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Thread: The Goal of Ethics

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    Default The Goal of Ethics

    This is not directly about Socionics ethics of Fi or Fe, but more about ethos ethics in general, and I am curious as to how different types and quadras respond to the questions. On what basis should a system of ethics be formed? What should be the goal of ethics? What do you see as the the extent or limitations of ethics?
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    There are two kinds of harm: subjective harm and objective harm. Subjective harm is impossible to verify and objective studies of ethics should never consider it. (or would you really argue that -Se should never be gathered just because I think it threatening? Rest assured, with every sabre rattle I hear on the news, a part of me squirms a bit). However, objective harm is something that everyone can agree is problematic: stealing, physical injury, fraud, etc. The regulation/prevention of objective harm is the proper domain of ethics.

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    The first question I would ask is what you mean by the term ethics.

    If ethics is about the value and morality of actions, then I believe that a code of ethics as an ethical parameter of what is/isn't moral can't be discerned objectively. That isn't to say that it doesn't exist, but rather that each person, due to the fact that ethical data IMO is an inherently subjective piece of data, is at the liberty to define his or her moral code. Thus, to speak of ethics as if it had a goal or has some sort of necessary way in which it should be handled seems out of place. Rather, we must all define our own moral framework and devise our own interpretations of the world and that no one else's statement has the power, unless we allow it to, render our interpretation of the morality of the world wrong.

    There is one exception to this I believe and that is the coherence of a particular persons moral system. I believe that if a moral system contains two logically incoherent beliefs, then that person is wrong in believing as such. However, since ethical senses are so obscure and obfuscated by personal sentiment, I believe that even in the discovery of an apparent logical contradiction between beliefs, one may be erred in that there are actually hidden criteria which the person is evaluating things that he may neither know about nor be able to state explicitly. Thus, it seems that, unless one is utterly certain, evaluating a person's subjective moral interpretation by objective criteria is most of the time faulty and should be done with extreme caution.

    If that isn't what you mean by ethics then I have no idea how to respond.
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    I have a hard time with these sorts of questions. I tend to operate on my own personal sense of "ethics" though I'm largely unaware of any actual system of ethical rules that I hold... there are some rules of varying degrees of "fuzziness" I suppose, but every rule can be brought to the point of non-application under the right conditions. So there are traces of a "system" but it changes - it isn't fixed. Mainly it floats around a center... and is based on trying not to hurt others in the short and long term, trying to the "right" thing according to my "conscience."

    But what determines what feels like the "right thing"? I have no idea. Is it possible that my "right thing" may be right for me and totally wrong for someone else? Yes. The problem with a system of ethics is that although it brings a nice crisp clarity banishing my uncertainty, it will be too rigid... it can't possibly accommodate the dynamic world of human feelings, interactions, reasons, morals, experience, or the vast variety of situations that can arise. It will always be inadequate.

    But if we have no system at all, then I can see that as being very, very bad as well. If there was no sense of ethos present in culture, would someone growing up in such a culture have a "conscience" or any sense of ethics/morality/whatever to follow? For instance if I were raised amid a bunch of hypothetical "savages" who do nothing but horrible things to others as a way of life, where would my "ethical feelings" be then? Would they even exist? I sort of doubt it. So whatever ethos that are in place in my culture have clearly influenced me, and the existence of an ethical system is needed. [Of course, the way human social behavior works, it is pretty much inevitable that any human culture would come up with some working form of ethics. Without that, we'd all kill each other and we wouldn't survive as a species. In fact, we wouldn't be here now. So I'm really relating an impossible scenario (sort of).]

    It does help everyone to have at least a simple agreed upon set of ethical rules (like "thou shalt not kill" ) so we have a common ethical base. But again, I don't want it too rigid, because rigid ethical systems can hurt people. They can lead to all sorts of condemnations, and moral judgments, and bring out all the wonderful vindictiveness that comes with an over-developed sense of "right and wrong" or "justice." For instance, applying the "thou shalt not kill" rule to every circumstance, though for the most part good, could breed greater suffering and turmoil under certain conditions (like assisted suicide, as an example). Rigid rules need to be permitted limits to account for the complexity of situations that can come up.

    Thinking about it in an / sense... I think might be good at coming up with cogent ethical systems of rules... And can act as "ethical rule critic" pointing out where we need to bend, or break, or flat out disregard certain preset rules. [I have kind of disregarded logic here...]

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    I used to demarcate ethics from morality until I had a philosophy dude school me on the fact that no clear distinction exists. I think ethics should stem from the 'will' of the 'people' for the most part. That is, a humanistic foundation as opposed theological - though I realize that can be a messy distinction, and not one I'm equipped to debate.

    I think rights play into what individuals and groups are allowed to enact, but I think in part ethics deal with the question of, 'just because you can, should you?'

    Ethics offer guidelines and probably should be treated as such, rather than hard and fast 'rules'. They are the lubricant and glue, if you will, of human interaction. I think they range in weight of importance, and I think their relevence is entirely contextual. It's a grey concept, and I think that uncertainty makes them as powerful and useful as one might argue it limits their use.

    In some cases, what can be logically argued as ethical is going to conflict with what another feels is 'right', and in that particular case, I don't think there is a clear winner because some ethical norms, while justified on a rational basis, are entirely relevent for their emotional weight.

    I'm kind of all over the map here, but hopefully something in there made a shred of sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    I think all problems can be solved logically.
    Ive been told Kurt Gödel would have disagreed with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    This is not directly about Socionics ethics of Fi or Fe, but more about ethos ethics in general, and I am curious as to how different types and quadras respond to the questions. On what basis should a system of ethics be formed? What should be the goal of ethics? What do you see as the the extent or limitations of ethics?
    by definition, the goal of ethics is to persuade by virtue of one's character.

    the limitations of ethics are manifold. i question what substance necessarily undergirds the presentation of character (since ethos is about a speaker persuading an audience to some end and ulterior motives are likely).

    but, what is character? what is the value of using one's character or of persuading others by a conscious display one's character? i tend to think that ethos should be self-evident. at least, that is to say, i dont spend hours trying to perfect mine or looking for perfection in others'. i wouldnt even know what to look for. it seems like something that people just carry around with them, like a hunch on their back or something. easily recognizable, a part of oneself, not intentionally displayed.

    however, i think some people may confuse ethos with pathos, or at least expect that the two will be simultaneously or equally noticable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    I think all problems can be solved logically.
    Sure thing. Ask a person in Korea and one in England to point their fingers up and explain me, logically, why they point to different directions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemex View Post
    Sure thing. Ask a person in Korea and one in England to point their fingers up and explain me, logically, why they point to different directions.
    They're at different points on the globe, so if "up" is defined as normal to the Earth, they're going to be pointing at two very different absolute angles?
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    I think ethics is important, because people are. I don't think it provides any easy answers. In fact, it seems to me that its primary value is that it makes the complexities and ambiguities of the field more obvious. I could and should write more, but I'm on a strictly no thinking regimen tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemex View Post
    Sure thing. Ask a person in Korea and one in England to point their fingers up and explain me, logically, why they point to different directions.
    Do Koreans point with their knuckles or something?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elro View Post
    They're at different points on the globe, so if "up" is defined as normal to the Earth, they're going to be pointing at two very different absolute angles?
    Spend more time thinking about it. I don't like pre-made answers that I already know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemex View Post
    Spend more time thinking about it. I don't like pre-made answers that I already know.
    Hey, I totally came up with that one on the spot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    By "can" I meant potentially.
    We have the potential to solve all problems logically. And we should.
    That's our problem right now.
    For some reason this makes me sad.

    Are values logical? Is what's important necessary? Me no likey crystal palaces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    eh?
    lol.

    Crystal palace is a soccer team. Maybe this is what he was meaning.

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    Creepy-Cyclops

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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    eh?
    Why can't you hear me when i'm typing (your reading, or something)

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    The first part also gives a harsh criticism of determinism and intellectual attempts at dictating human action, which the Underground Man mentions in terms of a simple math problem two times two makes four (see also necessitarianism). He states that despite humanity’s attempt to create the "Crystal Palace," a reference to a famous symbol of utopianism in Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s What Is to Be Done?. The real Crystal Palace, a vast exhibition hall of glass and iron, was built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The structure used the most advanced materials and technology available at the time. Utopian socialists and other architects of the "Crystal Palace" cannot avoid the simple fact that anyone at any time can decide to act against what is considered good, and some will do so simply to validate their existence and/or to protest that they exist as individuals. This type of rebellion is critical to later works of Dostoevsky as this type of rebellion is used by adolescents to validate their own existence, uniqueness and independence (see Dostoevsky's The Adolescent) in the face of the disorder one inherits under the understanding of tradition and society.
    It was Dostoevsky speak.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    Oh.




    I'm not sure.
    Did you have/having a nice day?

    Mines was ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    That's nice.
    Mine was alright.

    My grade in history moved up to a 39%
    It's still failing, but hey, it's better than an 8. Even if it is the worst grade in my class.
    I'm doing my community service requirement right now.

    Working at a gym, which happens to let me use my laptop.
    aha. I remember in my first year at uni, well I was always not too bad at maths at school, and anyway..I had a maths class at my first year at uni. We had a class test (it didn't count towards our grade, was just to give us an idea of how things were sitting exams there, or something) well anyway, i hadn't really looked over the lecture notes, and did know studying, but figured I should turn up for the exam, and should sort of do ok.

    Well when I got there the questions were talking about stuff we hadn't done at school, and not only that I found myself struggling to remember stuff I once knew.

    I failed it. I wont't tell you the exam result on that class test. Well I might. Will see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anamericancer View Post
    I think all problems can be solved logically.
    Even the problem of poverty? I disagree. I think we have to reach that conclusion via ethical means. For example, I would say "why do I give a shit about a million starving African children? Thousands of gassed Jews' families and even survivors? All so that I donate this money to their causes?" They use evocative tactics, and they probably employ ethical types to do it. "Oooh, look at this poor black, deformed child with flies on his face" is meant to make you go "awww, I feel sorry for him; I will give some money to the cause". And how do they persuade the logical types amongst us? Well, maybe they don't.

    People can disagree. Very easily.
    Yes.
    Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power. So I'm right.

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