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How has it worked for you so far? I mean the War on Iraq, the action on the Climate Change disasters, the ecologicical damage in The Gulf of Texaco becaue a private corporation, pursuing free-market private enterprise, has done its thing. I'm speaking of British Petroleum.
In Hatii as well as in Somalia they have what all libertarians dream of: total anarchy - but they have what you described in your post: they do have some social principles of interaction, some civilizing principles.
Going by your standards why wouldn't we have had The Inquisition? After all, Augustine, who started the torture techniques later used in a big way, was a "Saint." --No moral confusion there, right?
Do you really, in your heart, believe that religion is doing such a supremely-great job in teaching ethics? As a result of all their years of work have we abated corruption? Reconstructo and HexHammer don't think so. But maybe you see it clearer and have other ideas.
Perhaps a secular discipline, a focused study, a "scientia," can do a better job.
I'm sure this is rehashed, but after reading this thread, I wonder why a fixed system of secular ethics is required at all? If the vast majority of humanity already can agree on a few basic rules of interaction, why bother codifying the minutiae? Wouldn't it be easier (and eventually more effective) to let the market of human interaction decide which actions are appropriate or inappropriate for a given scenario?
Do you think there is something innate about ethics?
It seems good to cover all the various details of ethics, although it does led to semantics and details that can overwhelm at times.
Would letting the market of human interaction deciding what actions are appropriate or innapropriate for a given standard rely upon some sort of standard e.g., pain and pleasure?
I would say no, since ethics is meaningless for the individual, but I do think that spontaneous guidelines for interaction between individuals arises as a natural consequence of individuals attempting to achieve commonly held goals.
Covering all aspects of ethics seems impossible and unnecessary to me. In the process of interaction aimed at goals, individuals will assume all the protocol necessary, without arbitrarily drawing lines in the sand.
The standard cannot be determined without the considering the ends. Pain and pleasure are terms relative to the individual, so enacting broad standards of conduct based upon them would result in a set of principles completely unique to every individual, just the same as not having any standard whatsoever. So why bother?
Well then ethics does seem meaningful precisely to the individual because they (individuals) want to achieve a community of held goals. They take it upon themselves to do so (with of course the help of others). Do you mean that if an individual doesnt want to deal with a community then ethics does not apply to him?
Im not saying that we should cover all aspects of ethics from the outset, but that when a question arises concerning ethics dont you think we might need to answer it? Its progressive in a sense; when we are presented with something we have to figure it out.
Wouldnt creating more pleasure over pain be the end of the standard of pleasure and pain? This leads us into a problem however when dealing with, as you said, pleasures and pains relative to the individual. Im not advocating this, I am just curious as to whether youre advocating a standard or not (or at least imply one). But I suppose not.
Do you break ethics down into parts? What I mean to say is that are there parts to what you call ethics that deal with 1) Virtue (Morality) and 2) Right (Legal Law)? Just curious is all.
So we should now rely on the secular, as a science, to provide for us the foundations of ethics?
[M]aybe its not the background (secular or sacred) that is the problem for our corruption: maybe its in ourselves. But then again maybe im wrong.
But see, all of these make heavy presumptions about an ethical system. There are systems of ethics which are not so different from a physiological or socio-economic perspective.
These are not arguments for what ethics is good for in general, but for the specific application of a presupposed ethical theory.[/B]
am not stating ...disagreement, but simply trying to clarify your question. Are you asking "What is ethics good for?" or "What is this particular system of ethics good for?" The arguments given thus far seem to indicate the latter.