Deliberately doing nothing morally identical to doing something

#1
Evolution and Human Behaviour

The omission effect in moral cognition: toward a functional explanation

Peter DeSciolia
, Rebecca Brueningb, Robert Kurzbanb

Received 20 May 2010; accepted 17 January 2011. published online 31 March 2011.
Abstract

Moral judgment involves much more than computations of the expected consequences of behavior. A prime example of the complexity of moral thinking is the frequently replicated finding that violations by omission are judged less morally wrong than violations by commission, holding intentions constant. Here we test a novel hypothesis: Omissions are judged less harshly because they produce little material evidence of wrongdoing. Evidence is crucial because moral accusations are potentially very costly unless supported by others. In our experiments, the omission effect was eliminated when physical evidence showed that an omission was chosen. Perpetrators who “opted out” by pressing a button that would clearly have no causal effects on the victim, rather than rescuing them, were judged as harshly as perpetrators who directly caused death. These results show that, to reduce condemnation, omissions must not only be noncausal, they must also leave little or no material evidence that a choice was made.
 
#2
Evolution and Human Behaviour

The omission effect in moral cognition: toward a functional explanation

Peter DeSciolia
, Rebecca Brueningb, Robert Kurzbanb

Received 20 May 2010; accepted 17 January 2011. published online 31 March 2011.
Abstract

Moral judgment involves much more than computations of the expected consequences of behavior. A prime example of the complexity of moral thinking is the frequently replicated finding that violations by omission are judged less morally wrong than violations by commission, holding intentions constant. Here we test a novel hypothesis: Omissions are judged less harshly because they produce little material evidence of wrongdoing. Evidence is crucial because moral accusations are potentially very costly unless supported by others. In our experiments, the omission effect was eliminated when physical evidence showed that an omission was chosen. Perpetrators who “opted out” by pressing a button that would clearly have no causal effects on the victim, rather than rescuing them, were judged as harshly as perpetrators who directly caused death. These results show that, to reduce condemnation, omissions must not only be noncausal, they must also leave little or no material evidence that a choice was made.
I am guilty of deliberately not raping babies.... lock me up and throw away the key eh?

Or maybe we are all guilty for not selling our homes and sending the cash to Gaza?

Doing nothing when it's possible to do something is not so bad when one compensates with practical realities... If doing nothing deliberately causes harm, then there's a problem.
 
#4
I'll come back to this after I've read it and "understood" it :)
 
#5
I am at a loose end this afternoon. Think I'll just chill out and do nothing. That's me in the crap again then.
 
#6
Food for the God botherers.

Hmph, as if they needed any scraps to justify their existences. *shakes head and walks away muttering*
 
#8
Cogi...what a sickening reference to provide for showing pity on another person... Because jesus said!

We all have the capacity for empathy regardless of religious rubbish. It comes from evolution not from a garbled book. Generousity is also 'built in'... The experience and self satisfaction from giving has nothing to do with christianity.

What else have you got?
 
#9
Cogi...what a sickening reference to provide for showing pity on another person... Because jesus said!

We all have the capacity for empathy regardless of religious rubbish. It comes from evolution not from a garbled book. Generousity is also 'built in'... The experience and self satisfaction from giving has nothing to do with christianity.

What else have you got?
You need psychiatric help, Higgs_Bosun; your anti-theist stance is clearly having a deliterious affect upon you. There is nothing sickening about it at all to a rational mind. There are at least two sides to most human responses as the parable makes clear. As well as the capacity to help, we all have the capacity to hurt and to place our own interests before those of others. And we all (except you, of course) need food for thought to look at alternatives and/or set our minds straight as to which is the better/best/least-bad way to act/think - and that's what the parable provides and that is what it is intended to do rather than be a simple proscription.
 
#10
You need psychiatric help, Higgs_Bosun; your anti-theist stance is clearly having a deliterious affect upon you. There is nothing sickening about it at all to a rational mind. There are at least two sides to most human responses as the parable makes clear. As well as the capacity to help, we all have the capacity to hurt and to place our own interests before those of others. And we all (except you, of course) need food for thought to look at alternatives and/or set our minds straight as to which is the better/best/least-bad way to act/think - and that's what the parable provides and that is what it is intended to do rather than be a simple proscription.
I'll take all the help I can get to defeat religious fundamentalism like yours Cogi... Your mentality breeds the extremism that has destroyed our freedom and security in a modern world. Your thinking is geared to a primitive doctrine that has no place in society.

One does not need fictional parables, convoluted, contradicted and subject to ranting interpretations by the deluded to describe human behavior. How we treat our fellow human beings should form part of a secular curriculum in schools and the emphasis must be on what nature provides. The implications for abusing our role in a community must be subject to the rule of law, respect for life and conscience, in that order... not fear of superstition and ridiculous "alternatives".

If you can't see the sense in this then clearly you are the one deleterious and irrational. Get cured soon FFS...
 
#12
Good. I shall add you to my prayer list immediately. The sooner you see your GP and get referred the better for you.

Fuller response posted here.
What happened to your reasoning? You are clearly running back to the wooden pews in despair because you can't match reality with myths... your faith has failed you and it shows.
 
#13
What happened to your reasoning? You are clearly running back to the wooden pews in despair because you can't match reality with myths... your faith has failed you and it shows.
Could you please restrict all personal comments to the designated thread rather than clutter up what was intended to be a serious thread in the Science forum? Thank you.
 
#14
Could you please restrict all personal comments to the designated thread rather than clutter up what was intended to be a serious thread in the Science forum? Thank you.
As you were clearly intending to draw attention to the 'jesus said morality' from a completely non scientific POV... I challenge you to address my valid points on the subject before creating another one of your diversions into bible punching.
 
#15
Can the pair of you just not **** off to chat, or PM each other? Or is that too clever for the both of you?
 
#16
Does this mean then because i sat on my fat arrse and wasted a long weekend doing nothing i am responsible for the capture and death of Osama Bin Liner. Therefore if i had gone and cut the grass,cleaned the car or some other such crap he would still be alive and many gratefull asian women would be throwing themselves at my feet
 
#17
As you were clearly intending to draw attention to the 'jesus said morality' from a completely non scientific POV... I challenge you to address my valid points on the subject before creating another one of your diversions into bible punching.
Response to your paranoid ramblings in holding thread.

My intent in posting this item was the hope that it might have led to some secular discussion on the matter, such as:
  • is there a transition region between being judged as harshly as a perpetrator and having some lesser degree of culpability?
  • what is the impact on the perception of victims in terms of both individual responses and those of larger groupings - eg, why didn't the UN/whoever do more to stop the atrocities in Rwanda or to what extent are security services 'morally responsible' for not preventing harmful actions?
  • what is the impact on the individual soldier both in terms of how others perceive their actions and how they themselves do / will?
 
#18
Response to your paranoid ramblings in holding thread.

My intent in posting this item was the hope that it might have led to some secular discussion on the matter, such as:
  • is there a transition region between being judged as harshly as a perpetrator and having some lesser degree of culpability?
  • what is the impact on the perception of victims in terms of both individual responses and those of larger groupings - eg, why didn't the UN/whoever do more to stop the atrocities in Rwanda or to what extent are security services 'morally responsible' for not preventing harmful actions?
  • what is the impact on the individual soldier both in terms of how others perceive their actions and how they themselves do / will?
I am once again providing you with an opportunity for returning to serious discussion about any subject. In this case I smell a rat. Please define your idea of morality and it's origin before we proceed.
 
#20
Yeah…as I suspected. The topic is loaded with ulterior motives and now that it has been spotted you are backing off. The christian woo woo about morality is well documented and has been exposed. A notion of battles between good and evil involving supernatural entities external to existence etc.. Rather than man’s natural way of survival whilst cohabitating with other species on a spec of cosmic dust floating through space… Our morality is determined by evolution and perhaps some influences from nurture… the latter is likely to corrupt.

Doing nothing on this topic is what most people are doing….but I care enough to get it right. It’s up to you
 

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