Page 1 of 1

What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:24 am
by prof
In the new paradigm offered by Dr. M. C. Katz, based on the prior work by Dr. R. S. Hartman, the term 'Ethics' is given a novel meaning, though fortuitously, it may turn out to resemble in the end much of what others mean by the word. Here is an exposition of the new paradigm for the theory of ethics. What follows is based upon the assumption that the reader has read and studied the posts by prof in the earlier threads about the HOV (the logical, existential Hierarchy of Value) and that s/he is acquainted with the formula I > E > S.

WHAT IS ETHICS?

To be ethical is to Intrinsically- value (to I-value) oneself and others. How can we tell when someone is I-valuing something? They focus; give it some of their attention, and come to identify with it. If they I-value a person they get involved with that person. They see qualities in the person that others, who aren't so close, don't see. To illustrate, it is the way many of us felt about our mother when we small children. That is an example of Intrinsic valuation.

Another example may be how a czarina, a Russian princess or queen, felt about her jewelry. Or how we relate to the Mona Lisa or to an original Van Gogh today. Whatever we regard as very special, as a priceless treasure, whatever we value as life itself (unless we are depressed and suicidal) is an application of I-value.

When people identify and bond with the following they become Intrinsic values: Liberty, Freedom, Integrity, Beauty, Truth, Goodness, Authenticity, Creativity, and so forth. Those are often I-valued. When someone Intrinsically values something they see, they may call it "a beauty" or speak of it as "beautiful." When a person I-values a sound, he or she will call it "music."
When I-valuing a person one may speak of that person as "a friend", or as "a partner" or perhaps as "beloved", or one may fall back on poetry, or pet names, or some private, intimate expression that only the two of them understand. Other concepts, which when identified with become I-value applications, are Love, Community, Spirituality, Veracity, Reality, Sharing, Happiness, Ecstasy, Joy, Intuition and Insight.

ARE THERE ETHICAL FALLACIES?

We previously explained that Ethics arises when we I-value persons. This is true by definition. False logic results in a fallacy. Faulty thinking in the field of ethics will be known as ethical fallacy. Now that Ethics has been defined, I shall present two Ethical Fallacies, expressed by Dr. William Kelleher, an ethicist and a political scientist, in the following quote. They are The Instrumental Fallacy and the Ideological Fallacy.
The Instrumental Fallacy
To use a person solely as a means to achieve some end entails a negative regard for that person. Using reduces a person to the value of a thing, an instrument. No matter how highly prized, a thing is always potential trash. Every new car will some day be junk. But a person, so long as he or she is a self-conscious, thinking, feeling human being ought never be regarded as useless trash." The formula depicting this situation is E > I, obviously a fallacy, since science has established that I > E.


When persons are I-valued they are receiving positive regard, and Ethics - by definition - tells us that individuals always deserve to be viewed in this light; it tells us that all persons always deserve positive regard. "The Ideological Fallacy: This is the false assumption that ideas are more important than persons are.

This is the way Dr. Kelleher explains it.
Whenever the idea of "gender," or of "race," or "rank" - all intellectual constructs, or conceptions - which have no actual physical existence - are used to separate members of the human community, and to enable some to claim superiority over others, this is a violation of Ethics. Why? Because it indicates a failure to I-value persons. To hold any of those "isms": racism, sexism, or rankism, is to commit The Ideological Fallacy. In symbols this situation is S > I, again, a fallacy.
In contrast, Dr. Kelleher has proposed two value axioms. The first is Instrumental Enhancement. What does this mean?
Instrumental Enhancement

"Providing a service to people that helps to improve the quality of their lives" would be an Instrumental Enhancement. He offers several examples: Public education when it values a student as a unique, intelligent, creative person with potential for growth and development; Sending someone who needs it - a person who has been convicted of a crime, or a drug addict -- into rehab is another example of Instrumental Enhancement; Medical treatment, including surgery, is meant to enhance the quality of life and provide a benefit. The second value axiom applied to Ethics is what we shall designate as:

Ideological Enhancement

This is an idea that tends to encourage giving positive regard to people. The idea of Human Rights - such as the right to an opportunity to earn a living; or the right to be free from the fear of detention just for expressing political views - the human rights concept is an Ideological Enhancement.
Comments? Questions?

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:42 am
by Logik
Ethics is the system by which we classify human choices into the categories of "right" and "wrong".

To the question of "What is Ethics? "more than that we cannot say.

The question of "How does the system of ethics work?" - that requires VOLUMES.

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:03 pm
by prof
Logik wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:42 am Ethics is the system by which we classify human choices into the categories of "right" and "wrong".

To the question of "What is Ethics? "more than that we cannot say.

The question of "How does the system of ethics work?" - that requires VOLUMES.
It could well be true that more than that the one who is quoted cannot say.

However those who put in the time, and an attitude of being willing to learn, if they didn't already have such discernment, would indeed develop a capacity to classify choices as 'right' or 'wrong' once they study the book, Katz - The Structure of Ethics. Here is a link to it:
http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/TH ... ETHICS.pdf

Also this book on Moral Philosophy - not a self-help book, altho the title makes it sound like one - will help develop the capacity of discernment enabling one to be able to classify choices as "right" or as "wrong" morally speaking:

http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/HO ... SFULLY.pdf


Questions? Comments? Improvements?

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:57 pm
by DPMartin
Without braking out a dictionary, morals are a agreed do and don’t between two or more persons and ethics is the individual’s response to the agreement. The unethical would agree and then do otherwise the ethical would maintain the agreement as long as agreed.

anything else is another effort to socially redefine basic understanding. there is a "set of morals" and the ethical and unethical response to it.

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:01 am
by prof
DPMartin wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:57 pm Without braking out a dictionary, morals are a agreed do and don’t between two or more persons and ethics is the individual’s response to the agreement. The unethical would agree and then do otherwise the ethical would maintain the agreement as long as agreed.

anything else is another effort to socially redefine basic understanding. there is a "set of morals" and the ethical and unethical response to it.
Yes, "morals" are local and cultural. Let us avoid becoming moralists. Neither morals nor moralism is the topic of this book, THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS.
http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/TH ... 0ETHICS.pd

What it is, however, is the presentation of what just might be a new and superior Ethical Theory - which is the point of this Forum. This is a forum on Ethical Theory.

Wouldn't you say that there is more to ethics than just a local agreement between a few people; isn't it possible that Ethics could be some useful and universal findings that are true and helpful until an even-better theory comes along.

Your views, Readers?

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:00 pm
by DPMartin
prof wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:01 am
DPMartin wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:57 pm Without braking out a dictionary, morals are a agreed do and don’t between two or more persons and ethics is the individual’s response to the agreement. The unethical would agree and then do otherwise the ethical would maintain the agreement as long as agreed.

anything else is another effort to socially redefine basic understanding. there is a "set of morals" and the ethical and unethical response to it.
Yes, "morals" are local and cultural. Let us avoid becoming moralists. Neither morals nor moralism is the topic of this book, THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS.
http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/TH ... 0ETHICS.pd
What it is, however, is the presentation of what just might be a new and superior Ethical Theory - which is the point of this Forum. This is a forum on Ethical Theory.

Wouldn't you say that there is more to ethics than just a local agreement between a few people; isn't it possible that Ethics could be some useful and universal findings that are true and helpful until an even-better theory comes along.

Your views, Readers?
no lets be moralist because without a set of morals or an agreement ethics is moot. you don't really have the subject nor the circumstances for ethical or unethical acts or behavior without morals. animals don't maintain morals hence none of their behavior or acts are ethical or unethical because there's no agreement they've agreed to. they will adapt to survive or be somewhere (like pets for example) but there's no agreement to hold against anything they do.

just because you want to entertain something that isn't true or viable in the public arena doesn't mean anyone has to entertain the same. if it don't exist you learned nothing.


note: morals are the agreement, (ten commandments, US constitution, marriage agreement, contract) ethics is one's behavior toward the agreement one is in, and those in the agreement in respect towards the agreement.

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:40 pm
by prof
Greetings, DPMartin

I see that you are using the word "morals" as I use the term "moral principles."

As you note by reading THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS book, an ethical world would result by people agreeing on the vital importance of making a commitment to be ethical. That is, to value themselves as well as others Intrinsically, and an intention to grow morally throughout life. So yes, I want them to agree on that

See: http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/TH ... ETHICS.pdf

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:18 am
by prof
Let us here apply Ethics to the concept "economic system."

A good economic system creates wealth.

A bad economic system gives rise to poverty and permits extreme and abject poverty to exist.

As I explained earlier, when discussing the HOV formula, moral value has primacy over economic value.
I > E and I > S.

Hence the lack of morality in what is referred to as 'the free-enterprise system' leads to impoverishment.

That is one more reason why we need Ethics: so that the economic system under which we live can create more wealth, and that all citizens can share in enjoying some of it.

Do we need now to put into effect the UBI - which stands for "Universal Basic Income." Or some well-thought out form of it? Can you suggest a better reform? One that will put some resources in the hands of the needy, so that they can possibly participate constructively in creating even more wealth for all of us to share.

Do we need to engage in a campaign to back the U.S. Dollar with some standard? Bucky Fuller suggested that the standard be: (global) productivity per man/hour. Can this index today be measured? Are economists or statisticians capable of this?

Your ideas??

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:36 am
by prof
Anthropologists today find and record, in most every culture, examples of compassion, fairness, generosity. and actions that implement the Golden Rule.

Cooperation, normally the ethical way to proceed, is not ethical if it is accompanied by some exploiting of outgroups seen as threats. In the recent past outgroups considered as not worthy of full moral consideration have been homosexuals and those called “strangers.”

Moral Psychologists of late, along with Evolutionary Biologists and Brain Neurologists, speak of we humans as possessing a Moral Sense. This is closely akin to what those Philosophers known as Intuitionists were arguing for back as the early 1600s and forward up to the present day. A particular set of emotions are triggered by our moral sense: compassion, gratitude, loyalty, disgust, shame, and guilt.

I agree with the Socratic view that evil is most always performed out of ignorance, but I would also add, as a source of evil behavior, madness due to brain damage.

Aristotle did describe a condition in which a person may recognize that something is morally right, and may even want to do what is right, but nonetheless is lured away from such by a stronger temptation. He called it “weakness of the will.” Here we get into questions of motivation. R. S. Hartman taught that there are three basic kinds of norms: (S) formal norms: ...Some x R y.
(E) facultative norms: ...Some people live morally.
(II) obligatory norms. ...I will live morally.

Thus an example of an Obligatory Norm might be: “I want to live morally, and I intend to do so!!! I mean it. I mean it intensely. I’ll strive for this; I’m making it my goal.” :!:
Choosing such an Obligatory Norm is a motivating procedure which prepares one for the time when s/he judges something as ‘morally wrong’; it then will trigger a pre-built-in motivational force to avoid that action or situation, keeping one from indulging in it or associating with it.

Your views on this approach to Ethics theory?
Comments? Questions?

Re: What is Ethics? - a fresh, new approach

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:28 am
by prof
Maybe the following topic belongs in the Applied Ethics forum rather than here....

I came upon this newspaper article; thought it might be of interest:

https://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1211/p20s01-ussc.html
It tells about the Johns Hopkins University Civility project.

Can any reader here give us an update on it? Is it still functioning? Has it made an impact on life in Baltimore, Maryland?

Is it a model for others to adopt in other cities?

What say you?