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Are you morally superior to a crack whore?

Bronzeage

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What sort of moral failings are we ascribing to a crackwhore?

Is there something inherently wrong about trading sexual acts for an addictive drug?
 

SLD

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What sort of moral failings are we ascribing to a crackwhore?

Is there something inherently wrong about trading sexual acts for an addictive drug?

Well. Such activity is illegal in all US jurisdictions. I would think the general population consensus would be such activity is immoral. But feel free to answer the question based on your own views. Not others.

SLD
 

Bronzeage

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What sort of moral failings are we ascribing to a crackwhore?

Is there something inherently wrong about trading sexual acts for an addictive drug?

Well. Such activity is illegal in all US jurisdictions. I would think the general population consensus would be such activity is immoral. But feel free to answer the question based on your own views. Not others.

SLD

Is immoral and illegal interchangeable in this discussion? If a prostitute trades sex for money, what bearing do her financial needs have on her crime?

I'm not sure why trading sex for illegal drugs is considered immoral, even if it is illegal to exchange money for sex. I may have done far worse things than trade sex for drugs.

How is morality measured?
 

repoman

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Is this adding to the burden and frequency of sexually transmitted diseases? Is that immoral?
 

SLD

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What sort of moral failings are we ascribing to a crackwhore?

Is there something inherently wrong about trading sexual acts for an addictive drug?

Well. Such activity is illegal in all US jurisdictions. I would think the general population consensus would be such activity is immoral. But feel free to answer the question based on your own views. Not others.

SLD

Is immoral and illegal interchangeable in this discussion? If a prostitute trades sex for money, what bearing do her financial needs have on her crime?

I'm not sure why trading sex for illegal drugs is considered immoral, even if it is illegal to exchange money for sex. I may have done far worse things than trade sex for drugs.

How is morality measured?

Is it not measured by social convention? Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO. Granted there are gradations. A murderer is not the equivalent of a speeder. I would suspect though that the vast majority of Americans would consider someone who sells their body and does crack to be an immoral person, even if you do not.

Is it not logical therefore that someone who does not engage in such activity, or worse, is in fact morally superior?

This isn’t just a hypothetical question. It arose recently at my Mothers funeral. I have a crazy older brother whose present girlfriend is basically a crack whore. I think my brother is basically her pimp. I can’t stand her and don’t trust her one iota. I didn’t want her around. My sister agreed. She shouldn’t be invited. But my younger brother was adamant that she be welcomed. He told me I shouldn’t act so morally superior. I thought about it for a second and quipped that I was indeed morally superior to someone like her. I don’t do illegal drugs and I don’t buy whores.

SLD
 

Random Person

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I'd say about equal.

I have to do unpleasant things for money that aren't so unpleasant that I can't do them too.
 

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Is immoral and illegal interchangeable in this discussion? If a prostitute trades sex for money, what bearing do her financial needs have on her crime?

I'm not sure why trading sex for illegal drugs is considered immoral, even if it is illegal to exchange money for sex. I may have done far worse things than trade sex for drugs.

How is morality measured?

Is it not measured by social convention? Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO. Granted there are gradations. A murderer is not the equivalent of a speeder. I would suspect though that the vast majority of Americans would consider someone who sells their body and does crack to be an immoral person, even if you do not.

Is it not logical therefore that someone who does not engage in such activity, or worse, is in fact morally superior?

This isn’t just a hypothetical question. It arose recently at my Mothers funeral. I have a crazy older brother whose present girlfriend is basically a crack whore. I think my brother is basically her pimp. I can’t stand her and don’t trust her one iota. I didn’t want her around. My sister agreed. She shouldn’t be invited. But my younger brother was adamant that she be welcomed. He told me I shouldn’t act so morally superior. I thought about it for a second and quipped that I was indeed morally superior to someone like her. I don’t do illegal drugs and I don’t buy whores.

SLD

I do not believe morality is measured by social convention, unless you accept that morality can evolve. At one time slavery was a position that people urged as a moral cause. I am old enough to remember Baptist preachers going on about how racial segregation was honoring God's moral law.

Smoking pot is currently deemed immoral only by an ever shrinking percentage of society. My state considers it a crime but my local DA declines to prosecute for possession.

So society evolves. Does that mean morality also evolves? If that is the case, then those of us that don't accept conventional morality may be in the vanguard.

As for addiction itself, I would never consider myself morally superior to an addict, any more than I would consider myself morally superior to a diabetic.

In fact, now that I think about it more, the real immorality I can think of would be someone who deliberately harms another person, or potentially harms another person, for their own benefit. I don't see that category necessarily involving crack whores.
 

J842P

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I don’t do illegal drugs and I don’t buy whores.

Neither of those things make you morally superior.

Indeed, you are coming off as quite morally defective to me. You have stated that for you, something being illegal is equivalent to being immoral (correct me if I've misinterpreted you), which is an abhorrently immoral to any moderately decent human being. You would only have to critically examine that sentiment for a couple of minutes to (I would hope) come up with basic counter examples.

For example, suppose this were 1860. Suppose a runaway slave came through my property, and I offered them food and clothing to aid them on their journey.

I am now a criminal, and in your opinion, I have now acted immorally. I would posit that I have obviously not acted immorally. Of course, you may disagree.

In any case, a particular cocaine addicted prostitute may in fact engage in immoral behavior, and that behavior may be motivated by their addition, but neither of those properties alone make that person immoral.
 

ronburgundy

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Is immoral and illegal interchangeable in this discussion? If a prostitute trades sex for money, what bearing do her financial needs have on her crime?

I'm not sure why trading sex for illegal drugs is considered immoral, even if it is illegal to exchange money for sex. I may have done far worse things than trade sex for drugs.

How is morality measured?

Is it not measured by social convention? Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO.

IOW, your moral principles are purely authoritarian. An act is immoral simply because whoever writes the laws declares that is.
So, you think that every slave who ran away from their master prior to emancipation committed an immoral act. And every person who engaged in gay sex or merely anal sex with anyone had committed an immoral act, if their state had a law against it. Meaning gays were immoral in 2002, if they lived on one side of the street within Maryland borders, but not immoral if they lived across the street in Delaware. Not to mention, there are often cases when laws directly conflict with each other at the local, state, federal, and international level. Maryland law still says sodomy is illegal, but Federal law says it isn't. Are gays immoral at the state level but moral at the Federal level?

Using infractions against the law as either a neccessary or sufficient condition for immorality leads to a pretty fucked up, arbitrary, unprincipled ethical system. In fact, I would say that doing so is itself an immoral act because it causes serious harm to people. Also, following the law is actually often immoral, because laws themselves are often immoral.

It is dangerously authoritarian to view breaking the law is inherently immoral. It makes morality not reliably related to causing actual harm to others, because the law is not reliability related to harming others.
 

PyramidHead

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Is immoral and illegal interchangeable in this discussion? If a prostitute trades sex for money, what bearing do her financial needs have on her crime?

I'm not sure why trading sex for illegal drugs is considered immoral, even if it is illegal to exchange money for sex. I may have done far worse things than trade sex for drugs.

How is morality measured?

Is it not measured by social convention? Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO.

IOW, your moral principles are purely authoritarian. An act is immoral simply because whoever writes the laws declares that is.
So, you think that every slave who ran away from their master prior to emancipation committed an immoral act. And every person who engaged in gay sex or merely anal sex with anyone had committed an immoral act, if their state had a law against it. Meaning gays were immoral in 2002, if they lived on one side of the street within Maryland borders, but not immoral if they lived across the street in Delaware. Not to mention, there are often cases when laws directly conflict with each other at the local, state, federal, and international level. Maryland law still says sodomy is illegal, but Federal law says it isn't. Are gays immoral at the state level but moral at the Federal level?

Using infractions against the law as either a neccessary or sufficient condition for immorality leads to a pretty fucked up, arbitrary, unprincipled ethical system. In fact, I would say that doing so is itself an immoral act because it causes serious harm to people. Also, following the law is actually often immoral, because laws themselves are often immoral.

It is dangerously authoritarian to view breaking the law is inherently immoral. It makes morality not reliably related to causing actual harm to others, because the law is not reliability related to harming others.

The only possible justification I could imagine for the "breaking the law is always prima facie immoral" stance is that no matter what the law says, going against it is going against social stability and making things worse for everyone else. I disagree with this justification and think it can be used to pardon almost anything. Also, it's often the case that social stability is exactly what needs to be disrupted if an immoral situation is to change for the better.
 

ronburgundy

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IOW, your moral principles are purely authoritarian. An act is immoral simply because whoever writes the laws declares that is.
So, you think that every slave who ran away from their master prior to emancipation committed an immoral act. And every person who engaged in gay sex or merely anal sex with anyone had committed an immoral act, if their state had a law against it. Meaning gays were immoral in 2002, if they lived on one side of the street within Maryland borders, but not immoral if they lived across the street in Delaware. Not to mention, there are often cases when laws directly conflict with each other at the local, state, federal, and international level. Maryland law still says sodomy is illegal, but Federal law says it isn't. Are gays immoral at the state level but moral at the Federal level?

Using infractions against the law as either a neccessary or sufficient condition for immorality leads to a pretty fucked up, arbitrary, unprincipled ethical system. In fact, I would say that doing so is itself an immoral act because it causes serious harm to people. Also, following the law is actually often immoral, because laws themselves are often immoral.

It is dangerously authoritarian to view breaking the law is inherently immoral. It makes morality not reliably related to causing actual harm to others, because the law is not reliability related to harming others.

The only possible justification I could imagine for the "breaking the law is always prima facie immoral" stance is that no matter what the law says, going against it is going against social stability and making things worse for everyone else. I disagree with this justification and think it can be used to pardon almost anything. Also, it's often the case that social stability is exactly what needs to be disrupted if an immoral situation is to change for the better.

I agree with you. "Social stability" is not itself a moral positive. All moral progress entail social instability. In fact, all progress of any type creates some social instability, such as the theory of evolution and it's social impact. Thus, social instability is arguably negatively correlated with the progress that actually benefits the vast majority of people. This is why the most immoral members of society seeking to cause authoritarian harm to others, usually promote "tradition" and "social stability" as rationales to reject efforts to stop the injustices that that benefit those authorities.
 

southernhybrid

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I don't judge such people. None of us are perfect and none of us know what we would do if we had the exact same genetic background and environmental influences as someone addicted to a dangerous drug that was supported by sex work.

So, I guess the best that a society could do for such an individual would be to offer them the supplies and education of what is needed to practice safe sex, offer them rehab, if that's what they would like, offer them a different line of work after rehab if that's what they prefer, and offer them a safe place to use their drugs if they lack the motivation to try and change. So, imo, none of us hold the upper hand when it comes to morality, unless perhaps we are willing and able to help those who are desperate and need help.

Of course, by the same token, not all of us are capable of not judging others for their faults, so none of us really hold the moral high ground when it comes down to it.

And, just because something is illegal doesn't necessarily mean that it's immoral. And, just because something is legal, doesn't necessarily mean that it's ethical.

Ethics are complicated.
 

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Where is it written that I have to like everyone? Why can’t I condemn behavior that I believe is both repugnant and immoral, regardless of whether it is illegal or even if everyone else thinks such behavior is OK? I don’t think being a crackwhore is acceptable behavior. I don’t think such people are to be trusted. I’m sorry but I do think people who violate criminal statutes are indeed immoral. We have an ethical duty to comply with the law, at least to the greatest extent we can. I got a parking ticket the other day. It was a minor moral failure on my part.

And don’t tell me Jesus requires us to like everyone. He didn’t. He lost his temper at the money changers, good on him, I say.
 

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I’m sorry but I do think people who violate criminal statutes are indeed immoral. We have an ethical duty to comply with the law, at least to the greatest extent we can.

Of course, you are entitled to believe whatever you want, as long as you accept that by holding that stance, you would have had to return runaway slaves.

And as a corollary, that normal, moral people will consider you morally abhorrent.

Also, why do you bring up Jesus here of all places? I think most people in this audience would put very little stock in what Jesus is supposed to have said, according to the gospels.
 

Rhea

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Me: (musing, to Dear Daughter as she passes by the sofa) Are you morally superior to a crack whore?
DD: Yes.
Me: (raising eyebrows): Oh?
DD: I am morally superior to everyone.. I am a SkyBreaker. I am the law.
 

Bronzeage

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I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?

Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.
 

repoman

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As atheists many of us have gotten here from different routes. Some of us are still as woowoo as theists on many topics, but are atheists as a reaction to what is seen as authoritarian rules from a fake god.

Others are more like logic machines and see that the Bible is logically inconsistent and not possible given physics and so on and therefore atheism was not arrived at by emotion as much. But also are a bit authoritarian or at least against extreme anti-authoritarians who think every aspect of all human interactions need to be negotiated from first principles while not putting your and your family's interests first.

Crack whores are dangerous to be around. Do I really need to list why?

Theft, sexual diseases at a huge rate, more interactions with police and so on.

Attempting to help or get on the track of teaching self help to this kind of person is laudable, but if it is not feasible being wary and limiting risk from being around them is sensible and not immoral.

Maybe that is a better question, is it immoral to avoid crack whores in social situations?
 

repoman

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I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?

Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.

The illegality of prostitution leads to the dangers of it becoming stronger. More sexually transmitted diseases, more assaults of sex workers, more robberies of clients and so on. So in some ways the blanket prohibition of it is a bit "immoral" in that it makes things worse. But that is one level of abstraction higher.
 

SLD

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Me: (musing, to Dear Daughter as she passes by the sofa) Are you morally superior to a crack whore?
DD: Yes.
Me: (raising eyebrows): Oh?
DD: I am morally superior to everyone.. I am a SkyBreaker. I am the law.

Perhaps she has a serious point. Shouldn’t you logically think that you are morally superior to everyone else? If not, why haven’t you changed your behavior to be more like the person whom you feel is morally superior to you?

SLD
 

Rhea

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Me: (musing, to Dear Daughter as she passes by the sofa) Are you morally superior to a crack whore?
DD: Yes.
Me: (raising eyebrows): Oh?
DD: I am morally superior to everyone.. I am a SkyBreaker. I am the law.

Perhaps she has a serious point. Shouldn’t you logically think that you are morally superior to everyone else? If not, why haven’t you changed your behavior to be more like the person whom you feel is morally superior to you?

SLD

You have a valid point!
 

steve_bank

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Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

SLD

So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.
 

SLD

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Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

SLD

So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.

I’m never impressed by this so called victimization crap. She made choices. Bad ones. Maybe if someone put a gun to her head, but I don’t see that happening here. At best she put herself in a position to be victimized.

SLD
 

Angra Mainyu

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SLD said:
Is it not measured by social convention?
No, it is not, as it has already been explained. For example, there are societies where being an atheist, or an agnostic, or not a Muslim, or not a Christian, etc., would be considered immoral by nearly everyone. Similarly, sex between two men, or between two women, or between a Black man and a White woman, etc., would have been considered immoral by a majority (or a vast majority) in many societies. However, many instances of such behaviors or states of affairs were not immoral. Majorities, or even vast majorities, can get it wrong.

SLD said:
Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO.
Usually, but not always. For example, there are places in the world that criminalize same-sex sex, but it is not always (or generally) immoral to have same-sex sex in those places. The same goes for interracial sex, or for deconverting from Islam, etc. America, in the past, provides also some of those examples. That is in addition to the slavery examples, etc., already provided.

SLD said:
Granted there are gradations. A murderer is not the equivalent of a speeder.
I'm not sure speeding is a crime, even if it's an infraction, but sure, there are gradations. And also, not all murderers or speeders are the same.

SLD said:
I would suspect though that the vast majority of Americans would consider someone who sells their body and does crack to be an immoral person, even if you do not.
That depends on a number of factors. But she does not sell her body. She provides sexual services. I do not know why that would be immoral. In general, I think it is not.

The use of crack, however, may well be immoral, given that her behavior damages her brain considerably, significantly increasing the chances that she might hurt others either directly, or indirectly (e.g., by getting an STD and passing it to others). Additionally, she is giving money to people who very likely are dangerous and evil. But I would need more context to be sure (e.g., is her brain so damaged that her freedom is compromised to the point she actually can't stop doing crack?).

SLD said:
Is it not logical therefore that someone who does not engage in such activity, or worse, is in fact morally superior?
All other things equal, and assumng her behavior is immoral, yes. But not all other things are equal. Nearly everyone behaves immorally at some point. Even if someone does not engage in something worse, they might engage in many things that are not individually worse, but add to something worse. Moreover, risk to others by use of cocaine isn't particularly heinous as far as immoral behaviors go, at least in most circumstances.

SLD said:
I don’t do illegal drugs and I don’t buy whores.
She does not buy whores, either (slave traders do, but she is not one), so that's not a difference. As to the fact that you do not do illegal drugs, there are a number of issues, so I can't tell for sure, but that is an aspect in which she might be worse than you are, not because they are illegal, but because of risks to others. On the other hand, you do seem to blame people for providing sexual services, so that's a negative on your side.

However, the key question isn't who is morally better, but whether it is morally acceptable to exclude her from the funeral. What were the reasons? You say you don't trust her. Okay, but that's pretty generic. Are you worried she might be violent because of her addiction? Has she been prone to violence before? Are you worried she might make a scene or something?

SLD said:
Where is it written that I have to like everyone? Why can’t I condemn behavior that I believe is both repugnant and immoral, regardless of whether it is illegal or even if everyone else thinks such behavior is OK?
Even if it were written, you would not have to like everyone, and it is not the case that you should. By the way, here you imply (correctly) that morality is not measured by social convention. As to whether you can condemn it, sure, that is freedom of speech. The question is whether it is morally acceptable for you to condemn it. Providing sexual services? I do not think so. What reasons do you have to condemn it? Using crack? That's a more likely one, though I'm uncertain. It would depend on the information available to you, which I do not have.

SLD said:
I’m sorry but I do think people who violate criminal statutes are indeed immoral. We have an ethical duty to comply with the law, at least to the greatest extent we can.
Usually, yes. Always, no. Providing sexual services is one of the "no" cases. Well, usually. At least, not due to its being illegal. There are other reasons that would make it immoral for some, but not for others.
 

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Seriously, no talk of spreading STDs?

Where is the morality with that?
 

Angra Mainyu

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Seriously, no talk of spreading STDs?

Where is the morality with that?

That depends on how the prostitute works. If she is careful, she is not likely to spread the most dangerous STDs. Still, I guess some less dangerous STDs might be spread regardless of the precautions, but then, it is acceptable to create some risks in one's pursuit of happiness (e.g., take a road trip). The question is how big the risks are.
 

steve_bank

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Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

SLD

So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.

I’m never impressed by this so called victimization crap. She made choices. Bad ones. Maybe if someone put a gun to her head, but I don’t see that happening here. At best she put herself in a position to be victimized.

SLD

I disagree. One can be immoral in many ways depending on the perspective. Back in the 70s I knew an accountant who became alcoholic. I actual met a high school teacher I had from another city. He too fell to alcoholism and died shortly after I ran into him.

STD is spread outside of prostitution. In SF it spear quickly through the gay community and bath houses. You talk a drunk woman into giving you a blow job in a bar bathroom, is she immoral? Are you?

It does not take much for anyone to fall. A few random occurrences or bad choices. We do not have nearly as much control as we think. Girls who experience verbal, physical, and sexual abuse growing up are at higher risk for drugs and prostitution.

I feel no moral superiority at all. Consudering the way I grew up I feel likey to have turned out as well as I did. A few bad choices in then 70s and my life could have gone badly.

I was out of money at one point with enough just for rent in a ramming house. I walked into a store to steal food but was scared off by a security guard following me.

I am walking down the street and a dealer asks me to get on a bus and take a bag across the city, I declined.

If you have not actually faced real moral pressure you have no idea what you are talking about. If you grow up without a positive self image you are wide open to bad choices.
 

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I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?

Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.

Morality exists without transactions. if morality were transaction then it would be too specific to a situation. What is the good of a moral if one has to add qualifiers every time one applies it to a situation. For me transactions are what humans do in life. Transaction is process. A moral is a gatekeeper setting bounds to behavior. It is not the conduct of behavior, rather it is a guide to what one can do. Guides are applied to transactions but they are not the transactions. Those are behaviors one performs.

Pretty good thoughts though Bronzeage. Pretty good thoughts indeed.
 

Bronzeage

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I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?

Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.

Morality exists without transactions. if morality were transaction then it would be too specific to a situation. What is the good of a moral if one has to add qualifiers every time one applies it to a situation. For me transactions are what humans do in life. Transaction is process. A moral is a gatekeeper setting bounds to behavior. It is not the conduct of behavior, rather it is a guide to what one can do. Guides are applied to transactions but they are not the transactions. Those are behaviors one performs.

Pretty good thoughts though Bronzeage. Pretty good thoughts indeed.

Why would a castaway, alone on an island, need a moral code. Would it help him coexist with the sand crabs? Morality and moral codes define how we should behave with other people. It is always qualified. The closer we are to a person, the more closer we are expected to stick to the code.

Before we came up with the idea that all men are brothers, that "Do not kill" rule was rather limited. This is why Samson, who knew the 10 commandments as well as any Hebrew, could go out and kill 200 men, just to steal their clothes, in order to pay off a bet. They were not from his tribe, or any tribe that was considered a friend to his. The transaction sucked for those guys.
 

ideologyhunter

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I admit I've mainly read the dirty parts of scripture, so I may be wrong -- but are you conflating Samson killing 30 Philistines and stripping their corpses (over some riddle he had challenged them to solve; this guy was a hardcore gamer) with David killing 200 men and slicing off their foreskins? (BTW imagine in either case what total moral degenerates they became if they actually carried out these acts -- debauched forever, but apparently beacons of faith.)
 

steve_bank

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I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?

Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.

Morality exists without transactions. if morality were transaction then it would be too specific to a situation. What is the good of a moral if one has to add qualifiers every time one applies it to a situation. For me transactions are what humans do in life. Transaction is process. A moral is a gatekeeper setting bounds to behavior. It is not the conduct of behavior, rather it is a guide to what one can do. Guides are applied to transactions but they are not the transactions. Those are behaviors one performs.

Pretty good thoughts though Bronzeage. Pretty good thoughts indeed.

Civil law is sopposed ti be black and white.

Morality is not. Something I recall from The Dialogs I think. A man goes out dinging and leaves his spear or sword with a friend He return's drunk and any and violent demanding his weapons. Legally it is his property, it is the right thing to do returning the weapon? The question goes back at least as far as Plato.

Real world moral decagons are oten not black and white in daily life. One has to choose what you think results in the least trouble or pain.
 

steve_bank

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I believe part of the definition of a sociopath is an utter absence of empathy for the pain of others.
 

Bronzeage

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I admit I've mainly read the dirty parts of scripture, so I may be wrong -- but are you conflating Samson killing 30 Philistines and stripping their corpses (over some riddle he had challenged them to solve; this guy was a hardcore gamer) with David killing 200 men and slicing off their foreskins? (BTW imagine in either case what total moral degenerates they became if they actually carried out these acts -- debauched forever, but apparently beacons of faith.)

Probably so, but the illustration remains the same. There was nothing immoral about killing and mutilating people who were not members of their group. The commandment, "Thou shall not kill," simply excluded their victims.

One of the eternal problems of moral codes is it is always supports the current authority, and thus authority confirms the morality.
Problems will arise when groups merge, and details of different moral codes conflict, but the real difficulty comes when standards of living rise, and life is easier for everyone. Moral codes were created when human groups were scratching out an existence in harsh environments. In an environment where food availability is cyclical, property violations are a very serious thing. In a society where property is owned not by an individual, but by the family group, anything that threatens family integrity( adultery, pre-marital sex, etc) is also serious violations.

As life gets easier, through the efficiencies of civilized living, old moral codes are slow to change. In most sensible nations, the government no longer wastes resources on people who have forms of sex which are prohibited religious authorities. Governments have enough to do, just dealing with thieves and murderers.

Prostitution is one of the last sexual crimes which governments still try to suppress. No one can make a good argument for this, without resorting to some religious authority, which prohibits sex outside of marriage. All the non-sense about preventing victimization of women, is just that, non-sense. The victimization of women is a result of working in an illegal occupation, where they do not have the protections which the rest of us enjoy.

Then, someone comes along and proposes that a drug addicted prostitute be the new absolute zero on the moral thermometer, and asks us to take our temperature and report back.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

SLD

All other things being equal, and in the general sense, no, I wouldn't see myself as morally superior to a crack whore.

It would be my position that anyone preaching moral superiority is being self righteous. That makes their morality suspect or tarnished. It basically makes them a religious asshole I would think.
 

Loren Pechtel

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What sort of moral failings are we ascribing to a crackwhore?

Is there something inherently wrong about trading sexual acts for an addictive drug?

Well. Such activity is illegal in all US jurisdictions. I would think the general population consensus would be such activity is immoral. But feel free to answer the question based on your own views. Not others.

SLD

Disagree, I can think of one scenario in which it is legal.

The prostitutes working in the Nevada brothels are independent contractors, nothing is stopping them from making a deal for something other than money.

Cigarettes are a legal product and addictive.

Thus if someone buys the services of one of those prostitutes with a bunch of cigarettes you have a case of trading sexual acts for an addictive drug. Unlikely but perfectly legal.
 

fromderinside

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Morality exists without transactions. if morality were transaction then it would be too specific to a situation. What is the good of a moral if one has to add qualifiers every time one applies it to a situation. For me transactions are what humans do in life. Transaction is process. A moral is a gatekeeper setting bounds to behavior. It is not the conduct of behavior, rather it is a guide to what one can do. Guides are applied to transactions but they are not the transactions. Those are behaviors one performs.

Pretty good thoughts though Bronzeage. Pretty good thoughts indeed.

Why would a castaway, alone on an island, need a moral code. Would it help him coexist with the sand crabs? Morality and moral codes define how we should behave with other people. It is always qualified. The closer we are to a person, the more closer we are expected to stick to the code.

Before we came up with the idea that all men are brothers, that "Do not kill" rule was rather limited. This is why Samson, who knew the 10 commandments as well as any Hebrew, could go out and kill 200 men, just to steal their clothes, in order to pay off a bet. They were not from his tribe, or any tribe that was considered a friend to his. The transaction sucked for those guys.

So here I am sitting on this island all alone wondering whether I should eat everything in sight or do otherwise. Moderation in all things pops into mind. I guess if person is social then I must agree with you that it must be transacional. Doesn't that get us in to a whole other set of problems when social means self survival or something like that?

Just being an ass.
 

Bomb#20

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All other things being equal, and in the general sense, no, I wouldn't see myself as morally superior to a crack whore.

It would be my position that anyone preaching moral superiority is being self righteous. That makes their morality suspect or tarnished. It basically makes them a religious asshole I would think.

Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen?! I'm not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!
Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!
Brian: What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me?! All right, I am the Messiah!
Crowd: He is! He is the Messiah!​

Look, there's only one reasonable answer to the OP question:

Are you morally superior to a crack whore?

Which crack whore?
 

Bronzeage

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So here I am sitting on this island all alone wondering whether I should eat everything in sight or do otherwise. Moderation in all things pops into mind. I guess if person is social then I must agree with you that it must be transacional. Doesn't that get us in to a whole other set of problems when social means self survival or something like that?

Just being an ass.

You are quite fortunate to be marooned on an island where it's possible to eat enough that conservation of resources might be a consideration. This is one of the symptoms of the ease of modern life in a technological society. We need to think about over consumption. In the hundreds of thousands of years in which recognizable humans have walked on this planet, that has not been a problem.

The reason humans are social creatures is because non social humans die young. Leopards love non social humans. Social humans are another story. There's always one who is awake, so sneaking up on them is hazardous. They use sticks and rocks, which doesn't seem fair. A solitary human is easy prey, but going after a group of humans is not worth the trouble. Leopards are smart, but humans are the ones who out smarted the leopard.

They did it by forming groups with tight social bonds. These bonds are defined by what we call morality. Moral codes define proper interaction between group members and more important, what the group is expected to do when someone violates the moral code. For most of human history, exile was the most severe punishment. It meant certain death, but no one in the group had to kill a fellow group member.

Modern technology has granted us the freedom to consider selfishness. We are able to consider our own desires without suffering any immediate consequences. After all, we never actually see the many thousands of people whose cooperation makes our life so comfortable. This is the lady in China who made your shirt, or the butcher in Kansas City who just killed a cow for you. Self survival is an illusion. There's no such thing.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen?! I'm not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!
Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!
Brian: What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me?! All right, I am the Messiah!
Crowd: He is! He is the Messiah!​

Look, there's only one reasonable answer to the OP question:

Are you morally superior to a crack whore?

Which crack whore?

What is the crack whore in question doing that threatens the survival of the tribe? The greatest threat to the survival of the tribe are members who do not make new members.

So is not making new members of the tribe the greatest of immoralities? Is the crack whore in question just small potatoes?
 

steve_bank

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Illegal does not necessarily equate to immoral.

Gay sex used to be banned under so called 'public morality laws'. Hetero oral sex used to be illegal as well. Including between married couples.

You can say drugs that are harmful are immoral in that those who do not use end up paying for the consequences of those that do. Txes and higher meducal insurance premium.

I can tell you from the two facilities I lived in the long term use of tobacco and alcohol are primary cost drivers of health care from middle age up. Add drugs to that.

The new small and cheap vapor nicotine delivery system is turning kids into nicotine addicts, according to reports.

To me developing those vapor devices is immoral. It directly leads to a known addiction. Someone I know who dealt with addicts said nicotine is harder to deal with than opioids.

It used to be if somebody became unproductive do to addiction unable to work one just died.

Is that the solution to the drug problem, just them all die?

Thomas Moore wroye in the era of Henry 8yh that society creates conditions into which people at the bottom must resort to crime just for food, then society punishes them. The real question is the mortality of our liberal and capitalist system,

We allow conditions to exist that gives rise to crack whores, what then is our morality?
 

Bomb#20

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...
Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!
...
Which crack whore?

What is the crack whore in question doing that threatens the survival of the tribe? The greatest threat to the survival of the tribe are members who do not make new members.

So is not making new members of the tribe the greatest of immoralities? Is the crack whore in question just small potatoes?
Well, in the first place, Oh For The Love Of God! There are seven billion people in my tribe! How in the name of ever-loving Cthulhu do you figure my failure to help make our ecosystem into a monoculture means I'm the greatest threat to the survival of the tribe? Seeing as how a person's carbon footprint is (in appropriately sized units) typically roughly equal to the number of children he makes, it's members who make three or more new members who are a threat to the survival of the tribe.

And in the second place, how the heck is "threatens the survival of the tribe" the relevant measure of morality? The tribe is 99.9999% safe from extinction any time in the next ten thousand years and there's bloody little any random individual could possibly do to significantly alter that. We have beaten off the leopards, we have beaten off the bubonic plague, we are on the verge of beating off the killer asteroids, and now our tribe has the luxury of judging one another by such less tribe-survival-critical criteria as, say, whether someone is acting like a jerk.

Somewhere out there, there's Crack Whore Number 1 who helped herself to all the money in her passed-out post-coital john's wallet instead of just the agreed-upon price. And somewhere else out there, there's Crack Whore Number 2 who had the guts to testify against her city's top crime lord and put him away and put a target on her own back. I submit that I'm morally superior to Crack Whore Number 1, although not morally superior to Crack Whore Number 2. So how the heck do you figure the circumstance that I never robbed anybody plus the circumstance that I have no interest in going along with the currently fashionable pretense that there are no differences in human morality make me "a religious asshole"?
 

SLD

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Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

SLD

All other things being equal, and in the general sense, no, I wouldn't see myself as morally superior to a crack whore.

It would be my position that anyone preaching moral superiority is being self righteous. That makes their morality suspect or tarnished. It basically makes them a religious asshole I would think.

So then do you view yourself as morally superior to a religious asshole? I would argue you do indeed. Every time you are comparing yourself positively to someone else when it comes to almost any moral issue, you are saying, "I am morally superior to this person." We do this almost every day. If not several times a day.

What we have an issue with is the phrase "morally superior" as it has negative connotations that we’ve been taught are bad. Yet we have no problem feeling morally superior to all sorts of people whether they are crack whores, murderers, religious assholes, or Trump supporters. And I would agree. You most likely are.

SLD
 

SLD

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So here I am sitting on this island all alone wondering whether I should eat everything in sight or do otherwise. Moderation in all things pops into mind. I guess if person is social then I must agree with you that it must be transacional. Doesn't that get us in to a whole other set of problems when social means self survival or something like that?

Just being an ass.

You are quite fortunate to be marooned on an island where it's possible to eat enough that conservation of resources might be a consideration. This is one of the symptoms of the ease of modern life in a technological society. We need to think about over consumption. In the hundreds of thousands of years in which recognizable humans have walked on this planet, that has not been a problem.

The reason humans are social creatures is because non social humans die young. Leopards love non social humans. Social humans are another story. There's always one who is awake, so sneaking up on them is hazardous. They use sticks and rocks, which doesn't seem fair. A solitary human is easy prey, but going after a group of humans is not worth the trouble. Leopards are smart, but humans are the ones who out smarted the leopard.

They did it by forming groups with tight social bonds. These bonds are defined by what we call morality. Moral codes define proper interaction between group members and more important, what the group is expected to do when someone violates the moral code. For most of human history, exile was the most severe punishment. It meant certain death, but no one in the group had to kill a fellow group member.

Modern technology has granted us the freedom to consider selfishness. We are able to consider our own desires without suffering any immediate consequences. After all, we never actually see the many thousands of people whose cooperation makes our life so comfortable. This is the lady in China who made your shirt, or the butcher in Kansas City who just killed a cow for you. Self survival is an illusion. There's no such thing.

Sounds to me like you agree then that social convention basically defines what is moral. Those who defy social convention, (gays?) get thrown out of the tribe and eaten by leopards. I certainly agree with your post. Cooperation is our key survival instinct. And yet we are blithely unaware of the myriad of other people who make our lives worth living.

SLD
 

steve_bank

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There is a big difference between having moral differences and elevating yourself based on your own morality. I believe pride is one of the 7 Deadly Sins.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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It would be my position that anyone preaching moral superiority is being self righteous. That makes their morality suspect or tarnished. It basically makes them a religious asshole I would think.

So then do you view yourself as morally superior to a religious asshole? I would argue you do indeed. Every time you are comparing yourself positively to someone else when it comes to almost any moral issue, you are saying, "I am morally superior to this person." We do this almost every day. If not several times a day.

What we have an issue with is the phrase "morally superior" as it has negative connotations that we’ve been taught are bad. Yet we have no problem feeling morally superior to all sorts of people whether they are crack whores, murderers, religious assholes, or Trump supporters. And I would agree. You most likely are.

SLD

I think we all think we're superior in some way, and maybe that's healthy. It's how that manifests itself that's important, or whether it even does.

My wife tells me I sometimes play the martyr for not going after someone with my claws. I like to think I'm allowing higher brain functions to override emotional impulses. That, and what is actually gained by besting someone who clearly poses no threat to me or mine, and whom I perceive as weaker?

So I think it's okay to feel moral superiority but not okay to act it out.
 

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So I think it's okay to feel moral superiority but not okay to act it out.

"Acting it out" is what it means to enforce moral norms, without which morality is useless.

I could agree that one should not run around explicitly harping about how they personally are morally superior, but we should point out morally inferior actions, because that is what protects people from the harm that makes those actions immoral.
 
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