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Thread: Logic And Ethics

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    Waddlesworth's Avatar
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    Default Logic And Ethics

    I've noticed alot of differences of opinion or overgeneralizations of the differences between logic and Ethics.

    I want to shy away from the perceiving functions for now and just focus upon Judgement, which in my opinion doesn't receive as much attention.

    I have wondered what the real differences between logic and ethics are and also what the structure of Ethics is relative to Logic. Assuming that they are two sub-groupings of one category would imply that the functions of ethics and logic have very similar characteristics. The most fundamental seems to be that they involve constructs which interpret reality. They are forms of intelligence which contain rules and accepted terms. They involve a categorical form of reasoning which breaks information into groupings.

    For example, and ethical construct might be what is accepted as attractive and desirable in terms of a marriage partner. It might also include, perhaps, rituals and ceremonies such as weddings or birthday parties. Most of all it would include morality.

    Logic would include known results and measurements. Quantities of matter, tangible things. It seems to emphasize truth and exactness. Things such as various sciences, mathematics or documentation.

    Some of this is vaguely touched on in some articles I have read but I have read conflicting things as well.

    So what I am getting at is the question if Ethics, when compared to logic, is based upon constructs and is in this sense a sort of science in itself, or if it is based more upon chemical attractions and spontaneous action(which, to me, is actually sensing or in some regards intuition).

    I think that it is clear that ethics are in fact constructs like logic and do not exclusively involve movement of the body or "energy"

    I am curious as to what everyone else thinks about this.

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    Hi Waddlesworth. What an intriguing topic! I think its a great question.

    I think you are right that ethics and logic are constructs, but I put emphasis on those items this way:

    Ethics: a set of constructs on how to live "properly" (morals). This construct may be personal - derived from your own brain. Or perhaps it is social, derived from your community (where the community is your neighborhood, your town, or perhaps even your religion.. or your race).

    Logic: a system of reasoning used to make decisions. If done correctly it should be universal and work like a math proof. Generally when one applies logic, he or she is striving for a perfect or "as-close-to-perfection-as-possible" outcome by exposing all the known variables, and reducing them down to the answer that cannot be wrong or at least, does not appear to be wrong. Even logical decisions can be wrong. I am fascinated at debaters who use logical constructs on the fly.

    The commonalities are that both are systems for arriving at a conclusion.

    Where the difference lies for me is that ethics is often based on feelings or emotion and logic is very cold - totally devoid of emotion. It is based on "what must be" and allows for the possibility of incomplete data. Ethics concentrates on "what should be" and usually if someone subscribes to a set of ethics - they do not allow (in their minds) for flexibility. Although, it is possible.

    An interesting note is that one could use logic to generate a system of ethics... but should not use ethics as variables in a logical argument. Logic is universal and undeniable. Ethics can change person to person. (and this is why I am fed up with organized religion - they try too often to use ethics as the basis of logical arguments.)

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    Interesting topic.

    My main thought was along the lines of what INTJ said here:

    Where the difference lies for me is that ethics is often based on feelings or emotion and logic is very cold - totally devoid of emotion.
    Though when you (INTJ) talk about ethics here:

    "Ethics concentrates on "what should be" and usually if someone subscribes to a set of ethics - they do not allow (in their minds) for flexibility. Although, it is possible."

    I think you may be talking about using logic to generate a system of ethics, as you mentioned in your last paragraph.

    Personally, as an ethical type, I would argue that ethics is flexible. I would take into consideration where the other person was coming from. Why they subscribe to that set of ethics. I may or may not take on any as my own but I wouldn't necessarily discredit them. Of course I am describing myself here and perhaps I'm bringing in another function here and am unaware of it.

    It seems to me that ethics is based more on emotions and can be flexible, while logic is more factual and concrete.
    ISFp, SiFe, , or SEI....whatever we're calling ourselves these days.

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    Default Re: Logic And Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddlesworth
    They are forms of intelligence which contain rules and accepted terms. They involve a categorical form of reasoning which breaks information into groupings.

    For example, and ethical construct might be what is accepted as attractive and desirable in terms of a marriage partner. It might also include, perhaps, rituals and ceremonies such as weddings or birthday parties. Most of all it would include morality..

    Logic would include known results and measurements. Quantities of matter, tangible things. It seems to emphasize truth and exactness. Things such as various sciences, mathematics or documentation.
    I know that this does not reduce me, an ethical type, to be good at chosing a marriage partner (ironically, I'm not). I'm not sure if ethics and logic are forms of intelligence or rather forms of making sense of what is around you (which you imply in the sentence after that).

    Ethical and logical decisions concern the same matters and the main difference, I think, is the system within which I place the issue: By decisions are not merely based on morality. Yours are not merely based on logic (if they were, you'd probably be in prison by now). So I would rename this into: Predominantly logical/ethical (big difference!).

    Where the difference lies for me is that ethics is often based on feelings or emotion and logic is very cold - totally devoid of emotion. It is based on "what must be" and allows for the possibility of incomplete data. Ethics concentrates on "what should be" and usually if someone subscribes to a set of ethics - they do not allow (in their minds) for flexibility. Although, it is possible.
    I think there are great misconceptions concerning ethics. Ethical decision making is not based on emotions, it is based on a value system that is influenced by emotions, but also by logic as stated above. Every decision etc. that enters this value system automatically changes it, too, so it's constantly in flux. I'm inclined to believe that age and maturity change the composition of logic and ethics within the value system: The ENFp will try to be more rational and less emotion-driven. The INTj might try the opposite.

    I truly have a hard time looking at ethics and logic as two entirely separate entities. We all work with both.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    In interesting points made by everyone.

    Kim, since you're an ethical, albeit with the second function, can you describe what ethics is to you?

    Sometimes I misconstrue it as "emotion" such as a feeling of happiness around people or a feeling of warmth around people. This sort of thing could be inhibited by logical thinking in many regards, but is this all ethics is?

    Is it more abstract than that? that is, does it involve a sort of structure?

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    As far as I can understand how it works

    LOGIC judge/evaluate situations in terms of "right or wrong"

    ETHICS judge/evalutate situations in terms of "good or bad"

    ->logical types are inclined to ignore the feelings when analyzing or more properly said the effects of a decision or situation on someone, how would that person feel in a certain situation. So logics is about seeing objectively the general correctness or incorrectness of a decision or situation related to the system of norms, laws of the society or whatever.

    I assume that's the reason why LOGIC is also called OBJECTIVE judgement, because it ignores the effects on people

    ->I relate ethical types with the capacity of emphaty, "putting yourself in someone else's shoes", how a person would actually feel in a certain posture. So I assume it is a structure involved here, but the values of the structure are different - normally humanitarian values
    (pity, kindness, charity etc.) such as those cultivated by Christianity

    So that's why ETHICS is also called SUBJECTIVE judgement, because it is inclined to make evaluations based on the effects *if the effect is good than it is correct* or *if the effect is bad than it is wrong*

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    Default Re: Logic And Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim
    I think there are great misconceptions concerning ethics. Ethical decision making is not based on emotions, it is based on a value system that is influenced by emotions, but also by logic as stated above. Every decision etc. that enters this value system automatically changes it, too, so it's constantly in flux. I'm inclined to believe that age and maturity change the composition of logic and ethics within the value system: The ENFp will try to be more rational and less emotion-driven. The INTj might try the opposite.
    I agree with this. Ethics are based on values; logic is based on facts, deduction/induction. Ethics and logic can seem to be driven by different goals. Ethics are also completely logical in their way . . . people have emotionals and will act on them. This is a fact. So you can't really leave ethics out; it's not logical.

    As people mature, they start to see that these goals really are not mutually exclusive. Example: an idea and plan makes total sense given the facts of the situation, but you still have to get buy-in from people and some won't buy in unless the plan is ethical, so you've got to pay attention to the ethical angle as well.

    Irrationals may not make as many of their decisions based on either logic or ethics, more by what's going on at the time and how it sits with the goal. Rationals might be more committed to the details of either the ethics or the logic compared to irrationals.

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    I am about to say the same thing everybody else has already said, but here it goes: both logic and ethics are ways to evaluate information, and both are subjective and objective. The subjective part is the thoughts that reflect on everything except how to objectively produce something as a result of the information transfer. The objective part is producing results, and do not require processing anything in depth. Ethics are made up of the same stuff emotions are, but are not necessarily emotions, and logic is made up of the same stuff, or is, rational thoughts and actions, but logic is not necessarily realistic, it all depends on the amount of effort.

    The weird part is though in my mind, this is either really simple or there is some very abstract concepts that I am missing that will appear backwards without close inspection. I might also be imagining things right now.

    I have some more thoughts for this, maybe some of them will be something that not everybody has already thought of already, maybe not.

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