On growing up and the source of morality

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by DaveC426913, Apr 30, 2023.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    When I was an infant, I did not know how to control my bowels. And so I was given diapers to manage my ablutions for me. But I learned. I internalized the control of my ablutions, and I cast off the diapers.

    When I was a toddler, I did not know how to ride a bike. And so I was given training wheels to balance my bike for me. But I learned. I internalized the balancing of my bike, and I cast off the training wheels.

    When I was a child, I did not know how to distinguish wise from foolish. And so I was given permissions and boundaries by my parents who made wise choices for me. But I learned. I internalized that wisdom, and no longer needed to depend on my parents for it.

    When I was a young man, I did not know good from bad, fate from choice. And so I was given God to show me good from bad, to lead my fate and judge my choices. But I learned. I internalized my morality of good and bad, my sole sovereignty over destiny and choices, and no longer needed God to do it for me.

    When I make a mistake, I don't regress to diapers; I don't dig out my old training wheels, or ask my parents for more boundaries or look back to God for morality.

    When we are children, we have children's things; but the time comes to put away children's things and take responsibility for ourselves.

    That is what it means to grow up.
     
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  3. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    I agree wit you.!!!

    I did them same thangs an i turned out grate an wit the best of morals

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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That reminds me, I should add a stanza about bein young and not knowing how to spell or use grammar correctly.
     
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  7. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah you coud always add more but you'r post is fine just the way it is

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  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    That's the sort of thing would-be grown-ups have been saying since before junk faxes. And self-assured Boomers still ramble that sort of folksy fertilizer on their metaface tubes. Still, even in construing my own framework for regarding the point seriously, it is still utterly subjective.

    Internalizing our morality can be unreliable. Perhaps one is mistaken to invest their moral anchor in God, but Jeffrey Burton Russell↗ is not wrong to suggest the measurement of progress requires a reference point. Consider:

    • When he internalized to know right and wrong, he no longer needed God. Thus, when he made a mistake, he did not shit himself, or pray to God, but just made believe and called it taking responsibility for himself.​

    I know, I know, that's not you. But, still, this talk of separating the grown-ups from the children isn't exactly new, and given its generic reliance on subjective, internalized standards describing what it means to grow up and take responsibility, most of these iterations are about feeling better for having said so.

    (Seriously, youth pastors, motivational speakers, and junior high PE teachers give versions of that speech. So do school cops, political candidates, and Boomer dads. Oh, right, I already mentioned them. And do you know how many foodservice and hospitality employees hear a version every time one of their bosses screws up? Or, what, bankers and insurance? I think of the old guy in the song, "You only came back to us when we'd turned it around, when we'd rescued your arse from the fire. Your contribution to all that we did was to say it was dire." Yeah, you can bet that staff heard about personal accountability. Maybe even the same speech you just gave.¹)
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ¹ Actually, what's weird about that joke is how almost perfectly Scottish it sounds: 「I used to shit myself, then I grew up, and now I'm smarter than God. That's what it means to grow up.」

     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Correct. Growing up isn't about being perfect - that's an impractical goal; it's about accepting sole sovereignty over one's actions and the consequences thereof.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    That is either wrong, or meaningless: What in the world does "sovereignty over one's actions" mean?

    It reads as wrong in its isolation of an individul; no man is an island, and very little of what we do occurs independently of external influence. It seems meaningless because, "accepting sole sovereignty over one's actions and the consequences thereof", is subjective nonsense.
     
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  11. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    So whats the alternative... thank like i do... that nobody deserves punishment.!!!
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Given the context, those dots to connect could not be closer together.

    It means don't count on God for guidance or blessing or consequences.
    Just like don't count on training wheels to keep you upright.

    Without trying to be sarcastic: do you not follow the metaphor?
     
  13. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Out of quriosity Dave... have you ever counted on God an been denied.???
     
  14. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    When I was adolescent I half prayed to God that if he made me grow taller I would believe in him.

    I did grow taller but decided against believing in him

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  15. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    I thout i was gonna die a couple of times... once at about 9 an anuther at about 11... an i had gone to sunday school an church at baptist an methodist but it didnt even cross my mind to pray to God to save me.!!!
    Full Disclosure:::
    I only went churchin for the cool aid... cookies an a girl i liked was thar

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  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I was raised RC, and my mother has a BA in Religious Studies but, thankfully, they never tried to foist upon us the idea of asking God for favours. So even as a child, I'm pretty sure I never prayed.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Do you think you're somehow original?

    If you're the thousandth person to say something, and you all mean something different when you say it, then no, without being sarcastic, it seems ridiculous that you should expect people to follow. To wit, what about your statement makes it stand out as so definitive compared to any other iteration?

    Meanwhile, there is also the question of sovereignty; in the U.S. this often involves being armed racists who think government has no authority over them. It's an actual thing in this country.

    But just so you have an idea, that kind of talk would have put you among Reagan conservatives in the Eighties, and beside right-wing extremists, these days.

    Hey, do you remember the grumpy old men who would go on about secular humanism and the decline of society, and they would say that stupid thing about how there is no morality without God? Well, Dave, you're kind of making their point, for them.

    So, fine, you want me to guess for you? Then it's self-gratifying machismo made worrisome by your particular word selection, because that's just how the history of my experience with such talk happens to go. And you've done no better job than those who came before: Morality is whatever you say it is, just like the religious folk who want what they want regardless of circumstance or reliability.

    • • •​

    Intermezzo: "We didn't see all its meaning."


    • • •​

    Do you really think the world is so simplistic?

    Would you refuse the right to self-defense?

    Look, I'm an American; a lifetime in which one hears this kind of machismo that usually resolves in to a demand that other people should think and do exactly like another expects does in fact make one wary of such wilful vagary.

    For instance, if we start at being an infant and not knowing how to control our bowel, it is unclear how growing up means someone should be dysfunctionally full of shit. That's what Dave isn't accounting for.

    If truth generally prevailed in society, then at least such self-gratifying puffery would have a consistent implicit reference point, but Dave didn't think through that part. We could, for instance, start here at Sciforums and show disputes in which "both sides" need to grow up, as such, but nothing about the history of this community and its culture suggests we will ever truly address the "both sides" question. Or just as a matter of argument, where have we heard, recently, about how people need to just grow up?

    Because, really, are people not aware that there is nothing new about unanchored, self-gratifying prescriptions that other people just need to grow up↗?

    The thing about not looking back to God for morality is that making it up as one goes is no less unreliable. Dave's kind of talk is usually about self-gratification insofar as the apparent source of morality in such cases is wholly invested in the psychiatry of the beholder. Without a stable anchor or reference point defining reliability, such declarations about growing up are solipsistic relativism. And they have been, pretty much the whole time.

    But that's the thing: Dave's not like that, right? So, sure, this time he means something different. This isn't just some lazy prejudice looking to put someone in their proverbial place without ever explaining how that outcome works. Still, though, we don't know what it means.

    Dave, for instance, mentions God; as one of our neighbors explained several years ago↗, "There is nothing about rejecting the idea of God that prevents sexist, racism, or knee-jerk irrational tribalism." And if we look at Dave's point about what it means to grow up, and take responsibility for ourselves, there is nothing about it that guards against irrational outcomes.

    But that sort of caution isn't generally part of those statements. What does it mean to grow up? Being old enough to make it up as you go and call it morality.

    If Dave means something else by it, there is a lot of detail he could fill in, but he chooses not to. Look at his topic post. It spends seventeen sentences criticizing a straw idol, and less than two on a moral prescription that is at least as unreliable and open-ended as what it criticizes.

    As it is, the only thing that separates DaveC426913 from the evil of his Dickensian fantasy is that it's Dave, and we think he's better than that, so he must necessarily mean something better. Whatever that something is, we don't know, and he doesn't seem inclined to tell us, but, sure, we presume he means something better because he's Dave.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You are responsible for both your actions and the results of those actions.
     
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  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Certainly not. There are lots of similar thinkers out there. Many atheists, for example. That's kinda the point.

    Does there need to be? Does SciFo charge by the word?

    ̶A̶n̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶g̶e̶r̶m̶a̶n̶e̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶d̶ ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶n̶'t̶ ̶d̶e̶l̶i̶b̶e̶r̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶n̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶i̶t̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶x̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶e̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶n̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶x̶t̶.̶ (Nm. Needlessly wordy.)
    The quoted is a textbook strawman.

    See above.

    You should probably reread the OP then, since the thesis is essentially that God is not the arbiter of morality.

    You're revealing your own biases here, not mine - about misuse of words and your own talk history. Which is fine, but it's not really useful here.

    Naturally, all such things come down to opinions of individuals. That kind of goes without saying.


    I'm not sure if you really have an objection to statements in the OP or if you are just offended at the very act of it being posted.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2023
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  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Translation:

    "If only there were some way of ... communicating with Dave! Some way we could, I dunno ... ask for clarification. Even - dare I hope - some sort of dialogue. Alas, Dave has surely disappeared off the face of the Earth, and the technology for dialoguing with him is likewise years in the future. ... :sad face:"
     
  21. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    I thank people make life more complicated an confusin wit more of a need for psychiatrists due to not realizin that no one deserves punishment.!!!
    Nope… an thats irrelevant to what i said anyway.!!!
    I take Daves post as pullin oneself up by ther own boot straps… which is just another belief i dont have.!!!​
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    And this is unreliable for being undefined. That's the problem with it. What does it mean to be responsible for one's actions? (And why is that the part people always skip over?)

    • • •​

    Well, that, in turn, is kind of the point. Try it this way:

    No, the problem, as such, is that your version is as meaningless as any of those others.

    Actually, it's not: Consider that you asked, "Without trying to be sarcastic: do you not follow the metaphor?" And when told the point in question, you simply dismiss it as "textbook strawman". You're more willing to accuse than simply clarify the point; it's one thing if I presume you're not in a similar context to sovereign citizen chatter, but there's no guarantee. This is the problem with your circular, self-gratifying pretense of morality and growing up. Like all the other tough-talking prescriptions of morality and growing up, it's an undefined proposition left to the aesthetics of the beholder. Inasmuch as anyone else is supposed to look at the world and see exactly what you see, exactly how you see it, and think exactly how you think, no, that's not going to happen.

    Non sequitur. You are fulfilling the "no morality" part; solipsistic moral relativism is not reliable morality. Like I said, you're kind of making their point for them.

    (And, yes, they're just as relativistic and aesthetic and therefore unreliable, but, again, that's kind of the problem.)

    It's a vague word, Dave, and you're still not being clear.

    And that's what it means to grow up. Again, it seems meaningless because, "accepting sole sovereignty over one's actions and the consequences thereof", is subjective nonsense.

    Thus:

    (¡chortle!)

    I'm sorry, but would you please stop behaving to type? "Offended at the very act of it being posted"? What, is that how things go in your world? To reiterate↑, your microsermon is the sort of folksy fertilizer the grumpy ol' folks have been shoveling for generations, but even taking the point seriously, the standard is utterly subjective.

    Consider that when you make the point↑, "Growing up isn't about being perfect - that's an impractical goal", it is in fact fallacious, your own straw man. Growing up may not be about being perfect, but that doesn't change the unreliability of internalized moral formulae; the anchors of consistency are external. What makes empiricism reliable is external.

    But that fallacy helps illustrate another point:

    Well, as noted, you were too busy with fallacy.

    And when asked directly what your terminology meant, you refused↑.

    And now you wasted a post↑ complaining. If only some way of communicating with Dave? You chose cynicism and stand off. Was the point of doing so to complain as you did? It's one thing to complain that others aren't trying hard enough to communicate with you, but it rings hollow, Dave, when you are also seen refusing dialogue. (I mean, hey, talk about taking responsibility for your actions.)

    Again, could you please stop behaving to type? Think of your point that there are lots of similar thinkers out there; that also means there are lots of similar failures, out there. What makes your iteration any different from what precedes it? You chose sarcasm; no there doesn't need to be any difference, Dave, but as such but don't ever pretend that you're different from any of the other iterations that simply expect everyone else to take responsibility for themselves by falling in line with whatever that wagging grown-up wants.

    Consider Billvon's↑ definition: While you are unable to produce even that sort of attempted clarification, even the typal, basic sketch Billvon offers is undefined.

    Think of it this way, Dave, there is a way in which I don't need to be cynical or sarcastic or try for a gotcha; generally speaking, your sort of self-satisfying pitch about taking responsibility and growing up is not the sort of thing one appreciates when it is turned back toward them, so it turns out they always mean something else.

    And as you wonder, without sarcasm, if I follow the metaphor, please observe Clueluss'↑ note on bootstrapping. Like our neighbor, I just don't have any confidence in that kind of talk. And what separates your version from being evil, Dave, is that you're Dave, and we think Dave's better than such blithe, self-satisfying myopia, so he must necessarily mean something better. What remains mysterious is what Dave actually means.

    Because, "sovereignty"? Applied in a context of individual sovereignty, the word still has multiple meanings with different implications. In asking if I follow the metaphor, you are asking, in effect, do I not read and perceive precisely as you do, and compared to what dots you think could not be closer together, the odds actually favor the outcome that I do not. Just like we ought not presume all those similar thinkers out there see things just like you do.

    Even still, both Billvon and Cluelusshusbund managed to offer what you have not. And, sure, I think Bill's version is just as undefined as yours. And the thing about bootstrapping is that while I agree with Clueuluss in perceiving that definition, and, indeed, would be critical of that outlook, I don't actually know what it is you mean because you are, thus far, unable to clarify beyond some vague expectation about what others should think.

    Because there is nothing new about unanchored, self-gratifying prescriptions that other people just need to grow up, and as other such discussions↗ remind, there is actually a lot to discuss about what is wrong with those expectations. And if that's not what you're after, then we don't really need to chase that rabbit.

    But the question of what you actually mean would still remain unanswered.

    Here, to reiterate: 「When he made a mistake, he did not shit himself, or pray to God, but just made believe and called it taking responsibility for himself.」

    The part about making believe is what you're not addressing. I mean, you skipped over it the first time, and then went on to complain about communication and clarification and dialogue, but that's what I wanted you to consider. And, yes, I even went on to say, I know, that's not you. And while talk of separating the grown-ups from the children isn't exactly new, its generic reliance on subjective, internalized standards describing what it means to grow up and take responsibility usually means it's actually about something else.

    For instance, the common aspect between the tellings, regardless of God—e.g., youth pastors, motivational speakers, PE teachers, school cops, political candidates, self-assured Boomer dads, department managers—is that the nearest definition of what it means to grow up and take responsibility for oneself is to do and say whatever that person wants.

    And if that is not what they mean, well, that's the thing, isn't it? When it comes to explaining what they mean, people are better at telling what they're not: Don't need a diaper, don't need God, don't need mommy and daddy, but when it comes to putting on the grown-up pants, just doing it, taking responsibility ourselves, giving 110%, not making excuses, &c., it's a lot harder for those to explain proactively. What I might describe, for instance, as "docphilling", is a version of bootstrapping that presupposes a circumstantial vacuum while demanding subjective satisfaction, approximately: 「Everything that affects you is your responsibility, so just be a better person until we are satisfied.」

    And we get it, Dave; you're Dave, not one of those jokers out there. And it's true, I do wonder why the people who don't mean the same as that one thing never really say it any differently. But that's the thing. You're not them, but you say it the same way, and respond with typal indignance and expectation of what should be self-evident.

    Yet, even still, what you do mean remains unclear.
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    It means that one takes responsibility (ownership, liability) for what one does, and the consequences thereof.

    For example, a young child might spill some milk. They do not have to take responsibility for their actions. Someone else will help them clean it up. Someone else will get them more milk.

    An adult in the same situation will generally have to clean it up themselves, and then later wash whatever cloth was used to clean it. They will have to get more milk if they want more. If that means they are out of milk, they will have to buy more. And if they can't afford to buy any more, they then don't blame the glass, or the situation, or the government. They blame themselves for spilling the milk.

    To use a more contemporary example, people today are generally free to not get vaccinations, not wear masks, not wash their hands etc during a pandemic. They may then become infected with COVID. They may even die. If they do so, the decision to not take precautions was theirs and theirs alone, and they willingly took that risk. They will have to live (or die) with those decisions, rather than blame Bill Gates, or China, or Merck, or Fauci.

    That's what it means to be responsible for one's actions.
     

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