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  #1    
Old September 8th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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This is just a simple discussion about a very complex topic. Why do certain people (and certain groups of people) feel it is okay or just to push their own personal morals upon others? Why is this considered acceptable behavior? If it is not, then why has it been allowed to continue despite the moral freedoms that America pledges to its citizens? Why do some people believe their morals are more just or right than other people's morals?
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Old September 8th, 2013, 05:06 PM
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I think this is a very interesting topic. I have gotten in several arguments with people who don't agree with my morals. I know that they are unconventional, but when someone asks me about morals, I'm not going to lie about my opinions to please the crowd. I don't try to push my morals on other people, but I do defend my case without getting rude and making personal remarks.
The people who try to force their morals on others believe that theirs are the "superior" morals and all others are wrong, or they seek acceptance in life.
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Old September 8th, 2013, 05:15 PM
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You bring up a good starting point that I think should be discussed. Why are some morals superior to others? Is it cultural, or do some people truly believe that their own way of thinking is better than that of others?
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Old September 8th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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That question assumes that some morals are superior to others, and we'll have to qualify that with some criteria. Maybe because someone believes they're inherently better, maybe they're more comfortable/familar with it, or maybe they're thinking critically and perhaps someone's perspective have more practical value, define that however they will.

Why do people push them on others? I can think of two off the top of my head - out of concerns for others, or out of concern for themselves. The first one is straightforwards, but the second one is a little more complex. Probably has something to do with being a defense mechanism against beliefs that are being doubted but are essential to one's ego so they overcompensate and push it on to other people to make the belief seem stronger in their mind. I didn't get it from psychology class, so don't quote me, it's some thoughts I pieced together.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 12:30 AM
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I actually got into trouble at school for speaking about my morals and stuff, the teacher took offence that I believed in a few things and decided to yell at me.

I believe teaching children in their early years good morals is always appropriate, but if I get yelled at about my morals towards religion than they can crucify me all I want.

(I goto a religious school and am in top religion class go figure)
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:23 AM
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i think everyone should learn philosophy in school. i was lucky enough to be in one of the only public schools in my whole country that teach it. you learn to not be so stubborn, accept other peoples views. but also pick apart your own views and beliefs and redefine them constantly becoming wiser as a result and learning the trait of open mindedness.

i find the right wings keep there opinions to themselves because some of the left wings are insane. i myself being one of them but i don't stand around in highly congested areas (cities) and confront people about there political beliefs then usually try and recruit them into some sort of greenpeace group.

I think they think they're making a difference and benefitting the world. they believe the more that share their beliefs the more change they can make. which debatable.

as you pointed out this is very complex. im not going to go in depth cause i'll end up righting an essay. aint nobody got time for that
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Old September 12th, 2013, 03:02 AM
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I think this question can be broadened to include any belief whatsoever, i.e. why does (should) someone feel it's okay to push her beliefs upon others?

Of course, to a very general level a set of beliefs/morals are indeed superior over others. We know, as a general rule, it's wrong to be racist, it's wrong to disrespect elders, it's wrong to judge people based on their sexual orientation. I don't think these are what OP had in mind, they are uncontroversial and promoting these values are praiseworthy.

What if the particular moral value/belief is controversial? I think the problem here can be resolved by the light of reason. People should have good reasons to hold the opinions/beliefs they do. When these opinions are promoted, they are not promoted for the sake of themselves, but because of the rational justification- if any- that they bring with them.

Now all of this is theory, makes good sense on paper. How do we go about practising these values in practical life?

To do this, an initial, crucial distinction needs to be made between "promoting" a belief, vs. "pushing" a belief or judging others just because they don't agree with this belief.

In promoting a belief, something that needs to factor in our considerations is the society's openness to it. And here is something where society usually falls below expectations. A society should function as a forum, where different ideas should be welcomed, yet critically analyzed.

And I think this responsibility falls more specifically on the student community, of which I am a part. The previous poster said philosophy as a subject should be something everyone is aware of, and I can't stress this enough. Logic, critical thinking, openness to ideas- these are expected to be characteristic features of the student community. All of these have being well-read and thoroughly informed on the big questions of life as prerequisites. How much are we living up to these standards?
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Old September 12th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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I find that often religions provide a justification framework for morals; but not all of them are necessarily right nor are all of them necessarily wrong. What it boils down to is choice; and/or the lack thereof when teaching these morals.

Religion is the problem.

The following example is hypothetical and generalized to convey an idea. Please do not pick on it for those reasons.
Example:

Religion A teaches Moral 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Religion A also implies and/or teaches, like many religions do, that other religions are morally wrong and refuses to be compatible any other Religion.

Religion B teaches Moral 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 Religion B also implies and/or teaches, like many religions do, that other religions are morally wrong and refuses to be compatible any other Religion.

Religion C teaches Moral 1, 3 9, 10 and 11 Religion C also implies and/or teaches, like many religions do, that other religions are morally wrong and refuses to be compatible any other Religion.

You find that Moral 1 and 3 are wholesome morals that are noteworthy and should be promoted in the world as a whole; and you also find that they are globally held throughout the other Religions.

You also find Moral 5, 7, and 11 to be acceptable morals given your experiences and feelings; but they are connected uniquely with each of their respective religions and practicing only 1, 3, 5, 7 and 11 is unfortunately not considered quite normal.

So in essence you find yourself forced to declare yourself religion free or agnostic and hope that you're living in the right path. Many people still consider your ideals to be wrong or mistaken. You feel confused until you find like minded people; which are few and far between.

Finally your ideals catch on but, they don't catch on quite the way you intended. They're misunderstood by someone, and your feelings about religion are disregarded and people become complacent. They think they've got it right; but they didn't really get all of the how or why these morals exist. They demean any other set of morals and given enough time and people..and Religion X is born.

Religion X is incompatible with others and contains Moral 1, 3, 6, 8 and 11. Two of those you wanted to avoid in the first place but you got overrun with converts from Religion B who imported the old into the new.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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I think part of it is that there's an innate sense of elitism in some people, and it's very easy to get sucked into the idea that your reality is the only or correct one. It could be a lack of empathy too, a lack of understanding different people from different walks of life and they perceive their world. I also think there's a deeper psychological reason, whether it be overcompensating for, or masking some kind of deficiency in the person's life, or even something ego related, like what BIS said above.

And yes, some morals or morality systems are superior to others. I think that actual, factual superiority begins to wane once we start wading into more subjective territory - like religion.

Morality being many shades of grey doesn't help either. What is a societal norm in one part of the world could be a taboo in another. Cultural relativism plays a big part in your value systems.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pachy View Post
I find that often religions provide a justification framework for morals; but not all of them are necessarily right nor are all of them necessarily wrong. What it boils down to is choice; and/or the lack thereof when teaching these morals.

Religion is the problem.

The following example is hypothetical and generalized to convey an idea. Please do not pick on it for those reasons.
I feel you're on to something here, but I'm having difficulty understanding the exact nature of that something. So there are high chances I've misunderstood your view. With this disclaimer in mind, please forgive any remark of mine that is offensive to or ignorant of your position.

First, I would argue that as long as worldviews are concerned, ethics can hardly be separated from metaphysics. So for religion X, the morals it subsumes would only make sense given the truth of its answers to metaphysical questions, like what is our ultimate purpose in life? Whatever answer you provide to this question acts as a premise to ethic-building at the very basic, general level. These "general" ethical questions include concerns of human freedom and to the extent it should be curbed (if at all), the definition of social welfare/stability and the value of freedom of speech and action relative to this definition, and so on. And then you move on to pick out the particulars in applied ethics.

In other words, unless you subscribe to absolute ethical relativism, applied ethics cannot be seen in isolation of meta-ethics (how morality or ethics is grounded).

To apply this tentative analysis to your analogy, I don't think it rational that one would be justified in leaving one's worldview (not just religion, it could be non-theistic worldviews like naturalism as well) just because some morals do not square well with her "personal experiences and feelings". Rather, the correct position to hold- I think- would be to return to how these ethical values are grounded (meta-ethics), or perhaps dig even deeper and try to locate the "problem" in the particular metaphysic. If the metaphysics and (consequently) meta-ethics stand true to the scrutiny of reason, I think it unreasonable -generally speaking- to declare one's position unjustified on the basis of ostensible inconsistency in applied ethics.

This is why in my post, I stressed the importance of reason or justification in holding the beliefs we do. This justification should be carried out by judging the truth claims of the particular metaphysic or meta-ethics, not by judging the consistency of applied ethics with one's personal experiences and feelings. To me, the former seems like stronger grounds to stand on.

All of this is theory of course, and when practical applications are concerned, certain caveats would need to be introduced.

Also, maybe it's entirely my fault but in this thread, the distinction between "holding view X is superior" and "promoting/forcing view X as superior on others" is being muddied. I've thought a lot about this issue, and I don't think mere difference of opinion is the problem. The problem is with people's characters and naivete, when they lock themselves up in their own little bubble and denounce anyone who don't ascribe to their views as immoral. As Livewire very aptly put, a lack of empathy is probably the only reason why these conflicts occur.

A society doesn't have to be uniform in their moral stances in order to be united.
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