Future morality

Future morality

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:09 am

I was talking about slavery recently and it got me thinking about morality and how it changes and evolves. A couple of hundred years ago it was fairly widely accepted that slavery was okay, that black people were obviously inferior, etc - and whilst no doubt some still think that way, society as a whole now looks on that as repellant. Nothing unusual about that, standards evolve and all that.

But it got me wondering, what might society in 2200 think when they look back at us? Are there everyday things we take for granted that they will find morally repellant? It seems obvious that there will be, but what?

Of course we can only really speculate and guess, and I'm more interested in what people's guesses might be than in trying to make accurate prophecy.

One guess I would make is that extreme poverty will be more or less gone, and the idea that it was allowed to exist at all will be incomprehensible. According to wikipedia, the percentage of the world living in extreme poverty has halved in just the last thirty years. There will always be poor, I think, but I suspect the images of whole countries where most of the people live in absolute grinding starve-to-death poverty will be gone. And after a century or more of that, people will find it bizzare that anybody could ever think it was normal for things to be that way.

Another guess is that democracy will be the standard form of government and other systems will be regarded as immoral. There may still be places like the UK which have elements of monarchies or whatever, and perhaps the odd dictatorship will arise, briefly, here or there. But people will look at such things the way we looked at the likes of apartheid; a non democratic country will be a pariah, despised by other nations.

I wonder if pollution sill be seen as fundamentally immoral. We've already gone down this road to a degree, but given that our descendants will have to live in our mess to an extent, I suspect they will be very puritanical about it. Mind you, I think a lot of environmentalism is overblown nonsense myself. But there clearly are environmental issues, and it's the kind of thing I could see becoming so ingrained that it's just part of the moral landscape.

Any other suggestions?
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8018
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: Future morality

Postby Lighthawk » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:21 am

Maybe more of a hope than a prediction, but I'd like to see future generations look back on all the current political correctness nonsense and wonder what was wrong with us.

A bit more in line with the topic, frivolous lawsuits, lax punishments for drunk drivers, and obesity.

The last one I can just see cropping up while people pop their thin pills and wonder how we could have "let" people get so fat. Because I'm not yet ready to believe we'll get over hypocrisy and passing judgment on things without giving them proper thought.
Image
User avatar
Lighthawk
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 4632
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 6:55 pm
Location: Missouri, USA, North America, Earth, Sol System, Orion Arm, Milkyway Galaxy, Local Group, Universe

Re: Future morality

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:32 am

As a gravitationally challenged fellow myself, I sure would like to see those fat pills arrive soon :)
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8018
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: Future morality

Postby Lt. Staplic » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:41 am

I'd expect gay rights will be looked back on like we look back on equal rights for women and black people (at least here in the States, idk about Europe/the rest of the world).

It's actually kind of interesting to me how similar everything is. There are people making the same arguments today about gay couples marrying that were made against interracial couples marrying way back when.

Anyway, I'd expect/hope that before too long people are able to look back at today and wonder how we ever justified isolating some sect of society and preventing them from getting the same rights as the rest of us.
Check this out, Let me know if your interested: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7385
Lt. Staplic
2 Star Admiral
2 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:25 am
Location: Somewhere Among the Stars

Re: Future morality

Postby Mikey » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:20 pm

TBF, black slavery didn't come about on its own because of some European or British fellow saying, "Let's check Africa - if we find any differently-colored people, we can make them into forced servants!" Slavery was an institution among humanity at least from ancient Mesopotamian times. With the institution of the African slave trade, however, it ended creating something far more insidious - the notion that some people were inferior to others because of some cosmetic factor.

As to the OP... well, we can certainly see that technological achievements and the "shrinking" of the globe have made some things change in our estimation - poverty, for example, being cut in half as GK mentions goes hand-in-hand with its change from a sad fact of life to something about which steps can be taken. I suspect much disease will be like that - when cancer is cured, for example, people will wonder how we can have been so cruel as to let people die from it. Burgeoning new research on low-dose TB vaccines possibly being effective against T-cell attacks on pancreatic tissue may cause my descendants to wonder what awful thing I'd done in order to make the world "let" me suffer with diabetes.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33025
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: Future morality

Postby Lt. Staplic » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:32 pm

I don't think diseases will ever be looked back on as immoral for people suffering them. We don't look back today and think oh how horrible that they let people die from the black plague or what did all those people that died of the flu do to deserve that.

IMO for it to be immoral we have to have the capacity now to end it and simply choose not to. We don't have the technology/medical knowledge to cure cancer or diabetes. Yet.
Check this out, Let me know if your interested: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7385
Lt. Staplic
2 Star Admiral
2 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:25 am
Location: Somewhere Among the Stars

Re: Future morality

Postby Mikey » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:34 pm

People judge things by the mores of their own times, not of the eras in which the things occurred. We do look back on the Black Plague and talk about how stupid it was to try and combat the disease by hoisting a side of beef up a flag pole then burying it.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33025
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: Future morality

Postby McAvoy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:46 pm

Morality changes up and down throughout time. Example would be the huge difference between a Roman slave and the black slave in America. Or how Romans in general in comparison with the rest of the world before and after them.

The 20th century is full of up and down morality between Nazis and the seperation of the 'colored' and the 'whites'. Or how Americans treated the Japanese Americans during WW2.

So I think it may be hard to predict the future because who knows what will happen. Oil being the big concern of course.
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 3855
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: Future morality

Postby Deepcrush » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:37 pm

I honestly don't see morality changing all to much. Morality will always end up being bent to suit the wants of people. That's for both good and more often bad. But in the end, morality will end up in the future right where it is now. It's like a child on a swing, sometimes it's high to one side or the other sometimes low to one side or the other and on the funny moments just jumps off the swing and buries it's face.
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
User avatar
Deepcrush
4 Star Admiral
4 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 18917
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:15 pm
Location: Arnold, Maryland, USA

Re: Future morality

Postby McAvoy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:54 pm

I also agree that our current morality won't change that much unless something big happens. Like a WW3 or the reverse where we find some sort of magical fuel or food.

Most likely if anything, perhaps the distain some people feel for the Middle East. But something huge would have to happen.
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 3855
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: Future morality

Postby colmquinn » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:46 am

I also think things will just be an evolved version of what we have now.

However if as Deep says it swings the other way., the Western democratic world falls. In 200 years all that is left is fiefdoms of little warlords and some other (china, russia, south american alliance) dominant power.

The only thing we can guarantee is we can't predict the future.

My 2 cents
But I can't throw, I throw like a geek!
User avatar
colmquinn
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: Waiting in the long grass

Re: Future morality

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:02 am

Hell, the only two sure things in life are taxes and death. Everything else is up for grabs to lady luck and father oh shit the world just went down the crapper.
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
User avatar
Deepcrush
4 Star Admiral
4 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 18917
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:15 pm
Location: Arnold, Maryland, USA

Re: Future morality

Postby colmquinn » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:32 am

Personally my money is on "father oh shit the world just went down the crapper."
But I can't throw, I throw like a geek!
User avatar
colmquinn
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: Waiting in the long grass

Re: Future morality

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:48 pm

Another sure thing is if you build something idiot-proof, the universe will make a better idiot. ;)

But yeah, the future's wide open, and no real way to predict it.
User avatar
RK_Striker_JK_5
2 Star Admiral
2 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 9009
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:27 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Future morality

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:58 pm

Nothing is idiot proof which is the even sadder part of life. How many times have we seen literal writings ignored with simple line of "they didn't mean that".

Morality on earth will always be more about supporting the stupidit or laziness of the masses then of being about what's truly morally right.
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
User avatar
Deepcrush
4 Star Admiral
4 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 18917
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:15 pm
Location: Arnold, Maryland, USA

Next

Return to Science, Philosophy and Theology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest