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#1: Yes, Read Pullman

Posted on 2006-07-23 22:21:34 by eggplant107

<a href="mailto:nystulc&#64;cs.com" target="_blank">nystulc&#64;cs.com</a> &lt;<a href="mailto:nystulc&#64;cs.com" target="_blank">nystulc&#64;cs.com</a>&gt;

&gt; For me, a &quot;morally repugnant&quot; act is an immoral
&gt; act -- in other words, an act that you should not do.
&gt; For you, a &quot;morally repugnant act&quot; is one that you
&gt; should consider carefully whether you should do it.

For you, the world is a very simple place, and if I may say so the word
&quot;simple&quot; is doubly apt. When Churchill decided to fight he knew
that whatever precautions he took innocent children would be killed,
lots of them. Would it have been more moral if Churchill had just
surrendered to Hitler without firing a shot? I'm not saying
Asriel's act was anywhere near that clear cut but it's on the same
continuum. I can't say you should never do X because sometimes it
would be downright immoral not to do X.

&gt; your philosophy of &quot;moral utilitariansim&quot;

That is my great flaw, I refuse to embrace ideas no matter how high
minded they sound IF THEY DON'T WORK.

&gt; moral utilitarians have no moral backbone whatsoever.
&gt; [....]This conversation is making me nauseated[....]
&gt; you really are a moral nihilist. Hitler could have said the same.

Once again you demonstrate your moral superiority by refusing to get
personal and resorting to mindless insults.

Eggplant

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#2: Re: Yes, Read Pullman

Posted on 2006-07-24 06:07:06 by nystulc

eggplant wrote:
&gt; <a href="mailto:nystulc&#64;cs.com" target="_blank">nystulc&#64;cs.com</a> &lt;<a href="mailto:nystulc&#64;cs.com" target="_blank">nystulc&#64;cs.com</a>&gt;
&gt;
&gt; &gt; For me, a &quot;morally repugnant&quot; act is an immoral
&gt; &gt; act -- in other words, an act that you should not do.
&gt; &gt; For you, a &quot;morally repugnant act&quot; is one that you
&gt; &gt; should consider carefully whether you should do it.
&gt;
&gt; For you, the world is a very simple place, and if I may say so the word
&gt; &quot;simple&quot; is doubly apt.

No. For me, the world is not a simple place. However, for me a &quot;moral
code&quot; must be simple -- not absurdly simple, but still simple enough
that a human mind can understand, and can follow, prior to making
critical decisions. Therefore a moral code must be simple enough for a
normal human mind to understand and apply on a more-or-less immediate
basis. If a moral code were as complex as the world, it would be
useless to humans, because the human mind could never understand nor
apply it.

The world is no simpler for you than it is for me. But your MORAL CODE
in practice, is actually much simpler than mine. In the final
analysis, it amounts to no code at all, and nothing is more simple than
nothing.

&gt; When Churchill decided to fight he knew
&gt; that whatever precautions he took innocent children would be killed,
&gt; lots of them. Would it have been more moral if Churchill had just
&gt; surrendered to Hitler without firing a shot?

You must be arguing with someone else. I never took issue with
Churchill's decision to fight.

&gt; I'm not saying
&gt; Asriel's act was anywhere near that clear cut but it's on the same
&gt; continuum.

Exactly. You cannot even condemn Asriel's deliberate, premeditated
murder of an innocent child for the sake of a dubious scientific
experiment. These are the consequences of your refusal to consider
yourself bound by any moral obligations.

I never expected Pullman's defenders to be quite this revolting. I
expected them to say &quot;No, you're interpretation is wrong. Pullman
condemns Asriel's evil act, and means us to condemn it as well.&quot; I
expected an argument about that. I never expected this. I suppose I
owe you thanks for helping to make the issue so clear.

&gt; I can't say you should never do X because sometimes it
&gt; would be downright immoral not to do X.

I have no comment because I do not know what X is in this context.
What we were discussing was a specific act -- the deliberate,
premeditated, sacrificial, ritual/experimental murder of an innocent
child, that is clearly murder by any standard. That is what you
refused to condemn, and said you might condone.

&gt; &gt; your philosophy of &quot;moral utilitariansim&quot;
&gt;
&gt; That is my great flaw, I refuse to embrace ideas no matter how high
&gt; minded they sound IF THEY DON'T WORK.

It does work. My ideas -- or very close variants thereof -- have been
used by juries for hundreds of years to distinguish justifiable
killings from non-justifiable killings. It involves a set of rules
that are a bit more complex than &quot;thou shalt not kill&quot;, but not so
complex as to be completely unworkable. If a person is familiar with
the basics of these rules (a fairly easy task) he can know before he
kills whether or not his act is &quot;murder&quot;, and the jury, applying the
same rules later, can make the same determination. There may be fuzzy
cases now and then, on the borders of the rules, but Asriel's case is
not one of them. There is no question that he is a murderer.

It is your system that does not work, for the reasons I have already
explained. Your system NEVER allows you to determine whether a killing
is justified or not. It does not even permit you to know whether
killing children for scientific experiments is wrong. This is no doubt
your intention. You don't want to be bound by moral rules, and this is
a perfect excuse to wring your hands and howl &quot;what can I do, the world
is too complex, how can I know whether my act will ultimately promote
the maximum benefit for the maximum number of people.&quot; But it is your
own choice that you adopted a &quot;moral&quot; system that could never inhibit
you. Your complete moral spinelessness is not inhernt, but a choice
you have made. You could make a different choice at any time.

&gt; &gt; moral utilitarians have no moral backbone whatsoever.
&gt; &gt; [....]This conversation is making me nauseated[....]
&gt; &gt; you really are a moral nihilist. Hitler could have said the same.
&gt;
&gt; Once again you demonstrate your moral superiority by refusing to get
&gt; personal and resorting to mindless insults.

That's a nice little Frankenstein's monster of a quote you've cobbled
together from several different posts. I suggest you restore them to
the context of their original paragraphs, so the reader may judge for
himself whether these &quot;insults&quot; are mindless, unjustified.

Did you really think you could come on this newsgroup -- a newsgroup
read by impressionable childen -- and express your foul doctrine
condoning experimental murder for the sake scientific progress, and not
expect someone to disagree in the strongest terms. It is not as though
murder is an issue that does not matter.

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