Ethics vs Morals

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Paladin, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    That ties in nicely with the Ultimate Perfection thread.
     
  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I agree. ;)

    s.
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    SG, you are the coolest :)

    PMS aside (here's a bit of dark chocolate dear) I think you are spot on. I fully appreciate both Wil and Snoopy's point of view, for all practical purpose there seems to be no applicable difference between morals and ethics, and further, if something makes no difference how can it be called different?

    To complicate the issue even more, Wil makes a good case that when ethics and morals clash, the real conflict is merely one of differing values, most likely due to societal conditioning.

    Of course this argument trashes the idea of the Summom Bonum, or as I like to think of it, the "Highest Good"

    Now comes the slippery slope toward relativism, for if we consider the example I gave on the justification of removing the humanity of an individual due to their sexual orientation, there is no overarching principle to determine whether or not the cultural or religious idea should hold sway.
    It is this conflict between the two ideas that inspires the idea of separation of church and state
     
  4. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Thank you. {I really appreciate the dark chocolate. Theobromine is such a wonderful creation.}
    Different applications. One is more top-down, while the other is more bottom-up.

    Well, people are not like baked bricks that can be made to specified measurements, from which the Tower of Babel was constructed. (Top-down application.) Rather, each person is unique and individual, more like quarry stones, as in the Christian concept of the people being living stones that builds the Church. (Bottom-up application.) Treating people like baked bricks is what removes their humanity.
    <edit to add>

    {Come to think about it, doesn't "building a tower that will reach to heaven" sound awfully close to Summom Bonum?}
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    So then ethics clash with morals when one group is studying one society and another group is studying another. Both seeing a valid set of conclusions based on history, organization and makeup, but neither can mix as they have a different history, organization and makeup.

    Or ethics can clash studying the two together.

    Like the old elephant story....but if we back up, we see one elephant.

    We've had similar issues in geology coming to differing conclusions from differing continents or strata but as we back up to see the big picture we develop some unified theories.

    Similar in looking for that theory of everything that we can't yet grasp as we don't have the perspective?

    As in ethics we'll clash unless we can unmarry ourselves from our personal/societal morality... ie we all need to step back to see the big picture...sunnum bonum QEDnum??
     
  6. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    I think SG's pointing to the "living Stones" reality is poigniant, and must certainly be kept in mind if philosophical inquiries are to have any basis in actuality. Hmmm almost Zenlike there SG, I remember you mentioning you had inadvertently studied it.

    And Wil, I can always count on you for an interesting perspective. If society is growing as a whole perhaps it mimics the development of the individual ala Clare Graves' model. As an individual grows out of one value meme there is a slight contempt for that stage left behind. Notice the contempt some have for that "good ol religion" of simple faith. Perhaps in the conflict of what is percieved to be a higher good we have to remember the inherent and nested values that preceded our current outlook.
    If nothing else it may help a negotiated outcome similar to what Fisher and Ury taught in Getting To yes.
     
  7. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Ethics come into play in areas where morals either don't apply, or are overly broad. Just because something is legal, and morally acceptable, doesn't make it ethical. Gouging and blatant profiteering are both legal and morally acceptable, but that doesn't make them ethical (depending, of course, on one's definition). I have a work ethic of my own choosing which has little to do with morality. The mores of society don't compel me to put out a superior product. I decide to do that out of pride and outright egotism.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Chris
     
  8. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    Snoop! How in world did opium enter in to this discussion? And by continental did you basically mean "European"? What's the relevance of that either?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    When this first started out, I was compelled to remark about how those that put themselves up on the high ethical or moral standard are often shot off their pedestals. What with Bill Bennet and his book of virtues and gambling problems, our illustrious Senator from Idaho ranting and passing bills against homosexuality dallying in airport stalls and now our Governor from NY who was going to cleanup the state caught planning a liason with a hooker at the Mayflower hotel in DC while he was in town with his wife for Valentines Day.
     
  10. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I read this thread yesterday and have been searching a bit since. It was one of those pseudo-deja-vu moments for me; recently it seemed like I came across something that explicitly compared and contrasted ethics and morals, but it's fuzzy. I didn't think it was on these forums, but it may have been, but then again I thought I read it in a book...? Either it's one of those queer-ky coninky-dinks that sometimes blip across my life, or I recently read the same thread that Paladin is referring to. Paladin Pal, I'm wondering if you might be able to provide a link to the original thread that started you thinking about ethics and morals and morals and ethics? My inquiring mind has to know if it is going crazy, or maybe if it should enlist the help of my body to try to find the other thing, in some book now shuffled among the chaotic order that is my working space, in order to confirm the coniky-dink.

    Right...

    :eek:
     
  11. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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  12. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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  13. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    This quote by Junatoo from the Defining Terms thread is very similar to what I read, if it is not indeed what I read. But why would I have read a thread from 2005? That's so unlike me.

    Eh, must have something to do with first-post syndrome.
     
  14. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    No sweat, Pathless. It'll leave you more time and energy to sift through your workspace for whatever you are looking for.
     
  15. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Hmm, have you been studying the history of Confucianism, or anything like that, by chance?
     
  16. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Yeah... thanks...?

    ;) :p

    Okay, here I go then.

    :)
     
  17. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    If you look at it from the standpoint of classical eudemonics, morality in the sense of moral obligation to others is largely missing from the analysis principally because it is not really relevant.

    Aristotle in particular was suggesting that certain kinds of activity -- namely intellectual work -- tends to produce happiness. Such activity may have some social value, but its ability to produce happiness is not defined on the basis of any social value. It's strictly a personal value.

    In a sense, what Aristotle was suggesting is a type ethics (eudemonics) that does not get expressed in the form of social morality. I thought this was interesting mainly because religious notions of morality often emphasize obligation to others (e.g. Christian Messianic ethics or Buddhist doctrine of harmlessness). {I realize Buddhism is not a religion as such, but just by way of example.}
     
  18. CyberRebel

    CyberRebel New Member

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    Yeah, I have wondered about this before, thinking morality and ethics were the same. They are very close. I'm not the most intelligent though. I was told by the ones I asked, that ethics is like codes that doctors, lawyers, or professional people go by, and even maybe some governments. But Morality is more of what the individual person would go by, and maybe their society of religious group. If I got it right! That is!
     
  19. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Can I say that I've got PMS :mad:

    s.
     
  20. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    By me typing it in ;)

    Well it does....depending on where in the world you live the two terms have a different sort of air to them to us Little Englanders :D


    CR isn't a tightly on topic kind of place (Hallelujah!!!). Relevance and Snoopy aren't always in the same room together, just sometimes bump in to each other by happy accident. :)

    s.
     

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