Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 00:27:05 GMT

  • Next message: David Harding: "Re: MD Empiricism"

    On 5 Dec 2004 at 16:08, Platt Holden wrote:
    > msh says:
    > You're being deliberately obtuse in order to be contrary, or at
    > least I hope your obtuseness here is deliberate. Have you ever
    > considered patenting this discursive technique? You could sell it
    > in a package along with the Platteral Shift and the Holden
    > Circularity.

    Why you find it necessary to open up with a pack of gratuitous
    insults is beyond me, so I'll leave that to the psychiatrists to

    msh says:
    Oh, c'mon. Do I have to use smiley faces every time I'm pulling your
    leg? After all the exchanges we've had?

    > But I'll go one more round, in case you really are interested in my
    > opinion. Any state interested in equal protection of the rights of
    > ALL its citizens will outlaw the acts you mention, so the state
    > be enforcing legal not moral standards. As I've said below and
    > elsewhere, guidelines for determining what should be illegal may
    > come from a variety of moral standards, or simply from reason

    Rights of citizens are moral concerns. If you don't believe me, check
    with Pirsig.

    msh says:
    Who said they weren't? Now you're using "concerns" where before we
    were talking about "standards." This is Platteral Shift.

    > platt:
    > Two problems with the golden rule. 1) It provides moral guidance
    > only when one has made a previous moral judgment of how others
    > should treat oneself.
    > msh says:
    > Why is this a problem? Before deciding on a course of action I
    > simply ask myself: "Will the effects of my action impact another in
    > a way that I would view as negative, were I in his place?"

    What you "view as negative" is a moral decision. Let's hope you're
    not a masochist.

    msh says:
    The fact that some people are mentally ill is one excellent reason
    for NOT allowing the Golden Rule, or any other rules subject to
    personal interpretation, to be used as anything more than a guiding
    standard in developing society's laws. The ultimate arbiter of laws
    to be enforced by the state should be truly representative Intellect,
    via the free and open and thorough exchange of ideas.

    > platt:
    > 2) It cannot be used to derive judgments concerning one's moral
    > duties to oneself, for example, not committing suicide.
    > msh says:
    > It's not meant to assist with such judgements. In fact, the phrase
    > "one's moral duties to oneself" is meaningless, unless one already
    > believes in an absolute moral authority. In which case there'd be
    > no need for the Golden Rule, and this whole discussion would become
    > dizzyingly circular. Which you would find satisfactory, I'm sure.
    > :-)

    Drug overdosing is meaningless?

    msh says:
    It is morally meaningless in a world consisting of one person, unless
    you are claiming the existence of a moral authority external to that

    In a world where the person's overdose would have a negative impact
    on others, say his family or loved ones, then of course his action is
    morally meaningful. But this stems from his moral responsibility to
    others, not to himself.

    I keep asking on what basis a group should decide what are good moral
    ideas besides the MOQ and I guess your answer is the golden rule and
    authority, although you seem to reserve the final say so to whatever
    the individual decides is a "good idea."

    msh says:
    Not quite. I've suggested the Golden Rule as a guiding standard, but
    certainly not the final arbiter, in the intellectual and dynamic
    development of society's laws.

    At least you offer an answer to the question which few others have
    even attempted. For that, I thank you.

    msh says:
    You're welcome. :-)

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)
    InfoPro Consulting - The Professional Information Processors
    Custom Software Solutions for Windows, PDAs, and the Web Since 1983
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    "Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is
    everything." -- Henri Poincare'

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