Would you agree that slavery was moral and okay when it was "legal"?

The following conversation took place at my Discord server.

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Would you agree that Slavery was moral and okay when it was “legal”

Nope it wasn’t.

So not everything that’s “law” is righteous, moral and just? Would you feel justified in disobeying that particular law?

Laws aren’t necessarily moral, hence why slavery was legal back then, but thankfully it was changed. I would defiantly disobey and fight against a law then is blatantly wrong.

“Blatantly wrong” is open to interpretation, is it not?

It is!

What’s a “wrong”?

People will never agree on everything. Some people back in the day knew slavery was wrong, hence the underground railroad.

bbblackwell > SAM101907
I wanted to examine the following statement: ”Some people back in the day KNEW slavery was wrong…” Why would you say “knew” rather than “felt”? It implies you think it’s objectively wrong (and I’d argue this is your intuition expressing a truth that your intellect denies).

If you hold that morality is merely subjective, then whether they think slavery is wrong or right would just be an opinion like any other (like thinking Game of Thrones is the best show ever, etc.).

When you say not all laws are moral, this would mean nothing more than you don’t prefer them. There’s no real gravity to it, and there’s no reason to suppose your opinion is more valid than anyone else’s.

Why would you ”defiantly disobey and fight against a law that is blatantly wrong”? That would be rather aggressive and insane, since there’s no “blatant” about it; it’s just a differing opinion. An opinion, mind you, that has been agreed upon by the majority, which according to you, is their right as mutual owners of the territory.

And since slavery was largely what made such societies prosper – a society you’re benefitting from – it would seem no different than the modern anarchist who objects to taxation, which you deem reprehensible. You’re free to leave if you don’t like it, so how dare you stay and jeopardize what “everyone” has agreed upon with your resistance, right?

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
They knew it was wrong according to their moral standards. I guess you could say “felt” as well. How else do you explain the treatment of slaves by different individuals?

People back then were able to justify slavery as good or okay back then, what brought them to that conclusion I have no idea; but these people didn’t see themselves as evil. Most people understand this to be wrong, as society has evolved and came an understanding. Even today, we still have modern day slavery, do you think the traffickers are acting immoral in their own eyes? Or are they “just doing what they have to”?

If it was blatantly wrong to me, and typically in the West, we have shared values. As do people in the Middle East, and South East Asia. Similar upbringings make similar moral standards. It’s why we do not justify the use of Sharia Law, but those in the Middle East can.

Sure, slavery was used throughout human history, we can’t really change that. Now governments actively fight against it by imprisoning traffickers. I don’t think you can even compare slavery to taxation….

bbblackwell > SAM101907
”They knew it was wrong according to THEIR [subjective] moral standards… How else do you explain the treatment of slaves by different individuals?”

This is the argument that you – and others – have made as evidence of morality’s subjectivity: the fact that different people have different conceptions of morality. This is mind-boggling to me.

How about some people are just wrong, incorrect, lacking knowledge, degraded by cultural conditioning, desensitized to the callings of conscience, greedy, or otherwise in error as to the imperatives of an extant, objective moral standard? This must at least be admitted as a possibility warranting further investigation, no?

Also – and this is immensely important – do you realize that you did not address the whole of my comments or answer all of my questions? If you honestly want to explore this topic (or any other), we must be thorough and careful. Let’s slow way down and take some time to break down my previous comment, discern what was being said/asked, and establish your answers with clarity. Are you willing to do this?

You can flat-out say “No” and I won’t press you further, but if these conversations are to be worthy expenditures of time for anyone, it behooves us to perform this exercise.

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
I question as to where exactly we see this moral standard taking place. If you are going to say that it is a universal law, like with thermodynamics or physics, then we should see the same with some sort of Natural Law that we can observe in nature. The only laws in nature we have ever been able to witness or confirm is survival of the fittest. If we took 100 random people, and have them a situation to test their moral standards, the results would almost absolutely vary.

For example, why do people in the west think it is morally unacceptable to eat the meat of cats and dogs, where as those in Southeast Asia do not? Which one is morally correct and how do you know?

Or how about the Montreal protocol; where they worked to force to phase out if ozone depleting refrigerants? Is it morally acceptable to force businesses to do this? Or does natural law apply and we cannot stop what people do with their property? How do we know who has the correct moral standard?

You have already somehow reached a conclusion that your moral standard is the correct one, to which I am curious as to how you can justify that. Your “Natural law” may work well in your own community, that does not mean it will work in others. If “Natural law” was a standard rule in humanity like the laws of of motion are with physics, why don’t we see it in the real world? Are you telling me the entire human race is so brainwashed that we are no longer capable of following this law on our own, and if so how did we get here?

Why is it that even when government collapses, like it did in Somalia, people automatically form groups and start creating their own forms of government? Is government conditioning do this, and if so how is that possible in a country like Somalia with little to no public schooling or Mass Media?

bbblackwell > SAM101907
These questions were explicitly or implicitly answered in the articles I sent you.

The basis for Natural Law is the inherent nature of the being in question. Man has free will; therefore the natural order (alignment with Truth) can only be maintained by permitting free will to express authentically.

As a limited analogy, if we put a cactus in total darkness, it will die; being unable to express authentically (to grow and thrive) under those conditions. For man, a free will being, the conditions of his thriving (as it regards human interaction) is what we call morality. Morality is defined by due acknowledgement of those conditions, which includes permitting his free will to express in all instances where it does not negate the free will of another.

If ozone-depleting refrigerants are harmful (thus limiting to others’ exercising their free will to survive and thrive), then stopping them serves to enforce morality and support the optimum condition. A direct correlation can be seen between our adherence to Natural Law morality (or better said, the Law of Love) and optimal conditions for man’s thriving and authentic expression.

Thousands of years of authoritarian indoctrination have crippled the species generally, and account for your Somalian example (the phenomenon called a power vacuum). My social engineering article provides a rudimentary, common sense description of this indoctrination (which only requires communication, not politics, media, schooling, or even literacy).

As to why people have differing moral perspectives, it’s simply a matter of varying levels of understanding relative to the truth of our being, and natural cause-and-effect processes.

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
Morality is defined differently by most, you seem to have your own interpretation for it.

Sure, but limiting a mans freedom to use a specific refrigerant under the guise that he may accidentally release it in the future is pre-crime isn’t it? He think he should be punished for something he may commit in the future?

Most Somalians didn’t recognize the authority of their government, they were anarchists during the overthrow. As time went on, they handed together into groups for survival against other groups. Hence where the war lords came from. It was an inevitable human reaction. We’ve been a tribal creature for thousands of years, it’s in our DNA to associate into groups. We can see other mammals with similar circumstances, where if we took a group of dogs who never met each other together, a hierarchy would naturally form.

But who is the authority to speak on what morality is? Who sets the standard? There are many complex situations where the lines between good and bad exist, who decides what is morally correct, and how do we know they are correct? We don’t always know the cause and effect of everything we do, these situations can become rather complex and trying to apply a standard rule or morality may only cause issues.

bbblackwell > SAM101907
What are you attempting to prove here, and by what means? You’re speaking to me of myriad anecdotal instances that occur on the effect level, without first addressing causes – we’re way ahead of ourselves here. We haven’t established a basis for evaluating such particulars. This is the role of principles, which you and I have not come to agreement upon. Delving into the moral handling of potentially harmful chemicals, the psychology of Somalians, or the behavior of wild dogs is all rather cart-before-horse at this point.

The definition of morality is what I attempted to establish early on in our interactions, but I can’t get you to address it directly. You just keep telling me that people have varying opinions about it. I don’t want to talk about what “people” think or believe; I want to talk about me, you, and principles we can both agree upon.

There is no “who” that acts as authority for what morality is – nature (i.e. Truth) is the only valid authority. Do people get to have varying opinions about inertia? Can I just “disagree” about my car needing brakes to stop? Our assent is irrelevant – it is what it is. The conditions for man’s thriving are not subject to our review. Morality is defined by duly acknowledging these conditions via our actions.

In order to see this clearly, we must define what morality means. I send you articles to avoid having to repeat what I’ve already thoughtfully written out thoughtfully, but that doesn’t seem to be working, so here goes… Do you accept the definition of morality as a standard of “right” and “wrong” relative to human behavior? If “no”, how would you adjust it, if “yes”, what does “right” and “wrong” refer to?

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
I am only trying to show that morality is much more complex then some universal truth, and it is extremely difficult to have some sort of standard to apply to everyone, when different people with have varying degree of experiences and knowledge.

Morality can be defined by: “a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.” Which is what my own understanding and interpretation comes from, as I recognize that morality isn’t some law if the universe we can observe. It’s a creation from the human mind.

I ask who enforces it because how do you regulate people’s moral views? You see government as immoral, and I do not. Who is correct and by whose standards? There is no way to establish some sort of Natural law without some sort of enforcement that establishes the degree of acceptable cause and effect.

Yes I do agree with that definition, but I disagree with where the standard comes from. Unless there is an omnipotent an omniscient being that can lay it all out for us, then we won’t know for sure who is correct 100% of the time.

bbblackwell > SAM101907
Ok, so if morality is a standard, then let’s talk about standards. If you create a set of rules intended to act as a standard, then is it not you who dictates what that set of rules will be? Are you – your mind, your creative process, your preferences and opinions – not the standard for the set of rules?

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
I’m saying the individual makes the standard for themselves. You can’t force others to believe in someone else’s set of moral standards. In a society, because there are going to be many individuals with varying levels of knowledge, experience, and sets of moral values; you need to find a common set of moral values to which you want the society to try and abide by.

bbblackwell > SAM101907
To say that the individual makes the standard for himself, is to say that he is the standard for the standard, and the standard is also the standard for him. But standards cannot mutually standardize each other. The nature of a standard is that it is heirarchically above that which it standardizes. Making up the standard (which also implies being able to alter it any time) means that YOU are simply the standard for yourself? There is no standard, just you making decisions for yourself like you always do. You’re just calling certain decisions “morality” for no reason – a distinction without a difference. To assert that morality is subjective is to say it does not exist at all. Do you see how this is so? Morality is a standard.
A subjective “standard” cannot exist. Therefore, if morality is a “subjective standard”, it does not exist.

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
Ours standards to alter over time, we observe this throughout history. We are no longer burning witches, because we have evolved past it since then. Ask anyone during the witch hunt days and they would think you are a fool for not exterminating witches. Now we understand how naive and uneducated they were. Every man is an individual, so he sets his own standards. Morality isn’t a communist hive mind, it is a mans interpretation of right and wrong. If there was a set standard, then there should black and white answers for all these complex scenarios, but we don’t see that. Two people can give two different answers to a morality question, and both be correct.

bbblackwell > SAM101907
This raw assertion of your previous position does not address my logical proof that the position is untenable. Please address the proof directly. Demonstrate how it is invalid, adjust your position to account for new information, or resign yourself to cognitive dissonance. These are your only options.

And remember, this isn’t about anyone winning and argument – I wasn’t born with these ideas, and should they be deemed true, they are not to my credit in any sense. I discovered them to be irrefutably valid, just as I believe you will if you act in earnest, but I am open to the possibility that I am incorrect. To be convinced of this, however, it must be shown how it is so, as the limits of my ability have led to this conclusion. Should our mutual investigation reveal that it is one way or the other, we can both rejoice in our intellectual alignment with Truth. We are allies in this exploration, as long as we’re both in earnest.

SAM101907 > bbblackwell
Where do you conclude that a standard must be hierarchically above that which standardizes it? Standards are already a creation of the human mind, and from what we understand about humans, each has its own unique genetic makeup and experiences in life. If we created standards, how can they be above us?

Gadsden Viper > SAM101907
Sounds like you subscribe to moral relevantism? That more than anything else, fits the self serving definition of anarchy your statist masters have taught you, but you only need to look in a mirror or at your masters to see it really defines them. They are psychopaths, everyone.

SAM101907 > Gadsden Viper
So I’m a psychopath?

Gadsden Viper > SAM101907
Your reading comprehension ? “your masters to see it really defines them” are you so devout to your belief in statism that everything is a personal attack? This isn’t about you, you’re just the fool that thinks it is, and yes you are a fool, as we all were before coming to conscience.

SAM101907 > Gadsden Viper
“But you only need to look in a mirror…..”

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