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Subject: The basic moral principles that are not common to all societies rss

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Philip Thomas
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"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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I think it might be easier to just find one that is.
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Philip Thomas
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slatersteven wrote:
I think it might be easier to just find one that is.


I was trying that. I kept thinking of a moral principle which should have universal application and testing it against "all societies": and the result is that list!

Maybe "Immoral things are wrong"? Bit vague though.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Philip Thomas wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I think it might be easier to just find one that is.


I was trying that. I kept thinking of a moral principle which should have universal application and testing it against "all societies": and the result is that list!

Maybe "Immoral things are wrong"? Bit vague though.
Maybe I was a bit vague, I meant do a list of the ones that are applicable to all societies, it will be shorter.

I shall start the ball rolling

Thou shall not...nope...no cannot think of one.
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Mac Mcleod
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Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


Recalling that "thou shalt not kill" is really, "thou shalt not murder"...

Is there any functioning modern society that allows murder?

Some things which are okay in smaller, more primitive societies don't scale well.

Otherwise, I agree with your point.

"the success of the family is more important than the individual"
"the individual is more important than the family"

Is a big one that modern functioning societies vary on.
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Boaty McBoatface
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maxo-texas wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


Recalling that "thou shalt not kill" is really, "thou shalt not murder"...

Is there any functioning modern society that allows murder?

Some things which are okay in smaller, more primitive societies don't scale well.

Otherwise, I agree with your point.

"the success of the family is more important than the individual"
"the individual is more important than the family"

Is a big one that modern functioning societies vary on.
The issue with murder is not that societies do not allow unlawful killing, it's that what they define as lawful killing varies wildly.
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Philip Thomas
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Murder is killing that isn't allowed
Is there a society that allows killing that isn't allowed?

Probably not.

"Things which aren't allowed aren't allowed" may just be the basic moral principle we've been looking for!
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Mac Mcleod
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UN paper on this topic here:
http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm

It lists treaties which bind UN signatories to specific shared rights regardless of culture.

Quote:
This statement is echoed most recently in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which repeats the same language to reaffirm the status of the Universal Declaration as a "common standard" for everyone. Adopted in June 1993 by the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Austria, the Vienna Declaration continues to reinforce the universality of human rights, stating, "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated". This means that political, civil, cultural, economic and social human rights are to be seen in their entirety. One cannot pick and choose which rights to promote and protect. They are all of equal value and apply to everyone.

As if to settle the matter once and for all, the Vienna Declaration states in its first paragraph that "the universal nature" of all human rights and fundamental freedoms is "beyond question". The unquestionable universality of human rights is presented in the context of the reaffirmation of the obligation of States to promote and protect human rights.


Only three countries (Kosovo, Taiwan, and Vatican City) are not members of the UN.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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maxo-texas wrote:
UN paper on this topic here:
http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm

It lists treaties which bind UN signatories to specific shared rights regardless of culture.

Quote:
This statement is echoed most recently in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which repeats the same language to reaffirm the status of the Universal Declaration as a "common standard" for everyone. Adopted in June 1993 by the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Austria, the Vienna Declaration continues to reinforce the universality of human rights, stating, "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated". This means that political, civil, cultural, economic and social human rights are to be seen in their entirety. One cannot pick and choose which rights to promote and protect. They are all of equal value and apply to everyone.

As if to settle the matter once and for all, the Vienna Declaration states in its first paragraph that "the universal nature" of all human rights and fundamental freedoms is "beyond question". The unquestionable universality of human rights is presented in the context of the reaffirmation of the obligation of States to promote and protect human rights.


Only three countries (Kosovo, Taiwan, and Vatican City) are not members of the UN.
A. So North Korea obeys those principles.
B. That is today, but it has no applicability to the idea that all cultures have shared the same values, only that today they pay lip service to the idea.
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Philip Thomas
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Maybe we should get the UN to declare that black is white and then we wouldn't have any more racism?

edit: the existence of universal moral principles and whether or not all societies profess them are two different questions.

It could be like "the basic scientific principles that are common to all societies". There have been societies which thought the earth went round the sun and vice versa. Even though one of those principles is true, it is not a "scientific principle common to all societies"- because it isn't universally held.

Or it could be like "the basic principles of value that are common to all societies": some societies hold gold more valuable than others. Really, the value of gold is relative.
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Mac Mcleod
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Not as different as they used to be tho.

If you sign something that says you are going to do something, you occasionally get pressure to do what you said. I think there has been a big shift in the world over the last 40 years towards a common morality.
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Walker
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Human societies have been quite varied; I doubt you can find a principle that's been accepted by absolutely every single one. To me, the significance comes not from the specific principles shared, but from the fact that all societies have agreed that such principles exist, even if they can't agree on what they are.

Further, belief in these principles is by and large not simply pragmatic- in other words, people generally hold that there are things which are transcendentally wrong, that would be wrong even if you weren't caught doing it or no harm appeared to come from it. They may quibble about exactly what constitutes that wrong action, and they almost always believe that there can be mitigating factors (especially when it comes to their own behavior), but there are almost always things that they treat as transcendentally wrong. Stranger still, almost all people are conscious of having violated whatever this standard of behavior is. Practically everyone who will tell you that you should not lie had lied themselves. But people resist being held guilty for their violations; they always argue that this or that mitigates it. It's a bizarre state for human moral thinking to be in, but I think it's exactly what we'd find if the Bible was right about the moral condition of humans.
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Chad Ellis
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Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


But actually, many of these are common principles if we broaden them. All societies have rules against killing, at least within the tribe/society. All have rules against rape -- again, at least of a sort. IIRC there is a fairly broad list of rules that are common to every known society in a broad form.
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William Boykin
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Koldfoot wrote:
Thou shalt not question global warming.




This joke just keeps getting funnier every time you tell it, Koldie!!!

Darilian
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Josh
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The one principle that spans across generations and cultures of every stripe:

'Fuck That Guy.'
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Philip Thomas
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


But actually, many of these are common principles if we broaden them. All societies have rules against killing, at least within the tribe/society. All have rules against rape -- again, at least of a sort. IIRC there is a fairly broad list of rules that are common to every known society in a broad form.


"Thou shalt not kill, except where allowed to do so (e.g as part of ritual human sacrifice or as a method of disposing of unwanted new born infants, or if one is a particular person (the Roman Emperor could pretty much kill whom he liked))."


"Thou shalt not have sex with another person without their consent, except where allowed to do so (e.g within marriage or if it is being inflicted as a from of licit torture...or again the Roman Emperor...)"

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Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


Some of these need a lot of revision to make sense.
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Philip Thomas
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David N wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not torture"
"Rape is morally unacceptable"
"Children should not be mutilated"
"Old people should be treated with respect and dignity"
"All human beings are equal"
"Happiness is the highest good"
"Do unto others as you would be done by"
"Respect your elders and betters"

The list of basic moral principles that are not common to all societies is quite long! I've barely scratched the surface here.


Some of these need a lot of revision to make sense.


Do you mean that you haven't the faintest idea what the alleged principle means, or that is just too vague to be useful, or that it wouldn't work as a basic moral principle?

It is a fair criticism that some of these probably aren't, in fact, basic moral principles. If you're a moral nihilist there are no moral principles and so none of the are.

Perhaps a better title for the list would be "possible suggestions for basic moral principles that are common to all societies which turn out, on closer examination, not to be."
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William Boykin
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Koldfoot wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
Thou shalt not question global warming.




This joke just keeps getting funnier every time you tell it, Koldie!!!

Darilian
Coming from the king of comedy, I humbly accept your advice.



More YouTubes, or somehow link Global Warming to cabbie stories.

Darilian
 
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James King
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Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"

Correction: Thou shalt not *commit murder*. After all, the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes does state in no uncertain terms that there is indeed "a time to kill" (such as in self-defense and in cases of justifiable wars). Those verses from Ecclesiastes were the inspiration for the Byrds' hit song, "Turn, Turn, Turn (There Is A Season)."







"Thou shalt not kill" is a corrupted mistranslation of the Commandment that more accurately should have been translated to be "Thou shalt not commit murder."


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Philip Thomas
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"

Correction: Thou shalt not *commit murder*. After all, the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes does state in no uncertain terms that there is indeed "a time to kill" (such as in self-defense and in cases of justifiable wars). Those verses from Ecclesiastes were the inspiration for the Byrds' hit song, "Turn, Turn, Turn (There Is A Season)."







"Thou shalt not kill" is a corrupted mistranslation of the Commandment that more accurately should have been translated to be "Thou shalt not commit murder."




All very interesting: but (spoiler) the OP isn't actually a list of the 10 commandments...
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Mac Mcleod
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It looks like universally, people do not think it is okay to kill their own 1 to 12 year old children.

Pretty narrow band- it looks like 0 year killings are common in every culture until about 1700 and female 13+ killings occur even today in several cultures.
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Mac Mcleod
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Philip Thomas wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Philip Thomas wrote:
"Thou shalt not kill"

Correction: Thou shalt not *commit murder*. After all, the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes does state in no uncertain terms that there is indeed "a time to kill" (such as in self-defense and in cases of justifiable wars). Those verses from Ecclesiastes were the inspiration for the Byrds' hit song, "Turn, Turn, Turn (There Is A Season)."







"Thou shalt not kill" is a corrupted mistranslation of the Commandment that more accurately should have been translated to be "Thou shalt not commit murder."




All very interesting: but (spoiler) the OP isn't actually a list of the 10 commandments...


OTH, The use of "thou shalt not" is a strong callback to the 10 commandments an a direct quote of some.
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Boaty McBoatface
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maxo-texas wrote:
It looks like universally, people do not think it is okay to kill their own 1 to 12 year old children.

Pretty narrow band- it looks like 0 year killings are common in every culture until about 1700 and female 13+ killings occur even today in several cultures.
Not even true, killing of ones children did occur in some cultures.

In fact the Romans encouraged infanticide.
 
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Philip Thomas
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slatersteven wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
It looks like universally, people do not think it is okay to kill their own 1 to 12 year old children.

Pretty narrow band- it looks like 0 year killings are common in every culture until about 1700 and female 13+ killings occur even today in several cultures.
Not even true, killing of ones children did occur in some cultures.

In fact the Romans encouraged infanticide.


I'd want to check the cultures which practiced human sacrifice, but in any event euthanasia of severely disabled/ill children is surely not unknown.

I suppose killing of slave children is excluded on the grounds that they are not "their own" children (could be biologically).

And in Roman law a father had the right to kill his children, although not sure how often it was exercised.

Another counter-example would be group suicide.
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