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What does your moral compass come from?

Started by JohnnyRingo2, July 24, 2014, 05:07:38 PM

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I was wondering this, because on one hand I believe that all values and ethics are intrinsically arbitrary. Society categorizes what is beneficial or detrimental and calls it good and evil.

But then, there are certain actions that are never deemed permissible for normal individuals on any level. Rape, pedophilia, necrophilia and unprovoked murder are universally condemned. It's clear our moral compass is not only a societal function, but the product of some intrinsic value set within us.

Individuals who commit most of these acts routinely usually fall within the category of highly anti-social or psychopaths. I believe it is our sense of empathy that allows us to feel wronged in some capacity for others we wrong or see wronged, and I believe that social interaction instills within us a sense of group identification. See a man hit his finger with a hammer and you'll reflexively grimace, see a man cheated on by a lover and you may feel a sense of injustice.

What are your thoughts? How do you decide which actions you will not take, and furthermore, why do you not take them?


people had sex w/ boys and no one gave a fuck back in socrate's time ...


Rape, pedophilia, murder are considered evil to most people but on an individual basis or in certain historical instances they have been seen as justifiable. And if you can manage to rationalize your misbehavior odds are you will repeat your actions and soon they will come without second thoughts which stem from an internal debate of right or wrong.

I myself have done this with sex. Old YPR would find my actions reprehensible. Current YPR hardly thinks about it. It's kind of sad really. Other members have justified their shoplifting by condemning corporations but really they're just convincing themselves that their illegal gains are acceptable. It is akin to a dog getting a taste for blood. A dog may have never considered killing another animal but once they gain the flavor they become repeat offenders. Of course these behaviors can be modified but often not without external help.

My initial moral compass came from my religion and parents. It has obviously been somewhat altered from its origins. My religion does not approve of premarital sex. My parents do not approve of drugs. I really wish i was not such a product of my environment sometimes. Seems like manipulation


July 27, 2014, 12:55:39 PM #3 Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 01:00:05 PM by Boyah 2: This Thyme Itís Personal
i'm such a shallow motherfucker lol;

mine is pretty much the silver rule

i'm too lazy and selfish to follow the golden rule sillydood;


Quote from: YPR Classic on July 27, 2014, 12:33:38 PM*Hella lengthy quote*
That makes sense. I've often wondered then why do we feel the need to rationalize our actions to ourselves at all? The shoplifting example, it might assuage your guilt thinking your actions are justifiable because the corporation but why even bother rationalizing them? What is it in us that makes us feel the need to lie to ourselves about our motivations. I've been in multiple situations in which I'd tell myself "I'm only going in for a drink" or "They've got enough people without me" knowing somewhere in my mind that was a blatant lie, but it was a lie that was comfortable like intent was what made the thing wicked.

If I was honest, a lot of the reasons I do charity work is because it feels good to be recognized and to help. My morality here is self-serving in that it helps my social standing and boosts my morale.


Well no one wants to think of themselves as the bad guy. Everyone is writing their own story and considers themselves the protagonist. Even in cases of mass murder such as the holocaust the directors of such atrocitie believe ttheir actions to be for the better, in that case ridding vermin and vice from German society. It would be hard to act on that without a rationalization. The many soldiers who did not share the belief but acted within the camps could rationalize horrific actions by telling themselves they were just following orders and/or preserving their own livelihood. For those who are unable to rationalize their own actions as either moral or as a special exception will find themselves deeply depressed. In the case of such horrible actions, people have been known to kill themselves, unwilling to live with themselves and pretending what they have done is okay. They are their own judge and jury, already knowing the verdict. Rationalization can therefore act as a survivalmmechanism, protecting us from even our own judgment and allowing us to carry on as an exceptional person whose own motives are innocent.

Volunteer work is of course, honorable. Even if done for purely selfish reasons it is still helpful to others. Volunteer work of course can also be a punishment, whether imposed by court or by oneself. There is no monetary gain but a spiritual one that helps to make one feel like a better person that whatever action they or the court are punishing themselves for. It can even be a form of rejection of society. A society that would allow people to suffer... Time from that world is shunned for time with a people possibly  considered more pure since they are perceived to be less greedy and corrupt - the less fortunate. It is hard to make a truly selfless action so don't feel bad about it. We're wired to work for ourselves whether the rewards are monetary, emotional, spiritual, or for recognition; whether in the short or long term. If you got nothing out of volunteering you probably wouldn't do it. Really that you're willing to donate your time just to feel a sort of social superiority is hardly offensive  considering the actual benefit you're providing others


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