Comments

  • Ethical Fallacies
    Putin is a different story.Agent Smith

    Putin is committing pure evil. His conduct is as far from living ethically as one can get. That is why it is fair to designate him as a sociopath.
    He has put his conscience into a deep sleep, so much so that it seems as if he has no conscience. Iif it could be awakened, it would inform him of the enormous amount of value of which he is depriving himself by desecrating human life. Conscious human life, having personality, is infinitely valuable; he is losing out on all this value! Thus he is an ignorant stupid sucker, as well as being extremely dangerous.

    He must be stopped and somehow counteracted. Sanctioning him and his administration, and his corrupt friends, was a good idea on Biden's part. What would you suggest? What can be done to stop him from waging unprovoked warfare, mass murder on innocent people.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    For Kant happiness/sorrow (consequences) is either secondary or irrelevant to morality. He claims that there's "something (inherently) wrong" about immoral actions such as mendacity, theft, and murder. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that "something (inherently) wrong" is, as per Kant, inconsistency, a synonym for violation of the 3rd law of logic viz. the law of noncontradiction.Agent Smith
    When I coined the words"Consistency Principle" it was intended to call attention to the opposite conduct, to a variety of moral inconsistency. Wwhat I had in mind was one sort of hypocrisy, namely, having double standards: expecting others to be ethical when one is not ethical himself.
    I notice this trait a lot when I hear politicians spout off. Lately this hypocrisy seems to occur in members of one Party much more than members of the other major Party. I cold give specific examples but I shall refrain.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    [
    2. Consistency principle. :up: Kantian in spirit.Agent Smith

    Thank you for calling my attention to this fact. It is indeed the sort of thing that Kant would say.

    If you had someone read aloud [for you] the text of the first link listed in a discussion on "Why A New Approach ...", namely THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS, you may recall that it informs us that the ultimate aim of Ethics (both theory and practice) is a Quality Life for one and all. And, as you know, "a Quality Life" includes happiness.
    Nence, since J.S. Mill advocates "the greatest happiness - - - -" it is fair to say that this new approach to Ethics I am proposing is 'in the spirit of Mill.' So not only Kant, but Mill also. And, of course, one immediately notices the influence of Aristotle's ethica,, in my emphasis on the necessity of having a good character.
    Hence the Unified Theory of Ethics does in that way pay homage to Aristotle, Kant,, and Mill; it follows in their tradition. Also in the link I'll offer here see the section on Henry Sidgwick in the chapter on What Is Morality. http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/THE%20STRUCTURE%20OF%20ETHICS.pdf
  • Ethical Fallacies
    Could you provide a synopsis of it?Agent Smith
    I'll try. Let me know if it helped, okay?


    Here is a summary (in capsule form) as an attempt to show how the new paradigm differs from what is conventional in Moral Philosophy classes or in Ethics classes.

    I'd like to hear your comments or questions on these basic points.

    1. "Ethics" and "morality" are now redefined, and are to be understood as two distinct concepts in the new approach to Ethics, which I wrote about more in a previous Discussion. Details will be found in the References to which I earlier offered links.

    "Ethics" (in the updated paradigm about which you are inquiring) refers to creating value in human interactions. It is also a term referring to the study of the implications that follow from the practice of expressing the new perspective. This perspective is seen when an individual highly-values another individual. This valuation is known technically as "Intrinsic valuation." When you value someone this way you at least show respect (as much as you can - depending on your capacity to do so.) Then you go even further.

    3. To go further is to, for example, give a sincere compliment, make people smile or feel good about themselves, boost a person up in some manner, help the person out, help him or her to gain opportunity, find a way too be of service, be considerate of his or her feelings ....or, in some way manage to enhance value.

    "Morality," in this new paradigm, means being true to your true self . How? The theory indicates that an individual is to develop increased morality by adding, throughout life, new positive ethical standards to those you live by. And by actually living up to these guidelines one is thus setting a good example for others. This is a process of moral growth that is to continue throughout your entire lifetime. Then one is to share these ideas with others and arrive at a consensus on them. The agreement would be that they are worthwhile for more than one of us - even our entire community - to hold as guidelines to live by. These principles and standards are not absolutes; they are subject to revision and upgrading.

    Among other moral principles one may learn about in the Unified Theory of Ethics are these: The Inclusivity Principle and The Consistency Principle. The latter informs us: Don’t have one standard for yourself and another for others. Be consistent! The former indicates that the ethical procedure is to extend your Ethical radius on your moral compass: include as many people as you possibly can into your in-group. Be inclusive!

    From the above points being understood and experienced in daily life; note that all the rest of ethics- [such as the principle ‘Do no harm!’ may be derived. All the rest follows.


    Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the human species.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    Is your Unified Theory of Ethics brand new i.e. has no links to Aristotle, Bentham, Mill, and Kant?Agent Smith
    Go ahead and read up on them! (Why not add to your list Heraclitus, Kierkegaard, Bradley, Russell, and Bergson, Etc., Etc.?)
    I decided not to use an approach rooted in, and tracing, the history of ideas. I did want the framework to be new, and to be more to the point, and more precise (rather overly-vague.). In the Bibliography of the Structure booklet I indicate some of the new, more-recent insights in the field of Ethics which I am attempting to weave into a synthesis.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.Metaphysician Undercover
    Did you manage to solve any of those problems? If so, tell me about it, so that perhaps I would learn something that could be used in improving and enhancing ethical theory. viz., the Unified Theory of Ethics.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    ,...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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    [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!
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies

    You're right in what you say. Thank you.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Ethical Fallacies
    "...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
  • Ethical Fallacies
    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.
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Now that you have had a chance to look the argument over, and maybe to scan the booklet to which a link was provided, I ask:
    How about you? Where do you stand in re these matters? Do you think we need a new approach to ethics? Or is conventional thinking good enough? What would work best? If you agree that ethics should be applied and practiced in daily life, whatwouuld work to get the world to be more ethical?
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    It seems as if you have a position that there is an intrinsic human nature which can be understood through comparison with the behavior of outliers (eg, 'deviants', 'predators', personality disorders).Tom Storm
    Not correct. See what I said to Agent Smith about the over-simple model he contributed in an attempt to explain human nature. It is reprinted below. Evidence was set forth by yours truly to convey that "people are complicated."

    that all can reform if they know better. Do you actually maintain this or do you think it is sometimes the case?Tom Storm
    It is sometimes the case. You allude to what the history of ideas refers to as a Socratic Paradox. See -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_intellectualism#Ancient_moral_intellectualism
    See also the second tentative Moral Principle I offered earlier in this Discussion ...in that list of Principles one could voluntarily adopt and add to one's own set of moral standards that one lives by.

    Self-respect is just one factor that will get a person to shape up. My entire Unified Theory points out many other factors. If you are seriously curious to understand Ethics, in all its many aspects, then why don't you read more of what I have written! Then, Tom, you will be able to answer many of the puzzles over which you are now perplexed.



    Agent Smith: I don't quite understand this categorization yet. It seems like its suggestive though but needs further refinement and more research. I'll tell you why I say that:

    Some who have bad characters are phonies; they lack authenticity. Others are predators. Human predators have genuinely bad characters due to biological factors. Those with brain damage of various sorts, and these distinct types need to be eventually delineated, in order for the theory to be comprehensive. [No doubt some psychiatric manuals already do this.] For example, some may get violent if you speak to them asking them if they want to do something which they believe is beyond their capacity to do. If you are close by they will slap you in the face as their way of communicating. Is it right to dub them "genuinely bad"? Or is it merely some form of mental illness? Others may have differing kinds of severe personality disorders ...such as extreme narcissism, inability to admit to a mistake, or to having done wrong, an authoritarian streak (a need to boss others), a delusion of being above the law, or an ongoing feeling of superiority (looking down on we commoners.) There are many other sorts of deviants out there.

    Another problem is your category (d). Are we to assume that all those who 'toe the line' in order to avoid possibly being punished if caught 'crossing the line' - are "bad people"?

    Occasional bad conduct done by good people may often occur. Then there is the issue of akrasia, giving into temptation once in a while - or regularly. People have multiple personalities: at times they are risk takers; other times they wouldn't dream of taking such gambles! Yes, people are complicated. Odrwn it is a matter of habit formation. How to do this well needs to be taught in classrooms.

    Caring is fundamental. Does one care enough to reform once he knows better? It depends upon how much self-respect he has. How highly does he value himself? Ethics indicates he is Intrinsically-value everyone including himself. When he does learn his Ethics, if he has enough self-resppect he WILL care!

    ThisI am grateful to you, Agent Smith, for contributing models like that one that you did. To find them, and to propose them is a highly-constructive thing to do. Keep it up!


    TO TOM STRONG:
    Tom, "self-respect is not a cornerstone of my system; I'm sorry that you got that impression. It was mentioned in that list of Moral Principles, near the top. That initial mention on that list is, shall we say Theorem 2. Theorem 1 is Do no harm. Both principles follow from the definition of the concept "Ethics." Ethics is both a research discipline and a perspective you are to have in re the individuals with whom you interact or encounter. You are to I-value yourself as well as others. As to what this entails the details are in the literature to which I refer. Living Well has been published; The Structure of Ethics book has been published. Sciences of Man and Social Ethics has been published. These are not "drafts" as you label them! At the outset of BASIC ETHICS: A Systematic Approach I offer what Hartman and I consider to be the task of Philosophy. This distinguishes it from Science. The latter clarifies and analyzes precise concepts.

    To everyone here: Check this out:
    http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/BASIC%20ETHICS.pdf
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    It seems as if you have a position that there is an intrinsic human nature which can be understood through comparison with the behavior of outliers (eg, 'deviants', 'predators', personality disorders).Tom Storm
    Not correct. See what I said to Agent Smith about the over-simple model he contributed in an attempt to explain human nature. It is reprinted below. Evidence was set forth by yours truly to convey that "people are complicated."

    that all can reform if they know better. Do you actually maintain this or do you think it is sometimes the case?Tom Storm
    It is sometimes the case. You allude to what the history of ideas refers to as a Socratic Paradox. See -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_intellectualism#Ancient_moral_intellectualism
    See also the second tentative Moral Principle I offered earlier in this Discussion ...in that list of Principles one could voluntarily adopt and add to one's own set of moral standards that one lives by.

    Self-respect is just one factor that will get a person to shape up. My entire Unified Theory points out many other factors. If you are seriously curious to understand Ethics, in all its many aspects, then why don't you read more of what I have written! Then, Tom, you will be able to answer many of the puzzles over which you are now perplexed.



    Agent Smith: I don't quite understand this categorization yet. It seems like its suggestive though but needs further refinement and more research. I'll tell you why I say that:

    Some who have bad characters are phonies; they lack authenticity. Others are predators. Human predators have genuinely bad characters due to biological factors. Those with brain damage of various sorts, and these distinct types need to be eventually delineated, in order for the theory to be comprehensive. [No doubt some psychiatric manuals already do this.] For example, some may get violent if you speak to them asking them if they want to do something which they believe is beyond their capacity to do. If you are close by they will slap you in the face as their way of communicating. Is it right to dub them "genuinely bad"? Or is it merely some form of mental illness? Others may have differing kinds of severe personality disorders ...such as extreme narcissism, inability to admit to a mistake, or to having done wrong, an authoritarian streak (a need to boss others), a delusion of being above the law, or an ongoing feeling of superiority (looking down on we commoners.) There are many other sorts of deviants out there.

    Another problem is your category (d). Are we to assume that all those who 'toe the line' in order to avoid possibly being punished if caught 'crossing the line' - are "bad people"?

    Occasional bad conduct done by good people may often occur. Then there is the issue of akrasia, giving into temptation once in a while - or regularly. People have multiple personalities: at times they are risk takers; other times they wouldn't dream of taking such gambles! Yes, people are complicated. Odrwn it is a matter of habit formation. How to do this well needs to be taught in classrooms.

    Caring is fundamental. Does one care enough to reform once he knows better? It depends upon how much self-respect he has. How highly does he value himself? Ethics indicates he is Intrinsically-value everyone including himself. When he does learn his Ethics, if he has enough self-resppect he WILL care!

    This model seems to me at first glance to be highly inadequate; pardon me for saying so. I am grateful to you for contributing models like this, though: it is a highly-constructive thing to do. Keep it up!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Agent, I don't quite understand this categorization yet. It seems like its suggestive though but needs further refinement and more research. I'll tell you why I say that:

    Some who have bad characters are phonies; they lack authenticity. Others are predators. Human predators have genuinely bad characters due to biological factors. Those with brain damage of various sorts, and these distinct types need to be eventually delineated, in order for the theory to be comprehensive. [No doubt some psychiatric manuals already do this.] For example, somee may get violent if you speak to them asking them if they want to do something which they believe is beyond their capacity to do. If you are close by they will slap you in the face as their way of communicating. Is it right to dub them "genuinely bad"? Or is it merelly some form of the intermittent, explosive outbursts disorder - which the Mayo Clinic treats with psychotherapy and medication? Others may have differing kinds of severe personality disorders ...such as extreme narcissism, inability to admit to a mistake, or to having done wrong, an authoritarian streak (a need to boss others), a delusion of being above the law, or an ongoing feeling of superiority (looking down on we commoners.) Tthere are many other sorts of deviants out there.

    Another problem is your category (d). Are we to assume that all those who 'toe the line' in order to avoid possibly being punished if caught 'crossing the line' - are "bad people"?

    Occasional bad conduct done by good people may often occur. Then there is the issue of akrasia, giving into temptation once in a while- or regularly. People have multiple personalities: at times they are risk takers; other times they wouldn't dream of taking such gambles! Yes, people are complicated. Or is it a matter of habit formation? How to do this well, how to form new and better habits -- along with the rest of Ethics --- needs to be taught in classrooms, starting, at least, in the 4th grade and above.

    Caring is fundamental. Does one care enough to reform once he knows better? It depends upon how much self-respect he has. How highly does he value himself? Ethics indicates he is Intrinsically-value everyone including himself. Once he does learn his Ethics, then if he has enough self-respect he WILL care! Those who know their Ethics are fine when it comes to caring and sharing.

    This model seems to me at first glance to be highly inadequate; pardon me for saying so. I am grateful to you for contributing models like this, though: it is a highly-constructive thing to do. Keep it up!

    Let's continue the dialogue ...everybody.....
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    There are 4 kinds of people:

    a) Genuinely good
    b) Forced to be good (police presence)
    c) Genuinely bad
    d) Coerced to be bad (blackmail)
    Agent Smith

    I want to thank you profusely, Agent Smith, since this little model you offer us is exactly what I'm talking about when I ask Forum members and participants to help me build a better Ethics Theory!!!!
    So many, many thanks, danke shoen, merci bien, mucho y mas gracias for cooperating in the project to get us closer to living in an ethical world. Let the critics call us "utopian," "idealist," or some other smear/ We shall go on building a superior model for comprehending, and for living up to, Ethics.

    Would you be so kind as to explain in more detail that Type d. Why does one who once did something morally-a-bit questionable, and is now being blackmailed lest it be exposed have to continue be classified as "bad"?? What is the "coercion" to make x still conduct himself badly? Please enlighten me on that point.
    Also, would you go so far as to claim that most people on the planet fall into Type b: those who behave ethically from fear of the consequences for having violated some statute on the books? I run into people who somewhat dogmatically insist that that is so.
    I hold that an empirical survey would reveal that most people are Type a.

    Actually the people I am trying to reach to learn the new approach to Ethics are those who consider themselves to be ethical but yet could even grow morally, develop further, improve their focus, get organized, until they become vital shining examples - great living models of ethical behavior who tirelessly work to make things better!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Thank you but ethics is not an issue I know anything about. I just know what I like.Tom Storm
    You display true humility. That's good. If you will study my papers, it is to be hoped that you will know
    something. It's not about me. It is that you must want to comprehend some Ethics, or you wouldn't be here at a site labeled Ethics.

    The new approach indicates that a person is to work on himself, or herself, to become highly-ethical; for then one will lead by example. The majority in the world will be inspired by the one who sets a good example. They may choose in the long run to follow that shining example. ...once they realize how beneficial that will be for all concerned. The goal of the Unified Theory of Ethics is a quality life for one and all.

    Sounds like you are building a model based on virtue ethics.Tom Storm
    I realize that no one is obliged to read anything outside of what is posted here at the Forum, but you would be able to answer your own question if you refer to Living Well (2015). See pp. 9-10. Here for your convenience is a link to the paper:
    http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/LIVING%20WELL-How%20ethics%20helps%20us%20flourish.pdf

    It turns out that of the three best-known academic schools of ethics currently taught in ethics classes, Modern VT correlates best with Intrinsic Value - which is at the top of the Hierarchy of Values taught in the Unified Theory of Ethics. That is "the new approach" that is the topic of this Discussion.
    The HOV developed by the masterful work of Dr. R. S. Hartman,cf. is condensed in the following formula: I > E > S. He explains that clearly in his The Structure of Value book. I attempt to present it even more clearly in my writings, which a student with a healthy curiosity to learn would bother to at least scan, if not study. {p.s. Please forgive me: I am a teacher used to assigning homework.}
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Thank you but ethics is not an issue I know anything about. I just know what I like.Tom Storm
    You display true humility. That's good. If you will study my papers, it is to be hoped that you will know
    something. It's not about me. It is that you must want to comprehend some Ethics, or you wouldn't be here at a site labeled Ethics.

    The new approach indicates that a person is to work on himself, or herself, to become highly-ethical; for then one will lead by example. The majority in the world will be inspired by the one who sets a good example. They may choose in the long run to follow that shining example. ...once they realize how beneficial that will be for all concerned. The goal of the Unified Theory of Ethics is a quality life for one and all.
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Why reflect on moral actions at all?Tom Storm
    I am not asking anyone to reflect on moral actions. What Ethics teaches is that they are to work on developing a good character. Actions will then ensue, of course. They will tend 'to do the right thing' when they do act. The actions that they then perform will tend to benefit us all.

    Since they will know and understand Ethics (maybe intuitively), they will in their interactions with others seek to create value ..so that everyone comes out of the transaction feeling like a winner. The ones with a good character will be willing, if not eager, to cooperate on worthwhile projects to the extent of their capability. They will try to be e helpful even if they haven't yet the resources to do sol. Their attitude will be: "We'll figure it out." They are optimists while being realists.

    Thank you for the compliment! I'm glad you find my efforts "interesting." I invite you to join in ...make the project to achieve an ethical world ...and make it even better!!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    A truly uplifting post!Agent Smith

    Thanks so much for the kind words.

    The analysis of types of people though seems a bit over-simplified. Yet I do want to encourage the extension of Ethics as a theory and framework by you and others so that it more-fully accounts for the data of ethics: for altruism, benevolence, kindness, good conduct, dilemma resolutions, refinements in moral decision-making, etc.
    I will comment more in depth later on the 4 types of people, when I have the time.
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    How do we establish what constitutes the goodTom Storm

    I started a discussion on this topic earlier. Robert S. Hartman already accomplished this task for good in general, employing Logic and also Second-order Logic as advanced by Bertrand Russell and later Alonzo Church. He explained it to me this way: Specify what concept x falls under, when you speak of x; that is to say, If you wish to communicate clearly be precise. Avoid ambiguity and vagueness as much as possible. He defined the good in context. There are three requirements:
    1) x is a C.
    2) Cs have the properties a,b,c,d,e,f etc.
    3) x is a
    x is b
    x is c
    x is d
    x is e
    x is f
    etc.
    "Attributes" will be defined as meaning "the names of properties." So, with a specific item in mind we attribute properties - say d and e - to it; that is enough to say it has somevalue. But if x, the item or individual has everything it is supposed (by the judge or appraiser, the valuer) to have. then we are likely to speak of it as "good," or as "a bargain," or you say "I'll take it," or "It's all there!" "That's what I've been looking for," or "Now you're talking!" Etc.
    Hence the good is full value.
    For an example in ethics, "a good character" is an individual who has everything (all the features or qualities) that you would want a good character to have.

    If something has a few more features or some extra qualities than you expected you may call it "excellent" or "outstanding." [See also the more-technical entry in Wikipedia titled Science of Value. Therein you will learn how Dr. Hartman defined "Pretty good," "Mediocre," "Bad," and "No good." His 1967 Magnum Opus is entitled The Structure of Value. That rather-special book is still in print, and those who are interested in Axiology will be wise to get it and read it.]
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    ↪Marvin Katz
    Does your approach to ethics tie into a personal religious affiliation , to Judaism or some other faith?
    Joshs
    No, it does not. Thank you for asking, Josh. This new paradigm is entirely secular. For many years people have bhave been telling me, "If you want to know about ethics or morality refer to religion; that's the job of religion. If so, I believe religions have not been doing a very good job!! They have made a mess. That is partly why I am offering a new, fresh approach. It's a synthesis of concepts taken from at least a dozen ancient and contemporary philosophers.



    Agent Smith;703684"]
    There's a saying, only the good die young

    Greetings, Agent Smith
    You are arguing that if we want to live to an old age, do not be ethically good, is that correct?
    Thanks for warning me of the danger! [As you know from reading my posts, I am soon to be 92 years 2old.
    When I wrote: "In a person of good character you will recognize these traits, these properties" I should have written, more accurately, this: "In a person of good character your will recognize a combination of some of these properties
    I would add now to the list: moral courage (which is what 'whistle-blowers' have. They expose corruption at their place of work while still employed there.)
    People of good character have at least three of these qualities that used to be called "virtues."

    And yes, it could be dangerous -- but you'll never leave this world alive. Love drives out fear. To achieve true security, give up your need for security!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    There's a saying, only the good die youngAgent Smith
    Greetings, Agent Smith

    You are arguing that if we want to live to an old age, do not be ethically good, is that correct?
    Thanks for warning me of the danger! [As you know from reading my posts, I am as old as eternity.]

    BTW, When I wrote: "In a person of good character you will recognize these traits, these properties"
    I should have written, more accurately, this: "In a person of good character your will recognize a combination of some of these properties
    I would add now to the list: moral courage (which is what 'whistle-blowers' have. They expose corruption at their place of work while still employed there.)
    People of good character have at least three of these qualities that used to be called "virtues."

    And yes, it could be dangerous -- but you'll never leave this world alive. Love drives out fear. To achieve true security, give up your need for security!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Sorry if I have missed it but do you have a foundational principle underpinning why anyone would work towards these sort of ethical principles?
    Yes, Tom, you may have missed it. It's #6 on the list (-max the value you get out of life; don't shortchange yourself; that would be a gyp-) that leads to the second sentence in #5 (which is the definition of "Ethics" in that STRUCTURE document I referenced-and. [To make it easy for members of the Forum, I even gave a safe-to-open link to it.]
    And all the other Principles on the list are generated by the Axiom of the system (Make things better!), and by the meaning of Ethics in the theory.
    There are general principles or guidelines in life that I did not list: such as Do things as efficiently as possible without trampling on people (= Be effective, get things done, yet get them done in the right order and in a moral way.) Stay healthy so that you can best serve others as part of their support group. Etc. All the moral principles proposed are highly-tentative and are to be superseded when better ones come along. None should be considered absolute.

    You are correct about the fact that advertising and marketing are not always ethical. That practice will be changed once the people who do it get to know their Ethics ...which you might help them. {It would, of course, help if you (or anyone else who is gifted with that capacity to teach or tutor or mentor) knew the theory first ...and helped build it out even better.} Yes, it definitely embraces the Golden Rule!!
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Cuthbert seems to have the impresion that the "Devote yourself to Goodness" is the only Moral Principle suggested in my writings. Here, from pp. 27-28 in the Structure of Ethics essay are some others offered for the readers' consideration, as ones they may volunteer to adopt:

    A SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE BASIC ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
    1) Honor and respect every individual. If you can’t respect them, at
    least be civil and courteous, for that is a reflection of your
    character.
    2) Everyone is doing the best one knows how. If we knew any
    better we would do better. If we are not suffering from stupidity,
    or some form of brain damage, it is mainly due to ignorance as
    to why we behave badly. This includes ignorance of how to live
    ethically and the benefits that ensue.
    3) We are all in this together. We’re all just trying to make a life.
    4) Work for mutually-beneficial relationships. What really helps
    you, helps me; and vice versa.
    5) Strive for excellence in performance! Aim to be a good person,
    one who values deeply yourself and others.
    6) What action can I take here and now to create the greatest all-
    around value?
    .
    7) Provide everyone the full opportunity to express their creativity.
    8) Empower the individual to express more of his full potential. Help
    other to rise!
    9) Look to creative design to solve problems.
    10) Be consistent: Do not have double standards, one for
    yourself, and other standards for other people.
    11) Include as many as possible into your in-group – widen your moral
    compass – be inclusive.
    The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides us with the
    following additional ethical principles:
    • Principle of benevolence: help those in need
    • Principle of honesty: do not deceive others. Be truthful.
    • Principle of lawfulness: do not violate the law.
    • Principle of autonomy: acknowledge a person’s freedom over
    his/her actions or physical body.
    • Principle of justice: acknowledge a person’s right to due process, fair
    compensation for harm done, and fair distribution of benefits.
    • Rights: acknowledge a person’s rights to life, information, privacy,
    free expression, and safety. This implies we are to, as soon as
    possible, pass the Equal Rights Amendment recognizing women’s
    rights.
    With regard to the Principle of lawfulness this upgrade needs to be
    added: Do not violate the law unless it is an unjust law, a law that can
    be shown to violate one or more principles of Ethics. The Moral Law is
    to be the foundation of statute law. And it will be, once legislators
    understand their ethics.
    The Principle of Justice - within the subdivision of Ethics known as
    Individual Ethics - directs individuals to lead a balanced life. Within
    Social Ethics, though, it directs folks to uphold social justice and to
    elect for public office only those who will work for social justice and for
    the common good.

    These are not absolutes of any kind -- merely suggestions. If you like the list, feel free to let us know that you ddo.
    Or if you have a Principle to offer for us to consider adopting, let's hear about it.
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    .Cuthbert
    "...your text is delightful and that reading it would be a pleasure for anyone. "

    You got that right !!
    He is referring to [url]http:// http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/THE%20STRUCTURE%20OF%20ETHICS.pdf [/url]
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Cuthbert earlier in this thread asked me: To whom are my writings, and posts here, addressed?
    My answer is: The audience for my efforts are males for the most part; males from the age of 12 to the age of 44 who, if they think about it at all, consider themselves to be "ethical."

    My aim is to encourage and facilitate their further development, their moral health, by explaining to them how it can be done. My audience is not comprised of those who are now going through mourning and experiencing grief, those whose beloved friends and relatives were massacred by a Nazi-sympathizer in Buffalo, N.Y.
    I have been studying ethics, and doing research in many aspects of ethics since 1964.
    Is it possible that my latest re-evaaluation and definition for the concept "morality" given at the outset would help those engaged in the "love of wisdom" -- the philosophically-minded among us who genuinely search for truth, -- understand - in a way they may not have understood before-to know what is necessary for moral health and development? Such an analysis provides one more tool for their toolbox, so to speak.
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Question addressed to all readers, Forum members and participants:

    What is the very-best way to get people to the point where they can truly and sincerely say something to the effect of "Ethics and morality are part of the core of my consciousness now"?
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Allow me to go into further detail about what was just previously being discussed Earlier some possible Moral Principles were suggested that, if they made sense, some folks may care to voluntarily adopt. [There is a sumptuous list of them in the chapter on Morality in the STRUCTURE document.]

    Here is another vital Moral Principle:

    Love and respect GOODNESS!

    This means: Give your emphasis and attention to what is positive; harmonious; fitting; orderly; constructive; ethical; and is what makes for moral progress.
    A testable hypothesis is that one will benefit by focusing on the above, instead of giving one’s time and attention to negativity, or what is violent, disharmonious, chaotic, unethical, corrupting, bickering, vicious, and/or what is bitterly-argumentative.
    Many people today speak in an attacking mode (such as, for example, a name-calling debate between politicians.)

    What do you say? Can people re-orient so that mainly care about Goodness? They then would advocate for it; spread it around; pay it forward!

    Can you think of better ways to become ethical, once they are no longer learning on "their mother's knees" how to shape up? Can you suggest some ideas for human growth and development?
    What is the most efficient way, short of dispensing a brain-altering chemical -- Aldous Huxley's solution -- to bring us closer to living in an Ethical world?
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    Cuthbert quoting me: "What I am suggesting is that if people knew Ethics, it could help to sensitize their conscience. wake it up..."Cuthbert
    He finds a problem with that.
    The key word in the above passage is "knew." To know, as I define it, means: how some specific information is related to everything else, as well as to me, the knower. This goes beyond mere instruction; this is education I'm talking about. It is the hope of teachers and excellent educators that their students will grow as a result of the work the teacher does either in the classroom or sitting at the other end of a log from the student or the one being tutored..

    Dr. Katz said: "When they know Ethics, they will become sensitized....'Cuthbert
    we think that reminding them in general well-meaning terms will improve matters. Well, it might. But it's never worked so far.Cuthbert
    ...Then they will be able to spot future mass murderers
    Yes, when an individual really knows her/his Ethics, s/he then might have a more-educated conscience which will sensitize the one who has it to spot predators right away. By the concept "predator" I refer to all those with a bad character -- with the exception of those who are so extremely psychotic and violent that we call them 'madmen.' {They will torture their victims and leave their victim's bodies to rot in a deserted field. I hope and trust none of us run into them that very often.} I heard an expert inform us that these types are only 2% of the world's population.

    What is "optimism" and how does it differ from "pessimism"?
    An optimist names things so that they turn out to be good; a pessimist names things so that he can call them "bad." He says, for example, This is a bad horse. The optimist looking at the same creature might declare: "This is a good nag." Or s/he might say: I used to live in a good slum, but now I moved to a better neighborhood.
    Yes, Cuthbert, I am a Cosmic Optimist. I have a faith that things will turn out all right [for conscious intelligent life somewhere in this Universe.] And, yes, I will admit to the charge that I am naive. Maybe you are so all-knowing that you are not a bit naive. Some may even call me 'a dreamer'; but I'm not the only one. I aim to build, not burn. I aim to be constructive. I invite you to join me.
    we think that reminding them in general well-meaning terms will improve matters. Well, it might. But it's never worked so far.Cuthbert
    I don't need to remind someone as wise as you that just because something has not worked so far, it will not ever. I believe it is entirely possible that new, superior technologies in the field of education will emerge that will more-effectively transmit the ideas the teacher is trying to get across.

    In the text to which I referred, that has a capitalized title (mea culpa), which I naively believe you haave read before you criticized it, there is there an explanation which I guess I didn't make clear enough, that if one puts into practice [and let it becoe a habit] the perspective of Ethics, that people are highly-valuable, then you will come to care about them, care about their fate. Really knowing one's Ethics, living it, leading by example, one will develop into a highly-ethical person, one who has a good character, having mostly discarded any earlier tendencies to commit morally-questionable acts. The party now says to himself, or herself, "I don't want to be a bad character! I want to be good; I want to be ethical."
  • Why a new approach to Ethics is necessary
    What makes the “new paradigm" new?

    Early in the argument for it, a theorem (a moral principle) is derived from the very definition of “Ethics” itself. That deduction directs us to: “Do no harm” if we can possibly manage to avoid doing so.
    The new Ethics, when applied to life, indicates that we don't wage war unless our land has been invaded, and then only to drive the invader out. If one knows one's Ethics war is to be a very last resort. The new Ethics encourages people when they are faced with a struggle less than a war to engage in nonviolent direct-action to make change. This emphasis differentiates the theory from more-traditional approaches.
    The theory also supports mutual-aid pacts, and "Marshall Plans." It explains that “War” may accurately be described as organized mass-murder done in the name of some noble cause.
    And, in addition the theory upholds Social Justice and a well-trained community-police-force steeped in rehabilitative justice and reconciliation techniques.

    Here are some specific questions to which conventional ethics might likely give an opposite answer …in contrast to the response one gets from one oriented in the new paradigm. The latter is organized and coordinated into a Unified Theory of Ethics. Let’s get right to the series of questions:

    Is it right to be dishonest in a good cause?
    No, it is not right -- except to save a life, or to entertain - as magicians occasionally do deceive during a magic-act performance. Dishonesty is tolerated in a game of Poker; and may be permissible in that context.

    The new paradigm explains that the means we use to attain an end are to be consistent with the end-in-view. If the cause is good, then the means, according to the new Unified Theory of Ethics, are to be ethical and moral, i.e., morally-good means.

    Can we justify living in opulence while elsewhere in the world people are starving?
    No. By improved technology, and superior design it is our moral obligation to work on, or strive for, that starvation to end – without depriving anyone of his sense of abundance. [Prosperity is a concept that may be ethically understood as 'abundance that is hared.']

    ...To be continued.

    What say you? Any questions or improvements?