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Laws versus Morality

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Nico, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. HLM

    HLM Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    I don't see that a right is anything more than a moral stance with regard to particular a set of actions. For example, imho, asserting one's rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" boils down to a moral stance deeming a particular set of actions wrong--specifically, the set of actions that deprive an individual of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From my perspective , your statement "Laws are to protect people's rights and should not be to manage right and wrong... especially on a mere moral level." translates to "Laws are to protect moral stances regarding right and wrong and should not be to manage right and wrong... especially on a mere moral level." Which makes no sense to me. The only way it could make sense is if rights somehow transcend moral stances, but I have trouble seeing that they do (cf. Platonic realism).
    Cornucopia likes this.

  2. Creedinger

    Creedinger Well-Known Member IQ: 120+

    I would never argue otherwise. Regarding the normies: You realize that those have many different "normies" have many different opinions regarding the subject and saying that one opinion must be how the "normies" think is indeed an insult.

    Fair enough, eventhough it is a very bad example in my opinion as being ruled by the church has been tried in Europe and is still being tried in the middle East and the results are very bad for the people and an oppressive regeime usually is the result.

    However, was there not this one thing called democracy, which was found to be the SO MUCH BETTER alternative to a clerical rule. So one could say that this was almost a stawman since really no westerner proposes to be ruled by the church anymore.

    Are you a headphone and is your real name Beats by Dre?

    Then you need some way of deriving this right without a moral framework. So far my understanding is that you just said that laws should be for protecting the rights of the people. One could say in a simpliefied manner that if there is conflicting interest within the ruling entity of a state then a law is made. However, these interest have multiple causes e.g. the morals of the ruling entity.

    E.g. can you please explain to me why the US is unable to protect the basic human right of education for the people? It is clearly a human right .... at least in the European Union.
    What about the right of informational self determination, which protects the identity of a person? It seems that in the US this right is also not protected?

    Answer: You do not consider those things rights. Idk why you mention the stoning of women who get raped? Can you please tell me where this is the case? Breitbart.com is currently not available ... jk.

    True. Another example would be that torture is regarded as evil by most nations in the world but the US has no problem with it and even runs a camp called guantanamo.
    Then another example would be that you kill murderers ... and I think even mentally retarded people (really - shame on you for doing so USA - shame on you), so what are you talking about Muslim countries?

    I hope your state will intervene in case the church marries the a 13 year old to a 30 year old, non?
    What about a forced Marriage?

    So do they have in some islamic "republics" and so does every other country in the world. I mean let's face it. The USA is number one in telling the rest of the world that they are the best - followed by Germany :p

    You cannot derive rights and laws from logic and "how rights work" (is aught falacy).

    What you belief and do not belief is absolutly irrelevant when considering if you have a right or not. One would need to define the word "freedom" before answering that question since even this word has a very different meaning this side and the other side of the ocean.

    Btw: In Germany we have a law, which states that if you can properly arue that your morals forced you to break law X, then you cannot be punished for it (we might still need to protect other people from you but we wont punish you)
  3. Creedinger

    Creedinger Well-Known Member IQ: 120+

    In trumps America truth with a capital T.
    I call dibbs on the term "trumpth".
    AguirresPriest likes this.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    There was too much confusion in the rest of your post to address, but I found this grain of Truth in what you said to me that answers this question.

    You say, "What you believe and do not believe is absolutely irrelevant when considering if you have a right or not.

    I glad to see you recognize this truth and hope you can see that most morals are just "beliefs" and that rights are that and more.
  5. Cornucopia

    Cornucopia Well-Known Member IQ: 140+

    Both rights and morals are worth as much as people believe in them. But you are correct in as much as that rights are backed up by legislation; the same could be said about morals.

    Believing in the concept of nationality might lead to valuing rights more than morality. The opposite is true if you're religious or believe in liberalism or the individual.
    Chuck likes this.
  6. HLM

    HLM Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    But aren't rights fundamentally moral concepts? Actions that violate rights are generally held to be morally wrong. Could we have any conception of rights in a moral vacuum? In other words, in a universe where there is no such thing as "right vs wrong" what would rights look like?
    Cornucopia likes this.
  7. Cornucopia

    Cornucopia Well-Known Member IQ: 140+

    Yes we could have. Some rights could simply be cogs in the machinery whose sole purpose is to make the whole (in this case nations) more competitive. Instead of taking from your neighbour, let's collectively take from the people who doesn't live in the vicinity. This would make rights completely void of morals, at the same time as they could be viewed as moral within the community.

    Which perspective that comes closest to reality is just a matter of perspective.

    EDIT: I really gotta work on increasing the amount of words I use in writing... Using perspective like that twice is just ridiculous.
    Chuck likes this.
  8. marom

    marom Well-Known Member Claimed IQ: 140+

    I think I've said this before: common morality informs legislation. That is, it is illegal to murder, rape, steal, cheat, lie under oath, etc.. All of these acts are also deemed morally wrong. It is only "exotic" morality that fails to find its way into the law - for instance, the requirement that one attend mass on Sunday or that one keep kosher, etc. These religion or culture specific morals are not legislated upon - and for good reason: they are not held in honor by the majority of the citizenry. Only those morals that are widely held in esteem by the citizen body become laws. There is the connection between morality and the law.
    Nico and Cornucopia like this.
  9. Creedinger

    Creedinger Well-Known Member IQ: 120+


    But if you have a closer look at what cultures regard as "cheating" or "stealing" you will find that there are differences depending on the culture.

    One prominent dissens about this is whether the state is allowed to murder its own citizens under certain circumstances or not.
    Chuck likes this.
  10. marom

    marom Well-Known Member Claimed IQ: 140+

    That is true. However, I was speaking largely about Western cultures, where there is little variance in the underlying values.
  11. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    No, Rights are not fundamental moral concepts except in semantics,..... but I apologize, as I should have been more specific by saying Human Rights I think. Maybe this mistake let to the confusion on this. Morals are way more fluid and varied than Human rights. Morals in a sense don't really tell you much of anything. They flow from a system of philosophy, religion or culture and as such, can be flipped back and forth to suit the day. Many things have been both moral or immoral in cultures.

    Human Rights, while often considered moral as well, are a subset of information that is far greater than mere morals. They are certain ideals distilled from rational principles. When properly understood by wise men, these rights should be very consistent despite perversions of culture.
  12. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Yes...makes not sense and hopefully will help to illustrate how faulty your translation was. Maybe my correction to "human rights" will help?
  13. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Good point and it points out some of the flaws in man. Human rights (which I hope is an improvement in terms) shouldn't be adjusted to fit religion, nation or identity politics. All those institutions should be pressured to adjust to Human Rights Imo.
  14. marom

    marom Well-Known Member Claimed IQ: 140+

    And just what is this "gold standard" for human rights on which everyone is supposed to agree? Who has come up w/it? And what does it say?
    I don't think that there is any universal agreement on what human rights are, so what vision of them do you propose to impose?
    Preacherbob likes this.
  15. Preacherbob

    Preacherbob Well-Known Member Unclaimed IQ

    Interesting concept. An idealistic commonality regarding human rights throughout the civilized world in its entirety in which all cultures, belief systems and political agendas must adhere. I do hate to be so pessimistic but I would think it would be like directing a toothless 90 year old vegan to eat a Porterhouse steak.
    Chuck and marom like this.
  16. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Is "imposing" and "defending" the same thing?
  17. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Worth remembering though....It doesn't require agreement from everyone as marom suggests and maybe he will note the difference between defending and imposing as well. These subtle logical fallacies can really lead you astray.

    Imo the Founding Fathers were correct that these rights can be held to be self evident and defended as such.
  18. marom

    marom Well-Known Member Claimed IQ: 140+

    Unless there is universal agreement on what the rights are, then, no, defending and imposing are not the same thing. So long as there is disagreement about what human rights are - and there is disagreement - it would be imposing any particular vision of those rights, rather than defending them.
  19. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Well at least we can agree they are not the same.

    But I'd say that the "lack of agreement" is what they have in common and not the difference you seem to think. No need to impose if all agree and no need to defend if all agree, right?

    The difference I see is that when you "impose" as you suggest, then you force it on others who don't care for it. When you "defend" it, then you are protecting those who understand and assert their human rights against those who would seek to impose their will on others.
  20. HLM

    HLM Active Member Claimed IQ: 150+

    Can you offer a compelling reason why I should accept the authority of your claims and definitions over what is arguably common understanding among philosophers?

    "Rights dominate modern understandings of what actions are permissible and which institutions are just. Rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived." - Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy

    Chuck likes this.

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