Ethics & Uncertainty

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Philosophy Now
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Ethics & Uncertainty

Post by Philosophy Now » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:21 pm

Michael Jordan asks how knowledge of circumstances affects our morality.

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Re: Ethics & Uncertainty

Post by -1- » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:44 am

Philosophy Now wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:21 pm
Michael Jordan asks how knowledge of circumstances affects our morality. ... ncertainty
A well-thought out article. I liked the way how the author takes you by the hand and proves his point step-by-step, without missing a beat.

His points are, of course, that by-and-large a human will become a utilitarian (fatalist) decision maker in moral questions if the risks involved are absolute and certain; and if the risks are relative and uncertain, then one tends to become a Kantian moralist, that is, making purpose or intent triumph over expected results. The author proves this very nicely, by using thought-experiments.

On the other hand he shows his human wisdom, his knowledge of people, when he points out that nothing is totally certain, or totally uncertain; but we, humans, attach some future outcome an absolute certainty if the relative certainty is high, and attach some future outcome an absoulte certainty of not happening, if the relative certaintly is low. Thus, he proves that humans will behave one way or another, due to our optimistic / pessimistic view.

I liked the article because it was well written, logically built up, and showed care that the steps to take thought to a different level each time was not difficult for the reader.

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Re: Ethics & Uncertainty

Post by Belinda » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:25 am

Unless we take account of circumstances we are not morally mature. In the unlikely event that there are no known circumstances we have to guess. When all choices are bad choices we choose the least bad choice according to our preferences or principles.

Moral principles vary according to the age and stage of maturity of the subject. Some , most, subjects are stuck at the stage of trying to please others and fit in with their society as it happens to be. Few men attain that full moral maturity which seeks to consider all circumstances that affect everyone and everything including himself.

In sudden emergencies such as the trolley problem the individual acts according to habit or training there being no time to sit and think.

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