Re: Rational base for morals

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 14:13:18 -0500

Samael wrote:

> It depends on the rules.
> "X does not want to be killed therefore X should avoid killing anyone else"
> seems reasonable.
> "X does not want to be tickled therefore X should avoid tickling someone
> else" also seems reasonable, unless you consider that Y may _wish_ to be
> tickled and in return is prepared to give X ice cream. Two people may have
> very different likes and dislikes.

Irrelevant. What is relevant is whether an individual was told by another individual that they did not like being tickled, but they tickled them anyways. This is as much a violation of the second person's rights as refusing to tickle the first person because you knew that NOT tickling them brought them pain....

> I dislike absolutes in morals, as they frequently contradict situations that
> are incredibly complex and do not fit simple rules.

Absolutes in morals do not usually contradict, they are just difficult for the squeamish and weak to practice. Where there are consistent contradictions, then there should be no moral for that situation.

> Thou shalt not steal seems reasonable enough, but I'd prefer someone to
> steal a loaf of bread to feed a starving child than allow them to starve to
> death.

Ah, so the child lives, never learning how to bake his own bread, just stealing bread, and reproduces, and teaches his offspring how to steal bread, because it is apparently a positive survival skill. Because it takes hours to bake bread but only seconds to steal it, the theif has much more time to spend reproducing, and eventually outpopulating the bread bakers and everyone starves to death.... so, which is the greater good, letting one child starve, or postponing it such that millions starve?

Mike Lorrey