Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 16:06:45 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    On 6 Dec 2004 at 9:39, Platt Holden wrote to MSH:

    Just wanted to remind you to be sure to take your medications.

    msh says:
    Thanks. ;-)

    > 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.

    OK. Rights of citizens are based on moral standards. Happy?

    msh says:
    Yes, some rights may be derived from our moral guidelines. But some,
    such as your favorite, the right to unlimited accumulation of assets,
    are not.

    > platt:
    > 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.

    What is "representative intellect" as opposed to "intellect." A jury

    msh says:
    Yes, I think an honestly selected jury is a form of representative
    intellect. As would be any collection of truly representative

    > platt:
    > 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 person.

    I think in the MOQ it's not morally meaningless for biology to
    overcome intellect, regardless of how many people are involved.

    msh says:
    I agree. But we're not including the MOQ here, are we?

    > 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.

    Ditto above. (But of course, the MOQ has yet to be widely accepted as
    a moral guide.)

    msh says:

    > platt:
    > 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
    > 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
    > development of society's laws.

    Let me try to avoid the dastardly Platteral shift by asking: The
    final arbiter of right and wrong is never final because it always in
    the process of "development. Right? If so, I'd conclude "Anything
    goes if you can get away with it."

    msh says:
    Well, it depends on what you mean by "getting away with it," which
    has a kind of sinister ring to it, don't you think? I'd say anything
    goes as long as it is legal within a system of laws developed in the
    manner we've tried to describe. And the point you make about the
    system being always in development is a good one. This dynamic
    aspect is crucial, I think, not only for creating new laws as
    necessary, but for efficiently repealing laws that have become
    obsolete or were just plain bad in the first place, which is to say
    they are not producing the desired results.

    Thanks for your thoughts here. I think this is an important topic.

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)

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