Re: MD Intellectual Art (Dynamic Morality)

From: johnny moral (
Date: Tue Apr 01 2003 - 23:01:38 BST

  • Next message: Steve Peterson: "Re: MD Intellectual Art (Dynamic Morality)"

    Hi Steve,

    >Do you really think that what is best is to do what most people would do in
    >a given situation? I guess so, since you keep saying it. I just don't
    >how to respond to that. It doesn't fit my experience, and I can't imagine
    >it's true for you either.

    It's just the definition of moral, that's all. It's not so hard a target to
    hit. You can certainly do a lot better than merely be moral, you can be
    saintly, you can approach righteousness, etc. I too am not so proud of what
    is moral in this country, with its SUV's and selfish narcissism and giddy
    high-minded technological imperialism, but that's the morality. I don't

    Plus, most people try to do what is best, and wouldn't follow a custom if
    they thought that most people would also alter custom in that circumstance.
    That is just something that we have to believe. Stating that most people
    would try do what is best is essential for motivating people to follow suit.
      If people have a low opinion about what others would do, then they
    themselves will have less motivation to do good.

    This is also why it's important to keep up appearances, to keep our
    transgressions and crimes to ourselves, as well as those of other people we
    witness. Rather than broadcast our own or others immoral slip-ups, we have
    to remember that what is moral is a function of what people think other
    people do. So if everyone starts hearing about lots of people who committed
    adultery, it won't be immoral, it'll become expected behavior. The only
    reason we consider it immoral is because we have to believe that NO ONE does

    Now, in general, if you have some inside information unavailable to most
    people, and happen to know that it would be better to do something that most
    people wouldn't do, go ahead and be immoral in our eyes. I'm not giving you
    a free pass to do whatever you want, we still will disapprove of your
    immorality, but that shouldn't bother you, you understand that we don't
    understand, and maybe when we understand what you were trying to do, we will
    decide it was moral afterall. We would agree that most of us would have
    done the same thing. Maybe.


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