Introducing The Concept of Negative and Positive Ethics

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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The Voice of Time
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Introducing The Concept of Negative and Positive Ethics

Post by The Voice of Time » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:34 pm

I'd like to introduce an idea that ethics is separated into two categories: a positive and a negative. Negative Ethical Theory becomes theories about the restraints of human action, whereas Positive Ethical Theory becomes theories about the incremental values of the capabilities of human action. As an example Negative Ethical Theory can speak about the restraints from alcohol consumption, chastity, the act of smoking or restraint from environmental interference. Positive Ethical Theory on the other hand would contain such things as power-enhancement, pleasure-seeking... it would encourage accumulation and consumption of anything valuable to an individual or a group.

The reason I'd like to see this divide is because on the one hand you have a pessimistic view of the world that talks about necessity of pain or hardship, on the other hand you have an optimistic view of the world talking about the value of enjoyment and strength. Quite often they get mixed, and perhaps for that sake one should have a Mixed category as well. But it remains my opinion that these types of theories vary quite widely and that their effects on the world are quite different, and as terms, they can help sort out in a discussion what kind of consequences can be associated with each different one.

Is this a reasonable invention of new terms? Anybody likes them or think they could be useful? Anybody sees the difference?

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