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Posts Tagged ‘morality’

A thought-provoking talk from controversial author Sam Harris, where he puts morality in the context of the general well-being of humanity–that which can be scientifically measured and determined. He also deconstructs the notion of the subjectivity of morality–especially moral codes as determined by tradition, religion, and personal opinion.

My thoughts on this one:

Awesome.

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Ewen Callaway in the New Scientist writes that conservatives in the USA are the biggest consumers of pornography.

The study measured subscriptions against political views which showed some slight variations in the trends:

The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users; Montana bought the least with 1.92 per 1000. “The differences here are not so stark,” Edelman says.

Number 10 on the list was West Virginia at 2.94 subscriptions per 1000, while number 41, Michigan, averaged 2.32.

Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year’s presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

Measured against religiosity and moral standards, the results are both suprising and ironic. An excerpt from the recent paper:

[Porn] Subscriptions are slightly more prevalent in states that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality (regression results on file with the author). In the 27 states where “defense of marriage” amendments have been adopted (making same-sex marriage, and/or civil unions unconstitutional), subscriptions to this adult entertainment service are weakly more prevalent than in other states (p  0.096). In such states, there were 0.2 more subscribers to this adult web site per thousand broadband households, 11 percent more than in other states.

As shown in Table 4, subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality. In states where more people agree that “Even today miracles are performed by the power of God” and “I never doubt the existence of God,” there are more subscriptions to this service. Subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where more people agree that “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage” and “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior.” Survey results come from the Pew Value Surveys (1987–2007 combined dataset).

The above survey was conducted using two years worth of credit card purchases made across the United States sorted by postal code, purchase type/merchant and purchase date.

Benjamin Edelman, who conducted the research, stated in observation:

Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by.

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Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.

Liberals and conservatives value certain things similarly and other things differently. His captivating talk on moral psychology sheds insights on the nature of morality of religion and the nature of belief systems.

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Further on our ongoing discussion on Reproductive Health.

Fr. Joaquin Bernas wrote an interesting opinion about the ongoing debate about the Reproductive Health Bill 5043. He talked about the definition of abortion, religious freedom, and notably, the issue of sex education:

I would make special mention of the requirement of sex education. Sex education is a matter closely related to religious morality. Our Constitution allows the teaching of religion to children in public schools, but it requires that it be done only with the written consent of parents. A similar respect for the desire of parents should be provided for in the law. Our Constitution says: “The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” As for sex education in private schools, any law on this should respect academic freedom which is also protected by the Constitution.

Fr. Bernas’ full article is here. (more…)

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Pete wrote a good piece in criticism to Zeitgeist Addendum‘s proposal for a resource-based economy, and the movie’s own critique of the failings of the current fiat monetary system.

See that article here. An interesting portion on morality of money:

No system is ever moral (or immoral) – only people are. Our current fiat monetary system is based on a governmental controlled banking cartel but it is not certainly the only option available (see e.g. free banking and Free Choice of Currencies). It is far stretched leap to state that no system will work because our current one is at fault. Money is only a tool, an objective means to ends, in itself it is a neutral carrier like energy that can be utilised to constructive or destructive purposes. (see Francisco’s Money Speech)

To which I offerred my own comments (also viewable in the above article), specifically this portion: (more…)

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