back to the beginning: morality

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 07, 2022 4:51 pm

Is Moral Relativism Really a Problem?
Psychological research suggests it is not
By Thomas Pölzler at Scientific American

This research suggests that relativist attitudes may manifest themselves in more varied ways than is often thought. Some of these effects are negative; others are positive. Finally, I suspect that in most everyday contexts, relativism’s effects will be simply negligible. Numerous kinds of nonmoral reasons and influences motivate prosocial, and counteract antisocial, behaviors, too.


Negligible for many of us because, for the most part, we might go for days, weeks, months or even years without our lives reaching an existential breaking point...a new set of circumstances where we are forced to possibly reevaluate our moral and political value judgments. To reevaluate how we think about morality altogether.

For example, you are now a citizen of Ukraine.

Thus, even if it were true that relativists lacked strong moral motivation to refrain from murder or rape, this situation would hardly lead them to go out and actually murder and rape. Like most other people, relativists will have a natural inhibition against doing such things; they will feel sympathy toward fellow human beings, they will want to avoid being put in jail or being socially ostracized, and so on.


Here of course things can get tricky. In other words, where does a "natural inhibition" in human beings against doing certain things cross over into something then said to be objective morality? And then those ambiguous contexts in which someone insists that there's "no way" they could ever murder someone...and then either performs or has an abortion. Or rationalizes the state executing prisoners on death row. Or either does or does not include the killing of other animals in their moral narrative.

So is moral relativism the “biggest problem in America”? Or even a big problem? I suggest that Ryan and other commentators look instead at issues such as climate change, increasing economic inequality or insufficient health care. If we consider the available scientific evidence, moral relativism may be more widespread than thought. Yet it likely does not pose any serious threat to American society.


What say you? And how can that not be relative to your own set of circumstances? To your own philosophy of life? To your own moral narrative rooted in dasein?

And, in fact, in America today, with it's Blue States and Red States and ever deepening "culture wars", it's clearly not moral relativism that is the biggest problem. Quite the opposite, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 14, 2022 4:48 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek
at Scientific American

I am a faithful book buyer and an omnivorous reader, but one with a precocious streak—I like to look up authors and email them with questions about their books. Since penning a book about the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-modification system, readers are now writing to me with all sorts of middle-of-the-night thoughts. Many people think of science as a good thing—STEM has cachet, synonymous with our goodness—but the advance of the life sciences unnerves some people.

A teacher in New Hampshire suggested recombinant DNA research—including CRISPR—was dangerous enough in theory that he has proposed to move it all to the moon (he has not yet secured the funding or political will to do this). A therapist in the Netherlands has started a grassroots campaign to stop the application of CRISPR, a motivation which is linked to her views on the divinity of nature.


One thing for sure. Science is all but impotent when confronting minds that insist that science itself must be completely in sync with how they view the world around them spiritually, morally. When confronting those in possession of their very own private and personal "script for what to value or believe in."

After all, when you link together "life" and "science", you are immediately confronted with all of the profoundly problematic ways in which any particular one of us have come to understand life itself. And not only rationally but emotionally as well. And there minds can easily become locked and loaded. Indeed, look at some of them we encounter right here.

Science can discredit our speculations, folk science and illusions about how the world works and what to be afraid of; but the opposite, science as a positive script for what to value or believe has its limitations. Robert Oppenheimer was painfully aware of this when he concluded that “science is not all of the life of reason; it is a part of it.”


The parts for example that most now just take for granted. The parts that go into creating the world around us. The parts that sustain an economy. The parts that allow us the use of technologies that few of us have any real understanding of at all regarding how they work. Science in the either/or world and all of the leaps and bounds it has taken in the past centuries.

But the parts engaged in "gene-modification systems"? What is "spiritually and morally" correct then?

For example...

CRISPR may indeed be used to create bioweapons through the engineering of microbes, or create pathological strains through unscrupulous genetic manipulation. But the unleashing of dangerous microbes has been a concern at least since the 1970s when recombinant DNA first emerged, not to mention giving rise to films such as the Andromeda Strain and The Stand.


Exactly: conflicting goods. Depending on how each of us defines good and bad in terms of either means or ends. The part where science is no less stymied by the manner in which I propose the "for all practical purposes" implications of dasein in the is/ought world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 20, 2022 5:17 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek at Scientific American

In 2008, the President's Council on Bioethics released a 555-page report, titled Human Dignity and Bioethics, which fielded essays by wide array of thinkers including the progressive philosopher Daniel Dennett and conservatives such as Leon Kass. As Dennett put the problem, “When we start treating living bodies as motherboards on which to assemble cyborgs, or as spare parts collections to be sold to the highest bidder, where will it all end?”


Where all of this gets particularly problematic in today's world is when the relationship between science and morality gets entangled in turn in capitalism. There's what is in fact scientifically true or false, what is in fact moral or immoral and what will in fact sell or not sell.

After all, once -- whether in the field of bioethics or elsewhere -- big bucks can be made the slope only gets all the more slippery. Then science itself can be used to rationalize almost anything. Science and the Defense Department for example. Science and Big Pharma.

The solution of rescuing human dignity from the commercial forces of science, Dennett noted, cannot involve resorting to “traditional myths” since this “will backfire” but instead concepts of human dignity should be based on our sovereign right to “belief in the belief that something matters.”


Okay, Mr. Scientist, get together with Mr. Ethicist and send those avaricious capitalists down the most rational and righteous path in regard to research in the realm of human biology.

Explain to us all of the far more important things that ought to matter to us than making a fortune manipulating and reconstructing human biology into...whatever sells.

As for sustaining human dignity...hire a clever publicist for that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 26, 2022 5:52 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek at Scientific American

Dennett argues that faith is important in an everyday sense, such as most people have faith in democracy even as "we are often conflicted, eager to point to flaws that ought to be repaired, while just as eager to reassure people that the flaws are not that bad, that democracy can police itself, so their faith in it is not misplaced.”


In other words, as some here might remind us, anything is better than Donald Trump.

Short of an actual God able to provide us with an objective morality linked Divinely to immortality and salvation, democracy [anchored to political economy] may well be the best of all possible worlds when it comes to morality and conflicting goods. As with science, people are permitted to disagree and at least attempt to demonstrate that their frame of mind is the most reasonable.

The point is also true about science, “since the belief in the integrity of scientific procedures is almost as important as the actual integrity.” In fact, we engage in a sort of "belief maintenance” insofar that “this idea that there are myths we live by, myths that must not be disturbed at any cost, is always in conflict with our ideal of truth-seeking” and even as we commit to ideas in public or just in our hearts, "a strange dynamic process is brought into being, in which the original commitment gets buried” in layers of internal dialog and counterargument.


In other words, the actual historical interaction of science and the rest of us in a particular community given what we think is true about it and what in fact is true from the perspective an all-knowing entity. Here, "science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script." On the other hand, in a community owned and operated by the crony capitalists that script favors some considerably more than others. After all, consider the myth that "the press" -- the media industrial complex -- strives for objectivity in reporting the news of the day.

But how many think about the "integrity of science" from that frame of mind? Then on to the recursive "layers of internal dialog and counterargument".

"Personal rules are a recursive mechanism; they continually take their own pulse, and if they feel it falter, that very fact will cause further faltering," the psychiatrist George Ainslie wrote in the Breakdown of Will. If science can challenge beliefs, dignity is more primal—it is the right to hold beliefs, make use of science, and exercise belief maintenance.


Dignity. Tell me that doesn't often revolve around God or ideology or one or another set of philosophical assumptions.

Myths?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:28 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek at Scientific American

Whatever it meant to live a good life, it couldn’t be predefined by culture or science.


And yet how many "serious philosophers" among us still seem intent on settling down to the task of defining the words we use in any discussion of morality. As though, like scientists, ethicists must begin with what we can determine logically and epistemologically that words must mean before we can move on and determine as well what constitutes good as opposed to bad behavior.

As though the exactitude of the meaning of words used to encompass the manufacturing of guns could in turn be used in establishing whether laws ought to be enacted establishing restrictions on who can own them and on what cannot be purchased at all.

And then the shift over to a meaningful life itself...

In Anton Chekhov’s 1889 short story, “A Boring Story,” Nikolai Stepanovich, an internationally recognized scientist and professor of medicine, slips into melancholy near the end of his life. Despite his incredible success, his life seems evermore ambiguous, as the modernist movement comes to displace his authority. Katja, a young girl, a representative of the new generation, comes to him asking for advice and guidance, but Nikolai knows he has no way to tell her how to live. The irony is that freedom invoked a melancholy. His physician friend Mikhail Fyodorovich confides in Nikolai, “Science, God knows, has become obsolete. Its song has sung. Yes… Humanity has already begun to feel the need of replacing it with something else.”


Here many embrace science because what it has come to understand about nature has allowed the human race to create all of the marvelous inventions and engineering feats that make the "modern world" so much more habitable, comfortable, sufferable than for those who lived long before us. But, at the same time, it has pulled the rug out from under any number of religious narratives. More and more of us go to science for answers rather than to church.

We seem to have more and more and more options to choose from to put meaning into our lives but the more there are the more some want it to all come down to the one true path. And science here is of little or no use. Not when it comes to tying all of the "things" in our life together into something thought by us to make us "spiritually whole".

And then, what else is there? One or another God/No God teleological font.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:31 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek at Scientific American

In his essay “The Virtue of Scientific Thinking” in the Boston Review, Harvard science historian Steven Shapin, who has also written on how much of our belief in science and the world is based on trust in the written word, has argued that trust in science has a critical role in morality, and that science, say climate science, can indeed be useful to shape values and direct policy decisions. But there are also obvious pitfalls to resurgent scientism. In recent decades, the free inquiry of science has been linked to technology, and thus to modes of institutional power, and monetization.


Here's the thing about science: the scientific method.

To the extent that you believe or do not believe in science given a particular context, there either are or are not scientists around able to come the closest to establishing whether what is claimed to be true objectively for all of us actually is. At least in regard to the natural sciences. The social sciences on the other hand -- psychology, sociology, anthropology -- do not have the equivalent of the scientific method in order to establish rock solid conclusions. They can make reasonably accurate predictions about, say, crowd behavior, but the conclusions have to be adjusted depending on which actual crowd it is in this or that set of circumstances.

And to the extent they are well-informed about this or that crowd, if the crowd is rallying around one cause rather than another, how well-informed can they be in regard to noting the most rational cause?

For example, I was just rewatching the film First Man, about Neal Armstrong's trek to the Moon and back. There were crowd scenes in it that depicted protests against the space program. The "Whitey on the Moon" frame of mind. Their behavior may be more or less predictable. But how to decide if the billions spent on the space program was worth it with so many programs needing funding down here?

As for "institutional power, and monetization", there's the "scientific socialism" of Karl Marx.

Which, of course, takes us back to "science and capitalism":

...scientific inquiry can be in jeopardy to the extent that it becomes put to the extreme uses of capitalization of the life sciences. Science, once a challenge to institutional authority, has increasingly been defined by status, finance and what look like hierarchical structures, which I think that people subconsciously like to see. But scientists, by close association with biotech, also risk a backlash that people make disengage with them, and begin to see credible facts as merely framing one more business venture. Importantly, we trust that what scientists say is probably true, but there is no guarantee of this trust or belief. In fact, trust is jeopardy as scientists connect their work to modes of technology as a means to personal power, half-million dollar cancer drugs, a billion-dollar CRISPR patent battle, and the like.


The "scientific method" and the "life sciences" industry. Science and the Defense Department. Science and the CIA/NSA. Science and Big Pharma. Science and the beauty industry. Science and social media technology. And on and on.

And, of course, it didn't much change when science was used by the "totalitarian" regimes to further their own political ideologies. The part where the either/or world and the is/ought world becomes hopelessly entangled. Historically, for example.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 14, 2022 4:12 pm

Science and Morality
Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script
Jim Kozubek at Scientific American

Science does not provide a positive script—but information to help build that script. For instance, a hypothesis is a proposition or belief that can be tested; but as Karl Popper once suggested, a hypothesis cannot be proven, only disproven (one black swan proves not all swans are white, but more white swans do not) since a given can never be completely proved—there is always the chance of a challenge by new data. Science offers no starting points, and there are questions of whether science is, in fact, leading us to any complete view of nature, which will be unchallenged, or, in some way, enlightened.


In regard to moral and political value judgments that come into conflict, the role played by science is often problematic. After all, scientifically, what can be disproven by new data in regard to abortion or animal rights or homosexuality. There are the biological facts that can be presented...facts that everyone can agree on...but facts that still come up short in regard to the politics of abortion, animal rights and homosexuality. Indeed, if science was able to accumulate the facts into moral resolutions here, where are they?

Science can disprove that all swans are white, but what if swans [whatever the color] are hunted as trophies or as food. What can be either proven or disproven in regard to this behavior?

Or the reality of science being bought and paid for by "special interests" only in order to bolster the bottom line. Where should science itself not be permitted to go?

Increasingly, some scientists deny a Theory of Everything. Physical systems may be in a state of competition; in other words—there is no logic at the basis of reality. Therefore, while science is a useful tool, we have to at least entertain the prospect that it only leads to an abyss of time—an ongoing building and rebuilding of human histories. I suspect it will fail as a singular means to guide us to any conflict-free reality, and that we are far from done struggling with the consequences of the modernist break.


This is becoming more and more apparent in regard to dark matter and dark energy. Some are starting to speculate that they don't even exist at all...that it all revolves instead around our failure to grasp the true nature of gravity itself. That Einstein may have gotten it all wrong.

But with gravity where is the moral component? That would seem to be applicable only if gravity goes all the way back to God...or to proof that in a No God universe there is a teleological component. Something in the laws of matter that not only results in human autonomy but in Nature's equivalent of Judgment Day.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 21, 2022 5:08 pm

Can Language Affect Morality?
Studies suggest that when we think in a foreign language, our entire sense of “right” and “wrong” changes.
BY STEPH KOYFMAN atv the Babbel Magazine website

Language and morality: is there really a link there? Is morality subjective, or does the compass always bend to a “true north” that exists outside of our cultural biases?

The idea of an objective sense of “right” and “wrong” has a strong hold on our cultural imagination, and it’s one that is central to many major religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.


Why on earth do you suppose Gods are invented in the first place? Well, the primary reason of course is as an antidote to oblivion. No getting around that in any language. No God [or No God equivalent] and you are just food for worms on your trek back to star stuff.

But from this side of the grave you don't get there unless you are judged worthy of it. So of course God comes with commandments. And these commandments are just words placed in a particular order on stone tablets adjuring you to toe the line or else.

Leave it to scientific inquiry, then, to poke some holes in this theory. Various studies have shown that moral judgments can actually change when they’re made in a foreign language, veering toward a more dispassionate, utilitarian take. That’s not to say that foreign languages make us less moral — just that they make us a different kind of moral.


Of course. Languages that are foreign to us will be spoken in cultures that are foreign to us. Different cultures, different ways of construing such things as race and gender and ethnicity and class. Different social, political and economic assumptions. But do we really need science to bring the "for all practical purposes" implications of that to our attention?

Instead, as philosophers, it's as much our job to point that out. And then, taking different cultures precipitating different languages aimed at examining morality into account, to come up with the "wisest" morality of all.

On the other hand, here, that's where "I" come in.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:04 pm

Can Language Affect Morality?
Studies suggest that when we think in a foreign language, our entire sense of “right” and “wrong” changes.
BY STEPH KOYFMAN atv the Babbel Magazine website

The Trolley Problem

A 2014 study led by Albert Costa posed the following dilemma to a group of volunteers: a runaway trolley is headed toward five people who are stuck on the tracks. You have the ability to pull a switch and shift the trolley’s direction, which would result in the death of one person standing on the other set of tracks. Essentially, you’re sacrificing one life in order to save five, resulting in a net of four saved lives.


Me? I'd want to know who these people are. Are the five stuck on the tracks total strangers? Is the person on the other set of tracks my own beloved wife or son or daughter? Do I know the five stuck on the tracks but despise them? Or do I despise the person on the other set of tracks even more? What if he was Vladimir Putin?

Or what if the five on one set of tracks were young children and the person on the other set was a very old man. Or a middle-aged pregnant woman?

The vast majority of study participants said they’d pull the switch: 81 percent when presented with the dilemma in their native tongue, and 80 percent when presented in a foreign language.


Sure, as long as the 6 people on the tracks are purely hypothetical abstractions one can ponder the "philosophical"/"ethical" difference between being or not being responsible for who lives and who dies. And, yes, doesn't it seem reasonable to have one rather than five dead bodies?

On the other hand, ask a sociopath to choose and he or she might just shrug and say, "fuck it, let them all die".

And then the part "the law" plays in it all. Are there laws on the book in any particular community that could result in you actually being punished for making one choice rather than another?

However, a second (and more contentious) scenario proved to be more polarizing. In this case, you’d have to hypothetically push a large man off of a footbridge and into the trolley’s path, which technically results in the same amount of net saved lives (four), but requires you to play a much more active role in someone’s death. In this case, only 20 percent of participants chose this option in their native language, but 33 percent chose this option in a foreign language.


Obviously, the scenarios can vary according to how much more intimately involved you are in actually causing a specific death or deaths. But what I still come back to is how any particular individual's reaction becomes the embodiment of dasein. And how sans God there does not appear to be a way for philosophers to arrive at the most rational and virtuous choice.

As for the native vs. foreign language factor, that's just one more factor. There could be countless others.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 28, 2022 7:01 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

For centuries, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and philosophers have tried to explain why people act morally.


I've never understood why this is not patently obvious. Human beings are generally social animals. They come into the world one by one but like everyone else they are hard-wired to subsist. That means setting up communities able to provide access to food and water and shelter. Communities able to sustain reproduction. Communities able to defend themselves. At the same time, in our modern world, men and women also come to want many things that go beyond merely surviving. These wants and needs can come into conflict. Both within the communities and between them.

So, as plain as day, it will be necessary to create and then to sustain "rules of behavior". One set of behaviors is rewarded, another set punished.

How is that not morality in a nutshell? What, it didn't become morality until the advent of surplus labor allowed for the existence of philosophers?

As though our ancestors going back to the cave didn't come up with their own sets of dos and don'ts? It's just that back then the emphasis was placed more on a might makes right "morality".

Or is true morality only to be understood in terms of definitions and concepts and principles?

In an attempt to improve our understanding of why people act morally, researchers have taken on a new approach to moral psychology, which attempts to find a link between moral judgment and moral action. This new approach has raised an interest in the topic of moral identity, which Hardy and Carlo define as “the degree to which being a moral person is important to an individual’s identity”.


Or we could conduct our own "research" right here.

Is being a "moral person" important to you...to your "sense of identity"? Do you behave from day to day so as to act out this commitment to virtue in your interactions with others?

If pressed to think it through, what are the links most crucial to you in connecting these dots?

Me? Well, I don't think it is possible to be a moral person [as most understand it] without a "transcending font" to anchor one's virtue to. For most it is God. For others it is ideology or reason.

Instead, I see morality as a subjective/existential manifestation of dasein. And thus, ultimately, given my own attempts to think it through, fractured and fragmented.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 05, 2022 5:22 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

Moral Psychology and Cultural Criticism

Lawrence Kohlberg’s work has heavily influenced the development of moral psychology. His model of moral reasoning and judgment is based, in part, on Piaget’s model of cognitive development. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development proposes six universal stages of development of moral reasoning. This sequence begins with children’s focus on avoiding punishment by authority (Stage 1) and potentially ends with an endorsement of universal principles of justices and rights (Stage 6).


Let's consider all six stages: https://sproutsschools.com/kohlbergs-6- ... velopment/

But: Given a particular context that has generated more big bold headlines these days: abortion.

Stage one: Obedience and punishment

How does this not basically revolve around someone being indoctrinated to believe what others tell them about the morality of abortion...and then going along with it in order to avoid punishment. Either out of conviction or convenience.

Stage Two: Self-interest

Given a particular context in which others will react to how you react to an abortion, what is best for you? And how is this not perceived as a manifestation of dasein? Again either out of conviction or convenience.

Stage three: Interpersonal accord and conformity

Same thing. You recognize what others around you think about abortion and you take the path of least resistance. You want to be seen as "one of us". But this can revolve around either a pro-woman choice or a pro-fetus life frame of mind no less rooted in dasein.

Stage four: Authority and maintaining social order

Same thing. Only now "those around you" are expanded to include those in positions of authority...those in power. But what remains crucial is not that an argument exist establishing abortion as either necessarily moral or immoral, but that "those around you" embrace one rather than the other conviction and in order to maintain "social order" you go along with the authorities.

Stage 5: Social Contract

No getting around that in any community...aside from those where might makes rights prevails in regard to conflicting goods like abortion. But how is that contract not going to be embedded in particular historical and cultural contexts? And how is your own reaction to it not going to become a manifestation of dasein? Whose interpretation of the "right rules" for the "right purpose" will prevail?

Stage Six: Universal Ethical Principles

Need I actually go here in regard to the morality of abortion? Or, perhaps, we should all just agree that beyond any doubt whatsoever your own universal ethical principles must prevail.

The findings from a number of cross-cultural studies have suggested that some aspects of Kohlberg’s theory of morality are universal. For example, Gibbs et al. revisited Kohlberg’s universality claims by reviewing 75 cross-cultural studies conducted in 23 countries. From this investigation, Gibbs et al. concluded that there is evidence that Kohlberg’s first four stages may be universal.


Okay, with respect to the morality of abortion, would someone here care to explain to us why and how the first four stages may be universal?

What particular "conflicting goods" did Gibbs actually focus in on in order to establish this? In other words, obedience and punishment, self-interest, interpersonal accord and conformity and authority and maintaining social order may all be unfolding in these 23 countries. But what does that tell us regarding any particular individual's thoughts and feelings about the morality of abortion?

Your own, for example. Fit yourself into these 6 stages.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Ecmandu » Thu May 05, 2022 5:39 pm

As a woman just told me yesterday.

“Why are certain people intent on forcing women to have babies?“ Force is an interesting word. Before the word rape even existed, it used to be called sex by force. For her, it’s having a baby by force.

We can all agree that every unwanted pregnancy is by definition an accident. It’s no ordinary accident, this accident has lifelong implications.

If my mom didn’t want me after all these years... I’d let her travel back in time and give me two seconds of suffering in a worst case scenario... so she could have a better life.

It’s funny that the Christian ideal is sacrifice for the greater good, but they hate abortion. There’s not even a greater good for humans existing.

But. Thall shall not kill. Right? Tell that to the war of life forms ... diseases trying to kill trees, trees trying to kill those diseases.

Tell that to your stomach. Hydrochloric Acic murdering Billions of innocent bacteria every day, ones that aren’t even trying to kill you. And you trying to kill the bacteria that are trying to kill you.

The worst thing Jesus ever said in the world is that god feeds the birds and look how much greater you are than the birds... think how much greater god will treat you.

We’re not even greater than a virus or bacterium. They’re not greater than us.

This whole thing is a shitshow.
The purpose of life is to give everyone individually what they always want at the expense of no being - forever.

The biggest problem of life is the, “hey, I don’t want this to be happening” problem for everyone.

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Meno_ » Thu May 05, 2022 6:13 pm

Not according to Melusina . Who was she? a being maybe Jesus had to contend with as He asked (The Father) :


"Why did You abandon me?"
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Ichthus77 » Fri May 06, 2022 5:04 am

read to the end of Psalm 22
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

“In choosing myself, I choose the other.”
- A marriage of Sartre & Levinas

“ Gloria Dei est vivens homo. “
Trans.: The glory of God is man fully alive.
- Irenaeus
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 06, 2022 5:08 am

Ichthus77 wrote:read to the end of Psalm 22




I did and they too are forgiven.


Wether they can forgive themselves is another thing. Once they know....
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 14, 2022 5:00 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

Since Kohlberg’s time, other scholars have proposed different models to describe moral development for a broad range of cultures. Shweder et al. have outlined a different approach to moral development, which posits three ethics that are central to the moral belief systems in the majority of cultures around the world: autonomy, community, and divinity.


Autonomy of course because in lacking it how on earth can morality not be but another inherent manifestation of the only possible world. Yes, somehow the compatibilists will hold you morally responsible for something you could never have not done, but that's still beyond my grasping.

Community by all means because almost all of us were born into one. And being born into one means being indoctrinated to understand the world around you as they do. Or, rather, as those in the community who do the indoctrinating understand it.

And divinity because once you factor God and religion into it morality becomes just another component of Scripture. Only with God and religion it doesn't stop when you are in the grave, but continues on for all the rest of eternity. Up or down as it were.

This method of differentiating types of morality not only shows different domains of morality, but also gives us insight into cultural variations. For example, there is a more pronounced emphasis on the ethic of community in Taiwan than in the United States and a stronger emphasis on the ethic of autonomy in the United States than in Taiwan.


So, you're born and raised in Taiwan or you're born and raised in America. Consequently, the extent to which morality is thought to revolve more around "I" or "we" is going to become a factor in the lives of millions. Okay, Mr. Philosopher, given this cultural variance, ought morality to revolve more around the individual or the community?

And which frame of mind here gets you closer to the manner in which I construe the role that dasein plays with respect to our individual value judgments.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Ichthus77 » Sat May 14, 2022 7:07 pm

The use of the the word *necessity* in this link just means need or hunger. We have a choice over what we fill it with. Mostly we opt for low hanging junk food. Those of us dissatisfied with that, who reach further than our grasp, develop a different second nature from others. Again… we are all loved the same and should extend that to others. The only way to truly enjoy life without escaping the reality when everything is crashing down around you.

https://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.p ... 4#p2870674

This is the pivot of the dao.

self=other
us=them

Demonstrated by heaven on the earthly cross.
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Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

“In choosing myself, I choose the other.”
- A marriage of Sartre & Levinas

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby PolandYoung » Sat May 14, 2022 9:23 pm

Morality = awareness that ones actions are not limited to oneself in their consequences and the following consideration of others in them. There are people with and without morality.
Ethics = a system presenting and arguing for behaviours that are bad and good, desirable/undesirable etc.
Religious Ethics = a system presenting and arguing for behaviours that are bad and good, desirable/undesirable etc. based on religious tenants.
b) theology = a philosophical system that is assumed to be religious, i.e. pre-suppose the existence of God and working within a specific religions religious ethics.
God = either:
a) a religious entity whos nature differs based on the religion concerned but is always its basis
b) speculative agency within nature
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 20, 2022 6:34 pm

David Brooks in the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/19/opin ... -wars.html

A commentary on the "one of us" vs. "one of them" morality mentality:

'I’m a fan of FiveThirtyEight, a website that looks at policy issues from a data-heavy perspective, but everyone publishes a clunker once in a while. In February, FiveThirtyEight ran a piece called “Why Democrats Keep Losing Culture Wars.” The core assertion was that Republicans prevail because a lot of Americans are ignorant about issues like abortion and school curriculum, and they believe the lies the right feeds them. The essay had a very heavy “deplorables are idiots” vibe.

'Nate Hochman, writing in the conservative National Review, recognized a hanging curve when he saw one and he walloped the piece. He noted that “all the ‘experts’ that the FiveThirtyEight writers cite in their piece are invested in believing that the progressive worldview is the objective one, and that any deviations from it are the result of irrational or insidious impulses in the electorate.”

'He added: “All this is a perfect example of why the left’s cultural aggression is alienating to so many voters. Progressive elites are plagued by an inability to understand the nature and function of social issues in American life as anything other than a battle between the forces of truth and justice on one side and those of ignorance and bigotry on the other.”'


And, come on, let's be honest: there is an equal and opposite rendition of this from the conservative end of the political spectrum. As though in castigating the liberals for expecting citizens to be "politically correct" about moral/value voter issues, the conservatives don't have their own "my way or the highway" mentality.

'But over the last few decades, as Republicans have been using cultural issues to rally support more and more, Democrats have understood what’s going on less and less. Many progressives have developed an inability to see how good and wise people could be on the other side, a lazy tendency to assume that anybody who’s not a social progressive must be a racist or a misogynist, a tendency to think the culture wars are merely a distraction Republican politicians kick up to divert attention from the real issues, like economics — as if the moral health of society was some trivial sideshow.

Even worse, many progressives have been blind to their own cultural power. Liberals dominate the elite cultural institutions — the universities, much of the mainstream news media, entertainment, many of the big nonprofits — and many do not seem to understand how infuriatingly condescending it looks when they describe their opponents as rubes and bigots.'


Of course, here things do get tricky for some. After all, anyone here who doesn't believe that America mass-produces "rubes and bigots" by the boatloads [along with boatloads more addicted to pop culture, mindless consumption and social media bullshit] isn't paying attention.

Well, of course, if "I" do say so myself. And while liberals may dominate in regard to "cultural institutions", let's not forget that in the news department talk radio along with Fox News are truly powerful forces for spreading the MAGA mentality across the land.

'The fact is the culture wars are not a struggle between the enlightened few and the ignorant and bigoted masses. They are a tension between two legitimate moral traditions. Democrats will never prevail on social issues unless they understand the nature of the struggle.'

Conflicting goods! At the intersection of identity, value judgments and political economy. And the part those like Brooks steer clear of: crony capitalism, the deep state owned and operated by Wall Street and K Street.

'In the hurly-burly of everyday life, very few of us think about systemic moral philosophies. But deep down we are formed by moral ecologies we are raised within or choose, systems of thought and feeling that go back centuries. We may think we are making up our own minds about things, but usually our judgments and moral sentiments are shaped by these long moral traditions.'

Dasein! Rooted in historical and cultural contexts that do indeed go back centuries.

Brooks then goes on in his "essay" to explore all of this rather...academically?

You decide.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 21, 2022 4:46 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

In his article “The new synthesis in moral psychology,” Haidt (2007) expands Shweder’s theory by proposing the Moral Foundations Model. In opposition to rational theories of moral reasoning, he argues that morality is a quick, automatic process that has formed over human evolution. According to Haidt, the five moral foundations are harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, and purity.


That's the thing you can always count on when human morality is examined and then explained "theoretically": models.

And, sure, in many respects they do make sense. We all experience emotions after all; and we all interact with others in which "harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, and purity" can become factors. But who is harming whom given what set of circumstances? Whose prescriptions and proscriptions prevail regarding fairness? Who is in the group and who is out? Does the authority revolve around might makes right, right makes might or democracy and the rule of law? What constitutes purity in a world bursting at the seams with moral conflagrations.

Needless to say the "model" comes up short over and again when the world of words that constitutes a theoretical assessment meets, among other things, daily newspaper headlines.

In an attempt to determine which moral foundation people endorse, several researchers tested the Moral Foundation Model cross-culturally. One study used a cross-cultural sample, which included participants from Eastern cultures (South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia) and participants from Western cultures (US, UK, Canada, and Western Europe). Haidt found that Eastern participants showed stronger concerns about ingroup and purity compared to Western participants and that Eastern participants were also slightly more concerned about authority.


And on and on.

Different cultures, different renditions of the model. Gasp! Some of the differences small, some large. And, no doubt, historically, changing over time. I merely embody just how far this can go when you think yourself into believing that moral foundations themselves are ultimately just agreements that different communities make in regard to "rules of behavior". And that the factors involved in differentiating one community from another go on and on and on in turn.

Far, far too many for philosophers or ethicists to anchor to any particular deontological path...except theoretically. Or by way of championing this transcending font or that transcending font.

After all, look at all of the many conflicting ones championed here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 21, 2022 4:48 pm

duplicate post
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Sculptor » Sat May 21, 2022 4:58 pm

iambiguous wrote:I believe what many would construe to be two seemingly conflicting [even contradictory] things:

1] that aborting a human fetus is the killing of an innocent human being
2] that women should be afforded full legal rights to choose abortion
.


They divide people in two distinct ways.

People who think 1 deny 2.
And people that accept 2 do not agree with 1.

In my experience the former group of people are unwilling to concede that fact that the passage of time from conception to birth is a process of becoming: whereas the latter group pf people accept that a pregnancy shows a gradual becoming of a human and want abortions where they are to occur, to happen in the most timely way possible.

The former group of people are intransigent and unreasonable in denying a woman the right to chose to persist in a pregnancy whereas the latter group hope that abortions happen to minimise suffering and pain.

Ironically the former groups who are so called "pro-life" tend to be the same people that suppress sex education and are also against contraception. And by doing that cause more unwanted pregnancies.

I do not know anyone who would urge a termination in the third trimester, but I would disagree with any that did.
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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 28, 2022 5:14 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

Moral Identity and Cultural Inclusiveness

Recent research in moral psychology has suggested that one can obtain a fuller understanding of moral action by considering the role of the self in morality, which is often termed “moral identity.” Hardy and Carlo explain that moral identity refers to “the degree to which being a moral person is important to an individual’s identity”. In other words, if individuals feel that moral values such as being honest, compassionate, fair, and generous are central for defining their personal identity, they have a strong moral identity.


Okay, you're a Marxist, a fascist, an anarchist, a Libertarian, a Christian, a nihilist, a Buddhist, a Hindu. And as such you believe that "being a moral person is important to an individual’s identity". You embrace being "honest, compassionate, fair, and generous".

But only in a community that embraces your own religious, ideological or philosophy values. Only in regard to those who are "one of us".

What then?

Welcome to the real world, right?

There's morality in a general sense and morality as it is actually pursued and practiced in a world teeming with conflicting moral and political narratives. Moral action, sure. Practice what you preach. But how exactly do individuals come to preach what they do? You know my trajectory here, what's yours?

While research in this area continues to convince people that moral identity, in Western societies, plays an important part in moral functioning, links between moral identity and non-Western culture remain unclear. For example, Hertz and Krettenauer conducted a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between moral identity and moral action. Their study included 111 articles from a variety of academic journals. In general, they found a positive correlation between moral identity and moral behavior. However, effect sizes varied in those studies. The effect size was much lower in non-Western cultures than in Western cultures. The authors suggest that the low effect size might be due to different conceptualizations of moral identity between cultures or due to the lack of validity of the current moral identity measures in non-Western cultures. These results call the field’s attention to the issue of ‘cultural uniqueness’ and, thus, they stress an urgent need to assess moral identity in non-Western societies as well as Western ones in order to obtain less biased results.


Yes, it seems apparent that different cultures around the world not only subscribe to different moral narratives and political agendas, but subscribe to different understandings of what it means to identity yourself as a moral person.

And, sure, "less biased" results are what should be aimed for in reacting to that which distinguishes a more or less "Western moral identity" from a "non-Western moral identity".

But my challenge remains the same: How are your moral convictions not rooted existentially in the life that you lived, in the culture that you were raised in, in the political prejudices you came to embody as a result of that?

East or West, my points don't go away.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 05, 2022 6:08 pm

Recognizing Moral Identity as a Cultural Construct
Fanli Jia and Tobias Krettenauer at Frontiers In Psychology website

In his book “Identity and The Life Cycle,” Erikson considers the way in which we study identity development. He proposes that, in addition to considering ego and personal identity, we should also incorporate cultural context. This is because while ego and personal identity are intrapersonal context areas that lead us to consider personal characteristics and sense of self, adding the cultural context helps us to expand our understanding by encouraging us to consider categories such as native language, country of origin, and racial background.


Here of course there are those who readily acknowledge that historical and cultural and personal experiences play an important role in the creation of a moral narrative, but that philosophers and ethicists, among others, can take this into account and still devise something in the way of a deontological assessment enabling us to pin down the optimal behaviors. Whether in regard to prescriptions or proscriptions.

Just don't ask them to bring their "theoretical constructs" out into the truly vast and the truly varied worlds that we as individuals might find ourselves born and raised in. In other words, to pin down the optimal behaviors "for all practical purposes".

Instead, the focus remains on the "concept of identity".

Erikson’s concept of identity aims to establish a social-cultural approach that encompasses all elements of the self, which includes the most internal ego conflicts to the individual’s embeddedness in a cultural context. This organization reflects Erikson’s view that lifespan development occurs at the interface of self and culture.

As a result, identity represents a coherent picture that one shows to both oneself and to the outside world. Thus, moral identity research should not only focus on individual levels, but on a cultural level as well. To what extent moral identity is a function of interacting in a specific culture is a major question that has only recently been raised in moral identity research.


Common sense, right? You're born and raised in a particular culture and that culture is crammed into your brain over years and years. Many carry it with them all the way to the grave. But what intrigues me most about concepts like the "interface of self and culture" is when they are taken out into the world and examined given particular contexts. The interface of self and culture in, say, the abortion wars...or regarding the spate of mass shootings here in America. The "self", the "culture" and guns.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: back to the beginning: morality

Postby Sculptor » Sun Jun 05, 2022 6:56 pm

iambiguous wrote:
I believe what many would construe to be two seemingly conflicting [even contradictory] things:

1] that aborting a human fetus is the killing of an innocent human being
2] that women should be afforded full legal rights to choose abortion
.


They divide people in two distinct ways.

People who think 1 deny 2.
And people that accept 2 do not agree with 1.

In my experience the former group of people are unwilling to concede that fact that the passage of time from conception to birth is a process of becoming: whereas the latter group pf people accept that a pregnancy shows a gradual becoming of a human and want abortions where they are to occur, to happen in the most timely way possible.

The former group of people are intransigent and unreasonable in denying a woman the right to chose to persist in a pregnancy whereas the latter group hope that abortions happen to minimise suffering and pain.

Ironically the former groups who are so called "pro-life" tend to be the same people that suppress sex education and are also against contraception. And by doing that cause more unwanted pregnancies.

I do not know anyone who would urge a termination in the third trimester, but I would disagree with any that did.
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