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11/11/06 4:26 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 11-Nov-06
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Then you didn´t pose your question clearly enough ;) But my answer to your new questions would be: There is no REAL, metaphysical right and wrong. There are no moral objects in this sense. Its only what people feel and what can be agreed on and these are accepted as conventions and form the basis for law. So there are no REAL platonic differences between right and wrong. I am a meta-ethical anti-realist and I can hardly see how any other position can really be defended. I.
11/14/06 2:22 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 14-Nov-06
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Well you said the "basis for morality is evolutionary," which i'm not sure is really true in your view (hence my question), or at least what you are calling "morality" is probably not what is usually meant. If you look back on the thread i posted, i argue against morals in general, but for goodness and badness, which are physically measurable things (essentially, pain and pleasure). Thus laws are based on goodness and badness (evolutionary features), and morality is nonexistent. More or less, it sounds like we are saying the same thing, however, just with semantical differences. You should read up on Derk Pereboom, who has some proposed legal systems for punishment based on this type of (although somewhat different) viewpoint. -doug-
11/15/06 2:25 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 15-Nov-06
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First of all: There are almost no current philosophers who accept: "for goodness and badness, which are physically measurable things (essentially, pain and pleasure)" this. Moore argued against any naturalistic definition with his open Q argument. The current naturalistic accounts are very complex and depend on different assumptions. And if it were true then why wouldn´t that constitute a basis of morality. You seem to have a very strange view of what morality is. And laws based on goodness/badness (pleasure/pain) - this can hardly be true. Greets, I.
11/15/06 8:15 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 15-Nov-06 08:16 PM
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I was merely defining goodness and badness in my own terms. I wonder how you define goodness, as seperate from rightness? Or badness, from wrongness? I assume that there are things that are good or bad, that are completely amoral, even if there were such a thing as a moral object, and that these good and bad things do not happen to inanimate objects. When considering what these things might be, i assume only that they can only be something similar to pleasure, or pain in some fashion or other. If you have a better suggestion, or if you'd want to expand on the theory you mentioned i'd love to hear it! And I didnt say anything about laws being based on goodness or badness on this thread that i can remember... Laws are social contracts. -doug-
11/16/06 3:51 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 16-Nov-06 03:51 AM
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"And I didnt say anything about laws being based on goodness or badness on this thread that i can remember... Laws are social contracts." From your previous post: "Thus laws are based on goodness and badness (evolutionary features), and morality is nonexistent." ;) But anyway. I think that no one definition of goodness is correct. But goodness as such does not have to be the basis for morality. This could be constituted by what people value (preferences, values) and what people value is what they usually call good. My basic point is this. Morality should be based on the preferences or values of individual persons. Those coincide to a large degree (due to evolutionary reasons) but are also in conflict to a large degree (due to evolutionary reasons) and we need to strike a balance. And I personally think that the balance can only be achieved in small communities with straight democracy and proper social contracts been made. I.
11/16/06 12:05 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 16-Nov-06
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"And I didnt say anything about laws being based on goodness or badness on this thread that i can remember... Laws are social contracts." LOL. Im an idiot. I dont know what i was thinking. "I think that no one definition of goodness is correct." ok. "But goodness as such does not have to be the basis for morality. This could be constituted by what people value (preferences, values) and what people value is what they usually call good. " Couldnt it be argued that what people value is ultimately pleasure? And once a system of values is in place, and you call it "morality" what has changed other than what you call it? -doug-
11/16/06 2:15 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 16-Nov-06
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"Couldnt it be argued that what people value is ultimately pleasure?" It can be argued, but it is very easy to disprove. "once a system of values is in place, and you call it "morality" what has changed other than what you call it?" the big problem is getting a system of values that all in a community would accept I.
11/17/06 5:37 PM
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gambacz
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Edited: 17-Nov-06 05:41 PM
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Back after a few days, I can see this thread has taken a slightly meta-moral direction... Which I do not disapprove of :o). A handful of reading tips for those interested: The problem of responsibility on the macro-scale ("distant strangers", rich and poor countries and so on) is nicely put in Samuel Scheffler's book "Boundaries and Allegiances", which (philosophically) addresses the tension inherent to broadly liberal thought - treating all people equally may clash with valuing "individual" ties (family, region, nation). As for the moral realism vs. anti-realism, I can think of a book that I particularly liked, by JL Mackie - "Inventing Right and Wrong". A clear formulation of anti-realism, may have been written in the 1970s but still quite an authoritative statement thereof (or so I believe). Individual morality (micromorals, or one's practical reasoning) vs. morality "proper" (a system of socially accepted and/or advocated rules or principles) = THE problem of ethics and (consequently) of political philosophy. Now this is a trivial point but many people miss it, hopefully those who read the thread won't :o). And regarding pleasure and pain as the source of morals - that is crude benthamite utilitarianism which is really untenable. However, there are reformulations that do not seem so dubious, such as preference fulfillment. What do you guys think about the relevance of utilitarian ethics in general? It seems to me that it could be applied to the me-dying person-water problem quite fruitfully (if not in the end undisputably). *edited for being too quick*
11/19/06 9:27 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 19-Nov-06
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Yep. I view myself as trying to continue Mackie´s project pretty much. I.
11/21/06 11:36 AM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 21-Nov-06
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"As for the moral realism vs. anti-realism, I can think of a book that I particularly liked, by JL Mackie - "Inventing Right and Wrong"." I support that recommendation. Nice book, but now it was many years since I read it.
11/21/06 4:13 PM
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gambacz
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Edited: 21-Nov-06
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Actually the title is "Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong". My bad, but really worth reading :o)
5/19/08 1:28 AM
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Mantra
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If you are aware, then give the hobo some water before he dies. Problem solved.
5/19/08 10:37 AM
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Gorgeous
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Isn't there something about murdering by ommission...

5/20/08 8:39 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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Modern Self-Defense Center, Head Instructor
Wow, this thread is back!

What do you guys think about the relevance of utilitarian ethics in general? - gambacz

I think that Hedonistic Utilitarian ethics are perfectly plausible, along the lines of more recent formulations. For example, Fred Feldman's Doubly-Desert Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism (DDAIAH) is something I find quite reasonable. And paired with a good formulation of Act Utilitarianism (I confess, I haven't seen anyone tweak it exactly the way I'd like, but if I ever get some free time maybe I'll write a paper again myself), I think it's a compelling team.

As for the original question about the dying man, are we just discussing the prima facie obligation? It seems like there are more considerations.
8/16/08 6:20 PM
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hakeem0530
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no
9/17/08 3:23 PM
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770mdm
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If this concerned a licenced physician then yes.


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