The universal aim of 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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chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:56 am

LukeS wrote:I agree that well being is good. That seems almost to be true by definition.
This makes it an empty platitude.
It's like saying that what is right is good and what is wrong is bad.
To which the only response is DAHHH.

prof
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by prof » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:10 am

Chaz

I was thrilled to learn, by viewing your post in some other thread, that you are a strong supporter of the trade union movement !!! We have that in common.

Since the phrase "universal ethical standards" has not been rigorously defined, nor defined at all, it is vague and amorphous, and thus I can understand how people can honestly disagree about whether there are any.

One chap can insist "are" and another can insist "are not" and they can go back and forth like two little kids.

I suspect we both want to empower people from 'the bottom up' rather than wait and hope for a trickle to come down on us from those who have managed to concentrate great wealth, the billionaires who comprise the 0.01 per cent of society. We want to facilitate upward mobility and free and open opportunity for anyone to rise to a point where they have at least a minimum level of comfort that sets them free to express their inner potential to create and innovate.

It is the set of readers here that I've been addressing, not the Pashtun in Afghanistan or the dictator of Uzbekistan or the one in Singapore. If we here 'clean up our act' a bit, form wider coalitions, and find ways to educate the next generation as to their enlightened self-interest that will have been progress enough for now. So stop looking for flaws and try instead to be constructive; and build something ... that tends to support a quality life for all, one that makes them happy, healthy, and highly moral, with a sense of solidarity for their brothers and sisters all over the planet. Many villagers in Indonesia already have it even though they lack money.

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Notvacka
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by Notvacka » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:45 pm

chaz wyman wrote:The flaw in this is the phrase "personal well-being".
Hitler's personal well being amounts to the suffering of others.
No one is capable of making his personal well-being, the wellness of ALL others.
There are no universal standards to this, and you ought to suspect the motives of any who claim that there is. Hitler was one of them.
Exactly!

When my own personal well being (what I want) conflicts with the personal well being of others (what they want) the need for ethics arise.

Let me quote myself from another thread:
Notvacka wrote:I choose the words "good", "evil", "right" and "wrong" to show how morality emerges and what morality is, by making these clear and useful definitions:

good = what I want

evil = what I don't want

right = what others want

wrong = what others don't want

The need for morality and morality itself emerges when we discover that good doesn't always equal right and evil does not always equal wrong.

It follows from the definitions that when two people disagree on a moral issue, they must both be wrong, because what others want is defined as right. This is also consistent with the only useful definition of objectivity as common agreement. Only when we agree can we be right on a moral issue.

It also follows from the definitions that what we should strive for is what's both right and good, something that can be achieved by wanting what others want, or by making others want what we want. The Buddhist solution, to not want anything at all, is an interesting third option.

chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:01 pm

prof wrote:Chaz

I was thrilled to learn, by viewing your post in some other thread, that you are a strong supporter of the trade union movement !!! We have that in common.

Since the phrase "universal ethical standards" has not been rigorously defined, nor defined at all, it is vague and amorphous, and thus I can understand how people can honestly disagree about whether there are any.

One chap can insist "are" and another can insist "are not" and they can go back and forth like two little kids.

I suspect we both want to empower people from 'the bottom up' rather than wait and hope for a trickle to come down on us from those who have managed to concentrate great wealth, the billionaires who comprise the 0.01 per cent of society. We want to facilitate upward mobility and free and open opportunity for anyone to rise to a point where they have at least a minimum level of comfort that sets them free to express their inner potential to create and innovate.

It is the set of readers here that I've been addressing, not the Pashtun in Afghanistan or the dictator of Uzbekistan or the one in Singapore. If we here 'clean up our act' a bit, form wider coalitions, and find ways to educate the next generation as to their enlightened self-interest that will have been progress enough for now. So stop looking for flaws and try instead to be constructive; and build something ... that tends to support a quality life for all, one that makes them happy, healthy, and highly moral, with a sense of solidarity for their brothers and sisters all over the planet. Many villagers in Indonesia already have it even though they lack money.
I glad we are of an accord.
As a student of history it is my view on the topic of 'universal ethics', that it has been the burden of the 99% to have imposed on them from above the 1%'s universal view of ethics. This view has been mobilised to oppress the poor and to justify the social hierarchies that have enabled the rich to maintain their power. For much of our own history this ethical power was in the hands of the black-clothed priesthood. As enlightened views have lowered the power of religion, new interests have been mobilised to maintain control.
It is only by challenging the view that a one size fits all ethical world is appropriate can we ever hope to challenge the ruling class.
By asserting multiple views and multiple needs we can empower another person's view.

prof
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by prof » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:38 am

Which of the Ethical principles derived from the Unified Theory of Ethics do not apply to which people?

It advocates that one be as inclusive as possible, minimize suffering, maximize value, care about people, be aware that we all have pretty much the same needs: for safety, recognition, belonging, achievement, and when all those lower needs have been gratified, maybe some adventure, romance, and eventually self-actualization. When I speak of "we all" I refer to normal people.

Some here believe: "Hitler's personal well being amounts to the suffering of others." I heartily disagree based upon what I have learned about Ethics. We ought not take the sadist, nor the psychopath, as our role model. It is not wise to take the exception and set a standard by that.
Hitler's well-being - when we get down to basics - is my well-being and your well-being. The problem is that while he was still an adolescent he had an extremely disfunctional family, so his ethical development was skewed and stunted. He never got what he needed to become a mature human being. And if he had a non-normal gene on top of that, then he was handicapped (mentally handicapped). Is that by what you are drawing your conclusions??!!!!
I recommend we take a normal, happy, warm, gracious, radiant, loving person as our role model.

Or do some have a destructive style of thinking which evokes nihilism? They are prone to tear apart a proposition - instead of integrating data and concrete examples which support the proposition - or instead of forever remaining on the theoretical level, thinking Systemically, in terms of "either/or":"Yes, the proposition is okay but so is its opposite; either one or the other has some elements of truth so that's it." This latter style of thinking has been designated "Mis-integrative"
To integrate data is a style called "Integrative"; while to tear at it, to attack, is known as "Disintegrative" thinking. It is destructive.

The Integrative style of mind tends to look for solutions to pressing problems. It just doesn't always dwell on how awful conditions are, but it focuses on alternatives, on creative solutions, on doing something about the current problems.

{I trust that if a shoe does not fit, one will not wear it: don't take personal anything I wrote, please, if it does not apply ! }

chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:02 am

prof wrote:Which of the Ethical principles derived from the Unified Theory of Ethics do not apply to which people?
}
All people, hopefully.

We've tried this sort of thing before, and we've fought many wars because if it: The wars of the Reformation, Civil Wars, Revolutions, ad nauseum...

prof
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by prof » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:19 am

chaz wyman wrote:
prof wrote:Which of the Ethical principles derived from the Unified Theory of Ethics do not apply to which people?
All people, hopefully.

We've tried this sort of thing before, and we've fought many wars because if it: The wars of the Reformation, Civil Wars, Revolutions, ad nauseum...
We never tried teaching the Hartman/Katz ethical theory before. It is rather new.

We never fought any wars because of it. Those wars were fought in the name of some fine ideal -- but they certainly were NOT fought "because of" an ethical system about which people never heard of at the time. What does it mean to say that a war (organized mass-murder) was fought because of a system that teaches that only moral means ought to be employed to reach our ends (goals), and a system that advocates that everyone conscientiously object to war, since that is a logical conclusion of the very definition of the term "Ethics.".

Have you even glanced at the system, Chaz.
I doubt it !!

Yet, in your cynicism you hurl charges around. Please, give peace a chance. That's all we are asking.

The proposed Ethical system does not give all the answers, but it might raise the right questions.
Check it out - the whole theory - before 'tearing it apart to shreds.'

chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:03 pm

prof wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:
prof wrote:Which of the Ethical principles derived from the Unified Theory of Ethics do not apply to which people?
All people, hopefully.

We've tried this sort of thing before, and we've fought many wars because if it: The wars of the Reformation, Civil Wars, Revolutions, ad nauseum...
We never tried teaching the Hartman/Katz ethical theory before. It is rather new.

It shares the same naive totalitarianism, and is a plea for a closed society.


We never fought any wars because of it. Those wars were fought in the name of some fine ideal -- but they certainly were NOT fought "because of" an ethical system about which people never heard of at the time. What does it mean to say that a war (organized mass-murder) was fought because of a system that teaches that only moral means ought to be employed to reach our ends (goals), and a system that advocates that everyone conscientiously object to war, since that is a logical conclusion of the very definition of the term "Ethics.".

Have you even glanced at the system, Chaz.
I doubt it !!

Yet, in your cynicism you hurl charges around. Please, give peace a chance. That's all we are asking.

Ha! You mean give one man a chance to impose a system on all regardless of their cultural positioning?

The proposed Ethical system does not give all the answers, but it might raise the right questions.
Check it out - the whole theory - before 'tearing it apart to shreds.'
I'll get back to you.

chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:12 pm

Do you mean;
Robert Schirokauer Hartman (January 27, 1910 – September 20, 1973)
and
Jerrold J. Katz (1932, Washington, D.C. – 7 February 2002, New York)

???

prof
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by prof » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:00 am

Yes, I mean the former: Robert S. Hartman. No, I didn't mean the latter, Jerrold J.
Instead I mean Marvin Charles Katz, (1930- - - ). Links to a couple of his writings are found at the end of point (8) in this post: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9409

Another link, to his A UNIFIED THEORY OF ETHICS, is offered in the 9th paragraph, here:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9409

and also LIVING THE GOOD LIFE, listed, with some of the other essays, at the end of this post HERE;
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9512

In no way is the system "a plea for a closed society" nor is it even a bit totalitarian so please cease mis-characterizing it. It agrees with, and confirms YOUR values, Chaz. It does not believe that one size ethics fits all. It believes in maximizing value and minimizing suffering and misery. It upholds individuality and autonomy, and shows that conformity and vengeance are very, very low values not worthy of us. It emphasizes each individual's uniqueness. It admires cultural diversity.

chaz wyman
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:10 pm

prof wrote: It admires cultural diversity.
Universal is the antithesis of cultural diversity.

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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by prof » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:16 am

chaz wyman wrote:
prof wrote: It admires cultural diversity.
Universal is the antithesis of cultural diversity.
Chaz, my friend

You and Nick A ought to get together. He writes: "There is simply no intellectual reason to deny this ethical goal of self serving supremacy" He is confusedly referring to the supremacy of self-interest, which as Adam Smith, in the 1750s warned us, is not to be confused with selfishness. Self-interest can be enlightened. And/or it can be non-self-conscious and spontaneous; displayed as loving kindness.

Selfishness is distinctly different. It is an ego-trip.

Kevin T., in the original post, is claiming that everyone, whether they will admit it or not, cares, at least, for themselves. {They may do it in a disguised way which looks exactly like heroism or self-sacrifice or martyrdom.} Once one has figured out his/her true self-interest one does not care for oneself alone: one has a degree of caring for others. [See the discussion of this in Ethical Adventures: Topics of Moral Significance, by M. C. Katz, pp. 13-14.]
http://tinyurl.com/38zfrh7

Nowhere in that Ethical system does it mention the concept "universal," but I know what Kevin means. He says that self-concern is based upon human biology. We note that even a baby cries when it wants something for itself. Later, with maturation, ethical development may take place, and occasionally we get the wunderkind, a child that has been abused or neglected, and still turns out well - the individual shows his capacity for empathy, kindness and compassion - we see Ethical principle applied. In the sense that every human individual is an expression of human biology, in that sense it is "a universal aim." 8)

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Arising_uk
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:59 pm

Notvacka wrote:When my own personal well being (what I want) conflicts with the personal well being of others (what they want) the need for ethics arise. ...
Wouldn't that be the need arises for politics not ethics? As ones ethics and morals are exactly the source for much conflict.

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Notvacka
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Re: The universal aim of ethics

Post by Notvacka » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:26 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Notvacka wrote:When my own personal well being (what I want) conflicts with the personal well being of others (what they want) the need for ethics arise. ...
Wouldn't that be the need arises for politics not ethics? As ones ethics and morals are exactly the source for much conflict.
Well, demanding ethical behaviour from others is politics. The need for politics arises when the need for ethics is not met, which is most of the time. As I see it, not putting your own personal well being before the well being of others is what ethics is about. And this is something you take upon yourself, primarily. The rest is politics.

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