Could you explain why things are "wrong" and "immoral" without relying on those terms as your foundation?

Imagine you are talking to someone who has no understanding of what society finds wrong and/or immoral. Could you actually explain why certain things are wrong and immoral? Give it a try!

1. Stealing
2. Killing
3. Incest
4. Public nudity


Most Helpful Girl

  • Easy. I'll pretend I'm speaking with a toddler if that's okay lol

    "Hey, Timmy. It's not good to kill someone, because you're taking their life away without their consent. It's called murder, and people don't like murder. It is a mean thing to do, Timmy. So don't do it. Stealing is also not a nice thing to do. When you take something that doesn't belong to you, the original owner gets very sad, and that's not good, Timmy."

    Consensual incest is not wrong and public nudity shouldn't be wrong, but that's just my two cents.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Stealing is bad. In taking something that someone else owns, you are causing them harm. You shouod not steal. You have ownership of the clothes you are wearing. How would you feel if I took them from you?

    Killing is the same concept, but to a much greater magnitude. Your life is the most important thing to you. So, how would you feel if I not only stole your clothes, but I also stole your life? Killing is stealing, but stealing of a much more grave nature. The only time killing is okay is if you have no other option of retreat. Your survival comes first, as does the survival of other (relatively) innocent lives.

    If you have to steal someone elses life, because they were trying to steal yours, then this is okay to do. But in all other circumstances, killing is evil. It is the most grave sin to take the most important thing from someone. And you are not only stealing from them, you are stealing from their loved ones. If you habe anyone you love, how would you feel if they were killed by someone else? This all comes down to the golden rule. Dont do it if you would not like it done to you.

    Oh, I don't care. Go ahead and fuck your sister. It's only a 4-8% increased chance for mutated offspring, unlike what is commonly believed. At least I think its 4-8%. That might be cousins. But, if you want to have healthy children, then avoiding incest would be beneficial to your future child. Otherwise, I would recommend a vasectomy. Then fuck away.

    Public nudity makes other people uncomfortable. You shouldn't do it--except on rare occassions for a few laughs--as making other people uncomfortable is not a nice thing to do. Unless you're hot. Then totally walk around naked. It's only a sin if you're ugly.

    J/k. I'm going to sticj with it makes people uncomfortable, uneasy, it harms them, so you shouldn't do it. Based on these levels of potebtially suffering caused, you should now understand the difference in severity between these actions. If you want to be a good person and meld well with society, you will appreciate trying to avoid causing pain.

    Good question. I really liked this. ^^

    • Your answer was a good start to the question. I noticed people rely on terms to answer questions and have lost the ability to articulate thought out answers

    • Thank ya; thank ya. Oh, I question if they ever had the ability. :D

What Girls Said 1

  • not 100% sure why public nudity is wrong, because we were actually born naked. so why should it be wrong?

    killing is wrong because you are ending the life of someone against their will, and we have no right to determine who should live or die unless that person has committed a very heinous act against another person. at that point, you lose your rights to live.

    incest is wrong because two persons who are related should not sleep together, especially if that person is parent and child. related persons that sleep together often cause a disruption in the genetic pool, i. e. higher risk of birth defects, and parents that sleep with their children are just f*cking gross because they came out of their bodies.

    stealing is wrong because you do not take something that is yours. just because you want it doesn't mean that you can have it, cause it wasn't yours in the first place. you should earn it or find something else.

    • Disclaimer: I am only playing devils advocate

      Gross is subjective and kinda the same as using wrong and immoral. If it increases the odds, isn't it their choice to take it? They could get tested to see the chances before having sex. They can also use contraceptives or permanent methods (surgery). It could also be family of the same gender, which has no offspring

What Guys Said 2

  • First of all, you're mixing two concepts here: morals and ethics. Public nudity may be morally wrong but it is not necessarily ethically wrong. Morals are personal opinions on what is "right" and "wrong". They often have to do with religious beliefs, which is why I tend not to use the word. Ethics on the other hand are guiding rules that regulate a society so people can have a peaceful and prosperous coexistence. For example the golden rule is an early version of an ethical code. Later this was scientified by Immanuel Kant who invented the categorical imperative.
    This also brings us back to your question. Fundamentalist christians (or muslims) often ask atheists: "if you don't have a religion, how do you know right from wrong?" The answer is quite simple. In essence, humans are inherently social creatures. This means we have evolved things such as compassion, empathy, guilt, concern etc.. It is these characteristics that make us different from other animals and that have made us so incredibly successful. If we want to coexist in a peaceful way, we need to accept that our personal freedom to swing our arms ends at other people's noses. It is "wrong" to do certain things because these things hurt not only other individuals but society as a whole. And as such, they also hurt ourselves. This is why Kant's categorical imperative is more accurate than the archaic golden rule. The golden rule simply states "don't do onto others what you don't want them to do to you". Kant on the other hand says: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law". As intelligent and compassionate beings, we understand that killing others isn't just cruel for them but it is also dangerous because it can create a society in which murdering becomes the norm. Or put a little differently: if I, as a compassionate creature, understand that other humans share the same physical and emotional feelings I share and are affected by other's actions just like I am, I cannot will to hurt them. If I further also understand that I don't want to live in a society where murdering or stealing is a constant threat, I shouldn't engage in such activities myself.

  • When discussing morality, the defined standards always depend upon an assumption that certain behaviors are either "right" or "wrong." Some explanations may rely upon Biblical standards but those standards themselves are based upon assumptions.

    • um... ok. Thats not the question though. Did you read the details?

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    • Which is the same end result. Its not wrong. Something subjective can't be universally wrong

    • Or universally right.