eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, February 13

Morality - Comments

That's really interesting.
Thanks! :)

But I think you could hold a self-interest based morality system and still be against killing people. Be against most initiations of force, really.

Why? One of the most basic ethical concepts. Ever. Virtually every culture has created it. Something like the 'Golden Rule'.

If you initiated force whenever you could get away with it, so would everyone else. Then things would be very bad for YOU. Thus, it's immoral. Live in a society where no one does that, and you will be better off than in a society where everyone does it.


Actually, it's not true that if you initiated force whenever you could get away with it, everyone else would. People have different ideas about morality and the initiation of force. Few of them would be persuaded to begin routinely initiating force because one person decided to initiate force against them. This is why, although there are criminals, MOST people don't go around knowingly initiating force against others.

I suppose with a small child who hasn't experienced being treated forcefully against his will, it might give the child the idea that force initiating is a good thing to do. Then again, the child's personality might be such that he become fearful of other people and become LESS inclined to initiate force.

It is people's ideas that ultimately affect whether they initiate force or not (or do anything, for that matter).

Granted, it does seem that a society of people who do not generally initiate force is better than a society of people who do routinely initiate force, but that still doesn't adequately explain why an individual shouldn't try to "get away with it". Aside from the risks of defensive uses of force against them, the initiation of force by an individual isn't actually likely to have much impact on society, is it?

Personally, I like to think there's more to it than self-interest, but, that's not relevant to my point here.
Dan | Homepage | 02.12.04 - 6:03 am | #

No comments: