Vegetarian Discussion: Moral Considerability

Moral Considerability
Posts: 24

Report Abuse

Use this form to report abuse or request takedown.
The requests are usually processed within 48 hours.

Page: 1 2 3   Next  (First | Last)

George Plimpton
2012-04-20 13:24:11 EST
It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
squirrel.

The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.

For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
than family - in deciding which one to rescue.

The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.

Rupert
2012-04-20 13:52:52 EST
On Apr 20, 7:24 pm, George Plimpton <geo...@si.not> wrote:
> It has degrees; it isn't absolute.  If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
> and save Jones's cat.  If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
> he wants his dog to behave.  If I see a coyote come down the street and
> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
> squirrel.
>
> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent.  No one gives
> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so.  We may not be able to
> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>
> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
> only one of them.  However, the same source would tell me that if
> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>
> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
> salvage something they intuitively like.  There is no rigor to it at all.

What's your opinion about the matter? Do you think that it is
permissible to discriminate on the grounds of race in that scenario?

George Plimpton
2012-04-20 14:31:27 EST
On 4/20/2012 10:52 AM, Rupert wrote:
> On Apr 20, 7:24 pm, George Plimpton<geo...@si.not> wrote:
>> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
>> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
>> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
>> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
>> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
>> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
>> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
>> squirrel.
>>
>> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
>> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
>> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
>> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
>> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
>> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
>> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
>> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>>
>> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
>> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
>> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
>> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
>> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
>> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
>> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
>> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>>
>> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
>> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.
>
> What's your opinion about the matter? Do you think that it is
> permissible to discriminate on the grounds of race in that scenario?

Based on the same logic of kinship that you told me permit me to
discriminate in favor of my child over the unrelated child, yes.

Feel free to tell me where the line is drawn, and why, such that kinship
becomes too weak a criterion for discrimination.

Rockinghorse Winner
2012-04-20 17:14:01 EST
In article <fIadnYe5_6YcNgzSnZ2dnUVZ5s6dnZ2d@giganews.com>,
George Plimpton <george@si.not> wrote:
>On 4/20/2012 10:52 AM, Rupert wrote:
>> On Apr 20, 7:24 pm, George Plimpton<geo...@si.not> wrote:
>>> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
>>> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
>>> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
>>> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
>>> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
>>> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
>>> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
>>> squirrel.
>>>
>>> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
>>> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
>>> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
>>> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
>>> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
>>> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
>>> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
>>> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>>>
>>> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
>>> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
>>> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
>>> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
>>> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
>>> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
>>> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
>>> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>>>
>>> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
>>> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.
>>
>> What's your opinion about the matter? Do you think that it is
>> permissible to discriminate on the grounds of race in that scenario?
>
>Based on the same logic of kinship that you told me permit me to
>discriminate in favor of my child over the unrelated child, yes.
>
>Feel free to tell me where the line is drawn, and why, such that kinship
>becomes too weak a criterion for discrimination.


You would be wrong to discriminate on the basis of race:

The reason it would be morally permissible to save your child over a
stranger is because you share a history and the special filial relationship
with your child. You would do the same if he was adopted.

However, with two strangers of different races, you share no relationship


Very interesting topic!

Terry
--
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
-Albert Schweitzer

badass linux - 3.2.12-gentoo

George Plimpton
2012-04-20 19:15:15 EST
On 4/20/2012 2:14 PM, Rockinghorse Winner wrote:
> In article<fIadnYe5_6YcNgzSnZ2dnUVZ5s6dnZ2d@giganews.com>,
> George Plimpton<george@si.not> wrote:
>> On 4/20/2012 10:52 AM, Rupert wrote:
>>> On Apr 20, 7:24 pm, George Plimpton<geo...@si.not> wrote:
>>>> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
>>>> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
>>>> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
>>>> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
>>>> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
>>>> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
>>>> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
>>>> squirrel.
>>>>
>>>> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
>>>> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
>>>> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
>>>> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
>>>> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
>>>> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
>>>> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
>>>> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>>>>
>>>> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
>>>> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
>>>> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
>>>> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
>>>> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
>>>> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
>>>> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
>>>> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>>>>
>>>> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
>>>> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.
>>>
>>> What's your opinion about the matter? Do you think that it is
>>> permissible to discriminate on the grounds of race in that scenario?
>>
>> Based on the same logic of kinship that you told me permit me to
>> discriminate in favor of my child over the unrelated child, yes.
>>
>> Feel free to tell me where the line is drawn, and why, such that kinship
>> becomes too weak a criterion for discrimination.
>
>
> You would be wrong to discriminate on the basis of race:
>
> The reason it would be morally permissible to save your child over a
> stranger is because you share a history and the special filial relationship
> with your child. You would do the same if he was adopted.

What does that special filial relationship have to do with the
supposedly equal consideration I'm supposed to give to the interests of
both children in being rescued? The children are the ones with the
interests in being rescued to which I am supposed to give equal
consideration. If I automatically rescue my child, then I am not giving
their interests in being rescued equal consideration. My son's
*interest* in being rescued is not enhanced or fortified in any way by
the fact that he has a filial tie to me. In fact, it seems you're
suggesting I not weigh the children's interests at all, but instead give
all the weight to *my* interest in having my son remain alive so I can
continue to enjoy our filial tie. This obviously holds true if my child
is adopted rather than my biological offspring.

Now that you mention it, it seems you've told me that if the people
trapped in the burning building are my dog and someone else's child, it
is ethical for me to save my dog and leave the child to burn. I have
history and some kind of strong emotional tie with my dog.



>
> However, with two strangers of different races, you share no relationship

That's false. My connection to a stranger of my race might be much more
tenuous and remote than with a stranger of another race, but it is
nonetheless closer. Why was so much made in the Bill Clinton
administration (surprisingly, I didn't hear as much about it when Obama
became president) about appointing lots of women and minorities to
federal positions because Americans needed to see people who "looked
like them"?

I had an extremely smart professor in grad school who used to try to
provoke the militant egalitarian firebrands. He once said that he
rooted for the Russians against the Americans in the Olympics because
they looked more like him; he felt a closer tie. We never knew if he
was joking or not - he was extremely sly - but I think he might have
been serious.

Zerkon
2012-04-21 10:28:50 EST
In article <WbidnSHeZv0jBgzSnZ2dnUVZ5vudnZ2d@giganews.com>,
g*e@si.not says...
>
> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
> squirrel.
>
> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>
> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>
> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.

Ok in the "Jones' cat" case you present the decisions as being your's
alone then forcing the position of "no one gives equal moral.. etc" from
what you gave or not. This does not ground your argument simply because
there very well might be people who, in degrees, do attempt to give
equal moral consideration, so what you do becomes only what you do not a
given of what everyone does.

In your "kinship" example you now are being dedicated to or told by
'sources' without explanation of why these sources matter to you.

Bringing in the issue of race into a child rescue situation is blatant
sophistry. Here again you are being victimized by people telling you
things you can or can not do. Sort of like people on radio talk shows.
You are forcing a conclusion via a 'straw sophist argument'

As another moral excercise place yourself in the catastrophy but in a
far off land alone among people of your own race in a small tight
community suspcious of all outsiders and who spoke a language you did
not understand. A person of another race but from your home towm shows
up. What sense of kinship do you have now?

What comes out of all this is the question of how are you hearing these
really bossy sources and how do each of you, you and your sophist
sources, know so very much what the other is thinking?


George Plimpton
2012-04-21 11:46:25 EST
On 4/21/2012 7:28 AM, Zerkon wrote:
> In article<WbidnSHeZv0jBgzSnZ2dnUVZ5vudnZ2d@giganews.com>,
> george@si.not says...
>>
>> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
>> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
>> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
>> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
>> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
>> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
>> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
>> squirrel.
>>
>> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
>> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
>> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
>> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
>> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
>> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
>> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
>> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>>
>> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
>> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
>> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
>> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
>> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
>> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
>> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
>> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>>
>> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
>> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.
>
> Ok in the "Jones' cat" case you present the decisions as being your's
> alone then forcing the position of "no one gives equal moral.. etc" from
> what you gave or not. This does not ground your argument simply because
> there very well might be people who, in degrees, do attempt to give
> equal moral consideration, so what you do becomes only what you do not a
> given of what everyone does.

I observe that no one gives equal moral consideration, including those
who say we ought to do so.


>
> In your "kinship" example you now are being dedicated to or told by
> 'sources' without explanation of why these sources matter to you.

If you had been following along here a little more attentively, you'd
know who the source is to whom I referred.


> Bringing in the issue of race into a child rescue situation is blatant
> sophistry.

How is it? What if in fact there are two children of different races?
If that's the case, then what's "sophistry" about it?


> Here again you are being victimized by people telling you
> things you can or can not do. Sort of like people on radio talk shows.
> You are forcing a conclusion via a 'straw sophist argument'

I'm not.


>
> As another moral excercise place yourself in the catastrophy but in a
> far off land alone among people of your own race in a small tight
> community suspcious of all outsiders and who spoke a language you did
> not understand. A person of another race but from your home towm shows
> up. What sense of kinship do you have now?
>
> What comes out of all this is the question of how are you hearing these
> really bossy sources and how do each of you, you and your sophist
> sources, know so very much what the other is thinking?
>


Immortalist
2012-04-21 13:35:59 EST
On Apr 20, 10:24 am, George Plimpton <geo...@si.not> wrote:
> It has degrees; it isn't absolute.  If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
> and save Jones's cat.  If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
> he wants his dog to behave.  If I see a coyote come down the street and
> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
> squirrel.
>
> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent.  No one gives
> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so.  We may not be able to
> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>
> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
> only one of them.  However, the same source would tell me that if
> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>
> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
> salvage something they intuitively like.  There is no rigor to it at all.

If humans and other social animals have a propensity to be groupish,
dividing the world into an us vs them, then, would that justify making
moral choicees based upon this instinct such as helping one group but
not helping another group merely based upon a biological preference
for group identification? Is this impulse alone enough to justify
discrimination and favoritism or are there other reasons that need to
be added to justify your conclusion helping or promoting abuse?

...human nature appears to have been shaped by natural selection
working at multiple levels, including not just intra-group competition
but also inter-group competition. Haidt suggests that we have in our
minds what amounts to a “hive switch” that shuts down the self and
makes us feel, temporarily, that we are simply a part of a larger
whole (or hive). This uniquely human ability for self-transcendence is
crucial for understanding the origins of morality and religion...

http://newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/a-summary-of-the-righteous-mind-why-good-people-are-divided-by-politics-and-religion-by-jonathan-haidt/
http://takimag.com/article/the_self_righteous_hive_mind_steve_sailer/print

(1) A group of bozos on a city street agree to join an social
experiment.

(2) Subjects (bozos) are divided into groups on basis of trivial
criteria like flipping a coin to deterimine if one is in Group X or
Group Y.

(3) Subjects do not interact, either within or between groups.

(4) Members of own group and other group remain anonymous.

(5) Subjects are then asked to allot money to two other subjects,
designated only by code number and group membership (X or Y). Subjects
own outcomes will not be affected by their allocation decisions.

(6) Despite minimal nature of these groups, subjects allocations
consistently favored other members of their own arbitrarily designated
groups, at the expense of members of the recently typed "outgroups".

[Tajfel] argues that the reason for this allocation strategy is to
create a differentiation between the groups which permits their group
membership to enhance their social identity.

------------------------------------------------
The Social Animal - Elliot Aronson - 8th Edition 1999
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0716733129/

Unreflected Ingroup Favoritism

One who reflects does not discriminate?: On the role of unreflected
cognitive processes for the occurrence of ingroup favoritism between
artificial groups; A categorization of individuals in two groups based
on completely trivial criteria like flipping a coin to determine which
group one is assigned (Group X or Group Y), can be sufficient to cause
mutual preferences for one's own group.

Social identity theory assumes a fundamental striving towards a
positive distinction of one's own group from other groups. The
tendency to a preference for one's own group is clearly reduced in a
situation involving intergroup judgments on negative comparison
dimensions or distribution decisions on negative stimuli (burdens,
aversive stimuli), in comparison to those in the positive realm.

These basic judgment processes may be the fundamental determining
factors of and conditions for social discrimination. Of some influence
may be the role which evaluations of oneself play for the positive
evaluation of minimal social groups. It is assumed that an unreflected
cognitive process is critical for this, in the course of which, as a
rule, the positive self-image is transferred to the new ingroup. Due
to the lesser degree of similarity to oneself, an outgroup cannot
benefit from such a generalization process.

Correspondingly, a positive distinctiveness of one's own group can
result solely from the self-ingroup relation, independent of an
ingroup-outgroup comparison. There is a generalized positive attitude
to the ingroup, and demonstrating the role of a low degree of
reflection for the occurrence of favoritism in minimal intergroup
situations and considerations of outgroups.

The randomly assigned individuals generally act as if those who share
their meaningless label are their good friends or close kin. Subjects
indicate that they like those who share their label. They rate others
who share their label as likely to have a more pleasant personality
and to have produced better output than outgroup members. Most
strikingly, subjects allocate more money and rewards to those who
share their labels.

In other related social experiments at political rallies it has been
noted that researchers faking injuries, were helped more or less
depending on whether their protest sign, and slogans supported or went
against those around them who could help.

The Social Animal - Elliot Aronson - 8th Edition 1999
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0716733129/

George Plimpton
2012-04-21 15:04:12 EST
On 4/21/2012 10:35 AM, Immortalist wrote:
> On Apr 20, 10:24 am, George Plimpton<geo...@si.not> wrote:
>> It has degrees; it isn't absolute. If I see my neighbor Smith's dog get
>> loose and attack my neighbor Jones's cat, I'll try to stop the attack
>> and save Jones's cat. If I see Smith's dog attack a squirrel in the
>> front yard, I probably won't try to save the squirrel; if I do try to
>> stop the attack, it will be more out of consideration for Smith and how
>> he wants his dog to behave. If I see a coyote come down the street and
>> attack the squirrel, for certain I won't do anything to try to save the
>> squirrel.
>>
>> The squirrel simply doesn't enter into my imprecise calculus of moral
>> consideration in the same way that Jones's cat does, and to the extent
>> it enters into it at all, it's highly context-dependent. No one gives
>> equal moral consideration to the interests of all beings capable of
>> suffering, nor should we be expected to do so. We may not be able to
>> say exactly where we draw lines, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.
>> In any case, the "ar" radicals tell us that arbitrariness sometimes
>> doesn't matter, or sometimes it does, so they are being arbitrary.
>>
>> For example, I am told that it is permissible for me to take my kinship
>> with my child into account in deciding whether to rescue him or some
>> other child from an impending catastrophe where I have time to rescue
>> only one of them. However, the same source would tell me that if
>> neither of the two children were my known relatives, but if one were of
>> my race and the other were of a different race, I would not be able to
>> use race - also an indication of kinship, even if much more remotely so
>> than family - in deciding which one to rescue.
>>
>> The sophists are trying somehow, any way they can, to find a means to
>> salvage something they intuitively like. There is no rigor to it at all.
>
> If humans and other social animals have a propensity to be groupish,
> dividing the world into an us vs them, then, would that justify making
> moral choicees based upon this instinct such as helping one group but
> not helping another group merely based upon a biological preference
> for group identification?

If it's a natural human tendency, then why would it need moral
justification?

Rockinghorse Winner
2012-04-21 18:44:59 EST
In article <UYednZ7IVpuZcwzSnZ2dnUVZ5vSdnZ2d@giganews.com>,
George Plimpton <george@si.not> wrote:


>>>> What's your opinion about the matter? Do you think that it is
>>>> permissible to discriminate on the grounds of race in that scenario?
>>>
>>> Based on the same logic of kinship that you told me permit me to
>>> discriminate in favor of my child over the unrelated child, yes.
>>>
>>> Feel free to tell me where the line is drawn, and why, such that kinship
>>> becomes too weak a criterion for discrimination.
>>
>>
>> You would be wrong to discriminate on the basis of race:
>>
>> The reason it would be morally permissible to save your child over a
>> stranger is because you share a history and the special filial relationship
>> with your child. You would do the same if he was adopted.
>
>What does that special filial relationship have to do with the
>supposedly equal consideration I'm supposed to give to the interests of
>both children in being rescued? The children are the ones with the
>interests in being rescued to which I am supposed to give equal
>consideration. If I automatically rescue my child, then I am not giving
>their interests in being rescued equal consideration. My son's
>*interest* in being rescued is not enhanced or fortified in any way by
>the fact that he has a filial tie to me. In fact, it seems you're
>suggesting I not weigh the children's interests at all, but instead give
>all the weight to *my* interest in having my son remain alive so I can
>continue to enjoy our filial tie. This obviously holds true if my child
>is adopted rather than my biological offspring.

You are correct; each child's interest is unrelated to their parentage. I
was making the argument from a purely emotional basis - namely that you are
to be excused for being partial to your son, due to the close ties you have
with him. The same would hold true for a close friend.


>
>Now that you mention it, it seems you've told me that if the people
>trapped in the burning building are my dog and someone else's child, it
>is ethical for me to save my dog and leave the child to burn. I have
>history and some kind of strong emotional tie with my dog.

Yes, you do, but in that case you would be morally culpable, because people
are inherently more valuable than dogs due to their unique place in the
order of Being, which is a privileged one.

Here, your emotional ties would rightly be overruled by your conscience,
IMO. Of course, this depends on whether you have an understanding of the
unique moral worth of a person compared with a dog. In the present age,
that cannot be counted on. In such a circumstance, you would still be
morally culpable mainly because of the harm that resulted - the death of a
human being.


>
>>
>> However, with two strangers of different races, you share no relationship
>
>That's false. My connection to a stranger of my race might be much more
>tenuous and remote than with a stranger of another race, but it is
>nonetheless closer. Why was so much made in the Bill Clinton
>administration (surprisingly, I didn't hear as much about it when Obama
>became president) about appointing lots of women and minorities to
>federal positions because Americans needed to see people who "looked
>like them"?
>
>I had an extremely smart professor in grad school who used to try to
>provoke the militant egalitarian firebrands. He once said that he
>rooted for the Russians against the Americans in the Olympics because
>they looked more like him; he felt a closer tie. We never knew if he
>was joking or not - he was extremely sly - but I think he might have
>been serious.

There are people who feel a kind of natural kinship with others of their
race, nationality, whatever. I don't find these kinds of feelings to be
particularly persuasive myself as a factor in how I treat others, but I
understand that others may be so persuaded.

I think there is a real danger that racial pride turn into racial bigotry or
racial prejudice which I think _is_ morally indefensible, especially if it
results in harm. JMHO.

Terry
--
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
-Albert Schweitzer

badass linux - 3.2.12-gentoo
Page: 1 2 3   Next  (First | Last)


2020 - UsenetArchives.com | Contact Us | Privacy | Stats | Site Search
Become our Patron