How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

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Philosophy Now
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How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Philosophy Now » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:37 pm

The following responses to this basic ethical question each win a random book.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/123/How_Can_I_Know_Right_From_Wrong

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henry quirk
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Allen Shaw sez 'There is no magic formula'

Post by henry quirk » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:45 pm

It ain't magic, but there is a formula.

If the act you're contemplatin' won't deprive another, in part or whole, of life, liberty, or property, then it ain't wrong. It may not be right, or good, or healthy, or sane, but it aint't wrong.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:46 pm

The problem isn't really "knowing." It's "doing."

Nick_A
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Nick_A » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:27 am

A poem from Simone Weil

There Comes

If you do not fight it---if you look, just
look, steadily,
upon it,

there comes
a moment when you cannot do it,
if it is evil;

if good, a moment
when you cannot
not.
Of course the problem is becoming able to see.

Walker
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Walker » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:37 am

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:27 am
A poem from Simone Weil

There Comes

If you do not fight it---if you look, just
look, steadily,
upon it,

there comes
a moment when you cannot do it,
if it is evil;

if good, a moment
when you cannot
not.
Of course the problem is becoming able to see.
Resonance is another doorway into objective good and evil as distinguished from random word designations.

Good causes action that physically resonates with perception. Evil causes action that disturbs resonance.*
Resonance Uses Beyond Sound
Many of the finest musical instruments possess a high degree of resonance which, by producing additional vibrations and echoes of the original sound, enriches and amplifies it. Violins made by the Italian masters Stradivari and Guarneri possess a quality of resonance that later violinmakers have never precisely duplicated. And you may have noticed how a particular note will start something in a room buzzing, as one of the touching surfaces begins to resonate with the note. Because of that, resonance and resonate—along with the adjective resonant—aren't always used to describe sound. For example, you may say that a novel resonates strongly with you because the author seems to be describing your own experiences and feelings.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ... nce#note-1
* Because of physical resonance: Do a good deed and sleep soundly with a clear conscience. Do an evil deed and never know peace until voluntary confession.

commonsense
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by commonsense » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:17 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:46 pm
The problem isn't really "knowing." It's "doing."
Alisdair Macdonald commented that knowing right from wrong isn’t just cognitive, but affective as well. He’s right as far as he goes, but he overlooked the doing.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:03 am

commonsense wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:17 pm
Alisdair Macdonald commented that knowing right from wrong isn’t just cognitive, but affective as well. He’s right as far as he goes, but he overlooked the doing.
I'm not sure the affective can lead...but cognition may be attended by emotion, that's true.

The doing is key, though, isn't it? A proposition held in the head may not actually be fully believed; the test is who will put it into action. It's only then that we have to, so to speak, "pay the price of our convictions." That's where the rubber meets the road.

And some people decide, at that point, that they didn't actually believe what they thought they believed...

commonsense
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by commonsense » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:28 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:03 am
commonsense wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:17 pm
Alisdair Macdonald commented that knowing right from wrong isn’t just cognitive, but affective as well. He’s right as far as he goes, but he overlooked the doing.
I'm not sure the affective can lead...but cognition may be attended by emotion, that's true.

The doing is key, though, isn't it? A proposition held in the head may not actually be fully believed; the test is who will put it into action. It's only then that we have to, so to speak, "pay the price of our convictions." That's where the rubber meets the road.

And some people decide, at that point, that they didn't actually believe what they thought they believed...
Very true.

I am only suggesting that there is an interrelation among the cognitive, the physical and the emotional. Action is the final analysis, but the others play their roles, too.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: How Can I Know Right From Wrong?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:47 pm

commonsense wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:28 pm
Very true.

I am only suggesting that there is an interrelation among the cognitive, the physical and the emotional. Action is the final analysis, but the others play their roles, too.
Yep.

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