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What is the difference between right and wrong? Value ethics

#1 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-April-09, 19:05

The most wonderful thing about bridge directors and Donald Trump is that they are always right: about everything. It’s amazing. Knowing the difference between right and wrong is a problem that has challenged the greatest minds in philosophy since time began. I never realised that the solution lay in a short take-home exam that I could master in a couple of hours.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#2 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-09, 19:51

The difference between right and wrong? Obvious. I am right, you are wrong. About what? Doesn't matter.
Ken
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-April-23, 04:37

The difference is point of view. In modern terms, George Washington would be a terrorist to the British. To the Americans he was a freedom fighter. Who is right? both! It is just a matter of perspective. As Ken says, everyone thinks they are right. Singling out DJT in that is pointless and silly.
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#4 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-April-24, 03:17

Nice work Zelandakh. It was a test. You just failed. Better luck on the next challenge.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#5 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-August-18, 10:29

It comes down to the idea that in a civilised society, inflicting harm or violating the rights of others is wrong, beacuse having these things imposed on you is unpleasant. Most law is founded on punishing people who deliberately do these things. Externalised costs comes into a more gray area, some can be written in law, some comes down to ethics, which comes down to valuing life and rights, and the fundamental principle of treating others as you would like to be treated yourself, which covers thinking of consequences before acting and trying to avoid inconveniencing others.
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#6 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-August-18, 13:22

As luck would have it I just today ran across the following: "I think that in no country in the civilized world is less attention paid to philosophy than in the United States"--- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Part 2, 1840.

A little further on he says
"Yet it is easy to perceive that almost all of the inhabitants of the United States use their minds in the same manner and direct them according to the same rules; that is to say, without ever having taken the trouble to define the rules, they have a philosophical method common to the whole people."

I tried reading de Tocqueville long ago but got bored. Maybe I should give it another try. Not that I exactly agree with him.

Anyway, right versus wrong:

Thou shalt not kill. Ok, but most people, and the law, make exceptions. There are the obvious (although not universally agreed upon) exceptions of self-defense and. perhaps, in times of war. But there are other exceptions perhaps. I vaguely recall reading a short story by, I think, Erskine Caldwell. It's set in depression years, a poor farmer is struggling to provide food to a baby or small child, the child is constantly hungry, suffering, growing weaker, the farmer suffocates the child. He is tried and acquitted. So I recall, maybe someone can help me with the details.


Let's take something less dramatic. Is it wrong to put our own interests ahead of the interests of others? Is the answer really clear? If the answer is yes, that is always wrong, then there are a lot of people out there committing wrongs on a daily basis. Most of us expect people to watch out for their own welfare, but, we hope, to do so without trampling all over the needs of others. I doubt that there is a clear dividing line. There can be a clear legal diving line, this is legal, that is illegal, but the law, at best, is an attempt to put moral judgments into legal requirement. Complexity into simplicity.

It seems that the best we can do is to say something such as "I believe this thing is right, this other thing is wrong, this third thing is somewhat ambiguous morally" and then perhaps give some of our reasons for thinking so. And then accept that others will see things differently.

Which, in it's way, is about what de Toqueville was saying. Americans do not read Descartes, he says. Or Kant or Plato either, I am pretty sure. They think, and they choose [Yes, a little more of that thinking stuff would be very useful] .
I should perhaps make it clear I do not claim American Exceptionalism, either good exceptionalism or bad exceptionalism. People are people. Well, mostly.

Maybe I should just stick to my first response. I am right, you are wrong, that's that. Much shorter than Critique of Pure Reason. Probably the same conclusion.
Ken
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-August-18, 18:45

View Postkenberg, on 2020-August-18, 13:22, said:

There can be a clear legal dividing line, this is legal, that is illegal, but the law, at best, is an attempt to put moral judgements into legal requirement. Complexity into simplicity.

The obvious "clear legal dividing line" in the USA: "I know it when I see it." (Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis vs Ohio, 1964).
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#8 User is offline   mythdoc 

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Posted 2020-August-18, 19:49

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-April-23, 04:37, said:

The difference is point of view. In modern terms, George Washington would be a terrorist to the British. To the Americans he was a freedom fighter. Who is right? both! It is just a matter of perspective. As Ken says, everyone thinks they are right. Singling out DJT in that is pointless and silly.


So many dubious statements crammed into one small paragraph. Most are easily disproved or forced by Socratic method to be amended in large part. To me, the least convincing of them is “everyone thinks they are right.” Paying close attention to what other humans have said to each other and done to each other for decades, I feel sure this is incorrect about all people some of the time, and many people much of the time. What I am referring to is ignoring the little voice inside that says “this is wrong,” all the time insisting to others that it is right.

It makes me wonder how anybody sleeps soundly at night. Oh yeah, the use of sleeping pills is skyrocketing in society today...
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-August-19, 05:43

View Postmythdoc, on 2020-August-18, 19:49, said:

So many dubious statements crammed into one small paragraph. Most are easily disproved or forced by Socratic method to be amended in large part. To me, the least convincing of them is “everyone thinks they are right.” Paying close attention to what other humans have said to each other and done to each other for decades, I feel sure this is incorrect about all people some of the time, and many people much of the time. What I am referring to is ignoring the little voice inside that says “this is wrong,” all the time insisting to others that it is right.

It makes me wonder how anybody sleeps soundly at night. Oh yeah, the use of sleeping pills is skyrocketing in society today...


I won't take sides on your disagreement with Zel but I have thoughts about sleeping well at night and related psychological choices. I often explain my choices be saying "I get to sleep well at night". It took me a while, too long a while, to understand the value of that, but i regard it as very important. There is a variant on this that I also think is important that perhaps is karma in nature. I do not believe in mystical forces, and I am cautious about accepting arguments about the unconscious, but it seems to me that choices which I know to be wrong fester somewhere in my brain and, down the road, lead to bad results. I like to live in peace, internal peace, and paying attention to the little voice is a good way to do it.

I am not claiming saintliness, I am claiming that doing right has considerable internal reward over doing wrong. Sometimes, there can be a crisis. Well, it's in the nature of a crisis that the solution is not likely to be clear. We should try for a choice that we will not later internally regret.

I do have sleep apnea, but that comes from being 81 and overweight.


Ken
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#10 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 03:41

Hopefully this is relevant. But can I ask. Is it wrong to raise capital by scamming "build the wall" investors. Asking for a friend
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#11 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 07:02

View Postthepossum, on 2020-August-21, 03:41, said:

Hopefully this is relevant. But can I ask. Is it wrong to raise capital by scamming "build the wall" investors. Asking for a friend


I think that you have definitely hit the nail on the button there. The "investors" that wanted to build the wall could be characterised in much the same way as people that invest money in "gentlemen" that offer to absolve them of all their sins for a small consideration.
Perhaps it is just the third side of the same coin. To give you a heads up.
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#12 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 07:15

View Postthepossum, on 2020-August-21, 03:41, said:

Hopefully this is relevant. But can I ask. Is it wrong to raise capital by scamming "build the wall" investors. Asking for a friend


It's immoral to take advantage of the mentally deficient.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 07:40

A related question: Amongst those involved in the 2016 "all the best people" Republican presidential campaign, who is the most senior person not to have been charged with criminal activity since the election?
(-: Zel :-)

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#14 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 13:02

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-August-21, 07:40, said:

A related question: Amongst those involved in the 2016 "all the best people" Republican presidential campaign, who is the most senior person not to have been charged with criminal activity since the election?


Pompeo - 4th in line for the presidency - right after Pelosi.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 13:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-August-21, 13:02, said:

Pompeo - 4th in line for the presidency - right after Pelosi.

Pompeo may be part of the current administration but he was as far as I remember not a part of the 2016 campaign team.
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#16 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 19:27

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-August-21, 13:06, said:

Pompeo may be part of the current administration but he was as far as I remember not a part of the 2016 campaign team.


Then I guess Corey Lewandowski although he was arrested for misdemeanor assault.
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#17 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-August-21, 20:40

OK how about this:
A long long time ago, people used to think for themselves. If they made a mistake then they had to fix it up. Because it was wrong. Sometime later, a carpenter got sick of his job and thought to himself "wait a minute, I'll invent a new concept called 'hope' ".
Hope is a concept that dissociates right from wrong. Children steal things and hope that they will get away with it.
New players play the wrong card and hope that it will win a trick.
Then they go and see the man on Sunday and pray for forgiveness - they are hopeful.

Real-life doesn't work like that.

In real life you have to work, study and learn to get what you want or pandemics, famine and climate change will ***** all over you. The carpenter should get a job.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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