Report Wrong way of determining good/evil? in Ethics Posted April 20, 2008 First post, and apologies for my possibly inadequate english! I've found that human beings(myself included) have a difficulty of understanding very large quantities, and the amount of different individuals in societies is one example of this. Just like it is difficult for a person to imagine what 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 cars in a huge parking lot looks like, they still can, by using their logic, understand that it is just 1 car+1 car+ 1 car....etc. The same goes with individuals in a society. It seems to be impossible for many people to understand what a society consisting of 28 million(totally arbitrary number) individuals is, as it is really hard to instinctively notice what effects different actions have. If a person steals money from one of the 28 million, it isnt really that noticable for the rest of the population, and therefore people have these false morals as they refuse to use their brains when making conclusions about their morality and they start spouting shit like "there are no universal morals" and "its just a cultural thing" etc. Therefore, i usually try and give them examples like this, so they can better understand it: a ) If every person in the world, held the view that killing people for fun(initiating force) is morally acceptable, then by everybody doing this morally acceptable thing, everyone would die as everyone would kill eachother. Because morals can only be held by living beings and morals are valuable only because they "tell you" how to live a good a life, the DIRECT result of everyone doing morally good acts, cannot be everyone dying. To say that dying is good for life, is at least as i understand it, a contradiction/paradox. Therefore, killing people for fun IS universally evil, no matter what anyones feelings on the subject is, as the direct result of this action, if everyone were to do it, would be everyone dying. Why would it then be any more justifiable if just some people were to do it? b ) If every person in the world, held the view that living on welfare(not sustaining your own life) is morally acceptable, then by everybody doing this morally acceptable thing, everyone would die of starvation and human life would be impossible. Because morals can only be held by living beings and morals are valuable only because they "tell you" how to live a good a life, the DIRECT result of everyone doing morally good acts, cannot be everyone dying. To say that dying is good for life, is at least as i understand it, a contradiction/paradox. Therefore, living on welfare IS universally evil, no matter what anyones feelings on the subject is, as the direct result of this action, if everyone were to do it, would be everyone dying. Why would it then be any more justifiable if just some people were to do it? c) Imagine if the world consisted of only 6 people. 4 people would sit on their asses and do nothing, 1 person would hunt for food and 1 person would chop down trees and build a hut for shelter and be responsible for providing the necessary "warmth" that is required to survive. Who have the rights to the food and who has the rights to the hut? Why should the guys sitting on their asses have any right to these things? Lets say the hunter and the builder were to make a deal, that they could enjoy the fruits of eachothers labour, so that the hunter would get to sleep in the hut, and the builder would get to eat the food. Let's say that 2 of the slackers were really agressive, and the third and fourth slackers would offer the hunter&builder that they could guard the hut and the stock of food so that the 2 slackers wouldnt steal them, in exchange for getting to eat some of the food, and sleep in the hut while the other guard was guarding the hut. The hunter&builder would agree. Then lets say one of the agressive slackers would get tired of starving and would offer the hunter&builder in exchange for food/shelter that he could just dig a hole in the ground, and after he had dug it, he would just fill it up. He would then repeat this over and over again for 14 hours/day. The hunter&builder would not agree with this, and would not offer him food or shelter as the digging of the pothole and then filling it up, would be of no value to them, despite the guy "working" tirelessly for 14 hours/day. Why would it be wrong that the hunter would own the food, the builder own the shelter, the guards would not own either of them but be eligible for eating/shelter, and that the slacker digging/filling the hole in the ground would not get anything, despite doing the "most work"? If you do not see anything wrong with this, then why would it be wrong if instead of 6 people we had 6 million? These arguments are very effective in at least to get the listener listening, and in some cases i have actually seen the person make big leaps in their thinking afterwards. I was just wondering, whether my simplifications have any weak points, so that i do not mistakenly teach people the wrong things. I have really found that going to the roots of things, and making simplifications(without changing the facts) is really effective, even in cases where the one youre talking to is a subjectivist weirdo that has never said a smart thing in their life. So, is there something wrong with these simplifications?