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    Ethics question...

    Is there such a thing as Objective ethics? I was reading some of the threads on the "ethics of hacking" and "hackers' ethics", and I came to the conclusion: is there really such a thing as objective ethics?
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    Hi Draxx,

    By " objective " do you mean...

    1. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: as an objective critic?
    or...
    2. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: as an objective appraisal?

    1a. No...but you can defer your emotions and personal prejudices to that which is based upon common sense...for instance: you may ethically disagree with animal testing for medical research...yet accept that without a plausable alternative it may be necessary for the common good.

    2a. Yes...you can prove certain aspects of ethics and it's applications.

    Eg

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    Re: Ethics question...

    Originally posted here by Draxx
    ...and I came to the conclusion: is there really such a thing as objective ethics?
    Ok, that's not a conclusion, that's a question.

    Conclusion
    - decision: a position or opinion or judgment reached after consideration
    first definition listed

    Question
    - a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply
    third definition listed

    So really, you didn't come to a conclusion, you are asking for consideration of the point "is there such a thing as Objective Ethics".

    -----

    By the way, the answer is No.

    Objective
    - undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    Third definition bullet

    Ethics
    - A system of moral principles, rules or standards that govern the conduct of members of a group. Ethical codes of conduct approach human behavior from a philosophical standpoint by stressing objectively defined, but essentially idealistic, standards (or laws) of right and wrong, good/evil, and virtue/vice such as those applicable to the practices of lawyers and doctors.

    -----

    Ethics are subjective to the environment, professional, community, or society to which they are referred.

    To take a popular example from recent history, in some extreme militant religious faiths, suicide is considered acceptable and even appropriate, if it is done in a manner to kill multiple others of opposing faiths or 'enemies' of your community...suicide bombers. This is by no means considered ethical or acceptable in most modern societies. So whose ethics are "right" and whose are "wrong". It's subjective, not objective.
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
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    Hi zencoder,

    Ethics are subjective to the environment, professional, community, or society to which they are referred.
    The only thing I would argue about this is that right and wrong are not arguable; yes, they are subject to the revisions and interpretations of cultures, enviroments, personal opinions, etc...but in and of itself there can be no argument...unless you take the stand that ethics do not really exist apart from man's creation and interpretation of his creation...which would mean the only reason it would not be OK to kill someone is because they told me not to...and would have no more consequence than jaywalking if one could do it and excape the penalty imposed by man...as nature/god/add name here would then be amoral.

    Eg

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    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
    http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/kjv/k...V1&byte=220736

    About as objective as you can get.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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    So really, you didn't come to a conclusion, you are asking for consideration of the point "is there such a thing as Objective Ethics".
    A conclusion can be a question, what I concluded incidentally was a question.

    [The Ten Commandments] About as objective as you can get.
    Yet is killing just? And it says: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his man-slave or maid-slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." So slavery is ethical?

    It's [morality is] subjective, not objective.
    But wouldn't that justify murder?"
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    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    An "objective" system of ethics is a system where right and wrong are
    not a matter of personal opinion. The determination of whether something
    is ethical or not would be made by comparing the matter in question to some
    known, published set of laws. Those laws are "objective" since they are not
    a matter of opinion, but are "engraved in stone". They exist outside of my own
    mind.

    Something is subjective when it is internal to me, existing and deriving meaning
    from me. Something is objective when it exists outside of me, and does not depend on
    me.

    If I have a set of ethical standards that are subjective, they are my own standards
    derived from my own esthetic tastes. Perhaps killing is bad because it nauseates
    me and the thought of it is disgusting. Perhaps killing is bad because I don't want
    someone to kill me.

    If I have an objective ethical standard, it is because, I have accepted a standard
    that existed before I even came along. Killing, in this system, is bad because the
    creator said so. Whether I agree or not, the law says so. If I want to kill, in
    violation of that law, it is wrong.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmmmm,

    I do not believe that there are objective ethics in that ethics are group standards. In the case of an individual that is more morality. Both are subjective by their very nature.

    I believe that you can have objective professional standards.

    A rather crude example would be the expression "honour amongst thieves"?


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    Originally posted here by Egaladeist
    ...right and wrong are not arguable; yes, they are subject to the revisions and interpretations of cultures, enviroments, personal opinions, etc...but in and of itself there can be no argument...
    And I call...
    BULLSHIT (it's a reference to a card game...I'm not calling your statement bullshit...)
    There absolutely can and is an argument. Any time two nations take up arms against each other there is an argument of 'right' and 'wrong'. Why else do nations make war? Because it's fun?!?

    Right and Wrong are completely and totally Subjective, INTERNAL, as rcgreen succinctly put it (nice job, btw). Right and Wrong ARE ONLY balancable within ones own conscience. End of argument.

    Now, how you allow the beliefs, mores, and laws of your or other societies impact your own internal belief system...that's another conversation. But for the sane mentally capable adult human, there can be NO external definition of Right and Wrong without an internal moral compass, pointed in whichever direction (s)he has grown to recognize. Just because someones 'moral compass' doesn't point to the same 'North' that yours does, they are not automatically "Wrong Per Se". And THAT is the point of my argument. There is no natural, cosmic, incalculable RIGHT and WRONG. They are states of accepted behavior based on the underlying genetic compulsion to preserve the species. How different clans have modeled and incorporated that compulsion into their rituals and viewpoint is vastly different, and the source of many arguments, wars, and disagreements in human history.

    rcgreen again, nicely put...thanks for clarifying the internal/external point. It was in my thought process, but didn't come out properly (or at all.)

    Draxx who would the murder be justified FOR? The killer? Perhaps. The victim? Almost certainly not. The society that observes the act, and takes judicial action? That depends... Justification is an extension of ethics and morales.

    And I'll give you the point that a conclusion can be a question...but the way it was phrased, that didn't seem to be the intent.


    Where the heck is CopyRight/MemorY? He's the resident cross-forum Ethical Philosopher...
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

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    I am glad that we have come to the conclusion that objective ethics are a myt

    A new question: is it possible to argue an objective, i.e. undeniable, point in a non-objective system?
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    My name is Draxx...you simians may refer to me merely as \'sir\' for a less syllable-intensive workout.

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