I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity."  Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."

A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of  "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?

Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.

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And that doesn't even take into account dashing babies against rocks, slaughtering children for calling an older guy "baldy", saving young virgin girls from other communities where "god's chosen" slaughtered their families so they could be raped and made their "property".  Oh ya, ywhw is a kind and merciful god.  Sure it is.

Objectivity and subjectivity are both irrelevant. We are describing a naturally occuring process.

Honestly can you objectively tell me what a pretzel is with out defining it? If you can not then god makes all the pretzels in the world! 

Your argument for objective morality is equivocation. We can define what is moral by a set of standards.  Can you tell me why 1+1=2 and when 1+1=3? Because I can and its the same rules for everything else in science. 

Read a game theory book it explains where we get morality.

Nonzero sum trade, it is a description of a type of trade that is beneficial to both parties. For example if two people were to both grow apples and cattle they would likely produce less apples and less cattle than than two people where one grows apples and one raises cattle. It is difficult to live on apples or cattle. But if you are able to trade, both parties would have excesses would still come out ahead of the two people who grew both and did not trade. Thus your trading partner becomes an asset. You can expand this circle of trade to include as many people as you need all producing different goods. This means that people become more valuable alive, they become more valuable if there healthy, they become valuable when they engage in this nonzero sum game.

Zero sum trade trade is trade where the there is no net gain in the product. If a person sees that there neighbor is producing apples and cattle and is unable to produce food himself. The person likes both cattle and apples and the person has no intention of giving him anything in return. The person decides to use force to take his cattle and apples injuring. There is no reprisal against the person and his neighbor is no longer produce apples and cattle. The net gain from this trade is likely to be lower than what the neighbor would have produced if left by himself. He will probably be unable to care for either the cattle and apples and will likely try to steal again. These two people still do not come ahead of the two people who traded. Now the person who steals has to steal again. He sees the two people who trade with each other. Each person has an invested interest in the well being of each other and therefore are likely to come to the aid of the other making person less likely to to be successful. The two that trade and are invested in each other come out ahead. This is not the whole picture but it is a good starting point.   

 

Good example and it does fit certain scenarios, but many it does not address many deeper ethical questions. How would you apply game theory to the example of whether or not abortion is wrong? And why did slavery have a hold in the world for so long in religious and non-religious cultures as that was definitely zero sum exchange? Was it a blatant disregard of game theory. Interested to hear your opinion.

Who is imposing anything on anyone?

Heck, even cannibalism could become ethical someday, if/when we learn how to grow bodies without heads, eh? Perhaps we could even clone our own, new, headless bodies for replacement purposes, and donate all of our (freshly headless) old bodies to homeless shelter soup kitchens?

Now that would be relative/dynamic morality, or perhaps even objective morality? (I haven't thought this out fully, so I'm still mostly at the humorous stage of this idea.)

In tribes where cannibalism is practiced there is a moral code, you don't eat anyone from your own tribe.

But on the other side of the world, a six foot freezer in the garage could facilitate a whole new kind of family dinner.

"Aw thanks, Ma, you shouldn't have! You're so sweet!"

@Jim Minion, Is this your suggestion of a more easily attainable moral code for our friends?

Well if you don't serve up friends as an entree it will be easier to keep those friends.

Thou shall not eat your friends unless your plane goes down in the Andes then all bets are off.

Except in those tribes where it's the respectful way to treat your beloved family members, in which case it's still moral.

@Jim - would that be the "Friends and Family" Plan --?

Heather, the fact that there is another problem, is not a reason to fail to work on this problem, until overpopulation is solved.  So, since overpopulation is a bigger problem, what are you doing to solve it?  I got fixed and have no kids.  I support women's rights to  birth control and abortion, education and equality.  I also support the abolition of slavery for the other animals.  There is no contradiction.

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