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evisiron
2007-08-30, 06:24 PM
I know there are a bunch of 'ethical situation' threads about. However, earlier for this week our class was asked to evaluate our own ethical codes. I felt readers may enjoy seeing it, and I would appreciate anyone posting thier own ethical code. Here is what I wrote:

"My ethical code appears to be versatile and will alter to various situations, but follows a set of more solid core beliefs:
1. Do not seriously harm or cause serious pain or death to others unless absolutely necessary. This one seems to stem from the in built moral code of a ‘normal’ upbringing. I will not assault others or attempt to damage them emotionally. I placed ‘serious’ in there as I may cause a little pain (such as a friendly punch in the arm) without violating my ethical code. I also used ‘absolutely necessary’ as there are situations where pain or death is needed (eg. If someone’s arm was caught in a machine and was being pulled in, I would attempt to cut the arm off).
2. Be honest when it will not conflict with the first belief. This is one I stick to pretty rigidly. I have never cheated on a test or swindled someone out of money. I would also use this belief to cover not stealing. In regards to the first belief bit, I feel ‘unnecessary quantities of truth’ can be painful to people, and so I avoid situations. I am also keenly aware that my beliefs are not always correct, and so being honest does not always mean speaking out (eg. My feelings on religion). So, a lot of the honesty falls under ‘is it legal’.
3. Help people if possible when it does not conflict with the first 2 beliefs. This generally means I will help people if they ask, as long as it is not dishonest and wont lead to hurting people. This also provides an almost built in loophole that I wont help people I really don’t like, as I would be saying ‘I want to help this person’ which would conflict with the 2nd belief. I know this is not the most ethical thing, but I am not so kind hearted as to aid my enemies.

Anything else is kind of case by case, and there are situations which ‘slip through the net’. However, overall I believe it is a fairly robust system that I will have to test using and evaluate my ethical code.

Just to note, the layout is similar to the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ as I felt the way it prioritized things was an effective tool."

averagejoe
2007-08-30, 07:06 PM
Just to note, the layout is similar to the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ as I felt the way it prioritized things was an effective tool."

Awwww, maaaan. Before you said that I had planned to list the laws of robotics and pretend to be a robot. Ah well.

I've never really tried to express my moral code into words. It's something like:

"Always be open-minded and flexible, and evaluate each situation as it comes, never taking one solution to be absolute. Keep my mind open and clear, and I will know the right choice when it comes."

I could probably stand to work on the wording a bit, but there you go, the one law of averagejoe. I wanna be a robot. :smallfrown: Perhaps it isn't "ethical" in and of itself, but my feelings on actual ethics isn't so much of a "code" so much as it's a, "list of courses of action which I have found to be pretty good ideas in many situations."

Oh, and to any clever people out there, yes I know that, "never taking one solution to be absolute," and other such things are logical contradictions. Good job. really.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 07:22 PM
1. Do good to others you care for
2. Do good to thyself, so long as it does not conflict with #1
3. Do good to all others, so long as it does not conflict with #2 or #1

I can't think of a situation that my code doesn't totally cover. Of course, some may argue that it is wrong to let 1,000,000,000 strangers die so that I may live. I say to them, "Meh."

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 07:33 PM
I can't think of a situation that my code doesn't totally cover. Of course, some may argue that it is wrong to let 1,000,000,000 strangers die so that I may live. I say to them, "Meh."

....

Tell me you are joking. Please.

Otherwise what I want to do to you conflicts with my personal ethics.

Sewer_Bandito
2007-08-30, 08:25 PM
Mine would be...

1. Don't hurt, harm or kill any living thing, unless absolutely necessary. This is a big one for me, I just have trouble ending anything else's life unless it is necessary for my survival (which has yet to happen). If I see a bug in the house, I trp it and send it outside instead of stepping on it.

2. Be kind. I'm nice and friendly with those I like, and ignore people I don't like to the best of my ability. If I don't like someone, I don't insult or make fun of them, they're just ignored.

That about covers my ethical code, I think.

Sir_Norbert
2007-08-30, 08:32 PM
Otherwise what I want to do to you conflicts with my personal ethics.
I feel like hugging you so much for saying that :)

Tom_Violence
2007-08-30, 08:34 PM
Mine, like everyone else's, is this:

Be generally cool to people.

Alter the wording a little to suit your own style, of course. :smalltongue:

Jack Squat
2007-08-30, 09:16 PM
My code is basically be nice to people, but do what I must to survive. Afterall, I'm no good to anyone dead.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 09:21 PM
....

Tell me you are joking. Please.

Otherwise what I want to do to you conflicts with my personal ethics.

This is supposing that I have no reason to believe that these people in any way affect me. And I'm too smart to know that the death of 1 billion people out of the 6-some billion existing won't affect me.

Although 1 million...honestly, I would not die for a million random people who don't affect me in any way. I'm sorry. Well, no I'm not, really, but you get my point.

ForzaFiori
2007-08-30, 09:26 PM
my code: "Do what needs to be done with as little harm to yourself or others as possible."

that is basically the only rule I have. Do what you have to, just try to have as little impact on other people as possible. If something is gonna have no impact on people, feel free to do it.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 09:30 PM
*stutters at the brickwall*

I...just...wow... I don't even know how to respond to that.

I guess we may find out how many people are good at adhering to Sewer Bandito's second rule. Does that rule cut out debate or correction or a desperate attempt at logic and realization?

StickMan
2007-08-30, 09:34 PM
My Ethical Code varies from day to day, which is not a good thing. Typically you can mess with me all you want and your fine. Mess with my friends, family, random people who need help, or my hat and then its on.

Hey now be nice to Brickwall to be fair we have a overpopulated planet if a million to a billion people go missing/die it may actual be a good thing. I'm sure he just has the population problem in mind.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-30, 09:40 PM
Hey now be nice to Brickwall to be fair we have a overpopulated planet if a million to a billion people go missing/die it may actual be a good thing. I'm sure he just has the population problem in mind.

Yeah, I'm sure they and their families would agree with you and all... Seriously, 'we have an overpopulated planet do if a whole load of people die its probably no big deal'?

That said, anyone that would give up their life, and I mean really give it up, for the sake of a bunch of faceless strangers, is either a saint or a madman.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 09:41 PM
*stutters at the brickwall*

I...just...wow... I don't even know how to respond to that.

Okay, you want to know something? I'm just being honest. I don't want to be a bad person, and you know what? I'm not. Death isn't the same thing as money, stuff, or health. I wouldn't deprive the world of a million dollars just so I could buy a soda from a vending machine. That's just stupid. But I have a feeling that you don't know what it's like to truly face mortality. And niether do I. But if I can tell what it's like this far from the gaping maw of death, I know sure as hell that morality's not going to matter quite so much to me. Who knows, maybe I'll actually decide to be heroic if it comes down to it. But I know it's not likely, and I think that maybe you should do some real soul-searching before you truly decide how much value you place on your own life. And figure it out before you decide to preach to me. I don't like the idea of me being afraid of death, but anyone who can die is, and I don't want to lie in everyone's face when I know how different the end is.

And you know what? That goes for everyone who says they'd die on a stake for the good of people they don't know, or people who hate them. Realize that humans and their various systems are constructed with the imperative of survival, not goodness. And you are human, so very, very human.

SurlySeraph
2007-08-30, 09:52 PM
1. Don't harm anyone, except to prevent them from harming others (including yourself) or as part of a friendly competition, or if they are doing something unusually cruel or destructive.
2. Be honest except when being honest will emotionally hurt someone. Do not manipulate people into doing anything for you, though you may test how people react by saying things you wouldn't normally say.
3. Do not put your own happiness above the well-being of others. Avoid self-indulgence except within the limits necessary to stay sane.
4. Obey laws, even unreasonable ones, unless obeying them would harm you or others. Obey rules, even stupid ones, unless obeying them would harm you or others. Obey authority, unless the authority wants you to harm others.

I could probably think of others, but you get the idea.

And Brickwall: I, for one, would be willing to die for any number of people I don't know to live. Of course, I've internalized the concept of martyrdom as the highest virtue, plus I honestly don't value my own life much, but I don't want to start navel-gazing here. Humanity couldn't continue surviving if individuals didn't give up their lives to save greater numbers of people; humanity as a whole has an imperative for self-preservation and reproduction, not just individual members of humanity.

@V: It's good to see someone else who thinks the way I do. I was suicidal basically since I was 8, up until I became religious two years ago (when I was 15). The idea that I might die for nothing, without protecting anyone, absolutely haunts me.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 10:00 PM
Okay, you want to know something? I'm just being honest. I don't want to be a bad person, and you know what? I'm not. Death isn't the same thing as money, stuff, or health. I wouldn't deprive the world of a million dollars just so I could buy a soda from a vending machine. That's just stupid. But I have a feeling that you don't know what it's like to truly face mortality. And niether do I. But if I can tell what it's like this far from the gaping maw of death, I know sure as hell that morality's not going to matter quite so much to me. Who knows, maybe I'll actually decide to be heroic if it comes down to it. But I know it's not likely, and I think that maybe you should do some real soul-searching before you truly decide how much value you place on your own life. And figure it out before you decide to preach to me. I don't like the idea of me being afraid of death, but anyone who can die is, and I don't want to lie in everyone's face when I know how different the end is.

And you know what? That goes for everyone who says they'd die on a stake for the good of people they don't know, or people who hate them. Realize that humans and their various systems are constructed with the imperative of survival, not goodness. And you are human, so very, very human.

Oh dear lord. If you even knew a little bit about me, you would shut up and stop assuming. You are telling the wrong one of us to do the soul searching.

You know what? I'm being just being honest too. Someone being okay with 1 million people dying just so that they can live is a horrifying idea to me. I'm not preaching, I'm trying very hard to restrain myself and play nice and just disagree without saying anything else.

Here is a glimpse of something personal. Guess it's time to say it.

Maybe it's the years of being suicidal and the fact that I have no fear of death; I have spent so much of my life begging for it... that the idea of being able to give my life for someone else fills me with joy and I would love that honor. I know that I am in love with someone when I would gladly give my life for them, no questions asked.

Death is nothing like money, you are right. Life is worth so much more than it. I figured that out in part when I nearly did die and I fought to live. It was a great turning point in my suicidal path.

I'd rather not die. But I have to at some point, and that's okay. Hopefully I get lots of life in first. But if I have to go tomorrow, may I only be so lucky as to go in place of someone else.

Setra
2007-08-30, 10:06 PM
I'd have to say, I agree with Brickwall, but on a lesser scale.

I think, I'd be willing to die.. but only if it were more then say say, five people. Of course presuming I knew nothing about them.

In any case, my personal ethics would be...

1. Avoid judging a person prior to finding out what they're like
2. Be honest about things that matter
3. Show respect to others, unless this conflicts with 1 and/or 2.
4. Don't get hurt, unless it is to protect someone you truly care about
5. Help others, unless this conflicts with 2 or 4.

I can honestly say there is only one person I would die to protect, and it's not a member of my family.

Though that doesn't mean I wouldn't 'risk' my life. I would charge at a man with a gun to protect them, but I would not jump in front of a bullet. My logic is a bit contorted I suppose.

Semidi
2007-08-30, 10:13 PM
I have to concur with Brickwall. One's must always do what is best for one's self. To do something other is to waste life and invite death.

If it would validate your ethics, die for a million people. To do any other is to waste your own life.

If it would validate your own ethics to let a million people die in your place, do so. To do any other is to waste life and invite death.

I love the smell of egoism in the evening.

MandibleBones
2007-08-30, 10:14 PM
I'd rather not die. But I have to at some point, and that's okay. Hopefully I get lots of life in first. But if I have to go tomorrow, may I only be so lucky as to go in place of someone else.

Can I use THAT as my life motto? 'Cause that pretty much sums up my views on life and death.

As for my Code?

I live by two: the Air Force's core values (http://www.af.mil/library/viewpoints/secaf.asp?id=217) and the Golden Lions' code (http://www.golden-lions.net/traditions/index.html)- and they overlap quite a bit. Others who subscribe to these creeds may interpret them differently - your mileage may vary.

Air Force: (http://www.af.mil)
INTEGRITY: I will accept the consequences of my actions. This is the core of everything for me. Generally, this means being both honest and forthright, but it also means watching what I say and do, because I need to be able to accept the way those things impact myself and others.

SERVICE: When necessary to maintain my integrity, I must put others before myself. If this means sacrificing something of mine, so be it. If I fail in this, I must refer to Integrity (accept and live with the consequences of my actions). I have trouble with this some times, but I must strive constantly to maintain this.

EXCELLENCE: To maintain my integrity, I must strive to put forth my best effort in all I do. There is little shame in failing because of inability to accomplish something, but if I give up, I will have to live with the consequences of that choice.

Golden Lions (http://www.golden-lions.net/) (of which I am not a member but strive to be):
COURAGE in the face of the enemy (and by extention, in the face of everything life can throw at me),
HONOR on the battlefield (and in everything I do),
LOYALTY (to all I hold dear), and
PRIDE (In myself and my allegiances.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 10:25 PM
MandibleBones, we'll trade okay? I like your's too. :smallsmile:

Another good one for some:

"Let no one look down upon you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, in your conduct, in your love, in your faith, and in your purity."

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 10:27 PM
Maybe it's the years of being suicidal and the fact that I have no fear of death; I have spent so much of my life begging for it... that the idea of being able to give my life for someone else fills me with joy and I would love that honor. I know that I am in love with someone when I would gladly give my life for them, no questions asked.

So if you were suicidal for years, why aren't you dead? If you couldn't die to end your own suffering, you, who you care about I'm sure quite a lot, could you really die just so that people you care less about may live? Have you suddenly grown an ability to let yourself die? Maybe you have. With this knowledge I can no longer safely assume that you haven't. But it's still a good deal unlikely.

And you may have forgotten that I put "people I care about" above myself. It would be much easier to die for someone I care about than for someone I do not.

I'm being realistic here. Nobody should be expected to die for strangers. Most people just can't do that. I'm not abnormal, phoenix. Just honest.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 10:39 PM
So if you were suicidal for years, why aren't you dead?
I have three reasons I am still alive. It is all because of other people.

If you couldn't die to end your own suffering,
I certainly could and it's exactly what I wanted. But that ignors my reasons not to.

you, who you care about I'm sure quite a lot, could you really die just so that people you care less about may live?
You are missing the point about some suicidal tendancys. We don't care about ourselves. When you think that you are worthless, and care for almost everyone more than yourself, it makes it simple. Except when it is the catch 22 and because you care for the other people, you can't do it.

Have you suddenly grown an ability to let yourself die?
No. I always had the ability to die, to cause my own death. However I discovered that a desire to live also existed when being killed by a force I had no control over. I didn't want to die in that moment, in that way. So I fought.

Maybe you have.
Umm... I'm pretty sure about this thanks. :smallwink:

With this knowledge I can no longer safely assume that you haven't. But it's still a good deal unlikely.
With what knowledge? But hence you don't believe me. Your logic, your decision and opinion. It is unlikely to change, and is oddly independent of me.

And you may have forgotten that I put "people I care about" above myself. It would be much easier to die for someone I care about than for someone I do not.
Yes. I'd die with no questions asked for those I love. For strangers, I'd hope that they were good people, or would become good people with their extended life.

I'm being realistic here.
As am I to my situation.

Nobody should be expected to die for strangers. Most people just can't do that.
Maybe some of our army folks will find interest in that statement. :smallsmile: Though I don't necessarily disagree.

I'm not abnormal, phoenix. Just honest.
As am I.

We disagree. Okay. We have given out piece. Okay. We still disagree. Ce la vie. :smallwink:

MandibleBones
2007-08-30, 10:44 PM
I can't speak for her, but I know this:

Given the choice between watching other people die and dying myself, I'd opt for death - and I'd much rather die knowing that something came of it rather than for no reason other than my own desire.

Likewise, I want to die knowing that the people I care about can say to themselves, "his death had meaning" or "he died, having Lived."

...

Preferably many, many years from now in my sleep.

SurlySeraph
2007-08-30, 10:44 PM
So if you were suicidal for years, why aren't you dead? If you couldn't die to end your own suffering, you, who you care about I'm sure quite a lot, could you really die just so that people you care less about may live? Have you suddenly grown an ability to let yourself die? Maybe you have. With this knowledge I can no longer safely assume that you haven't. But it's still a good deal unlikely.

And you may have forgotten that I put "people I care about" above myself. It would be much easier to die for someone I care about than for someone I do not.

I'm being realistic here. Nobody should be expected to die for strangers. Most people just can't do that. I'm not abnormal, phoenix. Just honest.


Okay, first of all that's extremely insensitive. You clearly do not understand what it's like to be suicidal. It's not about wanting to die so that your pain will stop; you spend your time trying to find a reason why you shouldn't die, desperately trying to convince yourself that you have some worth. You're suicidal when you can't find a reason anymore. Most of the time you're trying to convince yourself to live, not trying to convince yourself to die; no one truly wants to die, they just begin to believe they deserve to. At least, that's how it was for me. Second, presumably phoenixineohp believes that other people's lives are more important than her own happiness, as do I. Dying to protect other people is far, far nobler and more ethical than dying just to stop yourself from feeling pain. I may be seeing this on an abstract level, and as you said, I might think differently if I truly was in a position to give my life to save people I don't know, but this is how I see it. You may be realistic about how you feel, but most people are a lot more idealistic than that. Being too practical and self-interested isn't any more normal than being too abstract and romanticizing everything.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 10:50 PM
MandibleBones and SurlySeraph: Thank you.

Thank you.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 10:53 PM
You are missing the point about some suicidal tendancys. We don't care about ourselves. When you think that you are worthless, and care for almost everyone more than yourself, it makes it simple. Except when it is the catch 22 and because you care for the other people, you can't do it.

...I think I am missing something. If you thought yourself worthless, I can't imagine you'd have a second thought about pulling yourself from others.

I'm not saying that nobody has self-sacrifice capabilities in regards to strangers. Like you said, we have military. But I don't think that it makes up even 1% of the population, including vets and army prospectives. And I'm quite certain that I've heard of military personell "losing it" on the field because of the mortal fear struck in them.

So, fine, I'll stop contesting that you're one of those special people who is going to be respected by her entire community as a pillar of virtue. I really can't say you aren't, since that would require me to believe you a liar (and I don't). But don't quake in your boots at the thought of people without that kind of ethical standpoint. We're everywhere. Most of the people around you are just like me, maybe even worse.

EDIT: I should add that, by Surly's definition, I'm suicidal for about half an hour a day on average. And I'm not dead because of the reasons I actually had the gallstones to go up and say: I don't wanna die. Death is scary, life is a pain I know. It's familiar. So, yes, according to you, I know exactly what it's like. And I haven't changed my opinion a bit.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-30, 10:55 PM
I think the interesting thing about this 'discussion' is the sharp contrast between what people think they ought to do, and what people think they really would do. I can't think of a decent moral reason for wanting to keep my own life rather than give it up for a billion faceless strangers, but if someone presented me with that dilemma I wouldn't be overly surprised if I took the easy option out. Call it cowardice, call it self-preservation, whatever. I just don't want to die. Hell, even if it was my life or the life of someone I knew and was close to it'd still be a helluva tough one, and one that I couldn't call sitting here right now.

I see no moral worth in choosing self-preservation above everything else, but then I also see no moral worth in simply 'trading deaths' with another individual, stranger or no.

All I will say to Brickwall is that not everyone that can die is afraid of it. And not all human systems favour self-preservation over 'good'.

phoenixineohp
2007-08-30, 11:00 PM
...I think I am missing something. If you thought yourself worthless, I can't imagine you'd have a second thought about pulling yourself from others.

I'm not saying that nobody has self-sacrifice capabilities in regards to strangers. Like you said, we have military. But I don't think that it makes up even 1% of the population, including vets and army prospectives. And I'm quite certain that I've heard of military personell "losing it" on the field because of the mortal fear struck in them.

So, fine, I'll stop contesting that you're one of those special people who is going to be respected by her entire community as a pillar of virtue. I really can't say you aren't, since that would require me to believe you a liar (and I don't). But don't quake in your boots at the thought of people without that kind of ethical standpoint. We're everywhere. Most of the people around you are just like me, maybe even worse.

Huh. Y'know what, ethics regarding animals hasn't been brought up yet. Maybe it's too polarizing?

If you look carefully at the admitted past filled with feelings of worthlessness and the like, then hopefully you know that my stance does not necessarily deserve respect and is not a pillar of virtue. That would be nice, very nice, but I am just the product of myself. And you know how I felt about myself. :smallwink:

The animal quip... hehehehehehe. :smalltongue:

Semidi
2007-08-30, 11:04 PM
“Do what ye will, but harm none, and that shall be the whole of the law.”

In general, what I try to do day to day. (Ripped from a certain r-word that I don’t follow; I just liked the ring to it.)

Forgot to mention that one in my last post. It has a lovely eloquence to it, as well as a hidden complexity because it’s so simple and general. For instance: by living I am taking resources from someone else, thus I am, in affect, harming them in an abstract way. Now, would the most altruistic action possible be to remove myself from the pool of resources?

I like this one because it’s a law that’s so broad that it leaves room for oodles of personal, rational interpretation, and it causes every action to be, in a way, special and unique.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 11:06 PM
If you look carefully at the admitted past filled with feelings of worthlessness and the like, then hopefully you know that my stance does not necessarily deserve respect and is not a pillar of virtue. That would be nice, very nice, but I am just the product of myself. And you know how I felt about myself. :smallwink:

The animal quip... hehehehehehe. :smalltongue:

Self-sacrifice at the drop of a hat is a pretty admirable ability. It really is, reasons regardless. Though what you DO with that sacrifice may not exactly be virtuous (kamikaze, for instance).

13_CBS
2007-08-30, 11:09 PM
Hmm, my ethical beliefs:

Depends on the setting. When it comes to interactions with friends and family, especially someone I'm more than a friend with (say, a lover), then I give my all for them. I listen, I try my best to be kind, caring and supportive, and provide them comfort when they seem like they need it. So in that case, my ethical beliefs would boil down to:

1) If a loved one is feeling sad/negative emotions, do your best to make them feel better.
2) If a loved one is in a dilemma, do your best to get them out of it.

I've practiced this many times during my (short) life. Unfortunately, though, this philosphy hasn't given me much luck in my love life... (any advice/ insights as to why?)

On the other hand, if I'm in a competitive setting, then my goals precede all else. Morals, ethics, etc. all go out the window. The goals are paramount. If I fail to meet them, then I consider myself a total failure. What others feel, think, and believe all become irrelevant unless what they feel, think, and believe somehow become obstacles. In short, I become rather sociopathic.

1) The goals are paramount. All else is irrelevant.
2) Do not do things that will compromise the completion of the goal. Otherwise, do it.

Lately, though, I've started to become extremely apathetic. For example, I no longer feel any pity or compassion for refugees and people who suffer in Africa.

averagejoe
2007-08-30, 11:18 PM
Self-sacrifice at the drop of a hat is a pretty admirable ability. It really is, reasons regardless. Though what you DO with that sacrifice may not exactly be virtuous (kamikaze, for instance).

I dunno, at the same time a lot of people seem too willingly eager to sacrifice themselves at the drop of a hat. The more cynical side of me wants to say that martyrdom is only considered a virtue because it was promoted by non-martyrs for their own benifit. I'm not really that cynical, but I have yet to hear any reason as to why it should be such a high virtue. There is, of course, special cases; I would probably die to protect any member of my family, for example, but that is because I care about my family more than because I think martyrdom is such a good thing in and of itself.

Brickwall
2007-08-30, 11:22 PM
I dunno, at the same time a lot of people seem too willingly eager to sacrifice themselves at the drop of a hat. The more cynical side of me wants to say that martyrdom is only considered a virtue because it was promoted by non-martyrs for their own benifit.

Oh, great, the secret's out. Well, we'll have to find new martyrs. *sigh*. It took years, too. :smalltongue:

Ceska
2007-08-31, 04:09 AM
Given the choice between watching other people die and dying myself, I'd opt for death - and I'd much rather die knowing that something came of it rather than for no reason other than my own desire.
Ever seen the news?

Personally, I agree with Brickwall. Actually I have been suicidal, I have doubted my worth and I have longed for death. But if you'd ask me now if I'd give my life for thousand strangers if I could, I wouldn't. I wouldn't trade anything for my life, except my own freedom or the lives of those I really care about.

I know I couldn't watch the news for many years. I doubt I really watched one to its end after my birthday in 01, I remember it well, being at a friends house, seeing that. To be fair, it didn't seem that bad for me. I'd seen worse, even then. And I somehow found it more unfair that it had to happen just then than that it happened. Of course, with the usual egocentrism of a child, I somehow felt responsible. Not that I had anything to do with it or even could, but somehow you feel guilty in these cases, anyway.

I've been angered, then saddened over the following years, always hating my own incapability to help anyone suffering, to change just a little. Somehow being only able to change myself, not change anything else seemed too less for me. Like I had to do more to prove any worth.

I won't say I tried to kill myself, I never did. I might not have had to worth to live, but taking ones life is an action, and I'd probably feel guilty to act on it. If it had been a second person there had been no problem. I might have been headless, just as people my age are, and run over a street, have an accident and die. I could also just have fallen down a cliff while trying to look down. Accidents happen after all, and I'd not have to feel guilty, or to fight my own instincts.

But I had an accident with the car. Driving hundred kilometres per hour my father fell asleep for a second, would have hit a crash barrier but woke up early enough to turn, make a few loops before hitting the crash barrier on the other side. Nothing happened and at that moment I was happy for it, maybe just an instinct, but strong enough to feel good. But of course you think through all possible happenings afterwards. What if there had been another car? It was foggy, it was a curve and the street was wed. Awful weather to brake.

But if I had died there, how would the surrounding have reacted? How would the life gone on? I guess we all ask ourselves this question, and personally I think dramas you can't see for yourself are uninteresting. After all, I don't believe in an afterlife, sometimes, in weak moments, I believe in a rebirth, yes, but that's it. However, this means I can't see anything of this life after I die. I think life is like a play, we all just actors in it. The only problem is that you have to act yourself to watch the play, and I sure don't want to miss it, after all it's the only one.

So would I die for somebody I don't know, no matter how high the number is? No. I can't affect anything afterwards, I can't even watch, and I'm too curious to not watch it. Also, I can't save lives. I can make them longer, but I have no clue how much. I could have died for my family and country in the first world war on French side just to have my family die a year later of the Spanish flu. As long as I don't know the future, and I never will, there is no reason to give my life away for this.

One thing also came to me over being depressed (I feel like I'm over it now, fortunately), if I say I am not worthy, this means no human is worthy to me. After all, values, apart from a few that are similar to everybody, depend on the individual. And since I don't believe in good or evil, even good or bad, in an objective case I can only watch it subjectively. There, however, I am the archetype of a human. I am the only human I truly know, I know all the dark secrets, all desires, all flaws, all virtues. Since I do not know another person's flaws I must assume they are at least as bad as mine to me, thus if I am not worthy, how can anybody else be?

The same happens with anything else. My mother is the archetype of a mother to me, simply because she was the first I ever knew, even before I knew what a mother was. The same goes for my father, for my friend, for anything. I give them names, give them values; I rate them. My best friend is my best friend because I know his virtues, know his flaws, know some of his secrets, and accept him, as he knows my virtues, knows my flaws and some of my secrets and accepts me. That's what makes him best to me, but not to you.

But what I don't know I can't rate. What I can't rate I can't give a worth. What I can't give a worth I can't know if it is worthier than me or not. And what is not worthier than me to live I can't decide to die for.

I think to understand a countries policies you must know its history. To understand a person's stance you must know the person's history.

I know it's pure egoism and I do what I want most of the time, but still I do not hurt you, I do not steal or take your freedom. I do not defend my doings by any moral. I simply do what every animal does, I do what I think is the best thing to do in a certain situation with my limited knowledge of what can happen. I'll never know all possibilities of what will happen and never pick the perfect way of doing something, but it will always be the best I could do at this point with this knowledge and experience.

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 05:02 AM
(1)
1.Altruism is a lie, we have a built-in reward system which is what truly drives such acts.
2. Based on 1, there is no good
3. Based on 2, all deeds are selfish

based on (1) ,Self preservation above all else.
Do good to another only when you get an equal or greater reward. (In any form, from a new ally to that wonderful chemical induced feeling)

EvilDMMk3
2007-08-31, 05:46 AM
My moral code runs thusly.

1) I will never deliberatley kill for my own sake, although this does not true if others are in danger. As a rule Violance is a tool of self defence or the defence of others only.
2) I am truthful and honest, in my opinions when they are genuinly sought I do not sugar the pill. I do however make this known and
3) I will not start conflict or insult people with my opnions unless they are genuinly sought.
4) I offer as much respect as a person is due or as they offer me, whichever is more.
5) I will never draw a direct comparison between two people, living or historical.
6) If I can't say anything nice about a person I will at least have the common dencency to say the bad stuff when they arent around.
7) I stand by what is ethicaly right, not who is saying it.
8) Anything I beleave in I will act acordign to, anything I cannot live by is not something I can beleave in.
9) I act with Christian virtues in mind.
10) I will allways hear people out before answering.
11) I will ensure that no argument is one sided. I am well known for playing devil's advocate, if nothing else it refines and cleans the ideas.

Also there is significant evidance that Altruism is a genetic component of the human brain, a species evolutionary trait. It makes sence in a phycological and sociological enviroment too.

And that is me being fair, personaly I am a cynic of the first water.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-31, 06:26 AM
(1)
1.Altruism is a lie, we have a built-in reward system which is what truly drives such acts.
2. Based on 1, there is no good
3. Based on 2, all deeds are selfish

based on (1) ,Self preservation above all else.
Do good to another only when you get an equal or greater reward. (In any form, from a new ally to that wonderful chemical induced feeling)

Agreed, and scary once you strip off the rose-tinted glasses that everyone wears.

As an example, the philosophy that produced the above has a reward to the philosopher: it attempts to negate the guilt you might feel at selfish acts.


Also there is significant evidance that Altruism is a genetic component of the human brain, a species evolutionary trait. It makes sence in a phycological and sociological enviroment too.

I'm sorry but it doesn't make sense. You might say that to give up your food for another of your species helps to continue your gene pool.
Firstly, that IS a reward so it is not altruistic. (Where altruism means that you gain nothing for the act)
Secondly, why would you feed someone who cannot feed themselves? They are clearly the genetically weaker since they have 'failed' whereas you have food.

Om
2007-08-31, 07:25 AM
Personally I don't have a moral code. Or at least I don't spend much time thinking one up. If I had to proffer one then I'd suggest that people should try not to be eejits. There's a lot of things that you can't change about life but your attitude towards others is not one of them.


Do good to another only when you get an equal or greater reward.Which is a wonderfully market-orientated and wildly inaccurate view. Self-interest does not equal "greater reward" and nor is there any genetic predisposition towards selfishness.

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 07:40 AM
Om:
Sure there is, a non-selfish being would not protect itself from others, and thus not survive.

Any act must bring you a reward greater then the resources put into it for that act to be considered Profitable, or in other words, correct.

If you are going to call out my words as false, please provide an explanation.

MandibleBones
2007-08-31, 07:45 AM
Ever seen the news?

I live it and write it.

I care enough to know that I want to make a positive difference in as many people's lives as possible while I'm here - and if, each day, I give my best effort toward that, I sleep well at night.

If I knowingly allowed someone else to die for me because I was unwilling to risk my life for them, I don't think I'd ever be able to sleep well again.

So maybe it's selfish, but it's me.

Timberwolf
2007-08-31, 07:58 AM
My ethical code is simple.

Judge not.
No bragging.
If you say it, mean it.
Do no harm but do not be a pushover (ie. dont start anything but if someone tries to take you on then do all in your power to finish it quickly and descisively, in your favour)

Om
2007-08-31, 08:23 AM
Sure there is, a non-selfish being would not protect itself from others, and thus not survive.Explain to me how "non-selfish" translates as "suicidal". You may also note that "self-interest" is not the same as "selfishness".


If you are going to call out my words as false, please provide an explanation.Selfishness is not conductive to survival. Nor is any attitude that elevates the individual above the rest of society (the tribe if you will). Humans are not sharks or similar solitary predators that can afford to think solely of their own needs.

The most glaring example of this is the family - the de facto communal unit, in various forms, for much of human history. Within the family it is expected that individuals work to support each other (and not their own wants) and thus the family collectively thrives. If your theory were correct (that human beings are genetically programmed to seek out the "greater reward") then the family structure would not have evolved as individual members sought to maximise their own "profits" at the expense of others. Its also likely that other forms of human society would have also been stunted.

Humans are social creatures and this is something that firmly contradicts any notions of the inherent selfishness of character. After all, it is only through such collective structures a person can guarantee or further their own interests.


Any act must bring you a reward greater then the resources put into it for that act to be considered Profitable, or in other words, correct.As I said, you have a very market orientated approach to this. Life, much to the despair of economists, cannot be reduced to a simple profit/loss equation.

Emperor Demonking
2007-08-31, 08:31 AM
1: Do what's best for myself.
2: Do what's best for my country unless it contradicts rule 1.
3: Care more about humans than animals unless it contadicts rule 1 or 2.

PhoeKun
2007-08-31, 08:35 AM
(1)
1.Altruism is a lie, we have a built-in reward system which is what truly drives such acts.
2. Based on 1, there is no good
3. Based on 2, all deeds are selfish

based on (1) ,Self preservation above all else.
Do good to another only when you get an equal or greater reward. (In any form, from a new ally to that wonderful chemical induced feeling)

Ethical Egoism is, quite simply, a bunch of crap. The application of its lone moral rule creates a near-infinite number of logical contradictions of ideal behavior, with more created every time two or more people's self interests are opposed. People cannot form a cohesive society by acting always in their own immediate self interest.

Ethical Egoism also takes another form, wherein it claims that all acts are actually acts of selfishness, even if they don't seem that way at first glance. But this is also a logical fallacy. The offered proof comes from unverifiable claims and circular logic. For example: "that guy gave a million dollars to charity. You might think it's because he's a nice person, but he really did it for a release of chemicals in his brain and a break on his taxes, so it's actually selfish of him to donate." On the other hand, if he had kept his money while letting orphans starve to death, that would also been a selfish act. Two completely opposite actions are given the same label. It's a contradiction, and the argument for the first instance is shaky at best.



Sure there is, a non-selfish being would not protect itself from others, and thus not survive.

Life existed before the concept of selfishness. It does not make sense to say that life is inherently selfish. Or rather, that the simple act of living is an inherently selfish act, and that only selfish people could survive. Nobody is completely selfless, but in what capacity does that make them completely selfish?

OverdrivePrime
2007-08-31, 08:39 AM
Simplified to a fault, the crux of my code is ripped cheerfully from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:

Be excellent to each other.
... Party on, dudes!

And that's about the core of it. I don't buy the rationalizations that Altruism is false. There certainly are rewards built into altruistic behavior, because people appreciate it when someone's good to them, and when you help others, you (or at least I) feel good simply by knowing that someone's life is better. I admit that some egoism may be involved in that. No other reward is required or asked for.

Elaborated on to some degree:

1. Survive
2. Put the needs of others above above your own wants.
3. Defend worthy people who are unable to defend themselves. (There are plenty of valuable people who are unable to defend themselves from some source of antagonism - be it physical, mental, social or otherwise.)
4. Leave the world in better condition than how I found it.
5. Find joy in the act of living.
6. Live a good example for others.
7. Pursue justice in your community and the larger world.
8. Seek perfection of self.
9. Prosper if possible, but do not overtax the resources available to you.
10. Party on, dudes!


Also, this line of thought embraced by some previous posters that it is cowadice that prevents people from suicide is a load of bunk, if you ask me. I was a self-hating and clinically depressed teenager once too, but what kept me from jumping/falling on my sword/just taking a crap-load of pills and hoping not to wake wasn't some fear of death. Death is easy. It's brief and an end to pain. That's the easy, cowardly way out. You stay alive, and stave off death because even though living is harder, there are many people who would be devestated by your death. Parents, friends, a girlfriend or boyfriend, just the people who inhabit the world around you that you think don't care. The loss of one affects all. Once I was mature enough to realize this, I began to work a little harder on living and less on kicking myself when I was down.

As a firm believer in altruism and the concept of the good of many exceeding the wants of one, I'd happily sacrifice myself. However, I'd rather work a lot harder to save those others and stay alive at the same time. I'll probably be needed again by someone.


That said, I have to admit that I'm enough of an elitist to firmly believe that the world would be a better place if a substantial portion of the population did not reproduce. In my very firm belief, if you can't provide a better life for a child than you had for yourself, you've got no business reproducing until you figure your own life out. That sentiment extends across all social classes. Too many people are too self-involved, and should not inflict their dysfunctional behavior onto a child.


(And yes, I realize the egoism of my statements, but do note that my wife of six years and I have chosen to not yet reproduce.)

elliott20
2007-08-31, 08:51 AM
Simplified to a fault, the crux of my code is ripped cheerfully from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:

Be excellent to each other.
... Party on, dudes!

And that's about the core of it. I don't buy the rationalizations that Altruism is false. There certainly are rewards built into altruistic behavior, because people appreciate it when someone's good to them, and when you help others, you (or at least I) feel good simply by knowing that someone's life is better. I admit that some egoism may be involved in that. No other reward is required or asked for.

Elaborated on to some degree:

1. Survive
2. Put the needs of others above above your own wants.
3. Defend worthy people who are unable to defend themselves. (There are plenty of valuable people who are unable to defend themselves from some source of antagonism - be it physical, mental, social or otherwise.)
4. Leave the world in better condition than how I found it.
5. Find joy in the act of living.
6. Live a good example for others.
7. Pursue justice in your community and the larger world.
8. Seek perfection of self.
9. Prosper if possible, but do not overtax the resources available to you.
10. Party on, dudes!


Also, this line of thought embraced by some previous posters that it is cowadice that prevents people from suicide is a load of bunk, if you ask me. I was a self-hating and clinically depressed teenager once too, but what kept me from jumping/falling on my sword/just taking a crap-load of pills and hoping not to wake wasn't some fear of death. Death is easy. It's brief and an end to pain. That's the easy, cowardly way out. You stay alive, and stave off death because even though living is harder, there are many people who would be devestated by your death. Parents, friends, a girlfriend or boyfriend, just the people who inhabit the world around you that you think don't care. The loss of one affects all. Once I was mature enough to realize this, I began to work a little harder on living and less on kicking myself when I was down.

As a firm believer in altruism and the concept of the good of many exceeding the wants of one, I'd happily sacrifice myself. However, I'd rather work a lot harder to save those others and stay alive at the same time. I'll probably be needed again by someone.


That said, I have to admit that I'm enough of an elitist to firmly believe that the world would be a better place if a substantial portion of the population did not reproduce. In my very firm belief, if you can't provide a better life for a child than you had for yourself, you've got no business reproducing until you figure your own life out. That sentiment extends across all social classes. Too many people are too self-involved, and should not inflict their dysfunctional behavior onto a child.


(And yes, I realize the egoism of my statements, but do note that my wife of six years and I have chosen to not yet reproduce.)
ODP is lawful good with dose of stoner

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 09:01 AM
"Explain to me how "non-selfish" translates as "suicidal"
X hungers, X wishes to devour you so it can survive, you resist, and put yourself above X, letting X die instead of you.

you are selfish and thus, you survive.

"Humans are social creatures and this is something that firmly contradicts any notions of the inherent selfishness of character. After all, it is only through such collective structures a person can guarantee or further their own interests"
Helping another is selfish, as you have put it, it makes an ally, increases the chances of the survival of the tribe (and thus the individual), and rewards the performer chemically.

Selfishness is what leads to teamwork and community.

"As I said, you have a very market orientated approach to this. Life, much to the despair of economists, cannot be reduced to a simple profit/loss equation"
Life can be reduced to 0's and 1's without error, man and machine are one and the same.

"The application of its lone moral rule creates a near-infinite number of logical contradictions of ideal behavior, with more created every time two or more people's self interests are opposed. "
I think you misunderstood me, this is not the ideal, this is reality.

"peoplecannot form a cohesive society by acting always in their own immediate self interest."
Immediate is the key word here, with long term interests it is very much possible, just look outside your window :smallwink:

"thical Egoism also takes another form, wherein it claims that all acts are actually acts of selfishness, even if they don't seem that way at first glance. But this is also a logical fallacy. The offered proof comes from unverifiable claims and circular logic. For example: "that guy gave a million dollars to charity. You might think it's because he's a nice person, but he really did it for a release of chemicals in his brain and a break on his taxes, so it's actually selfish of him to donate." On the other hand, if he had kept his money while letting orphans starve to death, that would also been a selfish act. Two completely opposite actions are given the same label. It's a contradiction, and the argument for the first instance is shaky at best"
You are the one whose arguement is full of self contradictions, if all acts are selfish, then all would be tagged by the same label.

all opposite acts, as well as all similar acts, are selfish, because all acts are selfish.

"lifeexisted before the concept of selfishness. It does not make sense to say that life is inherently selfish. Or rather, that the simple act of living is an inherently selfish act, and that only selfish people could survive. Nobody is completely selfless, but in what capacity does that make them completely selfish?"

Why doesn't it make sense? this is the situation - survival of the fittest.

"ethical egoism is, quite simply, a bunch of crap"
How nice of you to start insulting the beliefs of others as your opening sentence . . .

Om
2007-08-31, 09:21 AM
"Explain to me how "non-selfish" translates as "suicidal"
X hungers, X wishes to devour you so it can survive, you resist, and put yourself above X, letting X die instead of you.Eh... no. Being selfish is a matter of being solely concerned with your own advancement/concerns. This does not, under any definition, preclude a selfless man from defending himself. That would be suicidal.

Frankly the idea that a selfless person would allow himself to be mauled to death by a lion for no reason is ludicrious. Of course you nicely sidestep that problem by claiming that there is no such thing as a selfless person. Since everyone would act to defend themselves everyone is, by your flawed definition, selfish.


"Humans are social creatures and this is something that firmly contradicts any notions of the inherent selfishness of character. After all, it is only through such collective structures a person can guarantee or further their own interests"
Helping another is selfish, as you have put it, it makes an ally, increases the chances of the survival of the tribe (and thus the individual), and rewards the performer chemically.No, that is self-interest. Selfishness is entirely concerned with the individual. For example, "it is in my self-interest to share my bread with the family. I was selfish and decided to keep it for myself". There is a clear distinction between acting in one's self-interest and elevating yourself above others.


"As I said, you have a very market orientated approach to this. Life, much to the despair of economists, cannot be reduced to a simple profit/loss equation"
Life can be reduced to 0's and 1's without error, man and machine are one and the same.That's just nonsense. I mean that there is literally no sense in that sentence.

Telonius
2007-08-31, 09:50 AM
My moral code: Create.
My ethical code: Do the greatest good for the greatest number of people (failing that, minimize the harm). Love is more important than freedom, freedom is more important than life, life is more important than health, health is more important than wealth.

My moral code and my ethical code are in complete conflict, since I am a writer. I have killed, maimed, tortured physically and psychologically, raped, stolen, poisoned, and commited a thousand other crimes against my characters; all for the sake of a story.

MandibleBones
2007-08-31, 09:57 AM
My moral code: Create.

Well, they say the opposite of war isn't peace; it's creation.

I don't see how committing violations of your ethical code against characters who don't quite exist for any other purpose is a conflict, especially if the cause is creation which benefits people in meatspace. But that could be me.

Wolf53226
2007-08-31, 09:58 AM
"As I said, you have a very market orientated approach to this. Life, much to the despair of economists, cannot be reduced to a simple profit/loss equation"
Life can be reduced to 0's and 1's without error, man and machine are one and the same.


Man, I program computers for a living, which does boil down to just 0 and 1, and I cannot disagree with you more, that is like saying that there is an absolute right and wrong, that good and bad aren't just moral definitions...that the alignment system in D&D is perfectly valid and makes sense. And that is just CRAZY talk.

Besides which, if life can be reduced to 0's and 1's without error, then what is the opposite/opposable/other option to selfishness if selflessness doesn't exist?

Edit: Forgot a much needed word in a sentence.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 10:03 AM
Agreed, and scary once you strip off the rose-tinted glasses that everyone wears.

As an example, the philosophy that produced the above has a reward to the philosopher: it attempts to negate the guilt you might feel at selfish acts.

Why do you feel guilt then for doing things that harm others but benefit yourself? If egoism is all there is, then surely you should only ever feel guilt for doing things that harm yourself.



I'm sorry but it doesn't make sense. You might say that to give up your food for another of your species helps to continue your gene pool.
Firstly, that IS a reward so it is not altruistic. (Where altruism means that you gain nothing for the act)
Secondly, why would you feed someone who cannot feed themselves? They are clearly the genetically weaker since they have 'failed' whereas you have food.

I think you've got funny ideas of both altruism and evolution. Firstly, altruism doesn't mean that you have to do things for others without ever getting a reward for it (as arguably all people feel good in some way after doing something for others this would lead to altruism being inconsistent). All it means that you do good for others for reasons other than you being rewarded. Secondly, evolution doesn't work on a species level - its more about families, individuals that are closely genetically related to you. From an evolutionary standpoint you want your genes to survive, so you'd give food to those that share your genes to that end. There is no consideration of who's 'better' or who's 'failed' - just the genes is all that matters.

Oh, and chalk me down as one more person pointing out the massive non-falsifiability of egoism and its ridiculous circular logic!

Maerdred
2007-08-31, 10:05 AM
Wow, this thread veered into the off-topic landscape rather well. My general ideas on the off-topic topic is this. Those who contemplate suicide and do not do so, are acting very selflessly. Those who actually go through with it are acting Selfishly. When I was at my lowest low, I looked at my family. I Looked at them and I saw each and every funeral we've ever been to together. I saw the pain and sadness and suffering, and I decided I could NOT put them through that just to end my own suffering. That is what basically ended my suffering. For me to have seen that and gone ahead with it, would have been the most selfish act I had ever conceived of.


Now as far as an ethical code. It's simple.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That's how I try to live my life. I fail at it more often than I'd like to admit, but I'm human. Now, that's not to say that I want to, or aim to, or actually do lead a virtuous life full of self sacrifice and do-good behavior. What I mean is this, When it comes to the people I care about, I would gladly sacrifice to make their lives easier or better. But when it comes to people I don't know, I'd rather just maintain that status quo. Ignore them, hoping that they'll ignore me. And in regards to people I dislike, same type of deal. I expend no energy on them in hopes that they will expend no energy on me. It's a very selfish view of things, and I admit that freely. I am a selfish being who is happy with independence. But if I can honestly do something to make someone else's life better, without making my own worse, I'll do so. If I pass you, broken down on the road, I'll probably not stop. Then again, if I see you in my parking lot wrestling with a spare tire, I'll do what I can to help.

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 10:09 AM
Wolf: I am a programmer myself, and to your question I answer with my own: what is the opposite of Orange?

Om: I truly think we disagree purely because of our definitions, you seem to divide what I call collectively "Selfish" into Selfish and Self-serving, my definition of Selfishness is simple (and the one used in dictionaries in my language) - to put your(self)/ own interests above those of all others.

we are hardcoded to survive at any cost.

Back to my example concerning X, By not agreeing to sacrifice yourself, you kill X, putting your own life above that of another.

My last sentence was referring to the fact that everything can be represented using mathematics, and thus it is rather easy to calculate the most profitable path (assuming we have the tools).

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 10:21 AM
Om: I truly think we disagree purely because of our definitions, you seem to divide what I call collectively "Selfish" into Selfish and Self-serving, my definition of Selfishness is simple (and the one used in dictionaries in my language) - to put your(self)/ own interests above those of all others.

we are hardcoded to survive at any cost.

Back to my example concerning X, By not agreeing to sacrifice yourself, you kill X, putting your own life above that of another.

My last sentence was referring to the fact that everything can be represented using mathematics, and thus it is rather easy to calculate the most profitable path (assuming we have the tools).

In that case your definition is weak and needs revising, as most intuitively see a distinction between self-interest and selfishness, as Om points out. To lump the two together and claim them both to be 'selfish' is bad practice, as a definition that keeps the two seperate is more powerful as it explains much more.

Self-defence is not selfish. Attacking someone else to take what they have is. Okay, so in this one instance you are placing your desire to live about the lion's desire to eat you - in no way whatsoever can you then argue from this that all acts are selfish.

And your last sentence is again circular. Reworded it seems to say "It would be easy to calculate the most profitable path if we had the tools that would make it easy to calculate the most profitable path."

Santanya
2007-08-31, 10:42 AM
Mine is pretty simple:

"Be a good person."


Because when it comes down to it, there are no right answers. Others may judge you, but you are the only person who has to wake up and face yourself every day of your life.

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 10:54 AM
My last sentence was referring to the fact that such tools are possible, and are easy to use once we develop them- like any other form of mathematics.

And I see my definition as superior.

Brickwall
2007-08-31, 11:21 AM
My last sentence was referring to the fact that such tools are possible, and are easy to use once we develop them- like any other form of mathematics.

And I see my definition as superior.

That...that is so incredibly ignorant. I'm not saying that we couldn't calculate the worth of a given human mathematically. It should, technically, be possible. Once we've accounted for every atom in the universe individually, every minute bit of energy. Then yes, it would be possible. Easy? We would have to run a number of calculations for each person, a number that doesn't even exist in our vocabulary. Each person would add to the number of calculations of each other person. Even if we used algorithms to account for the continual change so that the equation didn't need to be updated, there are too many factors to make it take a reasonable amount of time. And the results would be incredible, pages upon pages of data for each individual. Data that would need to be interpreted as the situation demanded. It wouldn't just simplify to rankings of worth. It wouldn't be "easy", and it will never happen because it's not WORTH IT. You realize that even given totally reasonable facts, people in charge will not always base their decisions off those? Sure, maybe Scientist A is more worthy of life than Daughter A, but a parent would choose Daughter A.

Honestly, mathemeticians have better things to do. It won't happen.

Grey Paladin
2007-08-31, 12:25 PM
It won't happen most likely, on this I agree with you.

And when did I say we, incredibly imperfect humans, will have to analyze this information?

Lucky
2007-08-31, 12:43 PM
6) If I can't say anything nice about a person I will at least have the common dencency to say the bad stuff when they arent around.
I'm sorry, but this is crap. If you can't say something to someone's face, then you damn well better not say it at all. Talking s*** about someone behind their back is cowardly and dishonest.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-31, 12:56 PM
I'm sorry, but this is crap. If you can't say something to someone's face, then you damn well better not say it at all. Talking s*** about someone behind their back is cowardly and dishonest.

That depends entirely on whether it is constructive or not. Sometimes it is not constructive to criticise someone directly, but it is constructive to do so away from them.

Every human action is self-seving whether you call it selfish or not.

Something has to involve some self-interest to be worth even considering or else you would be ambivalent and would not act at all.
In fact by not acting you could even say you were saving yourself the time and trouble of involving yourself in something that had no benefit.
Our society is founded on need and greed. Charity doesn't exist except to fulfil emotional and psychological needs.

Lucky
2007-08-31, 01:05 PM
Every human action is self-seving whether you call it selfish or not.

Something has to involve some self-interest to be worth even considering or else you would be ambivalent and would not act at all.
In fact by not acting you could even say you were saving yourself the time and trouble of involving yourself in something that had no benefit.
Our society is founded on need and greed. Charity doesn't exist except to fulfil emotional and psychological needs.I assume this part was directed towards the topic of selfishness, and not at me. Correct me if I'm wrong.



That depends entirely on whether it is constructive or not. Sometimes it is not constructive to criticise someone directly, but it is constructive to do so away from them.I fail to see how true criticism could be more constructive if directed towards others. You criticize someone because they are doing something wrong, or you don't like a certain aspect of them. Because of this, the only way it'll be "fixed," if you can call it that, is if they know about it. Sure, sometimes people won't listen and you'll need to, say, tell your superiors at work if it's a work-related problem, or tell the teacher if it's school-related. However, telling them first so they can work to solve it on their own should always be the first step.

Trog
2007-08-31, 01:15 PM
Trog's Moral Code:
Harm None.
Treat others with empathy.
Good deeds are their own reward.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
Own up to your shortcomings.
Improve Yourself.
Try to find Happiness.
Live and Love Fully.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 01:44 PM
Charity doesn't exist except to fulfil emotional and psychological needs.

I'm sure he'll have a field day with that.


Treat others with empathy.

Empathy bad! Sympathy good!

If I'm having an emotional crisis severe enough to affect my day to day workings, I want outside help, not someone else to get wrapped up in it and end up in the same miserable state. :smalltongue:

Trog
2007-08-31, 01:53 PM
Empathy bad! Sympathy good!

If I'm having an emotional crisis severe enough to affect my day to day workings, I want outside help, not someone else to get wrapped up in it and end up in the same miserable state. :smalltongue:

I Empathise. :smalltongue:

Semidi
2007-08-31, 02:00 PM
Ethical Egoism is, quite simply, a bunch of crap. The application of its lone moral rule creates a near-infinite number of logical contradictions of ideal behavior, with more created every time two or more people's self interests are opposed. People cannot form a cohesive society by acting always in their own immediate self interest.

Ethical Egoism also takes another form, wherein it claims that all acts are actually acts of selfishness, even if they don't seem that way at first glance. But this is also a logical fallacy. The offered proof comes from unverifiable claims and circular logic. For example: "that guy gave a million dollars to charity. You might think it's because he's a nice person, but he really did it for a release of chemicals in his brain and a break on his taxes, so it's actually selfish of him to donate." On the other hand, if he had kept his money while letting orphans starve to death, that would also been a selfish act. Two completely opposite actions are given the same label. It's a contradiction, and the argument for the first instance is shaky at best.



Life existed before the concept of selfishness. It does not make sense to say that life is inherently selfish. Or rather, that the simple act of living is an inherently selfish act, and that only selfish people could survive. Nobody is completely selfless, but in what capacity does that make them completely selfish?

In your second paragraph you confuse the terms ethical egoism (Everyone SHOULD do what is best for themselves) with psychological egoism (Everyone does what is best for themselves). You seem to confuse the two in saying that ethical egoism = psychological egoism, which it does not.

The two situations you listed are two examples of two different theories, thus they are not contradictory. That's like saying creation science and evolution are both false because they contradict each other.

Now it's a given that psychological egoism is circular. Though your examples don't show it, this is the better example:

Everyone does what is best for themselves because all altruistic actions ultimately benefit one's self. Fantastic example if circular reasoning.

However, I'm still an ethical egoist "One should do what is best for one's self." To do anything other is to squelch potential. *Grabs Thus Spoke Zarathustra and goes to get an oil change in his car.*

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 02:59 PM
In your second paragraph you confuse the terms ethical egoism (Everyone SHOULD do what is best for themselves) with psychological egoism (Everyone does what is best for themselves). You seem to confuse the two in saying that ethical egoism = psychological egoism, which it does not.

The two situations you listed are two examples of two different theories, thus they are not contradictory. That's like saying creation science and evolution are both false because they contradict each other.

Now it's a given that psychological egoism is circular. Though your examples don't show it, this is the better example:

Everyone does what is best for themselves because all altruistic actions ultimately benefit one's self. Fantastic example if circular reasoning.

However, I'm still an ethical egoist "One should do what is best for one's self." To do anything other is to squelch potential. *Grabs Thus Spoke Zarathustra and goes to get an oil change in his car.*

Very good point. I will just say that I don't think Nietzsche is accepted as currency at most garages.

Sisqui
2007-08-31, 03:41 PM
My ethical code is simple.

Judge not.
No bragging.
If you say it, mean it.
Do no harm but do not be a pushover (ie. dont start anything but if someone tries to take you on then do all in your power to finish it quickly and descisively, in your favour)

And mine is:

Judge, that is why you have a brain.
If you have accomplished something, be proud of that fact.
If you mean it, say it.
Do harm if that is the only way to prevent greater harm. Not all choices are between what is good and what is bad. In life, it is often a choice between what is bad and what is worse.
Emotion is no substitute for fact. Facts should not make you blind to the reality of others' emotions.

And I agree that all actions are inherently selfish, if you choose to define selfish as being of benefit to the individual in question in that individual's opinion. Even if he dies for someone else, he is doing so in order to live up to a moral code he believes in. The upholding of that code is more important to him than living and that is the basis for his choice- the benefit to the other is, in effect, secondary. He gives his life because that is the choice he confers most value on. If living with the knowledge he did nothing would, in his opinion, cause him greater pain than dying, has he not made a "selfish" choice? I think the term selfish here is not the correct one, though, as it has nuances that get in the way of what I think people really mean when they use this argument. Most people see "selfish" as meaning of no benefit to anyone other than the self. But, if an individual interprets a benefit to others as a benefit to themselves, then their acts of "selfishness" would be indistinguishable from acts of "selflessness" would they not? The better choice, IMHO, is self-centered or self gratifying.

Lorthain
2007-08-31, 04:11 PM
I hope nobody minds if I share some of my thoughts.
For ethics, I currently have two basic 'codes' that are interchangeable.

1) Choose to help people as much as you can, according to the best of your understanding.
2) Choose to harm people as little as you can, according to the best of your understanding.

People includes yourself, help includes not doing harm, and harm includes not helping. I see choices as very complex, even a moment of consideration resulting in dozens or hundreds of foreseen consequences and their likelihoods. Sometimes, a consequence may simply be a change which consequences are foreseen in the future (for example, helping a hurt animal can result in greater awareness of animal pain). Therefore, I feel whether a choice is right or wrong can only truly be determined by the person who made that choice. Judging others based on their actions and consequences (which often don't match their intentions), while necessary as the only means of judgment, should be done carefully and with awareness of possible errors.


For the hypothetical situation of a person sacrificing themself for others, I think there are two major areas of differences in reasoning. The first is how likely someone thinks these deaths are, such as considering self-sacrificial death almost guaranteed but the deaths of others doubtful (since they require some outside force). This gives rise to other possible situational outcomes to consider, such as sacrificing oneself and surviving (standing in the way of a bullet but it missing) or letting other people die and them surviving (misjudging people as being in danger when they aren't).

A second area of difference is what people expect out of death. Is there an afterlife, or is there just oblivion? Maybe there is some horror in between, awareness surviving but becoming completely isolated without a body to see and interact with the world and other people. Perhaps a person believes in heaven and hell, and that self-sacrifice for others will get them to a heaven complete with mansion, swimming pool, prestige, etc; or maybe a person believes sacrificing oneself is suicide and would automatically consign them to hell. As for the other people, perhaps they will be reincarnated and given another shot at reaching nirvana.

In addition to all else, this is a hypothetical question whose answer also includes things like expected reactions from others and how a person wants to view themself. As I see it, if two people give completely opposite answers, it probably means they are looking at things from different yet equally ethical perspectives. If you wonder what my answer is, it's that I don't know and don't ever want to be put in a position where I find out.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 04:29 PM
Even if he dies for someone else, he is doing so in order to live up to a moral code he believes in. The upholding of that code is more important to him than living and that is the basis for his choice- the benefit to the other is, in effect, secondary.

Hmm, this seems questionable. If someone believes that they wouldn't give up their life for anyone, but then at the crucial moment has a pang of conscience and jumps on the grenade, it seems unlikely that they were following a moral code. Furthermore, it seems strange to say that the moral code takes precedence over saving someone's life, since saving someone's life (the benefit to someone else) is the moral code.

Sisqui
2007-08-31, 05:51 PM
Hmm, this seems questionable. If someone believes that they wouldn't give up their life for anyone, but then at the crucial moment has a pang of conscience and jumps on the grenade, it seems unlikely that they were following a moral code. Furthermore, it seems strange to say that the moral code takes precedence over saving someone's life, since saving someone's life (the benefit to someone else) is the moral code.

Just because they do not know it is part of their moral code doesn't mean that it isn't. People make decisions that surprise even them all the time. But, I think "moral code" might be too rigid a way of putting it. What I am talking about is what that person thinks at that particular moment when the choice is made. That particular instance of emotional gratification is what motivates the choice, regardless of what the choice is. Notice that I don't mean that the other person's life is irrelevant to the individual making the choice during his decision making, obviously he is taking the value of that life into account. What I am saying is that the value of that life and its loss is part of what goes into creating the response but it is his analysis of its worth, not the worth of the life in and of itself, that is the key for this decision. The higher the value of life to him, the greater the gratification he gets from saving it and thus the more likely he is to act "selflessly".
Even that does not seem to be putting it quite right though. What I mean is that people will choose what is, for them at least, the choice that seems the most positive to them, regardless of the standards or criteria by which they assess what "positive" is. So a person committing a "selfish" act will get the same feeling or positive association from their choice that a person committing a "selfless" act does. The difference is not in the benefit to the individual (which is the positive result, whatever it may be to them) but rather, it is in the cause that produces it. Some people will have a more positive response to helping others than other people do, but, ultimately, it is the positive response itself that determines what an individual will do.




Every human action is self-seving whether you call it selfish or not.

Something has to involve some self-interest to be worth even considering or else you would be ambivalent and would not act at all.


That is pretty much what I was saying. All actions are self serving, it is merely a matter of determining what each person believes "serves" them best. If the feeling you get from being an altruistic person is sufficiently good to you, you will act "selflessly" for exactly the same reason that someone else will act "selfishly"- each will choose the option that is most appealing to them. Selfishness as most people use the term should be applied to the action and whether or not it takes the needs of others into account, which will differ from person to person, and not the motive, which will always be the same no matter who makes the decision or what decision is made.

Vuzzmop
2007-08-31, 06:53 PM
Oh dear lord. If you even knew a little bit about me, you would shut up and stop assuming. You are telling the wrong one of us to do the soul searching.

You know what? I'm being just being honest too. Someone being okay with 1 million people dying just so that they can live is a horrifying idea to me. I'm not preaching, I'm trying very hard to restrain myself and play nice and just disagree without saying anything else.

Here is a glimpse of something personal. Guess it's time to say it.

Maybe it's the years of being suicidal and the fact that I have no fear of death; I have spent so much of my life begging for it... that the idea of being able to give my life for someone else fills me with joy and I would love that honor. I know that I am in love with someone when I would gladly give my life for them, no questions asked.

Death is nothing like money, you are right. Life is worth so much more than it. I figured that out in part when I nearly did die and I fought to live. It was a great turning point in my suicidal path.

I'd rather not die. But I have to at some point, and that's okay. Hopefully I get lots of life in first. But if I have to go tomorrow, may I only be so lucky as to go in place of someone else.

To Phoenixohp and Brickwall, both of you are wrong. Brickwall, your cynical view resonates with my own, but goes too far. Even at the gates of hell, only the most unnatural evil would put 1000,000 in it's place. But to Phoenixohp, in saying that you have stared death down, can you truly claim not to fear it? We are only human, you cannot truly claim that you understand death, that if given the chance, you wouldn't plead with the reaper to take another soul. I am glad to hear that you, as your namesake hints, rose from the ashes, but also see foolishness in your statement, even if I envy your moral strangth. Nobody knows the path life will take into death, and nobody know the inner workings of their own soul until it's too late. Better to just live life while fearing death, for truly, it is unnderstandable. Fear is the key to courage, without it, a courageous man is just a fool in denial.

Wow, that got really weird. Maybe we just think too much about our own moral codes, when we don't really know what they are.

Vuzzmop, destroyer of worlds and moral agnostic.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 06:57 PM
Just because they do not know it is part of their moral code doesn't mean that it isn't. People make decisions that surprise even them all the time. But, I think "moral code" might be too rigid a way of putting it. What I am talking about is what that person thinks at that particular moment when the choice is made. That particular instance of emotional gratification is what motivates the choice, regardless of what the choice is. Notice that I don't mean that the other person's life is irrelevant to the individual making the choice during his decision making, obviously he is taking the value of that life into account. What I am saying is that the value of that life and its loss is part of what goes into creating the response but it is his analysis of its worth, not the worth of the life in and of itself, that is the key for this decision. The higher the value of life to him, the greater the gratification he gets from saving it and thus the more likely he is to act "selflessly".

Ah yes, I see where you're coming from now. Its probably easiest if we don't think too hard about someone's "real worth", as that complicates things. :smalltongue: But I think my point still stands that it is that evaluation of 'worth' that results in action, not the emotional gratification that one might feel for the split second as they glide through the air to intercept the oncoming bullet. "People will think well of me for this, though I won't be around for it" just doesn't quite seem enough to me.

Sisqui
2007-08-31, 07:21 PM
Ah yes, I see where you're coming from now. Its probably easiest if we don't think too hard about someone's "real worth", as that complicates things. :smalltongue: But I think my point still stands that it is that evaluation of 'worth' that results in action, not the emotional gratification that one might feel for the split second as they glide through the air to intercept the oncoming bullet. "People will think well of me for this, though I won't be around for it" just doesn't quite seem enough to me.

:smallconfused: What? I'm sorry, either I am not getting you or you are not getting me....... What causes the emotional/positive response is irrelevant. If someone is sufficiently motivated by public opinion then it is entirely possible for them to act in such a way. It is only necessary for one of the options presented to evoke a more positive response in an individual than the other options for that one to be chosen. "Selflessness" and "selfishness" may be a part of the decision, but only insofar as they determine how much weight one option has over the other. The root reality is that a person will choose whichever is the most significant "positive" to them.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-31, 07:37 PM
:smallconfused: What? I'm sorry, either I am not getting you or you are not getting me....... What causes the emotional/positive response is irrelevant. If someone is sufficiently motivated by public opinion then it is entirely possible for them to act in such a way. It is only necessary for one of the options presented to evoke a more positive response in an individual than the other options for that one to be chosen. "Selflessness" and "selfishness" may be a part of the decision, but only insofar as they determine how much weight one option has over the other. The root reality is that a person will choose whichever is the most significant "positive" to them.

Yes, I agree with that. But what that seems to boil down to is essentially the statement that 'people make up their own minds about things'. Altruism is still a personal decision - the value of someone else's life doesn't force one to self-sacrifice. But the question isn't whether or not someone acts on their own reasons, its whether or not those reasons necessarily entail a personal benefit. Ultimately, provided one has the time to weigh up the options, a decision will be made by the agent. But that fact alone does not rule out the possibility of people doing things for others when they don't stand to gain from it.

Essentially, one can do a selfless act for one's own reasons. This does not stop it from being altruistic.

Crilley
2007-08-31, 07:39 PM
Okay. So let me get this straight. By Grey/Gray Paladins beliefs, if you so much as eat a nice meal, you are instantly selfish. Am I hearing correctly? Okay.

The dictionary definition for selfish is as follows:

self·ish /ˈsɛlfɪʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sel-fish]

–adjective
1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.

That is from dictionary.com.

Now, reading that, I have no idea what gray/grey paladin would see, but this is what I see.

What is selfish or not is based on your motives while paying no mind to others, not purely on your actions. Especially not actions that need to be perfomed to survive, to claim that to be selfish is just ridiculous. Claiming every action is selfish would be to say that any given human will do as he wants, without caring whether or not it will hurt others.

I think the problem here... actually I know the problem lies with the old Paladins definition of "selfish". If it was a catch all term meaning "any act performed with your own interests in mind" then sure, everyone is. Still not in everything they do, but sure. But as you can see above, that is NOT the definition at all. The part about paying no mind to the needs of others is the crucial part that the Paladin is missing when he uses that word.

Feel free to tell me if I am wrong... I am but a humble, entry level psychology student.

Peace, and lets not get too selfish out there :smallwink:

Sisqui
2007-08-31, 08:06 PM
But the question isn't whether or not someone acts on their own reasons, its whether or not those reasons necessarily entail a personal benefit.


I would argue that there is always a personal benefit. If there weren't, you wouldn't make that choice. The benefit may consist only of what is less painful, but even that is an actual benefit. And the feeling you get from acting "altruistically" is the benefit. You act in that way because it makes you feel good, which is really no different than acting selfishly just because it feels good.

Gygaxphobia
2007-09-01, 02:57 AM
I fail to see how true criticism could be more constructive if directed towards others. You criticize someone because they are doing something wrong, or you don't like a certain aspect of them. Because of this, the only way it'll be "fixed," if you can call it that, is if they know about it. Sure, sometimes people won't listen and you'll need to, say, tell your superiors at work if it's a work-related problem, or tell the teacher if it's school-related. However, telling them first so they can work to solve it on their own should always be the first step.

Not directed, dicussed. Surely you can see how discussing someone's flaws with other peoples is a way to get advice?


I just realised that I have a problem with the definition of Altruism. You can act unselfishly, but you cannot act unselflessley.

Grey Paladin
2007-09-01, 05:04 AM
self·ish /ˈsɛlfɪʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sel-fish]

–adjective
1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.



I see a small flaw in your definition, myself.

Crilley
2007-09-01, 06:25 AM
self·ish /ˈsɛlfɪʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sel-fish]

–adjective
1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.



I see a small flaw in your definition, myself.


Maybe I am tired, or stupid, or just not reading right, but how does that change anything I said?

And also, not my definition, dictionary.com thx.

Grey Paladin
2007-09-01, 07:28 AM
You took it as your own by deciding to see it as true,

"I think the problem here... actually I know the problem lies with the old Paladins definition of "selfish". " and "The part about paying no mind to the needs of others is the crucial part that the Paladin is missing when he uses that word." conflict with the definition you have brought forth, The definition states that the person only cares for oneself, concerned primary with one's own interest, you care for the interests of others as long as doing so will bring the greatest, long term, benefit.

Bah, psychologists, the eternal nemesis of every philosopher :smalltongue:

blackfox
2007-09-01, 11:26 AM
1) I am nice to people as long as they are nice to me. If someone starts being mean to me, I will retaliate in kind.
1a) I do not stoop to physical violence unless I am attacked physically. I respond to words with words. I respond to social humiliation with social humiliation. I do not turn to the school 'authorities' for 'help' with my enemies--it is an admission of weakness, it is sucking up, it encourages peer retaliation, it encourages said 'authorities' to expect continued 'service' from their informers, they will not let you go but will continue to use you. I do not myself retaliate against those that rat others out. Unless the situation is dangerous to me or others and I know I cannot handle it myself, I try to keep away from the eyes of the 'authorities.' I will not go to them unless there is no other choice.
1b) I will not kill unless it is to defend my own life or the lives of those I care about. I will not injure unless it is to defend myself or those I care about, and then only if the person has no intent to back off and wants to hurt me. I will not hesitate to cause pain in a fight but I will not go to the point of actual injury (as in the last sentence) unless the person wants to hurt me
2) I will willingly do good for people who deserve it. Examples of people who deserve it are all my friends and some of my family. Examples of people who don't deserve it are people that are mean, even if they aren't mean to me. If you pick on one person all the time and put on your nice face for everyone else, it doesn't mean you are a nice person, it means you are a bully and you don't deserve my help unless you crawl up to me bleeding to death.
3) I will be honest as long as it serves my own interests and the interests of those I care about. I will not lie to get someone in trouble. If someone does this to me, it will result in retaliation. Although I will not cheat, steal, or betray, I will lie and have lied to get myself out of trouble and avoid inconvenience. I keep my reputation as a reliable, trustworthy, and honest person by proving my trustworthiness and reliability and honesty in small ways that will not inconvenience me.
4) I obey the law/the rules when it conveniences me and when the penalty for being caught disobeying overrides my own convenience. Although law/rules is necessary to prevent all sorts of murder and rape and theft and crap from happening, laws/rules are often too restrictive and the enforcers of said law/rules take their position as enforcers as a moral justification for anything they do, which is an abuse of power, which is wrong.
4a) I do not want power over others and will not accept power over others. I want only the power to serve my own needs and the needs of those I care about.
5) I understand other's feelings and thoughts and respect them. I am not cruel enough to aggravate someone's stress when I have the problems that I have with stress, even if the person is my worst enemy and I wouldn't mind seeing them dead.
6) I try to better myself. I try to erase my flaws, strengthen my weaknesses, and flourish in my strengths.
7) I am not afraid to say what needs to be said if the consequences do not involve serious injury or death. Usually I can (and have) avoid serious consequences in any case.
8) I take responsibility for my actions, ethically. I do not feel guilty for doing what I consider to be right even if it was against the rules or if it would be against the law, and I will fight to get out of the consequences of disobeying the rules or the law in this case. I feel guilty for not obeying my moral leanings regardless of the established rules or law, and I will apologize and/or accept the consequences if I feel like I have done wrong.

Feel free to question/criticize/judge/actually comment.
Before you ask, yes, I know I am a cynic.
A lot of this is very situational, feel free to ask case-by-case questions.

phoenixineohp
2007-09-02, 08:02 PM
To Phoenixohp and Brickwall, both of you are wrong.
Well, least you are clear on where you stand.

But to Phoenixohp, in saying that you have stared death down, can you truly claim not to fear it?
There is a lot to death; the ways to die, some of which may be horribly painful and disturbing, the ideas on what comes after, the level of control people have during the experience... When I nearly died, I knew if I didn't get out of the situation, what exactly would happen to me physically. And it wouldn't have been pleasant. I do have a fear of that amount of pain and that experience, losing all my control and being victim to the forces outside of me. But even if I survived it, I would still have that fear. You just don't wantto go through that. However, the actual passing, and whatever happens after? Nope. I'm actually okay with that.

We are only human, you cannot truly claim that you understand death,
I don't and haven't claimed that I do. That doesn't mean that I have to fear it.

that if given the chance, you wouldn't plead with the reaper to take another soul.
This... this frustrates me. By saying this you are calling me a lier, since I have said and honestly believe that I would not 'plead with the reaper' for someone else to take my place. I do not think that a desire to get out of the inevitable is part of human nature, or that if it is, we can not deviate from it. I do not understand how you think you have inside knowledge on me that even I do not have, or how you have authority to state that my personal claims are invalid. You do not know me better than I know myself. And it frustrates me when someone assumes they do.


Nobody knows the path life will take into death, and nobody know the inner workings of their own soul until it's too late.
Or know the inner workings of another's soul. So how can you claim to know, and have the definitive word on, mine?
I don't think that we know the complete workings of our souls. Hence growth, development and change can take place. It isn't static and we can continue to learn about ourselves. And perhaps that development and change doesn't stop until we die.


Better to just live life while fearing death, for truly, it is unnderstandable. Fear is the key to courage, without it, a courageous man is just a fool in denial.
This is personal opinion, and just I happen is disagree. To each their own.

Iudex Fatarum
2007-09-03, 12:19 AM
Mine is quite simple,
1. If someone else is in danger do not let them come to harm at all costs including my own life for their harm (difference from hurt)
2. Laws are made for a reason, if you don't like the law move.
3. Honor is the highest of the virtues and as such must be defended, but its an internal virtue, honor itself isn't worth anything but being honorable is. this means that if I do something to be dishonorable thenthere is harm but if i do somethin honorable and no one notices or even if no one gives me any honor thats ok, the virtue is internal not external.
In competition i agree with "its not wether you win or loose its how you play the game" while true it neglect that putting all your effort in is not necisaraly good instead playing the game well is fighting with honor, behaving properly and trying as hard as you can without breaking rules.

4. Courage is the next highest along with love. Courage is doing what needs to be done for right. I think courage can't exist without first fear as it was noted earlier, but also along with that once the person has the courage to do the nesicary actions they no longer fear it, they have overcome it.

Also just to put my two cp in, I have had people try to kill me, I was unable to help myself in this circumstance, it was someone else who saved me, i still to this day don't even know them. As such I have also seen death, both mine figuratively and I have seen others die in front of my eyes while I stood back and did nothing (again I was unable to help)
I would gladly trade with Death, someone elses life for my death. that is someone else will live while i die. I also know the value of my life and I have done some truly terible things and know that I deserve death, so while i live i must serve others and once I die then i can be free. while i am curently free from my past life i still do wrong. Also the idea that no one expects me to die for a total stranger thats the point, no one expects me to die for them but I am willing to, hence the paradox of love.

I will admit here that I am a christian and as such I do not view death as a journy into the unknown but into the known. I fear only what I do not know, as I have gained knowledge of death I have slowly lost my fear of it.
Phoenix I tend to agree with your stance, while never suicidal I have come to realize the magnitude of my sins against the world, inlcuding almost causing the death of my own mother, which i did not know specificly but i did know i would cause her harm when i commited the actions. Who can ever think they are justified in killing another so that they can live when they have done such evil?

I apologize for the rambling nature of this but I do think its a worth while debate and a worth while topic, if I convince no one then it is worth it for m to attempt to clarify my own views on this

P.S. to those programers out there, P vs NP humans are NP computers are P take your pick of the outcome does P=NP and will we ever know, the story continues ...

Tengu
2007-09-03, 08:31 AM
My code:

1. Don't harm those who don't deserve it (basically it's an eye for an eye basis - a murderer deserves to die, for example).
2. Do nothing that you will regret in the future (that's the point I break some times, unfortunately).
3. Treat animals kindly - the way people act towards animals shows how are they deep on the inside. Killing animals for food and other similar reasons is okay, as long as done without cruelty.
4. Hypocrisy is bad.
5. Cynism is good as a sense of humour, but not as a view on the world.
6. Seek to create, not only consume. Leave your mark on the world.

Were-Sandwich
2007-09-03, 09:46 AM
1. I>U. That is, me and mine come above you and yours.
2. "Take not a slight without retaliating tenfold" Well, maybe not tenfold, but my personal sense of justice is based on revenging the wronged party in a way I see fit. This is why I believe the justice system sucks. Too wishy-washy
3. Where possible, defend those who cannot defend themselves. This is the only time I really break #1, and tends to involve #2. Suffice to say the if you hurt children or animals, I will hunt you down, and exact justice on their behalf. When possible.
4. Life is for living.
5. Do not suffer fools lightly.

Vuzzmop
2007-09-05, 03:15 PM
To Phoenixohp and Brickwall, both of you are wrong.
Well, least you are clear on where you stand.

But to Phoenixohp, in saying that you have stared death down, can you truly claim not to fear it?
There is a lot to death; the ways to die, some of which may be horribly painful and disturbing, the ideas on what comes after, the level of control people have during the experience... When I nearly died, I knew if I didn't get out of the situation, what exactly would happen to me physically. And it wouldn't have been pleasant. I do have a fear of that amount of pain and that experience, losing all my control and being victim to the forces outside of me. But even if I survived it, I would still have that fear. You just don't wantto go through that. However, the actual passing, and whatever happens after? Nope. I'm actually okay with that.

We are only human, you cannot truly claim that you understand death,
I don't and haven't claimed that I do. That doesn't mean that I have to fear it.

that if given the chance, you wouldn't plead with the reaper to take another soul.
This... this frustrates me. By saying this you are calling me a lier, since I have said and honestly believe that I would not 'plead with the reaper' for someone else to take my place. I do not think that a desire to get out of the inevitable is part of human nature, or that if it is, we can not deviate from it. I do not understand how you think you have inside knowledge on me that even I do not have, or how you have authority to state that my personal claims are invalid. You do not know me better than I know myself. And it frustrates me when someone assumes they do.


Nobody knows the path life will take into death, and nobody know the inner workings of their own soul until it's too late.
Or know the inner workings of another's soul. So how can you claim to know, and have the definitive word on, mine?
I don't think that we know the complete workings of our souls. Hence growth, development and change can take place. It isn't static and we can continue to learn about ourselves. And perhaps that development and change doesn't stop until we die.


Better to just live life while fearing death, for truly, it is unnderstandable. Fear is the key to courage, without it, a courageous man is just a fool in denial.
This is personal opinion, and just I happen is disagree. To each their own.


To each their own. Pretty much sums up this thread in one go, doesn't it. Good on ya.

Last_resort_33
2007-09-05, 03:23 PM
What is generally considered to be ethical can change from day to day and it is difficult to write a set of rules which takes into account all situations.

However I saw the label on a Tshirt bought from an 'alternative' shop which provided considerable wisdom:


Do Not Was Above 40oC
Do Not Tumble Dry
Do Not Be A C*nt

And I have with all seriousness taken the last point to heart as my ethical code... it makes a good catch all rule that seems to work in almost any circumstance.

MrEdwardNigma
2007-09-05, 05:23 PM
This is supposing that I have no reason to believe that these people in any way affect me. And I'm too smart to know that the death of 1 billion people out of the 6-some billion existing won't affect me.

Although 1 million...honestly, I would not die for a million random people who don't affect me in any way. I'm sorry. Well, no I'm not, really, but you get my point.

Others have apparently claimed this is downright evil to even state, but i jsut wanted to say I understand. In fact, I think you are better than most for at least being honest about it. Plenty of other people would make the same choice, but would simply lie about it in things like these. I'm afraid it's the normal human thing to do.
Off course, that doesn't count for me. I would actually sacrifice myself, because I just happen to be like that. To illustrate: a couple of years ago, I was voted "most likely to volunteer to step out of the submarine if there isn't enough air left" unanimously by my class (some 30 people). If you consider that they weren't allowed to (and didn't have the opportunity to) discuss this amongst themselves before voting, I think it means quite a lot.

Brickwall
2007-09-05, 07:15 PM
2 people have said things which I feel I should respond to, and both mentioned me specifically.

The first accused my statement of being excessive and purely evil. Maybe I am. I'm certainly not a good guy. Everyone knows that. If you catch anyone saying, "Brickwall's such a sweetheart", or anything similar, send them to a mental hospital. They need the professional help. But anyway, my point is that it's not as rare as you might think. More than one philosopher got famous by saying that it's what everyone does. Most people just don't want to confront the horrible, self-serving nature that lies within them. Nay, even the selfishness. It's in everyone. Not in equal degrees, but I couldn't trust someone who called themselves selfless. Nobody is totally selfless. And the average person isn't very selfless at all. We humans tend to filter people we don't know into a generic category by the same name. They're just bodies, and we don't think of them in the same we that we do people we know. And it's pretty easy to throw away shells if you don't know about the pearls inside, especially when you can't look at them all, just a few that lie on your desk for a while. And truly, if you saw a man who closely guarded 6 billion shells, making sure each one was safe, would you not think that man insane? Best analogy I could think of.

The second person totally agreed with me. I would like that person to know that no healthy human, honest with themselves or not, should want to be similar to me. It's not good for you. Bellorophon fell trying to climb Olympus for a reason. :smallbiggrin:All but the last sentence are serious.

Lucky
2007-09-05, 07:23 PM
Not directed, discussed. Surely you can see how discussing someone's flaws with other peoples is a way to get advice?Sure, I can see that, but even then, it will eventually lead back to that person, with you bringing up the issue in the way that you collectively determined is best.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-05, 07:28 PM
2 people have said things which I feel I should respond to, and both mentioned me specifically.

The first accused my statement of being excessive and purely evil. Maybe I am. I'm certainly not a good guy. Everyone knows that. If you catch anyone saying, "Brickwall's such a sweetheart", or anything similar, send them to a mental hospital. They need the professional help. But anyway, my point is that it's not as rare as you might think. More than one philosopher got famous by saying that it's what everyone does. Most people just don't want to confront the horrible, self-serving nature that lies within them. Nay, even the selfishness. It's in everyone. Not in equal degrees, but I couldn't trust someone who called themselves selfless. Nobody is totally selfless. And the average person isn't very selfless at all. We humans tend to filter people we don't know into a generic category by the same name. They're just bodies, and we don't think of them in the same we that we do people we know. And it's pretty easy to throw away shells if you don't know about the pearls inside, especially when you can't look at them all, just a few that lie on your desk for a while. And truly, if you saw a man who closely guarded 6 billion shells, making sure each one was safe, would you not think that man insane? Best analogy I could think of.

The second person totally agreed with me. I would like that person to know that no healthy human, honest with themselves or not, should want to be similar to me. It's not good for you. Bellorophon fell trying to climb Olympus for a reason. :smallbiggrin:All but the last sentence are serious.

Damn man, you bad. :smallamused:

landadmiral
2007-09-05, 07:42 PM
I think the fathers of our nation - USA - got it right with the declaration of independence.

That we all have the God given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And when someone uses thier liberty to take away from someone else's, that is when action is required to put down the usurper. The liberty of the guilty must be taken away to protect the general population and thier God given rights.

Brickwall
2007-09-05, 07:50 PM
Damn man, you bad. :smallamused:

As someone who has had his self-image affirmed by another, I must say "Why, thank you." :smallbiggrin:

rubakhin
2007-09-05, 08:14 PM
Ethics? *shrug* Tout pour l'art - all for the art. Nothing and no one else comes even remotely close. It is not necessary to say that is is a horrible and destructive way to go throughout life, both to one's self and to others, but what must be done must be done. For the sake of art, it is necessary to follow yourself to the end, to make a study of all things inside and outside your person. To come to know murderers, whores, thieves, and to love them - to love them! And, as Genet said, without pretending that one wants to be redeemed by it . . . although one years for redemption - and to give one's self entirely . . . all kinds of horrors, of passions, and so on. I've done the worst things imaginable. But, you know, despite all that, I have given everything in my soul. And would I give myself for the sake of others? *shrugs again* Yes, I think so. To commit all kinds of crimes, yes, but also, every sort of kindness, every sort of compassion. My way is not the true way, or even a good way, but, for a while, it was my own.

landadmiral
2007-09-07, 03:13 PM
wow rubakhin - despite your intelect and references, i feel dumber now having read your post.

to give an analogy...it's like we've had a long discussion about citrus fruits and you jump in and say 'you all have it wrong, it's about bananas!'

...all for the art...commit crime and love for the sake of art..bah!:smallannoyed:

i expect some flame in response but look up Colossians 2:8

Xyk
2007-09-07, 05:54 PM
Wow, I just found this thread. Going with my Xykon campaign, I'm gonna have to deny my involvement with ethics of any kind.

rubakhin
2007-09-07, 06:57 PM
i expect some flame in response but look up Colossians 2:8


And you, my friend, look up the Lettres du Voyant.

Beleriphon
2007-09-07, 10:41 PM
#1. Me, myself and I. These three things are more important that all other things in the universe. I will do anything to protect them.
#2. The things that Me, myself and I care about are more important then everything else in the universe not encompassed by #1.
#3. Anything not encompassed by #1 or #2 can kiss off.

Does that seem cruel, or even selfish? I suppose it does doesn't it, but then isn't that how most people operate? Pushed far enough wouldn't you do anything to protect yourself, your family, your home, your nation, your friends? What wouldn't you do to protect yourself? Would you lie? Would you steal? Would you maim a man? Would you kill him? Would you kill two, ten, a thousand? What is the limit of what you would do within your own ethical code?

Cyrano
2007-09-07, 10:51 PM
1) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2) It's OK to pretend to be a masochist for the sake of funnies.

3) If you need a personal code of ethics to define what you do in a given situation, your ethics are weak. I do what I do because I feel it is right, not because I tell myself I feel it is right.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-08, 04:34 AM
#1. Me, myself and I. These three things are more important that all other things in the universe. I will do anything to protect them.
#2. The things that Me, myself and I care about are more important then everything else in the universe not encompassed by #1.
#3. Anything not encompassed by #1 or #2 can kiss off.

Does that seem cruel, or even selfish? I suppose it does doesn't it, but then isn't that how most people operate? Pushed far enough wouldn't you do anything to protect yourself, your family, your home, your nation, your friends? What wouldn't you do to protect yourself? Would you lie? Would you steal? Would you maim a man? Would you kill him? Would you kill two, ten, a thousand? What is the limit of what you would do within your own ethical code?

No, that doesn't sound cruel or even selfish. And yes, that is pretty much how most people operate. After all, here's a summation of your three points:

#1 - I care about myself most.
#2 - There are other things I care about as well.
#3 - I don't care about the things that I don't care about.

Pretty hard to disagree with that!

Jibar
2007-09-08, 04:47 AM
The Cat-Muffin lives by this set of morals, in order of importance.

1. Be Groovy To Ye Friends, Females And Ye Other Creatures Of This Psychadelic World.
2. Never Ever Be Ungroovy Towards The Female Of The Species.
3. Never Accuse Your Fellow Being Of Being Ungroovy When Ye Have
Ungrooved.
4. Put Others Before Ye Self, For This Is The Grooviest Thing To Do.
5. Vengeance Is Only Groovy When Enacted In The Name of Honour.
6. Whenever Ye Be Stumped, Do What Scooby Doo Would Do.

Translated:

1. Be good to everybody.
2. Do not be mean to women.
3. Don't judge others.
4. Always put others before yourself.
5. If you really, really can justify some act of revenge, then do it.
6. Scooby Doo is awesome.

Zephra
2007-09-08, 10:18 AM
take out #5, and change #6 to STAR TREK!!!
and you're absolutly right!

Jibar
2007-09-08, 10:21 AM
take out #5, and change #6 to STAR TREK!!!
and you're absolutly right!

Number five is relatively unimportant, and I rarely act on it, but there are certain crimes where I do permit vengeance.
Also: You fool! You foolish fool! Scooby Doo is always superior to Star Trek.

An Edit For Scorpy: That is because it is doubly important to be Groovy to women.

Scorpina
2007-09-08, 10:23 AM
...aren't one and two kinda the same thing there, Jibby?

Also, Scooby Doo is overrated. K9 would kick his ass in a fight.:smallamused:

PaladinBoy
2007-09-08, 06:45 PM
Well...... here's what I have.

1) Do not harm or kill others unless absolutely necessary. (such as in defense of others or myself)

The reasoning behind this is that every human being has thoughts, dreams, and potential just like I do. The first two sometimes aren't worth keeping, but the third always is. Denying it to the world is something to be regretted, even with the most vile criminal. Also, practically everyone has family and friends that would be adversely affected by his death, and each of those people knows yet more people. Killing one person becomes much more of a crime when it will badly damage the emotional well-being of 30 more.

2) Treat all people fairly and equitably.

Do I really need to explain this? Everyone has thoughts, dreams, and potential; just because I'm Caucasian doesn't mean mine are intrinsically better than anyone else's, for one example.

3) Help others, when they require it.

This is the most difficult one for me; I'm not too proud to admit that I don't live up to it as often as I would like. That said though, if someone asks me for help, I will help, and I do offer to help others sometimes.

4) Follow the law unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.

This is what really gets annoying for the people around me sometimes. If I can justify the presence of a law or rule, I will follow it religiously. I will also tell people when they are breaking the rules and refuse to condone rule breaking by hiding it from the appropriate authority. This is not absolute, though; I don't generally worry about minor incidents. Also, if I think a law is unjust, I will not obey it. Neither am I perfect; I have broken rules before.

5) Always aim high.

When it comes to good and evil, I have little respect for realism. I believe that whether or not an idealist is shooting for an impossible ideal, he's at least trying - a realist has given up long ago. And who knows, maybe it wasn't such an impossible ideal after all. The only way to find out is by trying. I do not, however, believe that blind optimism is always good - a good example would be the person that's optimistic about his chances of killing someone due to reckless driving.

There you go. I also, by the way, try to live up to the good character traits that the school system spends so much time trying to hammer into us kids' impressionable brains, and I have nearly nationalistic pride in the USA's ideals - if being a little disillusioned by the USA's government.

Cyrano
2007-09-08, 07:22 PM
...aren't one and two kinda the same thing there, Jibby?

Also, Scooby Doo is overrated. K9 would kick his ass in a fight.:smallamused:

Which K9? the...the Fallout one?

Scorpina
2007-09-08, 07:29 PM
Which K9? the...the Fallout one?

...no. The Doctor Who one.

...who, having no legs, probably wouldn't actually kick Scooby's arse per se...

Cyrano
2007-09-08, 07:45 PM
Oh...if it was the Fallout one, I would have had to propose marriage to you on the spot, which might be awkward since I don't really know where you live.
Meh.
That's probably for the best.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-08, 07:57 PM
...no. The Doctor Who one.

...who, having no legs, probably wouldn't actually kick Scooby's arse per se...

Hmm, what are the chances that the Fallout K-9 might actually be a joke on the Doccy Who version? Given that they are both cybernetic doggies, after all. Methinks good!

And while he may lack kicking abilities, he can certainly talk funny at Scooby, and perhaps even run right into his ankles! And anyone who's been around people with prams knows just how much that can hurt!

Bor the Barbarian Monk
2007-09-09, 04:07 AM
I've been wanting to reply to this thread, but have had a hard time gathering the proper words. So here it is, my best attempt to explain my ethical code:

Do that which will help yourself and others to be well. This means watching over the young and innocent, helping those in need when you are capable, and doing that which is right.

Some examples:

Walking into the market just over a week ago, a family was engaged in getting filtered water from a machine that dispensed such a thing. They were not exactly watching the two-year-old in the child seat of their cart, who was attempting to stand. In mere seconds, the child would be over-balanced and falling, with his little head landing solidly on the concrete. I moved forward, saying loudly, "Whoa! Anyone watching this little guy?" The father turned, saw that I was moving in to rescue his son, did the deed himself, and gave me a nod of appreciation.

---

A man was standing ourside my local pharmacy, asking everyone who exited for spare change. When he asked me, I in turn asked what he needed the money for. When he told me he was looking to get some food, I went back inside, gathered some change from the staff members I knew there, and then returned to him and took him somewhere to get food at a cheaper price. I also added a friendly warning to stay away from the pharmacy, as they will likely take legal action against him if he continued to beg at their doors.

---

Standing at a bus stop, a pickup truck went by. The driver was obvious in the process of moving, as there was furniture in the bed. A pair of cushions flew out and into traffic, and the driver remained unaware as far as anyone could tell. Instead of leaving the cushions to be destroyed, or worse, to see someone swerve to avoid them and cause an accident, I cautiously made my way into the road, gathered the cushions, and placed them in a neat pile on the sidewalk. The driver returned before the bus arrived and thanked me before he left.

---

If you bear witness to something that you can help to correct, you should do what you can, as long as you place no one's life, including your own, at risk. With luck, we will all BE WELL! :smallsmile: