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Achieving morality

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watson
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Interestingly, I just read an aritcle that stated crime is on the rise in the USA. This brought to my mind the way that rational people behave given a change in economic turmoil. Part of the problem in the article is that it didn't say if crime is up because the same criminals are doing more crime, or out of "need" to survive more criminals are now out there.

Regardless, this stirred my mind up again about one being able to function in a rational manner, regardless of fiscal issues. In another post, I mentioned "maslow's heirarchy of needs", and I thought I would bring this up again, to see if anyone out there thinks that socioeconomic conditions, personal psychology and survival may start to trump rational, legal and logical behaviour. Will people be able to achieve the top of the "needs pyramid" without the foundations ascribed within?

Perhaps we may be getting back to the addage "is it wrong to steal to feed your family" in the US.

It's not as bad here in Canada, yet, but I have to be honest, from watching TV, the USA seems like a bit of a economic mess, with foreclosures, bankruptcies, etc. all at record levels.

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Regardless, this stirred my mind up again about one being able to function in a rational manner, regardless of fiscal issues. In another post, I mentioned "maslow's heirarchy of needs", and I thought I would bring this up again, to see if anyone out there thinks that socioeconomic conditions, personal psychology and survival may start to trump rational, legal and logical behaviour. Will people be able to achieve the top of the "needs pyramid" without the foundations ascribed within?

Maslow's hierarchy is an arbitrary theory that doesn't even hold up. For plenty of people reason, acceptance of facts, morality trump most of those lower steps on the pyramid.

So, to answer your question, that foundation is not the foundation at all. Everything on that list is a consequence of rationality. Rationality is not the consequence of those "foundations".

What is dissapearing from public life and the culture is reason, and the decline in freedom or living standards, increased crime etc. are the consequence of that.

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Maslow's hierarchy is an arbitrary theory that doesn't even hold up. For plenty of people reason, acceptance of facts, morality trump most of those lower steps on the pyramid.

So, to answer your question, that foundation is not the foundation at all. Everything on that list is a consequence of rationality. Rationality is not the consequence of those "foundations".

What is dissapearing from public life and the culture is reason, and the decline in freedom or living standards, increased crime etc. are the consequence of that.

Interesting reply. You also did point out that morality does trump the lower levels, which what I think Maslow was trying to get across.

I think that you're right to some degree, however, i disagree that having the fundamentals of survival (food, shelter, etc) are based in a rational place, they are basic survival needs. Even irrational and unreasonable people survive, but not without the basic necessities of life.

Evolution is also a theory, although it makes scientific and rational sense, we have to base our understanding of our world on something, unlike newton's laws where there is no questioning input vs. output, in evolution there are variants and interpretations of the phylogenetic tree.

So, to take Maslow's theory and apply it to human behaviour is just as qualified as applying darwin's theory to evolution. I understand that there are physical and scientific proofs for evolution, however, no definitive missing link has been agreed upon by all geneticists and anthropologists. To provide a rudimentary framework to understand how people behave as individuals and as part of a functioning society, is what I think Maslow was trying to express. To discount them by just stamping reason and rationality, in my opinion, doesn't account for all individuals. That is like saying that the understanding of evolution came just from Darwin's finches in the galapagos islands.

I guess my question has now evolved into - how does society promote reason and morality to individuals that are functioning on a need to survive basis, especially if it becomes more rampant than before in these tough economic times?

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What is dissapearing from public life and the culture is reason, and the decline in freedom or living standards, increased crime etc. are the consequence of that.

Agreed.

However, for watson, what statistics show crime is "up"? Locally in the Milwaukee market, crime is down.

Should one look at murder rates over a longer period of time?

execute.jpg

Ok, sure, there are executions on there too, but recognize that the rates have gone up and down for that specific crime. And there has been evidence that it is driven by punishment.

We have more crime now because there are more things that are restricted. So, crime is up because of more opportunity for the state to take one into custody.

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Agreed.

However, for watson, what statistics show crime is "up"? Locally in the Milwaukee market, crime is down.

Should one look at murder rates over a longer period of time?

execute.jpg

Ok, sure, there are executions on there too, but recognize that the rates have gone up and down for that specific crime. And there has been evidence that it is driven by punishment.

We have more crime now because there are more things that are restricted. So, crime is up because of more opportunity for the state to take one into custody.

Is theft more restricted than before? Is assault and battery more restricted? Maybe I don't see your point.

How about property crime? I'm not going to blame the government for putting a safety net (laws) out there to protect my property and personal safety of my family. I think if we look at things in meaning to theft, property crimes, fraud, perhaps we might agree that looking at murder rates in comparison to execution rates isn't really what i was trying to ask about.

I can't sell a dead guy to feed my hungry kids, but i can steal a china set i steal from the house down the street. Although, i suppose I could kill someone for money that would feed my family, however, it's really a stopgap solution, cuz once I get caught and executed i could never feed my family again. I probably wouldn't go to jail for very long for petty theft, thouogh, meaning i could get back out there and steal again.

I guess it comes down to opportunity cost.

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Is theft more restricted than before? Is assault and battery more restricted? Maybe I don't see your point.

How about property crime? I'm not going to blame the government for putting a safety net (laws) out there to protect my property and personal safety of my family. I think if we look at things in meaning to theft, property crimes, fraud, perhaps we might agree that looking at murder rates in comparison to execution rates isn't really what i was trying to ask about.

I can't sell a dead guy to feed my hungry kids, but i can steal a china set i steal from the house down the street. Although, i suppose I could kill someone for money that would feed my family, however, it's really a stopgap solution, cuz once I get caught and executed i could never feed my family again. I probably wouldn't go to jail for very long for petty theft, thouogh, meaning i could get back out there and steal again.

I guess it comes down to opportunity cost.

Initially, you started this thread by stating that "crime is on the rise in the USA".

Quickly coming up with the last bit of information from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report does not indicate any increase in crime for 2007 or 2008. Really looks to be a decrease almost across the board.

Certainly that is a time period that you are trying to focus on with your argument of "is it wrong to steal to feed your family"...

As for "additional" crimes, more and more regulation and laws will develop more arrests and convictions. During Prohibition people were arrested and convicted of things that were not criminal. Sure, property crime is pretty much property crime, but with all kinds of additions on certain crimes based on sex and race, they can have additional items layered on. Really, it's just placed on the individual to try and coerce a plea.

Edited by SD26
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Initially, you started this thread by stating that "crime is on the rise in the USA".

Quickly coming up with the last bit of information from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report does not indicate any increase in crime for 2007 or 2008. Really looks to be a decrease almost across the board.

Certainly that is a time period that you are trying to focus on with your argument of "is it wrong to steal to feed your family"...

As for "additional" crimes, more and more regulation and laws will develop more arrests and convictions. During Prohibition people were arrested and convicted of things that were not criminal. Sure, property crime is pretty much property crime, but with all kinds of additions on certain crimes based on sex and race, they can have additional items layered on. Really, it's just placed on the individual to try and coerce a plea.

What is considered "more and more regulation and laws". What kind of things are you thinking about. If we live in the here and now, i don't forsee more and more laws being instated, do you specfically?

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What is considered "more and more regulation and laws". What kind of things are you thinking about. If we live in the here and now, i don't forsee more and more laws being instated, do you specfically?

Is this a joke? Hundreds of Bills go before Congress every session. The legal code expands every year.

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What is considered "more and more regulation and laws". What kind of things are you thinking about. If we live in the here and now, i don't forsee more and more laws being instated, do you specfically?

What Megan said.

Hate crimes. Honestly, what is their purpose? Murder is murder, as an example, and also adding a hate crime to it is ridiculous.

How about "driving while texting"? Which part of driving while distracted isn't already covered under a law already? Or even negligent driving?

Layer upon layer upon layer.

Regardless, I have posted data that shows that crime is down in 2008 and 2007 during this economic period.

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What Megan said.

Hate crimes. Honestly, what is their purpose? Murder is murder, as an example, and also adding a hate crime to it is ridiculous.

How about "driving while texting"? Which part of driving while distracted isn't already covered under a law already? Or even negligent driving?

Layer upon layer upon layer.

Regardless, I have posted data that shows that crime is down in 2008 and 2007 during this economic period.

Not a joke. The graph you showed demonstrates a correlation between murder and execution rates, not property crime. And, if you are comparing property crime to free speech crime or labelling an attack against a specific group different than assault, you've missed my point entirely. Write your politician and complain about their waste of time and energy on useless laws and projects.

Of course, there is a waste of time and energy by the government passing laws like txting while driving, although some would argue it is to protect the safety of others on the road, and i think doing as much as possible to make me safe in my community is partly shouldered by the government.

If you are making a comment on what is on point to what I was saying, you could come up with direct examples. By just saying a sweeping statement to blame the government lacks substance. Examples, facts, what are the real laws you're talking about that address your point. I agree, I didn't put any facts down, or actual stats, but your murder and execution relationship is hardly a measure of property crime.

I digress, my question really is "in economically challenging times, how can we encourage people to act morally so they don't steal to feed their family when they are hungry and need to survive"

Edited by watson
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Not a joke. The graph you showed demonstrates a correlation between murder and execution rates, not property crime.

Correct. It showed that murder rates, one, were higher previous to the current era in the graph.

If you read that post completely, you would have found the links to the crime statistics.

Quickly coming up with the last bit of information from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report does not indicate any increase in crime for 2007 or 2008.

If you have valid information that shows that the FBI's statistics are false, please post that information to support your premise that crime is on the rise.

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Correct. It showed that murder rates, one, were higher previous to the current era in the graph.

If you read that post completely, you would have found the links to the crime statistics.

If you have valid information that shows that the FBI's statistics are false, please post that information to support your premise that crime is on the rise.

i didn't realize they were links. I apologize. Basically looks like there is a variety of stats to analyse, but on the whole, a decrease did occur with some regional blips.

i am interested to see the results from this year, as things are getting worse each and everyday. Hopefully, the trend will continue down, regardless of economic hardship.

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