SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] morality in IA
[Sigia-l] morality in IA
From: Bill Darnall (darnall_at_sbcglobal.net)
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 19:46:56 EST
Thank you Derek for your observations. My words were misleading, although
that was not my ethical intent :-)
When I said, "it depends" I should have elaborated. My intention was to
suggest there is no universally absolute answer to a question about ethics
or morality. Thus, the reason "it depends," is that each person will have
his or her own moral or ethical conception. If one is "true to himself," the
individual's actions will depend only on his or her (own) moral or ethical
When one extends this concept to society as a whole, difficulties arise. In
this case, the ethical and moral precepts espoused by a society may (have
to) be a compromise between one's own views and the views of those in the
larger society. This is difficult to achieve, because as I read somewhere,
"each man likes the smell of his own dung best."
One can find himself in a quandary if, for example, he does not believe in
gambling, but does not oppose others who do gamble. That suggests that
societal morals and ethics may be flexible, and not fixed. I don't know the
answer, although I have my suspicions. If one is faithful to the morals and
ethics of his religion, then he may have an obligation to oppose anyone who
would try to force him to gamble. But what about a person of another
religious persuasion that requires gambling? Does each have the duty to
"convert" the other?
When responding to Christina, I was only talking about a single individual's
morals and ethics, and not those of the larger society.
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From: Derek R [mailto:derek_at_derekrogerson.com]
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 3:39 PM
To: 'Bill Darnall'
Subject: RE: [Sigia-l] morality in IA
>| Of course there is no single answer.
>| Questions about ethics and morality have
>| no answers, other than, "it depends."
Actually Bill, [although I think you understand this, I would like to be
crystal-clear], with questions of morality and ethics there is *no*
Being 'right' about something has nothing to do with circumstance or
context. You either are, or you are not (a single answer). There is no
It would be misleading and dangerous to suggest a flexible morality.
That if, for instance, an Orthodox Christian went to Las Vegas suddenly
it would become ok to gamble.
One doesn't need to look far in history to see atrocities which were
carried out based on a presumed position/partiality (favorable prejudice
or bias) like Croatia/Bosnia, Nazi Germany, or South Africa.
It would be convenient to say, as a current example, that Israelis have
observably suffered great persecution, so therefore it is ok for them to
enslave a Palestinian population. Here the question of morality being
'dependent' on perceived situation. Unfortunately it doesn't work that
Every man gotta right
To decide his own destiny
And in this judgment
There is no partiality
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:28 EST