Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Universal ethics?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 04:52 PM

Religion in government or politics is a hotly debated issue. Freedom of religion is arguably the greatest attribute to American culture. However, most ethics can be traced back to one religion or another, and my question is are there universal values that can be applied legislatively to promote a peaceful society without imposing belief systems on people?

A more vague, broad-spectrumed approach would be to ask is there such a thing as right and wrong, or good and bad, objectively speaking?

I ask because there is endless political friction over the "imposing" of values on citizens through legislation, to the point that hardly anything gets done in the way of settling legal disputes, or what is done is soon undone, which is unfortunate considering the cost burden of the seemingly impotent federal government.

My suggestion for ethical line-drawing is concern for the whole of the human race rather than individual beings, corporations, or governments. I therefore view "bad" as selfish and "good" as considerate. Any takers?

#2 Erasmus00

Erasmus00

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1561 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 05:25 PM

Religion in government or politics is a hotly debated issue. Freedom of religion is arguably the greatest attribute to American culture. However, most ethics can be traced back to one religion or another, and my question is are there universal values that can be applied legislatively to promote a peaceful society without imposing belief systems on people?

A more vague, broad-spectrumed approach would be to ask is there such a thing as right and wrong, or good and bad, objectively speaking?

I ask because there is endless political friction over the "imposing" of values on citizens through legislation, to the point that hardly anything gets done in the way of settling legal disputes, or what is done is soon undone, which is unfortunate considering the cost burden of the seemingly impotent federal government.

My suggestion for ethical line-drawing is concern for the whole of the human race rather than individual beings, corporations, or governments. I therefore view "bad" as selfish and "good" as considerate. Any takers?



Read Kant "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals." He does about the most thorough job of trying to develop an objetive morality that you'll find.
-Will

#3 IrishEyes

IrishEyes

    Reminiscing

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2710 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 05:49 PM

Read Kant "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals." He does about the most thorough job of trying to develop an objetive morality that you'll find.
-Will

Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll look for it. But since I don't have a copy handy, would you care to let us in on the basics?

#4 UncleAl

UncleAl

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1212 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 06:35 PM

Do unto others before others do unto you.
God helps those who help themselves to others.
Remember the Eleventh Commandment and keep it wholly - Thou shalt not get caught.
Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. A little bit of greed will get you a whole lot of stuff.
When folks beat their swords into plowshares they will farm for those of us with guns.
When buying and selling are regulated, the first items to be bought and sold are the regulators.
Tragedy of the Commons.
Drink upsteam of the herd.

Do you believe Catholic priests are celebate? Catholic nuns? That televangelists aren't the lowest scum on the Earth? That Billy Graham didn't ride wth Nixon at full gallop, blessling the stench and quietly taking his cut? That Mother Teressa didn't exult in the angusihed screams of her horribly dying patients denied opiates, given god's love instead?

You propose a static civilization. It would fall to the first fellow to show up with a pair of big brass clangers. Crime always pays. Look around you, from cheating in class to your government at all levels. America was created by the biggest crooks on the planet - Carnegie, Rockefeller, Kennedy, Ford, Edison, Westinghouse, Morgan, Stanford... starting with corrupt surveyor and pot grower George Washington, incestuous slave humper Thomas Jefferson, libertine and fast businessman Ben Franklin, smuggler Paul Revere...

Morals protect government from its polity. Ethics protect people from each other. A .357 magnum laways beats a royal flush. An armed society is a polite society. Any synthetic imposition beyond that will be corrupt and to the advantage of the corrupt.

#5 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 07:30 PM

Any synthetic imposition beyond that will be corrupt and to the advantage of the corrupt.

Hahaha! I agree wholeheartedly, and so does the apostle Paul.

Romans 3:10-18 nkjv:

10 As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one." [Psa 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecc 7:20]
13 "Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; [Psa 5:9]
"The poison of asps is under their lips"; [Psa 5:9]
14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." [Psa 10:7]
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known." [Isa 59:7, 8]
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." [Psa 36:1]



#6 Erasmus00

Erasmus00

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1561 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 08:38 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll look for it. But since I don't have a copy handy, would you care to let us in on the basics?


After much philosophical arguing, he comes to the point where he "proves" that the principle of universalization yields objective morality. In other words to make moral decisions you universalize your action, and if its logically consistant, its moral. I.e.

1) I want to see this movie, so I'll sneak in.
2) EVERYONE sneaks into this movie.
3) This is logically inconsistant, if we live in a world where everyone sneaks in, then movies don't make money, and they stop being made, so there would be no movies to sneak into.
4) so therefore its immoral

I'm not defending Kant's argument, as I cannot do it justice in this forum. Just giving the basics. Its interesting in theory, but Kant is a pretty dry read.
-Will

#7 IrishEyes

IrishEyes

    Reminiscing

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2710 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:56 PM

What if everyone just lived by the Golden Rule? I mean, they still teach that in school, don't they? :)

#8 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 04 July 2005 - 12:37 AM

What if everyone just lived by the Golden Rule? I mean, they still teach that in school, don't they? :)

Ya, but only the hardened criminal type educators "oppress" students with such religious bias under the "guise" of common sense.

#9 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:44 PM

...That Billy Graham didn't ride wth Nixon at full gallop, blessling the stench and quietly taking his cut? That Mother Teressa didn't exult in the angusihed screams of her horribly dying patients denied opiates, given god's love instead?...

You know, UA, it looks like you never met a guy with ethics. Having ethics means that you do things that are not for your benefit, but are consistent with your personal perception of compliance with "rules" of right and wrong.

I don't' think I am anything like Billy Graham or Mother Theresa. But I have made decisions that are consistent with what I thought was "right". Some of those decisions cost me a lot. I learned this from other folks that did the same thing. Those behaviors are not consistent with your view of the world.

It seems to me you are conveniently ignoring a set of facts. These behaviors, even though uncommon, are not addressed by your universal-self-centric model. The fact that lots of people are shallow does not obviate the fact that some are not, and honestly want to get better.

Imagine that.