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What is the -highest- criteria for determining the appropriateness of an action?
I do what I feel like 12%  12%  [ 3 ]
I follow the precepts of a religion 12%  12%  [ 3 ]
I use logic but I don't know if there is a fundamental basis for my logical system 23%  23%  [ 6 ]
I use logic and I think it holds ultimate justification 38%  38%  [ 10 ]
I judge everything by the Form of the Good 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
I follow the law 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
I do what Dr. Phil tells me to 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I do what the creepy voices in my head tell me 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 26

NeoPlatonist
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15 Dec 2006, 8:36 pm

I'm curious whether aspies have a different way of acquiring and using ethics than n.t. people. I think that most ethics develop from social convention, something many of us struggle with. Let me know if there are other options I need to add.


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15 Dec 2006, 10:47 pm

I have always held a deep respect for the law and for religious precepts. It is confusing when people I respect do not "follow the rules", even when it comes to driving laws. They are supposed to be examples for the rest of us and the younger generation.

I think of the slippery slope effect when it comes to disregard for rules that are in place. For example, our family lived along a main road. The speed limit was 45 mph, which is what everyone typically followed. Now, over 15 years later, the speed limit is still posted at 45 mph but everyone drives what seems to be a minimum of 55!


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15 Dec 2006, 10:51 pm

I do what *I* think is logical. Sometimes it gets me into trouble.



Corvus
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16 Dec 2006, 11:13 am

I do what is TRUTHFUL and LOGICAL. Sometimes THAT gets me in trouble but what can I do? Don't like the truth or whats 'best' for everyone, cry me a river :wink:

But I've started questioning logic - if we follow logic, are we not just simple followers and why/where does logic derive from? (the universe? then where?)



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16 Dec 2006, 11:28 am

Corvus wrote:
I do what is TRUTHFUL and LOGICAL. Sometimes THAT gets me in trouble but what can I do? Don't like the truth or whats 'best' for everyone, cry me a river :wink:

But I've started questioning logic - if we follow logic, are we not just simple followers and why/where does logic derive from? (the universe? then where?)


I would really recommend you read C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man. It is a pretty non-theistic book (say compared to the Narnia stuff) and I would say that he is the most philosophically interesting Christian thinkers out there. Essentially the book is about the basis for logic and how emotion should fit in with logic (referring to Plato's concept of the heart/passions being an allied servant of the intellect).

He also proposes a concept which he calls the Tao (not necessarily Taoism). It is basically saying that certain First Principles should be taken as self evident for if they are not, no logic can be built on them and still hold. His conception of the Tao comes from certain principles that have held across many cultures and generations like do not kill, being honest, respecting elders, etc. He includes an appendix with many quotes from a large variety of ancient sources.

It is well worth the read!
Here it is on Amazon


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16 Dec 2006, 11:30 am

I would really like to deeper chats with any of you that want to about A.S. and ethics. I'd like to write a paper on it at some point and I want it to be about more than just my experiences with it. Send me a P.M. if you are interested and I will send you my AIM screen name.


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16 Dec 2006, 11:41 am

Utilitarian theory: maximise total pleasure, minimise total suffering.

The word "total" is important, meaning that it is the overall impact which should be assessed. This isn't always easy, but it's a good way to look at things and can also produce some interesting results.

For example, take vegetarianism. It can be argued that in overall terms farm animals benefit from food, security, vetinary care and a relatively painless death, and have been successful from an evolutionary point of view because their numbers have increased. So perhaps eating meat is actually more ethically sound than letting animals like cows and sheep run wild and be killed by starvation or predators? Not the conclusion that many ethics students want to hear!


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ascan
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16 Dec 2006, 1:20 pm

MomofTom wrote:
It is confusing when people I respect do not "follow the rules"

I'm sure most Nazis "followed the rules" and were model citizens.

I tend to obey the law not because I respect (as in admire) it, but because I don't wish to suffer the consequences of being prosecuted, or have the anxiety of worrying that I might be prosecuted. I also obey many of them because they correspond with my own sense of right and wrong.

I generally have a very low opinion of both those who make the law (politicians) and those who make money from it (legal profession and politicians). If I were caught in a quandary over deciding between obeying the law, and acting ethically, I'd like to think that after careful consideration I'd act ethically. Defining what's meant by ethical is difficult, I suppose it relies on both logic, and acting so as not to harm others.

Although I'm atheist I do believe that many of the tenets of Christianity give a good guide to how people should behave and are relevant to the above paragraph; the UK would be a better place if more people took heed of these. Ironically, although many US citizens seem to be devout Christians, the worst excesses of your culture that's made its way to our shores seem to be contributing to the gradual decline of our society. Greed and selfishness are very unchristian.



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16 Dec 2006, 5:42 pm

I follow laws. Some I dont, like smoking pot, and I break them - quite happily. If I suffer a consequence, its like I'm 3 and my parents caught me playing with paints. 'Bad, Corvus! Bad'

Corvus = responsible adult who can take care of himself. Apparently, law = baby sitting for retards, in my harsh blunt opinion.. ya some 'laws' are required, but really, the law does nothing but provide a guideline of what the 'rules are' which basically should just be 'no murder, theft, rape, fraud, or assault' and everything can be placed into that category. No 'what if's.' No 'breaking into someones home, stabbing yourself, suing, and then winning' bullshit. < -- break and enter, the rest of the suffering was just dumbass probability and risk.

Don't step on my toes, drink paint all you want..



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16 Dec 2006, 6:27 pm

The important thing is to work on yourself so that you are a good person. Then you can follow the first option: "I do what I like". But in the meantime, we are all imperfect, so we have to use some kind of judgment, and usually conscience is a fairly good guide.



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16 Dec 2006, 11:02 pm

sociable_hermit wrote:
Utilitarian theory: maximise total pleasure, minimise total suffering.

The word "total" is important, meaning that it is the overall impact which should be assessed. This isn't always easy, but it's a good way to look at things and can also produce some interesting results.


What do you consider to be total pleasure and total suffering? Are we talking pleasure in terms of Aristotle's notion of happiness? I think that over the course of a lifetime, most pleasures are very transitory. Right now I am sitting in a comfortable dorm room in front of a nice computer. In 10 years my pleasure at these things today will mean nothing in a long term sense. So I am inclined to think that day to day pleasure and pain doesn't really matter in terms of real lasting happiness.



ascan wrote:
I tend to obey the law not because I respect (as in admire) it, but because I don't wish to suffer the consequences of being prosecuted, or have the anxiety of worrying that I might be prosecuted. I also obey many of them because they correspond with my own sense of right and wrong.


I think that this is a good approach to law. I also have a pretty low opinion of politicians.



Rory wrote:
The important thing is to work on yourself so that you are a good person. Then you can follow the first option: "I do what I like". But in the meantime, we are all imperfect, so we have to use some kind of judgment, and usually conscience is a fairly good guide.


I definitely agree! I take it you are thinking of an objective good when you talk about being a good person? I think my conscience is very important for my moral decisions.

Keep it coming! :D


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Rory
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17 Dec 2006, 2:14 am

Rory wrote:
The important thing is to work on yourself so that you are a good person. Then you can follow the first option: "I do what I like". But in the meantime, we are all imperfect, so we have to use some kind of judgment, and usually conscience is a fairly good guide.


I definitely agree! I take it you are thinking of an objective good when you talk about being a good person? I think my conscience is very important for my moral decisions.

Keep it coming! :D[/quote]

Objectively good? I'm not so sure. What does that mean? For me, to be a good person means to live in a certain way; ultimately, I think it also means to be a wise person, a person who sees, knows and understands and is therefore able to act out of something other than concern for self.



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17 Dec 2006, 2:30 am

I live by perfect "animal" logic. If treat me poorly, then I'm going to hurt you. If you disrespect my domicile I will hurt. I will maintain quiet unless otherwise necessary. I will deal with idiots as I see fit. I evaluate all things with the scientific method.


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18 Dec 2006, 12:30 am

I'm not sure if I have a different way of acquiring or using ethics than NTs do. In some ways I do and in some ways I don't. I developed my system of ethics as a kid based on the very wise teachings of my parents and those around me, which I suppose is no different from NT's. Part of it also was a result of emotions because I hate to see people hurt. As I got older I thought about them on a deeper level and they changed at times, but many have remained the same. I suppose it is different than NT's in that for me it tends to be more black and white whereas relativism and situational ethics seems more popular right now (not to say that I don't carefully examine a situation, as even-and, I think, especially-when ethics are black and white application is complicated, it's just that I wouldn't say it depends on the situation entirely). Relativism isn't logical to me because it leads to too many contradictions and I believe ethics are objective rather than subjective-and I am a follower of religion rather than objectivism.



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18 Dec 2006, 5:31 am

Ethics I believe are govern by emotions to an extent.

If you do something, and it makes you feel bad, you won't necesseraly do it again on those premises alone. And in general if the general populice thinks along your lines as 'not feeling good'. THERE, an enternal law was created. Your on logic, the logic of the masses.

But if you are not governed by emotions I believe 2 things would happen:

UNO: You would do things with out fear of repremention, with out rimorse, with out a sense of what is good or bad because you have no enternal 'perseption of the diffirences'. You are then labled a threat to sociaty.

DOS: You would fallow the 'logic' of the masses to govern what is good or bad for you. They are not enternal thoughts but external laws to fallow to keep you in check. But then again that goes along as sympathyzing with people and in it's self a form of emotions. Or you just don't want your ego to end. Your call.


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