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Are Doomsday predictions morally wrong?:

 26 honorius, Sat, 21st May '11 1:01:07 PM from The Netherlands
I don't think it's morally wrong to predict the end of the world if you sincerely believe that to be the case, especially if you believe that people can do something to avoid certain doom (usually by repenting their sins and so on). You may or may not be factually correct, but I can't see how it's immoral.
But the most horrible things in human history has been done by people who thought they were on the good side. I can see how a prediction like this isn't that dangerous, but if someone is thinking he is morally right he might still do things we consider repulsive, while he thinks he's acting in the interest of good.

Perhaps situations like this can't be described with moral and immoral, but only in terms of damage.

If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
There is a thing about intentions and measures. People who believe in impending apocalypse have good intentions (they want to save as many people as possible) and usually don't take really evil measures like, for example, murder. Many horrible things had good intentions but were morally wrong because of the measures they took, not because of the damage. If you cause damage unintentionally, you're not as wrong as someone who wanted to do it
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 28 Meophist, Sat, 21st May '11 1:06:11 PM from Toronto, Canada
I don't think it's all that difficult to figure out what sort of harm this sort of thing can do if one is wrong though.
It depends on the intent with which one expresses said doomsday prediction.

 30 honorius, Sat, 21st May '11 1:13:53 PM from The Netherlands
[up][up]But that's the problem, it's very hard for people to think they might be wrong. The mere thought that there might not be a rapture and that these people they convinced to give away their earthly possesions won't pop up in their heads at all.

There is a thing about intentions and measures. People who believe in impending apocalypse have good intentions (they want to save as many people as possible) and usually don't take really evil measures like, for example, murder. Many horrible things had good intentions but were morally wrong because of the measures they took, not because of the damage. If you cause damage unintentionally, you're not as wrong as someone who wanted to do it/
They are pretty sure that the damage they do is outweighed by the benefits. Even if they would commit murder they would still think that. They take a pragmatic stance, which is sensible, but their scales are off.

edited 21st May '11 1:14:17 PM by honorius

If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
Even with the best of intentions, more harm can come from the prediction than other options, such as just encouraging people to behave better in general.

There's a reason no man shall know the day or the hour.

 
[up][up]If one has strong morals, there are things he will never do, no matter the circumstances
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 33 honorius, Sat, 21st May '11 1:32:55 PM from The Netherlands
Of course.

But these things might be different from the things people with normal morals such as you and I won't do.
If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
I'm not an extreme moral relativist and deep down I think that some things are universally wrong, even if people think they aren't. Maybe those people aren't evil because they are crazy/brainwashed/brought up in a culture with wrong morals, but the things they do will be evil no matter what they think about them.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 35 honorius, Sat, 21st May '11 1:52:19 PM from The Netherlands
Then do you believe in some kind of superior authority that divides good and evil? Not asking a rhetoric question or anything, I'm just wondering if you answer no what exactly your rationale behind it is, because I wouldn't know how to have a non-supernatural world view and yet believe in absolute morals.
If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
Well, I have some supernatural views. Not fundie, not even organized and often in doubt but yes, I believe there is some supernatural origin of everything.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 37 Pykrete, Sat, 21st May '11 2:57:18 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
But the most horrible things in human history has been done by people who thought they were on the good side.

I've always thought the most horrible things in human history were done by people who were out for power and control, often in rather obvious contradiction to the codes they claim to live by. Though granted in doomsday predictors, Hanlon's Razor tends to apply.

edited 21st May '11 3:07:02 PM by Pykrete

Moar and Moar and Moar
I have a non-supernatural world view, and I wouldn't say I believe in "absolute" morality, I would say that questions of morality do have a right answer and a wrong answer.

It's just that obtaining said answer is often quite complex, and as such we will rarely have a perfect answer, so we have to settle for a "good enough" morality.
Democracy is the process in which we determine the government that we deserve
[up]You said that you don't believe in absolute morality and then described how you actually do believe in it. Also, you have quite similar views to me on this (except of the non-supernatural thing)
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
Moar and Moar and Moar
I consider it more "objective" than "absolute"

I think how we commonly see absolute to be is often basically arbitrary.
Democracy is the process in which we determine the government that we deserve
I don't think there is a difference between objective morality and absolute morality other than pure semantics
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
Perhaps situations like this can't be described with moral and immoral, but only in terms of damage.
I suppose you could stick with describing the damage, but as soon as you say that a person should do X (e.g. keep their doomsday predictions to themselves) because they should avoid causing that damage, then you're talking about morality.
 
 43 honorius, Sat, 21st May '11 10:40:17 PM from The Netherlands
[up]True. But it wouldn't be relevant to call their actions immoral, since their moral system is entirely different from us. It is like calling an earthquake immoral.

I've always thought the most horrible things in human history were done by people who were out for power and control, often in rather obvious contradiction to the codes they claim to live by. Though granted in doomsday predictors, Hanlon's Razor tends to apply.
Maybe the leaders in some cases, but a good deal of the grunts who had to execute the orders believed by indoctrination that what they did was right.

edited 21st May '11 10:47:42 PM by honorius

If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
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