How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

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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Logik
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Logik »

-1- wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:19 pm Logic and Prof, you two are arguing about whether ethics conforms to absolutist or relativist principles.
I am actually arguing for a combination of both perspectives.

That reality is relativistic (to humans) is indisputable.

My point simply is that if more of X causes more of Y, and if less of X causes less of Y relativists or not we can determine which way we want Y to be trending towards.

More frequent maintenance == less airplane crashes. We know damn well that "less airplane crashes" == good!
The 'no harm' principle determines the right way!

I am a relativist who believes in objective morality...
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

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The NO HARM principle is a nice absolutist way of forming an absolute value of ethics, but it immediately breaks down into pragmatism the moment you apply it, and thus becomes relative.

Plus there is a completely safe argument that defeats it. You have to consider a thought-experiment for it.

"It does me harm if I starve my children to death, myself, and my wife. But there is only enough bread in this community to feed us, or else another family, but not both. Is it more harmful to starve ourselves, or is it more harmful to kill the other family in their sleep to make sure that we won't starve to death?"

You can't avoid doing harm. That's the basic bottom line and bottom hitter of "DO NO HARM".
Belinda
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Belinda »

In moral philosophy, deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty") is the normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action.
‎Kantian ethics · ‎Pragmatic ethics · ‎Consequentialism


Quoted

That's the structure for the discussion.
" Can you summarize it in five words or fewer?

Prof replied :If I could I wouldn't have put in the effort to create that whole book :!: :!:
Prof, surely you can affirm if your theory is deontological, pragmatic, or consequentialist? You might also perhaps affirm if intention (rather than consequence) is a better criterion for an ethic
Last edited by Belinda on Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

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Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:59 pm In moral philosophy, deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty") is the normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action.
‎Kantian ethics · ‎Pragmatic ethics · ‎Consequentialism


Quoted
deontological, pragmatic, or consequentialist?
Belinda, would you please serve up a one-paragraph definition / explanation of pragmatic and consequentialist morality? This is very fascinating.

And after that, a one paragraph explanation for each of how these three approaches are reflected on Kantian ethics?

I'm not about to start an argument... instead, my education in moral philosophy.
Logik
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Logik »

-1- wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:45 pm "It does me harm if I starve my children to death, myself, and my wife. But there is only enough bread in this community to feed us, or else another family, but not both. Is it more harmful to starve ourselves, or is it more harmful to kill the other family in their sleep to make sure that we won't starve to death?"

You can't avoid doing harm. That's the basic bottom line and bottom hitter of "DO NO HARM".
Objective morality has nothing to do with the individual. It's at the policy level looking at humanity objectively. It's about US, not you.

It's the collectivist approach to the general direction society should be headed, and not about micro-managing individual actors
If I had to choose between you or me - I would choose me every time.

Given your thought experiment the objectively-moral concern is about questioning and altering the context which forced us into a trolley problem to begin with. Objective morality is about removing trolley problems from every-day life for as many people as possible.

"Due to food shortages people are resorting to violence. Therefore, in order to decrease violence, it is morally right to ensure an increase in food supply/production."
morality.png
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Belinda
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Belinda »

Logik wrote:
Objective morality has nothing to do with the individual. It's at the policy level looking at humanity objectively. It's about US, not you.
I endorse that Utilitarianism is a good ethic for political choices, but not so good for individuals.
Logik
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Logik »

Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:20 pm I endorse that Utilitarianism is a good ethic for political choices, but not so good for individuals.
I would argue that individuals are worse off without it. I kinda like having hospitals, internet, stable societies and all that...

The danger of utilitarianism is totalitarianism, so there's a fine balance/line to be walked there also.

This is where our "irrational" brains kick in where we prefer freedom over safety. Which completely contradicts the "no harm" principle (but contradictions are par for the course when dealing with humans).

It's a pendulum/dialectic like every other. Too much of a good thing is often a bad thing.
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

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Logik wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:12 pm Objective morality has nothing to do with the individual. It's at the policy level looking at humanity objectively. It's about US, not you.
Nice retort, but has nothing to do with my post.
It's the collectivist approach to the general direction society should be headed, and not about micro-managing individual actors
If I had to choose between you or me - I would choose me every time.
again, you are right but it's irrelevant to my argument.

Given your thought experiment the objectively-moral concern is about questioning and altering the context which forced us into a trolley problem to begin with. Objective morality is about removing trolley problems from every-day life for as many people as possible.
If you continue to be this daft, you might as well ignore me and put me on IGGIE. I never even came close to talking about objective morality. How did that escape you? ALL I SAID was that "Do no harm" is useless. You haven't argued against it, you just pontificate and state truisms that are completely irrelevant to my claim.


"Due to food shortages people are resorting to violence. Therefore, in order to decrease violence, it is morally right to ensure an increase in food supply/production."
This is the stupidest thing you said so far on the entire board.

morality.png
Logik
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Logik »

-1- wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:28 pm
Logik wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:12 pm Objective morality has nothing to do with the individual. It's at the policy level looking at humanity objectively. It's about US, not you.
Nice retort, but has nothing to do with my post.
It's the collectivist approach to the general direction society should be headed, and not about micro-managing individual actors
If I had to choose between you or me - I would choose me every time.
again, you are right but it's irrelevant to my argument.

Given your thought experiment the objectively-moral concern is about questioning and altering the context which forced us into a trolley problem to begin with. Objective morality is about removing trolley problems from every-day life for as many people as possible.
If you continue to be this daft, you might as well ignore me and put me on IGGIE. I never even came close to talking about objective morality. How did that escape you? ALL I SAID was that "Do no harm" is useless. You haven't argued against it, you just pontificate and state truisms that are completely irrelevant to my claim.


"Due to food shortages people are resorting to violence. Therefore, in order to decrease violence, it is morally right to ensure an increase in food supply/production."
This is the stupidest thing you said so far on the entire board.

morality.png
Then I have no idea how to respond to you.

The point of “no harm” is to ensure that you aren’t forced to use your monkey brain and survival instincts.

If you find yourself in a trolley problem where you have to choose between you and me - society has failed us both!

If we find ourselves in a trolley problem - harm is inevitable!
Belinda
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Belinda »

-1- I found this from Quora which I hope you will like.

Daniel Philippus
Daniel Philippus, Serious but amateur student of ethics, mostly virtue ethics
Answered Mar 28, 2016
Consequentialism

The results matter, not the actions themselves. Whatever has the best outcome is the best action. For example, under utilitarianism the goal is to take whatever action maximizes happiness, regardless of the motivations or nature of the action.

Deontology & Virtue Ethics

Both focus on the action itself rather than the outcomes, and ask whether the action is justifiable in its intent, hence the difference between those and consequentialism.

Deontology

Deontology is duty ethics, so it compares a person's actions against some duty or imperative. An example is Kant's Deontology, which has the Categorical Imperative that all persons must be ends in and of themselves and may never be used as means. Deontology emphasizes the character of the actions.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics measure actions against some given set of virtues, with the goal being to be a virtuous person (eudaimonia, the Greeks called it). An example is Stoicism, which, among other aspects, holds the virtues of wisdom, justice, fortitude and temperance. Virtue ethics emphasize the character of the person making the actions.

So in short:

Consequentialism: What will the outcome of my actions be?

Deontology: Are my actions compatible with some imperative?

Virtue Ethics: Are my actions motivated by virtue?

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Logik
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Logik »

-1- wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:45 pm "It does me harm if I starve my children to death, myself, and my wife. But there is only enough bread in this community to feed us, or else another family, but not both. Is it more harmful to starve ourselves, or is it more harmful to kill the other family in their sleep to make sure that we won't starve to death?"

You can't avoid doing harm. That's the basic bottom line and bottom hitter of "DO NO HARM".
If you don't murder your neighbours: how many people will die?

You, your wife and your child.
Body count: 3
Cause of death: starvation.

If you murder your neighbours: how many people will die?

Your neighbour, his wife, his child.
Body count: 3
Cause of death: murder.

Both outcomes are equally shit. Unless you think starvation is a better way to go than murder (or vice versa) you have no argument!

You seem to be arguing this from a perspective in which "agency" e.g your choice to murder your neighbours matters. It doesn't!
You had control over who dies, not over how many people die.

No-harm went out the window long before you had to make a choice. Kobayashi Maru.
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by prof »

....Before we go too far astray, permit me to say this:

William James, and other Pragmatists, would have liked the book, THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS, had they seen it. James was excited about a passage he read which declared: The law was made for man; not man for the law. He agreed with me on the emphasis I put on the Individual, as against "Society," the latter being an abstract concept while individuals are quite real. John Dewey, who I met and discussed with, would like my emphasis on nature, and how we are to adapt to it.

A good student would also recognize elements of Consequentialism, Deontology, and Virtue Theory synthesized within my system.

My system of Ethics is, in a sense, compatible too with conservative Buddhist teaching as well as with Christian teaching -- even the Evengelical variety -- as well as wit hconservative Shinto - teachings, and Jewish Ethics ...not to mention Mencius in ancient China and Epictetus many years before the Christian Era.


Did anyone here look that book, THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS, over? if you did, do you have an opinion on it?
.
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by Age »

Logik wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:12 pm
If I had to choose between you or me - I would choose me every time.
Why?
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by -1- »

Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:50 pm -1- I found this from Quora which I hope you will like.

Daniel Philippus
Daniel Philippus, Serious but amateur student of ethics, mostly virtue ethics
Answered Mar 28, 2016
Consequentialism

The results matter, not the actions themselves. Whatever has the best outcome is the best action. For example, under utilitarianism the goal is to take whatever action maximizes happiness, regardless of the motivations or nature of the action.

Deontology & Virtue Ethics

Both focus on the action itself rather than the outcomes, and ask whether the action is justifiable in its intent, hence the difference between those and consequentialism.

Deontology

Deontology is duty ethics, so it compares a person's actions against some duty or imperative. An example is Kant's Deontology, which has the Categorical Imperative that all persons must be ends in and of themselves and may never be used as means. Deontology emphasizes the character of the actions.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics measure actions against some given set of virtues, with the goal being to be a virtuous person (eudaimonia, the Greeks called it). An example is Stoicism, which, among other aspects, holds the virtues of wisdom, justice, fortitude and temperance. Virtue ethics emphasize the character of the person making the actions.

So in short:

Consequentialism: What will the outcome of my actions be?

Deontology: Are my actions compatible with some imperative?

Virtue Ethics: Are my actions motivated by virtue?

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thanks, Belinda, much appreciated
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Re: How construct a sound Ethical Theory?

Post by -1- »

Logik wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:06 pm
-1- wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:45 pm "It does me harm if I starve my children to death, myself, and my wife. But there is only enough bread in this community to feed us, or else another family, but not both. Is it more harmful to starve ourselves, or is it more harmful to kill the other family in their sleep to make sure that we won't starve to death?"

You can't avoid doing harm. That's the basic bottom line and bottom hitter of "DO NO HARM".
If you don't murder your neighbours: how many people will die?

You, your wife and your child.
Body count: 3
Cause of death: starvation.

If you murder your neighbours: how many people will die?

Your neighbour, his wife, his child.
Body count: 3
Cause of death: murder.

Both outcomes are equally shit. Unless you think starvation is a better way to go than murder (or vice versa) you have no argument!

This is just describing the status quo, which I have already presented; you are not producing an argument; and yet you deduce from it very invalidly, I should say, this:
You seem to be arguing this from a perspective in which "agency" e.g your choice to murder your neighbours matters. It doesn't! You misunderstood my intention with the argument. My argument was that doing harm can't be avoided. Whether I and my family die, or the neighbour's, harm is done. That was the point I was making, and you are building Strawman arguments left right and centre.
You had control over who dies, not over how many people die.yes. and as such, I created harm; if I hadn't done that, I would have suffered harm. How hard is it for you to understand the concept "harm can't be avoided" and that I am not saying anything other than that?

No-harm went out the window long before you had to make a choice. Well, good morning, and thanks for preaching me the same thing I've been trying to make you understand for three or four exchanges of posts. If you agree with me, then what the f is all this bullshit you put up as "arguments"? Kobayashi Maru.
Mark my words well, Logik: I said, "harm can't be avoided". You read something into this, and kept on fighting some quixotic battle against an argument I did not make, but you imagined I had made.

Mark my words again: "Harm can't be avoided." This was a retort to one of the rules proposed by someone earlier, which stated, "do no harm". I simply showed that "do no harm" is an imperative which is flawed because it can't always be upheld.

Then you argued with some imaginary arguments for several posts, and concluded finally, "No-harm went out the window long before you had to make a choice. "

(... Brach sh'ma matzimech yitz muche nechim...)

Well, thank you very much for your fighting imaginary arguments attributed to me. Next time read the friggin' statement or claim or sentence and don't read stuff into it that's not there, please.
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