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Why is it bad to be immoral?

  1. Mar 6, 2010 #1
    Whats wrong if I go on a killing spree? Whats wrong if I begin doing whatever my animal instinct wishes?
    People will dislike it, it will cause pain to them (and eventually to me as well (there exist Laws and order)), Right? But Why is it that I (and every other people) should have pleasure but not pain? After all pain as well and pleasure are the state of minds, Why should we ever consider one to be better than the other? Why can't we be in deep pain but yet like it that way and be happy (I think some monks have already achieved this)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2010 #2
    Except they'll hopefully schedule you for legal homicide ?
  4. Mar 6, 2010 #3
    That I know too. But why should they do that?
  5. Mar 6, 2010 #4
    I do not believe that it is about pain or pleasure but about a stable society. It would be difficult to maintain a stable society, culture, and population if everyone were entitled to the occasional shooting spree. Even with everyone obeying morals and ethics there is still pain. Injury, disease, death, heartbreak, ect. So ethics do not avoid pain, necessarily, but instability.
  6. Mar 6, 2010 #5
    I may sound like a stupid, but the very reason of the O.P. is to ask, why should we ever bother about stable society and all?
  7. Mar 6, 2010 #6
    Organizing societies grow stronger and outcompete weaker societies. Most of the hunter-gatherers are extinct. Basically hurting someone from your group undermines stability. Why would someone like to be robbed, raped, or killed? If you commit these crimes within a society, you break the social contract, and the society is free to institute any punishment they wish. Punishment will keep other people in fear for committing a crime.

    But no one actually cares about stable societies anyways. Societies grow automatically given the right conditions. And if you happen to be born in one, then you are expected to follow its rules, or else...
  8. Mar 6, 2010 #7
    Because you are too scared not to and if you do go on the killing spree it will most likely come to and end and your life as you know it will also come to an end. If you do not like living in a stable society why don't you move to another nation.
  9. Mar 6, 2010 #8


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    Humans are driven by various things, like anger, ambition, love, hate, greed, compassion, beauty, desire, pain etc. It just happens to be that the effect of all these things combined is to drive the majority of the population to the formation of stable societies.

    You can of course ask, "why am I greedy?", or "why do I love?" etc. But really, what relevance could an 'explanation' or 'justification' of these things have?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  10. Mar 6, 2010 #9
    Your animal instinct is to mass kill random people?

    What benefit is there for you to bring harm to others? Millions of years of hanging around people have taught us to help friends and get along because they typically return the favor. Benefits include good work references for those of us who want jobs so we can feed our families.

    Just the same, hurt people around you and they will typically return the favor. Which do you prefer?
  11. Mar 6, 2010 #10
    Compared to other animals, who are faster, stronger, and have better natural defenses, we are weak. Our strength comes from numbers. Random killing makes you a danger to the group. We have evolved group behavior because it benefits our survival. Morality is just a series of rules that reinforce behaviors which we see as beneficial.
  12. Mar 7, 2010 #11
    Please don't think that I am mad or I am going to do such irrational things right off. I am just trying to dig deeper into the grand reality.

    Actually, I sometime think that we all are being fooled (by some mysterious internal force). We are led to believe that we should get pleasure, that we should eat!, that we should do feed our families that we should love our parents and so on.
    Attempt to disobey these well established beliefs often lead to pain that forces us back to follow these beliefs. (For example, we may think it unnecessary to eat, so we stop eating but soon we get hungry (and hence bear pain) and are forced to eat)

    So, the main problem with us is to fear pain. Why can't we bear pain? When someone kisses you, you feel pleasure after the signal of touch reaches your brain. When someone cut your finger, similar signal reaches the brain, but the brain interprets this is pain and starts panicking?
    I believe some saints have succeeded in reprogramming their brain to interpret every signal as nothing (that why ancient saints are believed to be able to meditate over fire).

    Hu Hu, Oh! God!, where am I going? I think I should stop thinking like that, or I would really turn out like that. ; Sorry for stupidity, if any.
  13. Mar 7, 2010 #12


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    What is "bad" behavior? You are basically asking why it is immoral("wrong") to be immoral. When you detach terms from their associations you are often led into absurd questions.
  14. Mar 7, 2010 #13
    Actually I didn't have any other word. I was trying to ask -Why do we feel just like what we have been feeling when 'bad' things happen; when we do immoral things?
    Oh! thats again the same story, I think. Actually, What I think, I was trying to ask is there some brain-training possible to treat every immoral and moral things as normal/(nothing).

    Anyways, I don't think I should concentrate in this question more, its quite immoral I think, lol.
  15. Mar 8, 2010 #14


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    That is not a sensible question to me. What we consider "bad" is what we consider immoral. Morality is not a law outside and independent of man, it is law inside and dependent of man. When you are acting "wrong", you are acting to the contrary of your moral beliefs.

    The question of why we should act morally at all is a different question, but a more sensible one. Keep in mind that the question of "why" is a question of what goal is there for which moral behavior is the means. But reasons are superficial and unnecessary, the important thing is that there is will to act morally. It is similar to asking the absurd question: why should we be act rationally?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
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