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1,537 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 18 years ago by wolf_boy

Can a person be a decent benevolent individual without believing in moral law?


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18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Tuesday 4/6/04 - 8:32:06 AM EST (GMT-5)
Definetely. But that doesn't mean that they do not have morals. Perhaps they simply don't believe in a common moral code that everybody must live by. In some aspects, it's better that way.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Tuesday 4/6/04 - 8:58:45 AM EST (GMT-5)
an individual has no obligation to follow the morals of his society, other then his own morals which should be valued more.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Thursday 4/8/04 - 8:32:58 PM EST (GMT-5)
Sure, I don't see why not.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 4/16/04 - 8:38:46 PM EST (GMT-5)
For sure!! Screw common law.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 4/17/04 - 8:56:37 AM EST (GMT-5)
There are no poeple without morality. Everyone developes a pattern of behavior eventually.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/2/04 - 12:21:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
Sure, if the person is a hermit.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 9:56:17 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, of course. I manage if perfectly fine, as do all the other secular people I know.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:01:51 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yes and no.

I think that the person has to have some sort of a moral law. Now, that law may not be in accord with the moral laws of the society. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the individual is not benevolent.

However, if that person does not have the moral laws of the society, the society might not view them as the benevolent person they are. Although they may think that they are doing good, others may disagree.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:04:38 AM EST (GMT-5)
For those who don't know, Moral Law basically relates to the Ten Commandments and what God would deem to be moral. It isn't about the morals of society in general.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:10:16 AM EST (GMT-5)
Estella, if the author of this question had meant the words "moral law" to be relating to the Ten Commandments, would he not have written 'the Moral Law'?

Obviously, people interpret this question in different ways. Ah, the confusion!

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:21:28 AM EST (GMT-5)
Oh, no, wolf_boy is going to show up and explain what he means with the terminology in the question over the course of the next 8 pages, isn't he?
I read "moral law" as "moral code" because I don't live in a society where law is based strictly on a given set of morals. I think if you lack a moral code then where your actions coincide with benevolence and decency is random, and you shouldn't get any credit just because you periodically do the right thing (for the wrong, or for lack of any reason whatsoever).
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:25:23 AM EST (GMT-5)
I interpret moral law and moral code differently (and didn't link it to the OT in any way). A moral law would seem to imply a law-maker, but a moral code does not. And I think it is wrong to think a moral rule requires an authority behind it.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:28:12 AM EST (GMT-5)
Actually I meant religious moral mandates such as that of the ten commandments. My meaning was closer to the actual definition of the word.

I don't need to write ten pages but I could if you'd like Uncle.

What I mean is can a person be a decent benevolent individual without believing there is a godly defined right and wrong.

Can someone believe morality was undefined and becomes more defined as humans grow and learn about themselves, others and the world. That morality is a creation of humans to make a better more secure life for all and not written in stone.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:28:59 AM EST (GMT-5)
Hmmm there should be some question marks in there...
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:31:59 AM EST (GMT-5)
"I don't need to write ten pages but I could if you'd like Uncle."
Noooooooooooooooooo! I was just yanking your chain there, wolf_boy.
"Actually I meant religious moral mandates such as that of the ten commandments. My meaning was closer to the actual definition of the word."
In that case, yes. Absolutely. An unqualified, no strings attached yes.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:33:38 AM EST (GMT-5)
Awwww shucks, and I was all ready to start typing too
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:34:02 AM EST (GMT-5)
Put me down as concurring with UncleLaughie's last 3 sentences.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:44:38 AM EST (GMT-5)
"A moral law would seem to imply a law-maker"

It also includes Kyry's definition as that's what I figured moral law would be before I looked it up. Which was before I wrote the question.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 10:46:31 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, I believe a person can be.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 11:04:09 AM EST (GMT-5)
"I think if you lack a moral code then where your actions coincide with benevolence and decency is random"

Hmmm Uncle, do you count caring about others and doing what seems the best at the time for everyone as having a moral code?

I mean theoretically a person could use logistics to make their decisions with the desired result being that which creates the best situation for others the world and themselves.

Such a person would not have a code of conduct per se but would more often than not do what's best for everybody and make the world a better place through their actions.

They would also have logical, good reasons for everything they did.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 11:04:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
The persons actions are neither random, nor defined before hand but decided as circumstance permit.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 11:29:50 AM EST (GMT-5)
"Hmmm Uncle, do you count caring about others and doing what seems the best at the time for everyone as having a moral code?"
It's part of one, yes.
"I mean theoretically a person could use logistics to make their decisions with the desired result being that which creates the best situation for others the world and themselves."
I think some consciousness is inherent to figuring out what the best thing for the greatest good is. And if not, I think we would eventually get it wrong with no remorse.
Randomness, as I use it, can include the possibility of getting 9 in a row "correct." It's not as simple as doing it "more often than not;" motives matter to me.
I accept what you're saying theoretically. I'm being theoretical, too, because obviously getting 9 out of 10 right is pretty compelling evidence of goodness.
18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 12:02:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
"I think some consciousness is inherent to figuring out what the best thing for the greatest good is."

Yes, of course I call it empathy. How well that develops depends on the circumstances of ones raising and experiences. I think it's something that develops as people learn to understand more about themselves, others and their place in the world.

If a person has a strong sense of empathy they care greatly about others and the world. They see themselves as part of the world and genuinly care about it's well being and the well being of others.

I never questioned that.

What I'm questioning is by which of many means people use to take the next step beyond caring to that of doing.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 12:11:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
I say more often than not, because even the greatest genuis in the world will make mistakes or draw the wrong conclusions.

I agree on motives, the person I describes has a deep sense of caring. Motives matter a lot.

What's in question is whether a person can decide what's right and wrong based upon circumstantial evidence and past experiences rather than having a set right and wrong.

Someone who is constantly learning and analyzing rather than following the same routine time and time again. Someone who does not assume something is wrong, but tries to figure out why and see if it applies or does not apply to the current circumstances and if it doesn't what does apply.

The difference is an active reactive moral concience or one based upon traditional thought and action.

18 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 5/9/04 - 12:16:57 PM EST (GMT-5)
Someone who believes in a moral law of sorts will believe it is always right and unchanging. They will not be open to other possibilities and will behave with the dignity and honor of their beliefs to the letter as best they have the abilitiy.

If there is a situation when their beliefs are wrong, they will make that mistake everytime.

If a person does not believe in moral law they will treat every situation like an entirely new one. They will look at all sides and weigh the various actions and results as best they can using what evidence is available as well as what they've witnessed in similar circumstances and will draw their decisions from there.

When they are wrong, it will be bacause they made a mistake in their calculations somewhere.

Most people fall between these two I think.


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