Friday, April 25, 2003

Last time on ...delerium, the dastardly shapeshifter/vampire/space-pirate Crwuidth attacked our hero, the Razorclown, with a brutal brain-bursting barrage! Oh, no! How long can our hero survive? Find out on today's episode...

Smurfie********: Then here's where it gets tricky again.

the Razor Clown: huzzah.

Smurfie********: Does this make right and wrong a function of religion, and if so, are atheists fundmentally wrong, merely by inaction? Also, is our government, which seperates religion from justcice, funamentally wrong by the same tenet?
Smurfie********: Are men, by this tenet, to be judged solely by God?

the Razor Clown: religion has not yet entered the question.
the Razor Clown: men are to be judged solely by God.

Smurfie********: Religion is inavoidable if right and wrong are to originate from God.
Smurfie********: i pose again, are Atheists then incapable of morality?

the Razor Clown: certainly not. atheists cannot isolate themselves from God entirely.

Smurfie********: Ah, then we've violated our definition of Society.
Smurfie********: We have a being that is capable of morality, yet without conscious interaction with our hypothetical God.

the Razor Clown: then the interaction must be unconscious.

Smurfie********: Another possibility that is easier on our definition, is that the interaction can take place in one direction; and thus Right and Wrong are instilled in all men, regardless of will.
Smurfie********: By God

the Razor Clown: precicely.

Smurfie********: Then why are other animals ignorant to Right and Wrong?

the Razor Clown: you know that one.

Smurfie********: Lets have it out anyway.

the Razor Clown: ah. the setup.
animals, as far as I know, are not sentient. thus, they have no need of right and wrong.

Smurfie********: But are animals capable of morality?

the Razor Clown: as far as I know, they are not.
the Razor Clown: or, rather, it does not apply to them.

Smurfie********: Does a mother, regardless of species, protecting her young, even to her own death, not act morally?

the Razor Clown: not necessarily.

Smurfie********: explain.

the Razor Clown: there are other motivations for saving one's young.

Smurfie********: Such as?

the Razor Clown: speculating, i'd say... in order to save them for a midnight snack. or out of instinct.

Smurfie********: Ah, but i said defend to her own death; that eliminates the motive of a snack, and cannot instinctive behavior be moral also?

the Razor Clown: *deep sigh* moral, in my book, has to do with motivation.
the Razor Clown: (Crwidth?)

Smurfie********: Cwruidth

the Razor Clown: (can never remember.)

Smurfie********: This presents us with another dilemma. Is morality a function of intention? If so, is a man who means to stop a murder but cannot's action as moral as a man who does? Maybe? No? Or is morality merely a function of action? Is, then, a man who prevents a murder unintentionally, moral, regardless? Maybe? No? Or is morality a combination of intent and result?
Smurfie********: Is a man who stops a shooter as moral as a man who takes the bullet instead? Even though both acted with the intention of preventing the same harm?

the Razor Clown: intuitively, I say morality is intent and action.

Smurfie********: Then animals are sort of but not quite capable of morality?
Smurfie********: At least until we can know their motives?

the Razor Clown: all things are possible. I may be a cybernetic badger, as far as you know. animals may be sentient after all. so yes, since we don't know for sure, animals may be capable of morality.

Smurfie********: Then why are right and wrong reserved solely for the sentient?
Smurfie********: if we say animals are incapable of morality unless sentient, why?

the Razor Clown: feel free to apply them to those who cannot stop themselves from peeing on your foot.
the Razor Clown: check my blog.

Smurfie********: but a dog can be trained not to urinate in designated places.

the Razor Clown: responses to stimuli, or a greater sense of morality? the world may never know.

Smurfie********: are you implying that housebreaking a dog is a form of moral training, or simply a means to a more convenient end?

the Razor Clown: i'm talking about the dog's perspective.

Smurfie********: Good, i'd hate to see you blaspheme once we've spent all this time on definitions.
Smurfie********: ((That was a joke, in case you feel i'm being confrontational, which i am not))

the Razor Clown: goo.

Smurfie********: But honestly, why should right and wrong apply only to sentient animals, when an animal like a dog is capable of equal or greater loyalty than many people?

the Razor Clown: you just said it. we don't know if it applies to them or not. God will judge the wombats as He sees fit.

Smurfie********: Hm. Next question then. Is it possible for an animal to act morally purely out of instinct?

the Razor Clown: toughie. perhaps it depends on how the instinct got there. just a thought.

Smurfie********: Ah. What instinct then? Surely not those related to food, water, air, or sex. Can we say that it is possible for an animal to act morally by broadening it's survival instinct to include another animal?

the Razor Clown: you can most certainly say that.
the Razor Clown: I am uninterested in animal morality, since it is based almost entirely on speculation.

Smurfie********: But can a human act in the same way?

the Razor Clown: by doing something good, yet not necessarily moral? i think so.

Smurfie********: Wonderful; since that is exactly my definition of morality: The display of interest in survival on a level above the self.
Smurfie********: Even if we disagree on the origins of this morality.

the Razor Clown: ha. fits for most situations, sounds like.

Smurfie********: However, by my paradigm, the definitions of right and wrong source from morality, and not vice-versa.
Smurfie********: By this definition, can you see how i can say that love of country implies morality, Since the individual places the interests of his homeland above his own?

the Razor Clown: i see it, yes.

Smurfie********: ::Bows:: Glad i could explain.

At that, the unlikely duo called an easy truce and went on to eat bagels and practice kung-fu at a local park. The Razorclown is still bruised.
For the rest of the story, venture to the White Room.

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