely, disallowing stemcell research is something that hurts society. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a rational reason as to how it necessarily hurts society. This is what is what I refer to as "moral legislation". If stemcell research becomes universally open, society does not hurt. It is not necessary for doctors to ignore this field of study with respect to society. Furthermore, if stemcell research becomes universally open, you create more jobs, you save lives, you lower healthcare costs in the long-run, etc. These are things that benefit society. This is the major difference between what you see as "moral legislation" as opposed to "necessary moral legislation". All laws are moral doctrines, but the ones that should be pressed upon the society are the necessary ones.

Now, this does not mean I agree with every law that supports necessary morality; this is mainly due to the fact of human error. I do not think that man has the capacity or ability to get it right the first time, but dismissing progress is more detrimental than screwing up. Minimum wage may not be the best answer to giving the lower class livable conditions, but the absence of any action would be worse. The idea here is to disagree with the avenues in which we work to solve the problem, but also recognizing that there is a problem. Additionally, the fact that the programs have failed (welfare) does not imply that the foundation of the programs are failures. It is in everyone's best interest if the good were extracted from these ideas and used to create new ones; unfortunately, what generally happens is that the opposition rarely acknowledges the good and simply criticizes the failures. Sure, welfare has been implemented poorly, but wouldn't it be nice if the conservative party spend its time and energy streamlining the program instead of calling for its dissolution? Because the latter will not happen in our lifetime.

Ok, I've gone on a tangent, and I apologize. I would actually like to stay on track here. My point is that the necessity must be evaluated before morality can be question with respect to legislation.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:19 am

Kifle wrote:Conversely, disallowing stemcell research is something that hurts society.

A couple of points in response:

1) Stem cell research is allowed in the United States of America. There is no ban. This is a commonly believed myth. The ban is on federal funding. States can fund it. Private sources can fund it.
2) Allowing stemcell research could potentially harm society morally. The use of human embryos for research is dehumanizing and reduces the value of human life (perhaps not as much as it helps, but it's a factor to consider).
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kifle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:54 am

Teflor Lyorian wrote:
Kifle wrote:Conversely, disallowing stemcell research is something that hurts society.

A couple of points in response:

1) Stem cell research is allowed in the United States of America. There is no ban. This is a commonly believed myth. The ban is on federal funding. States can fund it. Private sources can fund it.
2) Allowing stemcell research could potentially harm society morally. The use of human embryos for research is dehumanizing and reduces the value of human life (perhaps not as much as it helps, but it's a factor to consider).



From my understanding, which, admittedly is limited, stem cell research is only possibe by harvesting stem cells from certain sources -- which extremely limit the research able to be done. This, in my opinion, cripples the science. Feel free to correct me; however, I don't want to diverge from the discussion too far.

Second, this is my point, Tef. Limiting funding or harvesting of stem cells is a moral issue, not an issue of necessity. While you are right that harvesting of stem cells could possibly devalue the human life, it is arguable due to the ends. Now, I don't want to push this into a utilitarianism discussion, so I will stray from this line by saying that the life that was to be had from the origin has been relinquished in order for the cells to be harvested. Even if we speak of harvests through abortion, we would have to discuss the cause of the abortion, which can be viewed either way depending on the perspective. And, again, this will push the discussion towards morality by perspective rather than morality by necessity. The only argument left to be had at this point would be the slippery slope where the future society would breed for stem cells -- which I don't think any of us really want to entertain at this point.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:41 pm

Kifle you're still pushing your personal accepted fact... public good = good. That is basically the foundation of liberal morals. I and many conservatives don't accept that. You're imposing your view that the public good has supremacy over my view that the individual is free to choose for themselves for better or worse.

Kifle, with regards to stem cell research. We had a thread a while back discussing this and liberals came down on the side that society / law / politics should not restrict science. As a philosophy major surely you discussed the role of ethics in science.

The germans performed experiments on the jews in the name of science. That obviously violates your moral view that murder is wrong and so you will support a moral restriction on scienctific involving murder. My understanding is stem cells are harvested from fetuses that are viable for implantation. While your moral undersatnding may not have reached a level where you consider it murder, just like the german's moral standards had de-evolved to the point where they no longer considered murdering jews murder, many of us do consider abortion murder. If you can legislate a moral limit on science in terms of murder, you can legislate a moral limit on science in terms of abortion. Should it be a matter of voting? should re remove the limit on murder in the name of science when 51% agree to do so?

Furthermore, science has a funny way of saying THIS IS THE ONLY WAY, and then being proven wrong. Several types of regular cells have been turned into stem cells and by many accounts the research is arguably MORE promising than research using stem cells created from less morally distasteful methods.

Finally, liberals are guilty of the same thing they accuse conservatives of.. playing fast and loose with the truth. As teflor stated, STEM CELL RESEARCH IS NOT ILLEGAL IN THE USA. Additionally federal funds may STILL BE USED ON STEMCELL RESEARCH ON THE 20 OR SO STEM CELL LINES THAT EXISTED PRIOR TO BUSH'S DIRECTIVE... but to uphold our morals on the sanctity of life, federal dollars will not directly or indirectly stimulate the destruction of embryos for research. That seemed like a REASONABLE compromise that is sensitive to the ethical concerns of a large group of Americans as well as science. In fact, I believe Bush's ban is largely vindicated by the stem cell reversion technology. However, there will always be some scientists that say WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE THIS OR WE CAN'T DO ANY ANY ANY SCIENCE AT ALL EVER AGAIN.

Would you support killing 5,000 American's to cure cancer? How about 5,000 mexican's? How about 5,000 terminally ill cancer patients? But no problem with creating embryos for destruction? How about when a scientists says you can do it in South Korea and we'll lose the future if we don't.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:26 pm

kiryan wrote:Kifle you're still pushing your personal accepted fact... public good = good. That is basically the foundation of liberal morals. I and many conservatives don't accept that. You're imposing your view that the public good has supremacy over my view that the individual is free to choose for themselves for better or worse.



That's only a problem if you define "public good" as "infringing on personal liberty."

That is a false dichotomy. The reality is that the public good can and should uphold personal liberty. I'd even claim that personal liberty is a public good!

Now here's the problem: You want to take away personal liberty when you try to ban gay marriage. You want to remove individual choice.

Fine, laws do that. That's what laws do. Good.

However, if your law is taking away the ability of an individual to choose for themselves, it better damn well be in the interest of the public good.

Global warming: Right or wrong, the proponents of emissions laws believe that they are serving the Public Good

Banning Gay Marriage: Right or Wrong, this does not serve the public good. It just imposes your belief on others.

That is the difference. You want to violate your own view that personal choice has supremacy, while violating the "liberal" view of the public good.

You want to stop being accused of "legislating morality?" Then stop trying to pass laws with no justification other than "it was written in a book 2000 years ago!" Show everyone how it benefits society, however, and it's a different story.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby kiryan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:18 pm

its not a false dichotomy. I'm not saying you can never respect individual choice, but if you have a choice where you have to choose between the public good and the individual good... you believe that its more correct to choose whats in the interests of the public good.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Sarvis » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:26 pm

kiryan wrote:its not a false dichotomy. I'm not saying you can never respect individual choice, but if you have a choice where you have to choose between the public good and the individual good... you believe that its more correct to choose whats in the interests of the public good.


Yes, and?

You want to pass laws that violate personal choice WITHOUT creating a public good. That is what we have been saying is "legislating morality." All laws may be based on morals, but if the ONLY effect of the law is to force people to adhere to your morality it is wrong. The law must do something to benefit the public, or it has no place in the books.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Kifle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:38 pm

Kiryan, I'm not advocating public good for the sake of public good -- that is just the outcome. I am not saying create laws which say stem cell research should be pursued without abandon, I am saying that we should disallow laws which limit stem cell research. In this respect, the outcome is the same, but the action is completely different. The reasoning is that the only reason for a law which limits stem cell research is one which is based solely from moral perspective. You can not deduce the limit of stem cell research from nature or the nature of society. If there were a line of thinking which did this, I would agree; however, there is not.

What you're doing is a common logical fallacy; however, in this case, it is not one that is being used deliberately, so I don't necessarily blame you for it. You are entering in a premise that was never given. The only point which I advocated pursuing laws which cater to the greater good is when I was discussing the difference between corth's two sets of laws. I did so due to the necessity. Minimum wage is quite possibly a necessity due to economic conditions created by man (or by virtue of economics in and of itself); however, this is due to a necessity of human interaction -- society. With stem cells, I never asked for a law to be created; I simply call for laws restricting to be removed because they are moral perspective rather than moral necessity.

In short, here is my argument:

Laws which are created through moral perspective are tyrannical and counterproductive to societal growth and sustainability. These laws should be removed.

Laws which are created through moral necessity are those which should stay -- because they are laws inherent in nature or created necessarily from society.

Here are examples of the categories:

The former: gay marriage, stoning rape victims, stem cell limitations, segregation, affirmative action, seat belt laws, suicide laws, etc.

The latter: murder, theft, freedom of speech, right to own guns, ownership of labor, etc.

Now, you may have a kneejerk reaction to some of these. Remember, I am not saying that all laws which should be are because of nature. Murder is not a law derived from nature -- it is derived from entering into a society; it follows naturally from society. If society moves in one direction, protections must be made by that society. For instance, we enslaved blacks; therefore, it is then a necessity to protect blacks from slavery. Due to that law, we have moved, again, towards nature -- the equality of man. In the case of gun laws, because society has created guns, we find a necessity to protect against tyrannical government, theft, and murder; therefore, this follows naturally from society. And you'll notice that all of these laws birthed from societal necessity move man closer to nature or natural law -- natural necessity, or equality. It is the duty of government to protect and, therefore, maintain, as closely as possible, the natural being of man.

Notice also how the former laws do not do this. Gay marriage bans do not push man towards nature. It creates an inequality where there were none; therefore, this law is moral perspective rather than moral necessity. In the future, man must correct this through law in order to bring society back to natural equality. Man will correct this through law, just as it did with slavery and racial equality. The most you can do is delay this action. Suicide laws do the same. It is natural for man to be the master of his own life insofar as it does not disrupt the liberties of another man. Taking your own life is not murder and does not infringe upon anyone's liberties. We could argue this separately, because there are arguments against this, but you see my point.

Again, just to summarize, the only time I will advocate a law is if it comes from nature or it is a counter to an artificially created inequality given by society; otherwise, government has no right to create laws.

Government is given justification to protect liberties, not sensibilities.
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Re: lack of moral discipline leads to increased government rules

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:25 pm

Kifle wrote:
Teflor Lyorian wrote:
Kifle wrote:Conversely, disallowing stemcell research is something that hurts society.

A couple of points in response:

1) Stem cell research is allowed in the United States of America. There is no ban. This is a commonly believed myth. The ban is on federal funding. States can fund it. Private sources can fund it.
2) Allowing stemcell research could potentially harm society morally. The use of human embryos for research is dehumanizing and reduces the value of human life (perhaps not as much as it helps, but it's a factor to consider).



From my understanding, which, admittedly is limited, stem cell research is only possibe by harvesting stem cells from certain sources -- which extremely limit the research able to be done.

Again, that ONLY applies to federal funding.

And it's not a moral issue to use public funds to fund something the public does not support.
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