Morality describes a value system, not a value system pertaining to a religious belief, but a value system inherent in the human condition. This can be simplified to the concept of right and wrong.
Broadly morality, in terms of philosophy, describes an area of philosophy that looks at concepts like ethics and justice that arise from within the human condition, and not from within societal structures like legal systems, religions, and other groups (although it does dictate how we should manage these things).
Moral principles are ideally empirically gleaned (they are not meant to be gleaned from pure reason), and many attest that the first principle of morality is “happiness” (as Aristotle describes in his ethics or as John Stewart Mill describes in his theory utilitarianism).
Describing morality is a bit like describing emotions, very difficult in a small introduction. See the articles below for facts and myths on morality.
See Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s Definition of Morality.
Factoids tagged with "Morality"
Lord Byron said something like, “the Jewish people gave mankind their first major religion, Christianity, and their second, Capitalism.” That isn’t too far off from the truth (as Milton Friedman also noted).
What we call the political left and right are an outgrowth of liberty and the human condition. Once people are free to express themselves, they will create a left and right (because left and right are a reflection of human nature). This is essentially true for any issue or debate, be it national politics, a local community issue or even a family or other small group issue.
Generally speaking, a modest increase to the minimum wage will increase household spending and thus stimulate the economy. However, this can be offset by job loss or hour reduction, inflation, and other factors.
Although we can consider Jeremy Bentham the founder of modern Utilitarianism, and his successor John Stuart Mill the one who popularized it, early Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Aristippus and Epicurus presented the original Utilitarian / Consequentialist / Greatest Happiness theories.
Mozart’s the Magic Flute is largely a metaphor about the Freemasonry and the Enlightenment augmented by crude jokes.
Studies have shown that as many as 1 in 2 Americans have a health condition that qualifies as a pre-existing condition. While 1 in 2 is on the high side of a 2011 estimate done by HHS, it is generally accurate.
It was historically believed that the Spanish Inquisition was a bloody religious persecution full of torture and genocide, but recent data shows this view is essentially a myth created by Protestants to slander Catholics.
As James Madison said when discussing special interest factions and liberty in the Federalist #10, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires”.
Historically, Protestantism is like classical liberalism (individual liberties and rights) and Catholicism is like social liberalism (state enforced social justice).
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) can be read as a political metaphor where Dr. Frankenstein and his monster represent the philosophies and attitudes of the liberal revolutionaries, specifically those of the French Revolution and ensuing “Reign of Terror.”
Niccolò Machiavelli can be considered the father of modern political science, and his book The Prince one of the first works of modern political philosophy (if not just modern philosophy).
Saul Alinsky, the American community organizer and author of Rules for Radicals, can be considered the father of modern community organizing.
Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and other Barons of Industry freely gave away most of their fortunes to charitable and philanthropic causes.
We know liberals and conservatives think differently, however science suggests differences not only in thinking process, but in brain structure as well.
What is acceptable (aka politically correct) depends on your environment, intention, tone, and the group you belong to. What is acceptable in one group, might not be in another.
Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine in 1953 but never patented it. He believed, that like the sun, a vaccine for polio belonged to the people.
Blog Posts tagged with "Morality"
Good Faith is a true attempt, Bad Faith is an intentionally dishonest attempt, Duty is the moral and ethical obligation to make Good Faith attempts.
The Social Safety net is a collection of welfare services meant to help people bounce up when they hit bottom, it is not meant as a net to trap the poor under.
Principles are, in a broad sense, simply rule-sets which we follow. Below we will discuss the importance of different types of principles.
Plato’s Republic, utilitarianism, the philosophies of morality, ethics, politics, virtue, and law are all centered around one question “what is justice?” (AKA “what is fairness?”).
In his Republic, Plato examines how Democracy can lead to Tyranny in a republic. We explain Plato’s theory as it pertains to democracy and tyranny.
On this page we discuss the concepts of fairness, justice, morality, and ethics as they relate to Utilitarianism.
We discuss racial code words and “dog-whistle politics,” terms that describe the code words politicians use to imply politically incorrect ideas to their base.
Social Capitalism can be defined as a socially minded form of capitalism, where the goal is doing social good, rather than just the accumulation of capital.
Explicit bias is conscious bias, implicit bias is subconscious bias. Everyone has natural implicit and explicit bias, it’s part of being human and what shapes our actions and attitudes.
We explain neoliberalism, globalization, nativism, and protectionism and the pros and cons of “neoliberal globalization” and “nativist protectionism.”
The four “elements” (or “powers”) that form the foundation of government can roughly be expressed as: citizens, executive, legislative, and judicial.
We explain the Financial Crisis / Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 that began with the 2006 housing bubble, led to a recession in the U.S. by December 2007, and became a global crisis by 2009.
Below we present an annotated version of Andrew Carnegie’s 1889 essay Wealth (better known as the Gospel of Wealth).
Different types of government can be said to be based on a number of attributes like power source, power structure, and economic system.
In practice, human action often has paradoxical or unintended effects. Sometimes effects or side effects even have the exact opposite effect as intended.
We present a list of vices and virtues and look at vices and virtues as understood by philosophers like Aristotle and Aquinas.
India’s caste system is a class system based on birth. These classes, or “Varnas”, are: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (ruling and military), Vaishyas (merchants and farmers), Shudras (peasants), Dalits (untouchables).
Western Classical Element Theory can be seen as a metaphor the human condition where fire is will and action, air is reason, water is the passions and spirit, and earth is the physical.
Naturally occurring social systems are systems that naturally arise when societies form, such as politics, economics, mathematics, and language.
The exact origin of the term politically correct isn’t known, but its first modern usage is from 1793 and the related political argument over tolerance is as old as politics itself.
We explain the basic classical forms of government and the many types of governments that can be derived from the classical forms.
Social Contract Theory is the theory of why people form governments based on how people lived in a State of Nature before government.
Essentialism is the idea that everything has an essence (something that “makes it, it”). Existentialism says there is no essence (no intrinsic meaning that can be confirmed by the senses or reason).
Plato can be understood as the father of rationalism and political philosophy (political idealism), and Aristotle, his student, the father of empiricism and political science (political realism).
“Hume’s fork” describes how we refer to Kant’s critique of Hume, who separated knowledge into two types: facts based on ideas and facts based on experience.
Political realism is dealing with politics as they are in reality, political idealism is dealing with politics as an ideal.
We explain two types of special interests: cronyism (politicians working with corporate interests) and monopolies / oligopolies (the consolidating of corporate power in a given industry to one or few entities).
Collectivism describes ideology (political or otherwise) that favors the collective, like-wise Individualism describes ideology that favors the individual.
We explain Adam Smith the Moral Philosopher, his Theory of Moral Sentiments, and how it connects to his economic theory in Wealth of Nations.
Political Correctness (politically correct or PC), describes how much tolerance, sensitivity, censorship, and freedom of expression “is correct” in a given setting.
We explain economic inequality from a historical perspective, and then consider the effects of wealth inequality and income inequality in America today.
The major branches of philosophy can be denoted as: metaphysics (what is), epistemology (what we can know), logic and reason, ethics and morality, and aesthetics (beauty and art).
We present a discussion on “the meaning of life as happiness,”the Greatest Happiness Theory,” “the Good Life,”the Pursuit of Happiness,” and Virtue Theory.
Areté roughly means “moral virtue”. It refers to an innate “excellence” or “essence” in all things, and the striving toward that potential or purpose.
Book Reviews tagged with "Morality"
We Present the first chapter of Leo Tolstoy’s short story, There Are No Guilty People, alongside a short introduction and a link to the full work.
We explain Oscar Wilde’s The Soul of Man Under Socialism to illustrate his prophetic take on non-authoritative individualist socialism.
Plato’s Republic attempts to define “justice”, show why we should be just, and relate this to an ideal form of government which best fosters justice in the State and Soul.