• Marvin Katz
    54
    At the bottom of page 3 of the earlier discussion regarding Why a new approach to ethics is necessary this link could be found:

    Here is a passage - quoted by permission :grin: - from that essay to which you were just offered a safe-to-open link. It addresses the current topic question:

    Are there Ethical Fallacies?

    Yes, there are indeed ethical fallacies. (Fallacies are errors in thinking.) "These are
    confusions that human beings often commit: fallacies such as racism, sexism, rankism, ageism, speciesism, male chauvinism. Another fallacy is to regard persons as mere things -- and thus it's okay to abuse them, or discard them -- or, even worse, treating them as numbers -- and thus
    it's okay to erase them.
    Persons are not just things or numbers. They are much more complex."

    If the Reader has studied the first few pages of that document to which I gave a link at the outset of this discussion, s/he therefore has become familiar with the basic Dimensions of Value as well as with the Logical Existential Hierarchy of Value formula (the HOV.) That valid, coherent formula is:
    I > E > S.
    How it is derived, and the reasons why it is true and reliable, are spelled out in the Basic Ethics paper referenced above.
    That formula then enables three important moral fallacies to be spelled out in an abbreviated manner as follows.These formulas depict the moral mistakes.
    Some possible illustrations of the formula will be placed within brackets after the formula is listed):

    E > I [ e.g., putting materialism ahead of people; caring more about stuff or money than about a person.]

    S > E [giving a dogma, an opinion, or an ideology higher priority than a thing, a possession, a meal, etc.]

    and worst of all,S > I [subjugating a person to a system, or rigid set of rules, or a dictator's edicts.]

    …Your views? Edifying thoughts?

    Some other moral fallacies are these:
    "Might makes right."
    "Anything goes."
    One more fallacy: "The end justifies the means, since the end-in-view is so noble and good. Thus it does not matter how morally-questionable the means are to get to that end. Violence is okay; cruelty is okay; abuse of any kind is permissible ...as long as it gets us to that fine and worthy end." "For the glory of our country, for the sake of democracy, for freedom, liberty, liberation, ...for the cause, it is okay to rape, pillage, destroy, hold slaves, lie, cheat, whatever."
    And here is yet another fallacy: "Let's continue to worship money as a god, since money leads to luxuries and comforts; it leads to power and influence. I don't have to be greedy and tell myself 'there's never enough' because I realize that once I have lots and lots of money, it might result in making me even even more money. ...So what if we place materialism above people values!"

    All these beliefs, or self-statements, are Ethical Fallacies. Be careful not to commit them if you want to be an ethical individual. A person of good character would definitely avoid these fallacies!


    How about you? Where do you stand in re these matters? Your views are most welcome!
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    In my book, an ethical fallacy would be to claim that being good/evil affects how gravity works (on a person).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    E > I [ e.g., putting materialism ahead of people; caring more about stuff or money than about a person.]

    S > E [giving a dogma, an opinion, or an ideology higher priority than a thing, a possession, a meal, etc.]
    Marvin Katz

    These two are obviously inconsistent, or contradictory. If, it is wrong to give priority to material things over human persons, then how can it also be wrong tp prioritize an ideology or dogma as higher than a material thing?

    Isn't it the case that the first E > I, is itself a dogma or ideology? So the only way to see a person as higher than a material thing is to allow that dogma and ideology are also higher than material things. But this contradicts the second, S > E.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    Isn't it the case that the first E > I, is itself a dogma or ideology? So the only way to see a person as higher than a material thing is to allow that dogma and ideology are also higher than material things. But this contradicts the second, S > E.


    Greetings, Undercover
    It's probably my fault, but I sense some confusion in the argument you presented. This is likely due to the fact that originally I did not show the valid formula, the HOV, until I edited my post to correct and improve it. The accurate value hierarchy is: I > E > S. Hence the two fallacies which you address are each false for the following reasons.
    E > I is a mistake, a fallacy, not a dogma. Perhaps my illustrations of the symbols could have been better; but let's not get 'hung up' on an illustration; instead - once you understand how the relationship among the symbols, S, E, and I were derived via Logic - by having studied carefully pp. 5-8 of the document, BASIC ETHICS - give us better examples that interpret the symbols than I offered in the original post. {I admit you are not obliged to do any background reading.} Allow me to explain:

    If it is true (as the HOV formula says it is) that I > E in the amount of value that each letter represents, then it is false to claim that E is greater (in size) than I. Likewise, it is a total mix-up to assert that S-value is greater than E-value. The HOV formula tells us that it is the other way around. A finite amount of value is less than a denumerably-infinite amount. {Ask any mathematician.}

    Dr. R. S. Hartman's gift to the world of Philosophy was to provide us with a way to measure values. [The concept "value" itself is a reification of the process of valuation - a process which humans constantly engage in all day long ...and maybe during the night also. (We frequently make value judgments.)
    Thanks for your interest.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    "...how can it also be wrong tp prioritize an ideology or dogma as higher than a material thing?Metaphysician Undercover
    "

    It is safe to predict that given a free choice most people invariably would choose what they Extrinsically value (whether it is a piece of material or a thing that they own) to be more valuable than all the dogmas and "-isms" of the world put together. The latter are, at best, Systemic values. Thus this application is a confirmation of the true formula: E > S .
    This is so when the Fallacy S > E is also not the case, both by definition and by observation: No way is a dogma, or an opinion, or someone's ad hoc 'theory' worth more than actual socio-economic concern you may have - such as the issue of child-care, or environmental issues, which issues you judge as having some value; and you will say "they matter" to you. Such concerns (matters, foci) as those , to which you will give your attention, are E-values.

    I hope, M.U., that this helps clear things up.....

    p.s. Another way to make the value dimensions understandable is to apply them to Ontology:
    S: Universals

    E: Particulars

    I: Uniquenesses, Singulars.

    S: Essence; E: Existence; I: Reality.
    Essences consist (in the mind); Existents exist (as perceived by the senses); and Realities persist.
    Further, S: Conception; E: Perception; I: Experience. [The latter is, hopefully, a balanced integration of one's conceptions and perceptions.]

    For additional applications, see pp. 64-66, of End-note 4, of the treatise (written in the literary form of a dialogue) entitled A Unified Theory of Ethics. - http://www.wadeharvey.myqol.com/wadeharvey/A%20UNIFIED%20THEORY%20OF%20ETHICS.pdf
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    That valid, coherent formula is:
    I > E > S.
    Marvin Katz

    I think my criticism holds. Let me spell it out in another way. Your formula, I > E > S, is itself an instance of S. My will, being an instance of I, is to reject your formula, as a faulty form of S. Therefore my rejection of your formula is justified by your formula.

    In other words, your proposal, that I ought to accept your system, I > E > S, is incoherent, or at best hypocritical, because your proposal is to put your system (S) as higher than my personal values (I).
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    In other words, your proposal, that I ought to accept your system, I > E > S, is incoherent, or at best hypocritical, because your proposal is to put your system (S) as higher than my personal values (I).[/quote]
    That is not correct. Yes, the formula is part of a system. No, I did not, and do not, "S value it higher than your personal values." Your criticism is reasonable and understandable. I Intrrinsically-value you and highly-appreciate your activity in wanting to improve Ethics as a theory. See the opening pages of an early booklet I wrote: It is named: Ethics: A College Course.

    Much of what you write is correct, but it fails to take into account logical type levels. [See the work of Allonzo Church, work which is an update and improvement on the pioneering work done by Bertrand Russell. Hartman devised a (perhaps over-simple) 'Calculus of Value' employing algebraic exponentiation [with itssuperscript] to express these type levels. He tells about it in his magnum opus, The Structure of Value (4967)[[.v.. "Love of life," for example, would be depicted in symbols as I-to-the-I power in his Calculus of values. And "disvaluing a system" would be shown by S-sub-S.

    ...Your formula, I > E > S, is itself an instance of S.
    This is correct. And, yes, at first glance it does appear to be contradictory. I'm very tired now but in a future post I will explain why there actually is no contradi ction.

    My will, being an instance of I, is to reject your formula, as a faulty form of S. Therefore my rejection of your formula is justified by your formula.

    [BTW, that is not my formula. Professor R. S. Hartman, a logician and formal axiologist, worked it out. I am not the only one, though, who finds that formula to be useful in the field of Ethics: an entire institute is dedicated to honoring him and doing further research to extend his work. See the academic Journal of Formal and Applied Axiology.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Most interesting! — Ms. Marple

    A formula, précisément, mon ami, précisément!
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    Agent Smith
    4.8k
    Most interesting! —
    A formula, précisément, mon ami, préciséme[/quote

    Thanks. ---Build on it. Let's cooperate here to build a superior ethics theory to that which is taaught in classrooms, i.e., the traditional approach.
    Agent Smith
  • Tzeentch
    2.1k
    If we presuppose that hypocrisy (expressing beliefs, but not enacting them, implying underlying motives) is an ethical fallacy, "an eye for an eye" and "the ends justify the means" are ethical fallacies.

    That might sound fairly basic, but these concepts are regularly used under pretenses of morality.
  • Marvin Katz
    54

    You're right in what you say. Thank you.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k


    :up:

    From your discussion with Metaphysican Undercover I see that you've given (due) weightage to the will - free will is a cornerstone of ethics. In your formula, does one's (free) will have the final say in all matters, ethical or not? It should, in my humble opinion. Ethics and liberty to do/not do as one pleases are Siamese twins - accepting/rejecting one is to simultaneously accept/reject the other. That's how I feel it should be, could be hopelessly wrong nonetheless.

    In short, god save our souls, what I mean is ethics shouldn't make sense and even if it does, it matters not!
  • Cuthbert
    1k
    S > E [giving a dogma, an opinion, or an ideology higher priority than a thing, a possession, a meal, etc.]Marvin Katz

    Suffragist women went on hunger strike, putting their democratic ideology ahead of their need to eat. There are many examples of cases where it is better and many where it is worse to prioritise ideas over material well-being. So many examples on either side that no general rule can be made. Fortunately, no general rule is needed.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Much of what you write is correct, but it fails to take into account logical type levels.Marvin Katz

    I have no idea what you mean by "type levels".

    Question of ethical relevance at an ethics site: Why is this your will??
    Is your character (moral nature) - ethikos- such that you go about rejecting what people say when they make a philosophical assertion in their attempt to contribute to a better comprehension?
    Marvin Katz

    Yes, that is exactly why it is my will to reject. My will is to reject because you have not justified your claim, and I am of a skeptical nature, especially in matters of ethics.

    So I ask: is this looking to poke holes in people's efforts, or to find fault, or to be negative and argumentative ...is that your idea of 'being ethical'?Marvin Katz

    It is a philosophical outlook, I seek the truth. So, I don't simply accept as a matter of course, what someone else proposes. To begin with, I don't succumb to the illusion of "authority", because this is a known fallacy.

    Is that the conduct of one who has a good character? Why not just ignore what seems to you to be stupid remarks? I hold that that would be the more-ethical procedure.} I will explain that your personal choice to reject is on a higher type-level than the S-value you are rejecting.Marvin Katz

    This is just subjective babble to me. If you want to explain "type-levels" to me, then be my guest. Perhaps you might justify your proposal. Or, you might expose it as truly contradictory (the way I see it), depending on which is actually the case.

    BTW, that is not my formula. Professor R. S. Hartman, a logician and formal axiologist, worked it out. I am not the only one, though, who finds that formula to be useful in the field of Ethics: an entire institute is dedicated to honoring him and doing further research to extend his work. See the academic Journal of Formal and Applied Axiology.Marvin Katz

    I am generally not impressed by axiologists. They tend to produce axioms designed for a purpose, deny this, and claim that the axioms produce are derived from some pure absolute intention, beyond rebuke, and not subject to judgements of truth or falsity. Since they deny that the axioms are created for a purpose, when they really are, it is a form of deception.
  • Cuthbert
    1k
    Why not just ignore what seems to you to be stupid remarks?Marvin Katz

    Because the person making those remarks may claim that lack of contradiction implies assent. "Nobody has disagreed with me - I must be right!"

    So I ask: is this looking to poke holes in people's efforts, or to find fault, or to be negative and argumentative ...is that your idea of 'being ethical'?Marvin Katz

    Yes, it is good practice in science and philosophy. It's called 'testing the hypothesis'. We put our assumptions under the stress of being challenged and see whether they can hold up. If we are too attached to our theories to do it ourselves, then we rely on other people to provide that test. To complain about people being too argumentative on a philosophy forum is a bit like asking Mumsnet to stop harping on and on about babies.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    Not so much a philosopher, more a snake oil salesman taking advantage of our free site.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    It is a philosophical outlook, I seek the truth. So, I don't simply accept as a matter of course, what someone else proposes. To begin with, I don't succumb to the illusion of "authority", because this is a known fallacy.Metaphysician Undercover
    Correct! Well said!! Yes, Dr. Hartman does use a system to "put down" (dis-value) a system. His formal Axiology does find that, of the three basic Value Dimensions, systems have the least positive value. It took a system to prove that fact. Ironic, isn't it. It looks like something has to be contradictory; but strictly speaking, there is no contradiction. His deductions also show that to rate an S-value above an E-value is a mistake: It results in getting the one who does that very, very little value ...fractional value close to zero.


    Your're right in what you say. Thank you.

    .This is just subjective babble to me.
    MCK: Granted. I had that coming.
    Metaphysician Undercover
    I am generally not impressed by axiologists. They tend to produce axioms designed for a purposeMetaphysician Undercover
    Hartman's purpose is that he wanted to live in an ethical world, one where most people have high moral standards. He believed that education might be the route for bringing it about. He published dozens of papers in Kant Studien, a rigorously-edited-by-peers philosophical journal.



    CuthbertCuthbert
    I agree. And I've learned a lesson. I won't try to dialogue when overtired at a late-night hour. It won't happen again. What I scribbled was very unprofessional. Thank you for eldering me. Your critique is spot on.
  • Paulm12
    116
    ...there are indeed ethical fallacies. (Fallacies are errors in thinking.) "These are
    confusions that human beings often commit: fallacies such as racism, sexism, rankism, ageism, speciesism, male chauvinism. Another fallacy is to regard persons as mere things -- and thus it's okay to abuse them, or discard them -- or, even worse, treating them as numbers -- and thus
    it's okay to erase them.
    Persons are not just things or numbers. They are much more complex."
    I think this approach to ethics presupposes a metaethical view. In particular, it assumes the value of life and perhaps the value of complexity as your last sentence indicates. However, in order for things such as racism, sexism, etc to be an ethical fallacy (i.e. ethical error), you must assume that there is a universal ethical correctness or standard to judge deviance as errant. What is this standard and where does it come from? Why does life have any moral worth or deserve moral consideration?
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Volte face: Ethics & Reason maybe connected at a deeper level. Being good and avoiding evil may not be just a reasonable stance to adopt, it could be absolutely necessary on pain of a contradiction (Kantian ethics). Free will, what about it? We havta be good unless we wanna admit to being idiots. Zinloos geweld (random acts of violence as opposed to those that, at some level, make sense).
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    What is this standard and where does it come from? Why does life have any moral worth or deserve moral consideration?Paulm12
    For many good reasons, Dr. Hartman arrived at the conclusion that the most-appropriate measure of human life is Aleph-sub-One, which is the power of the continuum. For one thing, when we attempt to describe a person, as we are getting better acquainted with the subject of our attention so as to describe with some accuracy, there is so much there to talk about, the deeper we explore the mind, body, and spirit (enthusiasms, inspirations, etc.) of our subject,, that we in theory would never finish the description; we, in fact, form a continuum with that which we are valuing when we properly value a human personality -- in the sense that you can't tell where the one the valuer leaves off and what s/he is valuing begins.
    {The number of points in a line-segment is also a continuum. How many are there?}

    For more details, see this entry in Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_of_value
    That study, 'value science,' is the meta-ethics of which you speak, and which all who want a new and improved Ethics theory would be glad to see. Value science, in common with natural science, is highly tentative, subject to upgrading, to being incorporated in a more-comprehensive model should one come along. Since that "universal" requirement is what you insist on, and I will leave it up to you to judge whether it is satisfied by the logic which the value-scientists employ. [The new framework being offered applies at least to the planet Earth.]

    If Aleph-one is the right measure to assign to the human individual, which I hold that it is, then Intrinsic valuation is the corresponding appropriate way to treat that individual. {This proposition assumes that you are familiar with the three basic Dimension of Value, the S, E, and I. See the first eight pages of BASIC ETHICS Iif you want to learn about them.}
    http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/BASIC%20ETHICS.pdf
    And therefore that is the foundation of the new approach to ethics which I am proposing: we are, by definition and by observation and experience, to Intrinsically-Value (I-Value) the persons we interact with -- according to this new paradigm for Ethics. Else we are asking for trouble, such as massacres of innocent shoppers or school-children, and other forms of random violence. For example, wars, cheating, exploitation, rape, subjection to the State, or dictator, rankism, etc.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    [re
    If we presuppose that hypocrisy (expressing beliefs, but not enacting them, implying underlying motives) is an ethical fallacy, "an eye for an eye" and "the ends justify the means" are ethical fallacies.Tzeentch
    You get it.
    Yes, hypocrisy is unethical. So also is "an eye for an eye" (retribution, vengeance). As Dr. M.L. King pointed out, "an eye for an eye will leave every party to it blind. It is the opposite of being ethical!
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    Ethics and reason may be connected at a deep level.Agent Smith
    You are on to something important here, Agent Smith.
    Those who have excellent values correlate highly with those who are very intelligent according to empirical studies. It is predictable that someone who has what people rate as usually possessing "a good character" will also be considered as "a reasonable" individual (most of the time.)"

    Do you perhaps have evidence of another interpretation of the connection between those two concepts? For one, a good Theory of Ethics would need to meet the test of Reason, I would think.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    E > I [ e.g., putting materialism ahead of people; caring more about stuff or money than about a person.]
    S > E [giving a dogma, an unsubstantiated opinion, higher priority than a thing, a possession, a meal, etc.] — Marvin Katz
    These two are .. inconsistent
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, my friend, you are right, since S > E does not even belong in a thread whose topic is "Ethical Fallacies." It is amoral, non-ethical. It is a mistake I made even mentioning it. Ethics has to do with Intrinsic valuation of a person; and this specific formula, S > E, -while it is as fallacious as claiming that 40 > 400, does not mention Intrinsic Value. Thus it is not an ethical fallacy! Mea culpa. The true formula, the HOV, ( I > E > S ), does have I-Value in it. The values which the letters abbreviate are based on size - on the amount of value each symbolizes. As you know, I-value is nondenumerable and S-value is finite.

    It is perceptive of you, MU, to notice this. You are a serious philosopher, not just a hanger-on at a hangout. I expect great achievement from you, and trust that some of it will be in the field of Ethics. Please feel free to make further contributions which aid in constructing a theory superior to the present classroom curricula in this area. What is conventionally being taught is not adequate. Some would say the problem is the current economic system we live under, in which people who want to make a life have to beg a boss to employ them, rather than workers somehow being owners or partners under a better arrangement than we see on a large-scale now -- with the exception of Mondragon, located in the Basque region of Spain.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k

    Thanks for the encouragement Dr Katz. But I am afraid there are way too many issues of morality in our current society, to even know where to begin in addressing them. This is why I generally direct my attention to metaphysics instead, the problems are more confined.

    You say for example, "what is conventionally being taught is not adequate", and this itself says a lot. The modern way of education is to get every pupil to conform to the same principles. This is the technique, top priority in education is conformity. Every student must learn to do things in the very same way, or they are excluded as failures. So instead of encouraging creativity, and individuality, the modern education system stifles this. And as we move along, the narrow passageway which is marked as "normal", (through which the masses are squeezed in the education process) gets narrower and narrower, because this trend facilitates the educators. If the student doesn't fit into the normal, some medical attention might be required.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    ,...top priority in education is conformity. Every student must learn to do things in the very same wayMetaphysician Undercover
    That is one reason why my writings emphasize the Intrinsic values: creativity, autonomy, and individuality. It turns out that they correlate with one another in all having a very-high degree of value in my theory ...some careful readers of the work tell me they noticed that fact.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k

    I agree with you, in placing individuality, and creativity, as highest priority, but I do not agree with the method you proposed for justifying that principle. I don't think this principle can justified logically, and to think that it could be, is itself a sort of fallacy. This is because logic requires the use of symbols, language, and using language is essentially a communicative activity. Because of this, any system of logic will rely on communion rather than individuality, so it cannot assign priority to the individual as that would potentially be self-destructive, which in logic is self-contradictory. I believe that's what I demonstrated of your op.

    This I believe, is the issue which Wittgenstein dealt with in his so-called private language argument. We can imagine a private language, with which, a person uses one's own private symbols, to aid in one's own form of thinking. However, we cannot call this "logic", because that word requires that we use conventional or even formal methods. If the person using the private language moves to justify the use of the symbols, in order that it could truly be called "logic", then it must be translated into a community language. At this time it could no longer be the person's private thinking. Dick Feynman, the physicist, provides an interesting account of his early days learning physics. He claims to have been somewhat self-taught, and he produced his own system of symbols. Then when he went to university, the professors could not understand his personal symbols, and he had to transpose his thinkings into convention symbols.

    The conclusion I make is that ethics, which must prioritize the individual, cannot be justified logically. The appearance, through the approach of logic, is that the community must be prioritized over the individual, and so the majority of human beings will insist on this logical form of "ethics". However, philosophers who do much study into the subject, and study the complete nature of living beings, will come to realize that this is not the true reality. Then we come to the conclusion that ethics must be based in truth rather than justification.
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    Those who have excellent values correlate highly with those who are very intelligent according to empirical studies. It is predictable that someone who has what people rate as usually possessing "a good character" will also be considered as "a reasonable" individual (most of the time.)"Marvin Katz

    I am afraid that a benchmark had to be made to establish what "excellent values" are. The studies are made by highly intelligent people. So the "excellent values" are also determined by highly intelligent people (because they are the ones capable of creating studies). Hence, I call bias, because "excellent values" may be the "excellent values" of the highly intelligent, but not in an absolute scale. The not-so-intelligent have values, and to them they are "excellent values".

    This is a dilemma, because there is no absolute scale of what "excellent values" comprise. If you ask the highly intelligent, they tend to give different answers than the not-so-highly intelligent. But only the highly intelligent have a voice when creating studies. So... this may be the same structure as calling some of the population virtuous, the other part not virtuous... and it's always the virtuous who decide who is who.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    logic requires the use of symbols, language, and using language is essentially a communicative activity. Because of this, any system of logic will rely on communion rather than individuality, so it cannot assign priority to the individualMetaphysician Undercover
    The Philosophy Department at Stanford University publish an Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It might pay for readers here at the Forum to get acquainted with the standards they set for their articles and entries: Here is a sample: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-free/

    The analysis and clarification of vague and ambiguous concepts is a major part of doing philosophy. If "Logic" is a vague idea, they pin it down in papers such as in the above.link cf. I hold that Logic, including a logic of entailments, and other predicate logics, can be a useful tool in explicating a subject such as ethics and values.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    @Marvin Katz

    The project on ethics you've undertaken should be scaled down to something more manageable in my humble opinion. Rather than starting from scratch why don't you try and reconcile Kant (deontological ethics) & Bentham-Mill (utilitarianism)? Perhaps you already tried...and failed. They do seem incompatible.
  • Marvin Katz
    54
    logic requires the use of symbols, language, and using language is essentially a communicative activity. Because of this, any system of logic will rely on communion rather than individuality, so it cannot assign priority to the individualMetaphysician Undercover
    The Philosophy Department at Stanford University publish an Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It might pay for readers here at the Forum to get acquainted with the standards they set for their articles and entries: Here is a sample: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-free/

    The analysis and clarification of vague and ambiguous concepts is a major part of doing philosophy. If "Logic" is a vague idea, they pin it down in papers such as in the above.link cf. I hold that Logic, including a logic of entailments, and other predicate logics, can be a useful tool in explicating a subject such as ethics and values.
    The project on ethics you've undertaken should be scaled down to something more manageable in my humble opinion. Rather than starting from scratch why don't you try and reconcile Kant (deontological ethics) & Bentham-Mill (utilitarianism)? Perhaps you already tried...and failed. They do seem incompatible.Agent Smith
    They are not incompatible; though you will gain more value in life by complying with Mill's conclusions than with Kant's formulation of a procedure to follow in each instance. Mill in his writings said he believed there could be a science of ethics. He was strongly-influenced by Bentham who was very--inclined to be highly-systematic. In the masthead of of one of my books I do quote Kant where he is teaching that we need theory as well as mere experience. (Having one without the other, he implies, would be, so to speak, "flying blind.") Therefore, in my new approach to Ethics I do propose a logical framework and a systematic process.
    Here, if you are interested to learn, is a link to one of my earlier efforts:
    http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/A%20UNIFIED%20THEORY%20OF%20ETHICS.pdf
    At least check out the first paragraph of the Introduction and then decide if you want to read further.
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