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parsimonious morals // linkage - Lograh — LiveJournal

Monday, 10.May.2004

18:13 - parsimonious morals // linkage

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so, I visit MeFi right before heading out, and I see an entry linking to this morality survey, by the same people who did the religion survey I think I linked to some time ago (turns out they have lots of philosophical surveys).

My Moral Parsimony Score is 84% (average = 66%). What's more interesting is the breakdown in the categories:

Geographical Distance 100% (average = 73%)
Family Relatedness 100% (average = 57%)
Acts and Omissions 34% (average = 59%)
Scale 100% (average = 75%)

The percentages indicate how much it matters in my moral framework, in an inverse way. Thus, the only thing of those four that matter to me is acts/omissions. Which makes sense. I don't care who you are, where you are, if you're related to me, or how many of "you" there are. I do, however, place a lot of weight on if you "do" something vs. if you "fail to do" something.

I think I like this one better than their religion survey. Some of the questions on the religion one I somewhat mis-read/interpreted, here they were (for me, anyway) less tricky. 'Course, this could simply be because my morals are more deterministic than my religion.

man, I love the stuff on MeFi.

Comments:

From:ex_ilk
Date:18:36 10.May.2004 (UTC)
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Fascinating stuff. I got a 71. I think partly due to the fact that I place a lot of importance on family. Kind of a "take care of your own first" and the world will be a better place point of view. My score was extremely low in that, a 35 in an average of 57.
So I'm sure that brought the overall score down quite a notch. For instance in scale I got a 100. And higher than average in all others except family.
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From:macklinr
Date:9:01 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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Interesting - we both think similarly on scale (100% on me too). I do, however, differ greatly with you on the Geographical Distance and Family Relatedness aspect. I readily state that if I know someone and like them, I will treat them different than from people I don't know (usually in reference to who I have no problems stealing from, back when I stole stuff, but it applies on a larger scale).

One thing that may have colored my answers on this test is that I think it's morally wrong to aid in the overpopulation of the planet.
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From:lograh
Date:9:37 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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Oh, I'm not entirely different in the familly respect. I will admit that there is a chance I will treat someone I know differently from someone I don't know, the key here was that I don't think it's morally justified for me to do so (and I'm working on changing my behavior to better match my moral ideals). I seem to remember the test specifically asking for what I think is morally justified to do, not what I actually *would* do. There were quite a few questions where I had to select an answer that I might not do because I felt it was the more morally correct path.
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From:macklinr
Date:9:49 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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True. I did take the test with that in mind, but I guess I got sidetracked when typing my comment.

There were a few questions where I thought "I might go along with that, but I'm not morally responsible to do so".

One thing that just occured is that there were times when I actually wanted to respond that a given situation was morally irresponsible, rather than just "not obligated". But then that most likely throws off the test in wacky directions.
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From:lograh
Date:10:23 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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oh yeah, there were a good deal of those for me.. like the "you intentionally do such-and-such" and I'd be thinking, "wtf? I'd *NEVER* do that!" I had to settle with "morally responsible for the consequences" as my answer..
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From:macklinr
Date:10:35 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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I didn't have a problem with those - that's just a hypothetical. Lemme give a somewhat bad example: for those where you could kill 1 innocent person to let 10 innocent people live, I would select "Morally Irresponsible".

But then I think that aiding in the overpopulation of the planet is morally irresponsible. However, no one would want to be involved in my plan for population reduction (stated simply, a 10% reduction across the board for the entire planet, to be determined randomly. Every human rolls a d10, and if it comes up 1, you die then and there.)

Granted, I will admit that I would hate that, as I would have a 10% chance of dying, and I like more than 10 people, so likely one of them will die. However, it's fair, or rather not more fair to one group than another.

You know, upon reflection, there is a scale issue here. I would answer "yes" to those questions on a planet-wide scale, since I'm basicly answering "Would you kill 600 million to save 5.4 billion?"
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From:jimbo_the_gecko
Date:11:14 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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I scored an overall of something like 40%. However, I don't think it was very accurate. Most of the questions posed a situation and asked if I felt "morally responsible." I don't feel morally responsible, but that doesn't mean that I would/wouldn't do it.

For example:

I don't think it is my moral responsibility to house a refugee on my property, BUT I would probably do it anyway.

Maybe I'll retake the test and ignore the wording a little..

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From:lograh
Date:12:41 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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actually, that's exactly the key that they were trying to get at. The survey was designed to get at what you felt was the moral path, not what you may or may not actually do. We sometimes (some of us often) do things that are not moral. It's important for this particular page to seperate your actions from the moral reasons for (or against) them.

You want a survey where the wording is questionable, try their one called "Battleground God".
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From:lograh
Date:12:44 11.May.2004 (UTC)
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also, just a side-note: some would say that a low score is not a bad thing, and in fact is desired. It simply means that your moral guidelines take into account many more aspects of a situation than mine. Heck, I personally would often argue that it is desireable to have a moral framework that places more importance on your self and familly than others -- even though I personally do not hold that idea myself.
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