Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

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Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#1  Postby Kenneth-Kaunda » Jul 03, 2012 10:10 am

Is there a base level of morality that we can say is the 'right one'?

Should humans behave in a certain manner towards each other or is life really just meant to be a free-for-all?

Various philosophies have emerged over time, for instance Biblical morality, Liberal Political Correctness or Barbarian warrior type systems.

If a man is born in a remote tribe would his instinct not just tell him to take what he wants, when he wants it?

How about Caveman - do you think he particularly respected the woman's feelings when he felt like mating? Unlikely I think.

So how should we really behave in the absence of any laws?
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#2  Postby mattthomas » Jul 03, 2012 10:17 am

The morality of the time was correct for them, in the society where there wa no government, no rule of law, police/prisons etc. We can look back on the morality of the time and criticize but that just shows how morality evolves over time.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#3  Postby Animavore » Jul 03, 2012 10:20 am

I'm sure cavemen probably did respect women's feelings to a degree. In tribes to this day men and women fall into certain roles with men usually hunting/gathering and women weaving/preparing food and stuff. It's not a rapey free-for-all at all. I have heard it said that patriarchy and sexism came along with agriculture, that when men started doing all the work they felt entitled to rule. Maybe someone could elaborate on that I don't know much about it personally.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#4  Postby Kenneth-Kaunda » Jul 03, 2012 10:20 am

but do you think there is any kind of base we can start from or use as a standard.

or is it just totally subjective?

for instance, a psychopath may well believe he is acting in a moral way if he goes around harming others, whereas a very pious person would say it immoral to have sex before marriage - which one is correct?
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#5  Postby Animavore » Jul 03, 2012 10:21 am

Kenneth-Kaunda wrote:but do you think there is any kind of base we can start from or use as a standard.

or is it just totally subjective?

for instance, a psychopath may well believe he is acting in a moral way if he goes around harming others, whereas a very pious person would say it immoral to have sex before marriage - which one is correct?

They're both wrong :P
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#6  Postby mattthomas » Jul 03, 2012 10:23 am

Morality is always going to be an iffy subject, especially when you factor in Jack Bauer!
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#7  Postby Kenneth-Kaunda » Jul 03, 2012 10:24 am

animavore:

both wrong - but how is it up to you to determine that?

they may both feel they are in the right - so who is really correct in accordance with human nature?
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#8  Postby trubble76 » Jul 03, 2012 10:29 am

Morality is democratic. It is determined by what most people think is moral, hence why it has changed so much through the years. I would be interested to find out what pre-historic human morality was. We can have a guess but how do we know with enough certainty to judge it?
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#9  Postby Animavore » Jul 03, 2012 10:33 am

Kenneth-Kaunda wrote:animavore:

both wrong - but why is it up to you to decide that?

they may both feel they are in the right - so who is really correct in accordance with human nature?


They may feel they are in the right but they are both demonstrably wrong. A society of murderous psychopaths (as opposed to the majority psychopaths which never murder) will drive itself to extinction and contrary to what the person who doesn't belief in sex before marriage thinks there's no evidence it causes harm, destroys the fabric of society or brings the apocalypse.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#10  Postby John P. M. » Jul 03, 2012 10:43 am

Kenneth-Kaunda wrote:
for instance, a psychopath may well believe he is acting in a moral way if he goes around harming others, whereas a very pious person would say it immoral to have sex before marriage - which one is correct?


Well, one is a person who inflicts harm on others (and being a 'psychopath', probably unjustifiably so), the other is a person whose morality only affects him/herself (unless they start demanding by force that others be abstinent as well).

But morality is pretty much never cut-and-dried. There are always lots of factors one has to process. And some action has to be taken based on that. Even so, there is very rarely an action taken that won't both benefit some, while also harming or inconveniencing others at some level. I don't think it's as black and white as in most philosophy examples.

As for 'holy books', you can find some nuggets here and there of what most would see as good advice, but to derive a consistent morality from the Bible for instance, you need to be a contortionist. Or, I suppose, to go for Divine Command Theory. Which is only consistent by pretty much leveling the meaning of 'morality', and replacing it with 'whatever God commands'.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#11  Postby fingdingus » Jul 03, 2012 12:13 pm

trubble76 wrote:Morality is democratic. It is determined by what most people think is moral, hence why it has changed so much through the years. I would be interested to find out what pre-historic human morality was. We can have a guess but how do we know with enough certainty to judge it?


We can judge that it was good enough to allow progress! We didn't destroy ourselves, so that's pretty good.

I always thought a lot of the morals we have today that we consider just common run-of-the-mill human stuff was probably handed down to us. Altruism is present in nature, although the idea of a heavenly reward for such things is foreign to most beings. Also betraying ones own sense of right and wrong when it is unlikely 'society' will find out seems like a natural inclination and was probably shared by the cavemen.

We are selfish but also require a functional society and will make concessions to maintain it.

Hmmmm
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#12  Postby trubble76 » Jul 03, 2012 12:30 pm

fingdingus wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Morality is democratic. It is determined by what most people think is moral, hence why it has changed so much through the years. I would be interested to find out what pre-historic human morality was. We can have a guess but how do we know with enough certainty to judge it?


We can judge that it was good enough to allow progress! We didn't destroy ourselves, so that's pretty good.

I always thought a lot of the morals we have today that we consider just common run-of-the-mill human stuff was probably handed down to us. Altruism is present in nature, although the idea of a heavenly reward for such things is foreign to most beings. Also betraying ones own sense of right and wrong when it is unlikely 'society' will find out seems like a natural inclination and was probably shared by the cavemen.

We are selfish but also require a functional society and will make concessions to maintain it.

Hmmmm


It just seems to be an extension of the family group dynamic. Most common morals seem to be based around The Golden Rule or (in my mind) more likely, The Silver Rule. They look to me to be derived from empathy.
I wouldn't like my stuff stolen so stealing stuff is wrong, etc etc.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#13  Postby fingdingus » Jul 03, 2012 12:50 pm

trubble76 wrote:It just seems to be an extension of the family group dynamic. Most common morals seem to be based around The Golden Rule or (in my mind) more likely, The Silver Rule. They look to me to be derived from empathy.
I wouldn't like my stuff stolen so stealing stuff is wrong, etc etc.


I think you're probably right.

I do wonder though, if they would believe stealing stuff is wrong ALL THE TIME, or only in certain situations. With more tribal living, other tribes deserve to have their stuff stolen for the sake of your own tribe, yeah?

Of course this is all speculation, but I wonder when we became hypocrites. When did we start viewing all of our deeds as justifiable and good and all outsider deeds as mean-spirited and bad, when objectively it's the same deed?

That feels like a sort of survival mechanism, so I would guess it's really old. No idea.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#14  Postby trubble76 » Jul 03, 2012 12:58 pm

fingdingus wrote:
trubble76 wrote:It just seems to be an extension of the family group dynamic. Most common morals seem to be based around The Golden Rule or (in my mind) more likely, The Silver Rule. They look to me to be derived from empathy.
I wouldn't like my stuff stolen so stealing stuff is wrong, etc etc.


I think you're probably right.

I do wonder though, if they would believe stealing stuff is wrong ALL THE TIME, or only in certain situations. With more tribal living, other tribes deserve to have their stuff stolen for the sake of your own tribe, yeah?

Of course this is all speculation, but I wonder when we became hypocrites. When did we start viewing all of our deeds as justifiable and good and all outsider deeds as mean-spirited and bad, when objectively it's the same deed?

That feels like a sort of survival mechanism, so I would guess it's really old. No idea.


It's the old In-group vs Out-group thing. They are less than us so the rules don't apply in the same way.
The Old Testament is full of it.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#15  Postby fingdingus » Jul 03, 2012 12:59 pm

trubble76 wrote:
fingdingus wrote:
trubble76 wrote:It just seems to be an extension of the family group dynamic. Most common morals seem to be based around The Golden Rule or (in my mind) more likely, The Silver Rule. They look to me to be derived from empathy.
I wouldn't like my stuff stolen so stealing stuff is wrong, etc etc.


I think you're probably right.

I do wonder though, if they would believe stealing stuff is wrong ALL THE TIME, or only in certain situations. With more tribal living, other tribes deserve to have their stuff stolen for the sake of your own tribe, yeah?

Of course this is all speculation, but I wonder when we became hypocrites. When did we start viewing all of our deeds as justifiable and good and all outsider deeds as mean-spirited and bad, when objectively it's the same deed?

That feels like a sort of survival mechanism, so I would guess it's really old. No idea.


It's the old In-group vs Out-group thing. They are less than us so the rules don't apply in the same way.
The Old Testament is full of it.


All of history is full of it. Cavemen probably dealt with it too, I'd imagine?
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#16  Postby trubble76 » Jul 03, 2012 1:08 pm

fingdingus wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
fingdingus wrote:
trubble76 wrote:It just seems to be an extension of the family group dynamic. Most common morals seem to be based around The Golden Rule or (in my mind) more likely, The Silver Rule. They look to me to be derived from empathy.
I wouldn't like my stuff stolen so stealing stuff is wrong, etc etc.


I think you're probably right.

I do wonder though, if they would believe stealing stuff is wrong ALL THE TIME, or only in certain situations. With more tribal living, other tribes deserve to have their stuff stolen for the sake of your own tribe, yeah?

Of course this is all speculation, but I wonder when we became hypocrites. When did we start viewing all of our deeds as justifiable and good and all outsider deeds as mean-spirited and bad, when objectively it's the same deed?

That feels like a sort of survival mechanism, so I would guess it's really old. No idea.


It's the old In-group vs Out-group thing. They are less than us so the rules don't apply in the same way.
The Old Testament is full of it.


All of history is full of it. Cavemen probably dealt with it too, I'd imagine?


Probably. It's a good way to get around those pesky feelings of empathy. More than that, it's very successful, at least from the perspective of the victorious group. Taking resources from weaker groups can be a very efficient way of harvesting resources. Your daily labours can be made so much easier if you have made slaves of a neighbouring group, all you have to do is convince yourself that they are beneath us and so deserve the bad treatment (think Hitler and his untermensch) or that your god has commanded it (think OT). Really, once you start inventing wrathful gods, anything goes. If you've read the bible, anything certainly did go.
I'm not an expert in morality though, you might want to wander over to the philospohy section. I won't follow, that place scares me.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#17  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 03, 2012 1:10 pm

Assuming by 'cave man' we're talking about Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.... then you've got to appreciate that they'd have had a variety of unique cultures and social systems. While they may all have been more kin-centric, they weren't a monolithic group.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#18  Postby trubble76 » Jul 03, 2012 1:14 pm

Spearthrower wrote:Assuming by 'cave man' we're talking about Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.... then you've got to appreciate that they'd have had a variety of unique cultures and social systems. While they may all have been more kin-centric, they weren't a monolithic group.


That's true, in fact they were probably a lot more varied than we are today as they didn't have global media teaching them all how to speak English. The poor fools.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#19  Postby Warren Dew » Jul 04, 2012 3:00 am

Kenneth-Kaunda wrote:How about Caveman - do you think he particularly respected the woman's feelings when he felt like mating? Unlikely I think.

If by cave men you meant neanderthals, they appear to have had considerably less sexual dimophism than modern humans, so force wouldn't have worked very well. They probably had to respect the woman's feelings more than most men do in modern society.
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Re: Caveman morality v. Modern day morality - which is correct?

#20  Postby Kenneth-Kaunda » Jul 04, 2012 4:04 am

How about the idea that people will do whatever the hell they like, as long as they think they can get away with it, and it does not directly harm others.

I imagine that if one knew they could steal something and not get caught, they would do so.

So the rule of 'do not steal' just means, 'do not steal if you think you will get caught'

agree?
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