Monday, June 09, 2014

Rate yourself morally

I wonder if anyone things of themselves as an immoral person. I wonder what the results would be if people were to rate themselves on a percentile scale as a moral person.

14 comments:

Keen Reader said...

Calvinists *might* be the most truthful, followed by Amish!

Dan Gillson said...

I think that most people would see themselves as moral because they see themselves as supporting the right political causes, or because they see themselves as following the right rules. The exceptions, I think, would be with sexual ethics and with certain sorts of conduct (e.g., I get really drunk on the weekends), but mostly, I think, people would see themselves as occupying the highest percentile of morality, just like they see themselves as occupying the highest percentile of intelligence, or fitness, etc., etc.

B. Prokop said...

A sinner. I don't know what "percentile" that would be.

Hugo said...

My answer would be the secular equivalent of Mr. Prokop's answer: I don't know what percentile I would give myself but I would concede that I do immoral things all the time. I try to minimize the harm it inflicts onto others and attempt to improve, so I guess I would not rate myself at the bottom either though.I nteresting food for thought!

John Moore said...

Looking at things from the evolutionary-consequentialist point of view, I think I'm so-so to pretty good.

How moral you think you are is the same as how likely you think you are to transmit your genes-memes into the long-term future. Also, how moral you think you are is the same as how happy you are!

Dave Duffy said...

Vic,

I love your website. I've been visiting here since my middle son became interested in philosophy. But, I notice you do not engage in the conversation often. I also wonder if you throw ideas out there just to see what the minions say?

What is your thought on the topic you wonder about?

Victor Reppert said...

I think people have a tendency to vastly overrate themselves. Part of it is the parts of morality they consider most important are probably the parts that they are the best at following.

Unknown said...

I'm immoral.

I can't comment on where I fall on the continuum.

That said I don't believe I'm totally immoral, if I were totally depraved would I actually know it?

oozzielionel said...

I am least moral when I am content in my moral "rating." I am quick to justify questionable decisions and motivations. Morality increases with my realization of my moral poverty. The more moral I become, the less moral I feel. I can only uncover the opportunities of right behavior as I live rightly. It is only safe to rate myself as the worst of sinners.

jdhuey said...

Has anyone developed a 'morality metric'? A way that one could calculate their morality rating?

im-skeptical said...

"The more moral I become, the less moral I feel."

The result of religious guilt tripping.

Dave Duffy said...

Dr. Reppert,

Thanks for the forthright response. Saying something important in two sentences is a gift.

oozzielionel said...

Im
Lack of guilt is leprosy of the soul.

im-skeptical said...

"Lack of guilt is leprosy of the soul."

Lack of guilt is the mark of a sociopath. Fortunately, most of us are not sociopaths, not even atheists. However, it is undeniable that religious institutions instill a sense of guilt in their followers. The Catholic church teaches little children that they are sinners - born that way - even before it can be meaningfully said that they are guilty of something. They would have us all believe that the only way we can shed ourselves of this guilt is to abandon reason and accept the sacrificial blood of Jesus as our atonement. It's no wonder that you feel guiltier even as you try to become more moral.