Can Ethics be reduced to a single statement?

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Icon
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 11:46 am
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 12:14 pm
@Icon,
Are we talking about net positive influence?

Is influence measured by the actor?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 02:04 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Ethics is the humility of the ego.
 
Icon
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 02:23 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Are we talking about net positive influence?

Is influence measured by the actor?

I suppose Ethics, in my mind, requires action. Without action, there can be no meassure of action.

By positive, I mean to produce positive emotions in everyone involved in a situation whether immediately or eventually.
 
proV
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 02:29 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Ethics can pehaps be reduced to a single symbol:

=

:whistling: :yinyang:

But there is a difference if one knows and realizes this or one just thinks about it. Many great statements have been written about ethics, but without action and realization they are meaningless.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 04:25 pm
@Icon,
Ethics: Always do right and do no wrong.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:28 am
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
"Ethical nature is that which applies a positive influence to the emotional nature of yourself and those involved in any given situation in which ethics can apply."


I think its good; on face value I'd be happy to sport such a bumper-sticker.

I'm trying to think of what this might not cover, that I hold dear, and the only thing I could come up with is the 'emotional' qualification. I'm sure we'd be interested in more than *just* the emotional nature of 'myself and others involved'. If you said, "Ok Warren, here's a pen, how would you change it?", I'd rephrase to say, "... that which applies a positive influence to both yourself and others in any given situation..."

Nice though; and I'm with you on the simplicity thing. For my part; however, every time I try I end up leaving something important out. Maybe you'll have better luck

Thanks
 
Icon
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 08:40 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
I think its good; on face value I'd be happy to sport such a bumper-sticker.

I'm trying to think of what this might not cover, that I hold dear, and the only thing I could come up with is the 'emotional' qualification. I'm sure we'd be interested in more than *just* the emotional nature of 'myself and others involved'. If you said, "Ok Warren, here's a pen, how would you change it?", I'd rephrase to say, "... that which applies a positive influence to both yourself and others in any given situation..."

Nice though; and I'm with you on the simplicity thing. For my part; however, every time I try I end up leaving something important out. Maybe you'll have better luck

Thanks


I find that the more general a statement, the more it covers. This is where most people go wrong in my humble opinion. When you look at something from a 50,000 foot view, you can see how it all works together. When you look at it from a 50 ft view, you can see some of the finerworkings but you lose the big picture. The big picture is what matters because it is the over all end product. The finer details are usually situational and can change on a whim. So long as you keep the general idea, the rest will fall into place.

The best plans are those which leave room for adaptation.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 10:40 am
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
I find that the more general a statement, the more it covers. This is where most people go wrong in my humble opinion. When you look at something from a 50,000 foot view, you can see how it all works together. When you look at it from a 50 ft view, you can see some of the finerworkings but you lose the big picture. The big picture is what matters because it is the over all end product. The finer details are usually situational and can change on a whim. So long as you keep the general idea, the rest will fall into place.


I think you're right, but my experience tells me that details are important. Yet I can't deny the wisdom of this; the view that says "Look at the bigger picture". This is a particular argument I find my inner selves having often. [INDENT]Dissect a 'bad' thing and you'll discover perspective that gives insight and wisdom; yet you'll blur the lines. Dissect a 'good' thing and although you might discover the essence of that goodne4ss, you risk violating that 'purity of thought' that was initially.
[/INDENT]Yea, in the end equation I think I'd go with your view. Still, somehow I think I'll end up continuing my inner prodding and arguments for quite some time yet.

... and so we trudge on towards no particular end.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:25 pm
@Khethil,
If i was not on a serious forum i would have said mans privates starting with a "B" could sum up my reply to many subjects or requests for intelligent input..The one word that can reduce even a single statement to a single word..hollocks..
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 11:54 am
@Icon,
Our brains inherently apply subjective value to objects. So I would say,

Ethics is the extension of a subjective a priori value concept onto metaphysics, ie, the attribution of value onto Being, whether or not such a value truly exists, or is just a projection of our minds.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 06:27 am
@Icon,
Icon, of course it can, basically,

"Be good and you'll be happy."

Huh, not like that means anything, though. In my experience, ethics builds complexity on itself. The way I look at it, ethics starts with a moral/metaphysical kernel and builds corollary after corollary on top of itself...It might be possible that the absolute kernel of ethics is the old idiom "two sides of the same coin," that is, what we construe as duality is really two different ways of looking at the same thing. I'll have to look into working on this idea some more, I have too many philosophical projects laying around in dusty corners of my brain, I'm so scatterbrained.
 
Jose phil
 
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:08 am
@hammersklavier,
I'd say "Good ethics is following one's conscience."
 
thing-N-ghost
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 12:19 am
@Icon,
The minute you throw other human beings (each with their own unique ideopathic nature) into the mix, things become complicated. Thus, to sum up the issue of ethics would reqire a lot of articulating no matter what . . . sorry.
 
Dewey phil
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 03:39 pm
@thing-N-ghost,
Hi Icon,

Your definition may be just fine for you, but it doesn't work for me. The terms "nature", "emotional", and "in which ethics can apply" hint at assumptions I might not agree with.

I would be more comfortable directly defining morality rather than ethics or ethical nature. Here's a definition purported to incorporate "all of the essential features of morality as a guide to behavior that all rational persons would put forward for governing the behavior of all moral agents". (I love it when they hold the threat of your irrationality over you!)

"Morality is an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behavior that affects others, and has the lessening of evil and harm as its goal." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 
Joe
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 08:46 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:


I think its very applicable to the rational spectrum of morals. I like it. The part about "those involved in any given situation" serves as a counterbalance of ego. I think that makes it an intelligent statement. Makes the individual think about interaction of ideas and approaches and how alot of arguments about morals rely on the inability too level the perception just right. That's why I like your statement, it seems to address that gap and thus showing that Ethical nature cannot be perfect without connection.
 
doc phil
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 10:19 pm
@xris,
Icon;53038 wrote:



"Ethical nature is that which applies a positive influence to the emotional nature of yourself and those involved in any given situation in which ethics can apply."



'...positive influence to the emotional nature...' Does this mean emotional conditioning i.e. ethical nature attempts to development one's baseline emotional state? Or does it mean the promotion of the happiness of the individual and those involved? Or is it something else?
 
Phosphorous
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 07:13 pm
@Icon,
If someone asked me to reduce ethics/morality to a single statement, it would be: "Do what you want but be prepared for the consequences."

Why would I say something like that? Well, it's absurd to think that happiness is the ultimate goal of our lives. Putting happiness as the ultimate goal doesn't explain the situations in which a person might willingly undergo suffering. And even then, what happens when one person has to suffer in order for another to be happy?

But I guess if you're looking for instructions on how to live your life, you can't beat mine. Laughing
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 07:35 pm
@Phosphorous,
Phosphorous wrote:

Why would I say something like that? Well, it's absurd to think that happiness is the ultimate goal of our lives. Putting happiness as the ultimate goal doesn't explain the situations in which a person might willingly undergo suffering. And even then, what happens when one person has to suffer in order for another to be happy?


Good point, I agree.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 07:37 pm
@Phosphorous,
Phosphorous wrote:
If someone asked me to reduce ethics/morality to a single statement, it would be: "Do what you want but be prepared for the consequences."

Why would I say something like that? Well, it's absurd to think that happiness is the ultimate goal of our lives. Putting happiness as the ultimate goal doesn't explain the situations in which a person might willingly undergo suffering. And even then, what happens when one person has to suffer in order for another to be happy?

But I guess if you're looking for instructions on how to live your life, you can't beat mine. Laughing

It depends on how you define happiness. If you take Aristotle's definition of happiness, the ultimate goals would be a radical conceptions for goals for living. To Aristotle, happiness loosely translates to "well for the gods."
 
 

 
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