Our Problem is Immorality

Fred Garvin's picture

Our Problem is Immorality

Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? And, if that person does not peaceably submit to being so used, do you believe that there should be the initiation of some kind of force against him? Neither question is complex and can be answered by either a yes or no. For me the answer is no to both questions but I bet that your average college professor, politician or minister would not give a simple yes or no response. They would be evasive and probably say that it all depends.

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Submitted by mysteryman on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 8:13pm.

If one was to light up in a room full of people, with cigs costing as much as they do with the new O-DOG Cancer Tax, would it be immoral to charge everyone in the room for the enjoyment of the second and third hand smoke that you are providing to them.. Would that not be a considered a fair tax to ask them all to put in on my smoke????? I Cheive in anticipating your reply. And remember if you enjoy smoking KOOLs youll love G-Smoke the new generic cig with only 3mg Tar, as if any amount of tar was good for you..Makes as much sense as Gs blog....PEACE

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 1:44pm.

Quoting such a twisted and warped source as Townhall.com.

To wit: Salem Communications Corporation (proprietor of Townhall.com), through its subsidiaries, operates as a commercial radio broadcasting company in the United States. It owns and operates radio stations in metropolitan markets. The company operates radio business in formats, including Christian teaching and talk, contemporary Christian music, conservative news talk, and Spanish language Christian teaching and talk. It also owns and operates a national radio network that syndicates music, news, and talk to approximately 2,000 affiliated radio stations. In addition, the company provides online Christian content and streaming, as well as publishes Christian magazines and books targeting Christian audience.

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 8:47pm.

Quantify your argument.. ie Townhall.. You made a statement of fact is this just your opinion or can you prove the point??

This link may help

I will not lower my standards.. So UP YOURS.. Evil


muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 12:10pm.

I guess I am one of those who would have to say, "It depends."

And the reason is that his question is so very poorly framed.

Does his description cover, say, conscription when national security calls for it?

If I am comfortable and cozy enjoying a vacation in my north woods cabin, and a blizzard hits, and you are stranded out in the cold, do I have a moral--and perhaps legal--obligation to open my door to you to save your life?

And how does it play out if one is thinking about the abortion issue? Judith Jarvis Thomson famously argued in "A Defense of Abortion" that, even if person A has a right to life, that does not entail a "right to the use of person B's body"--even in the event that this is the only way that A can survive. Does Williams' negative answer to his question put him in agreement with Thomson?

Moral issues can be complicated. The fact that some people prefer to think through some of them rather than having a ready-made answer is more likely evidence that the world is a messy place--not that such people have lost sight of morality.

A more general point: Moral rules, such as the moral rule against lying, should probably be thought of as prima facie obligations. That is, they pose a presumption of wrongness against a certain action such that, all else equal, it is wrong. But that presumption may, in principle, be overturned by weightier moral considerations. This happens when one is faced with a genuine moral dilemma, where two moral rules come into conflict. One must then decide which of the two has the greater moral gravity and thus follow that one at the sacrifice of the other.

This does not commit one to any sort of relativism or "situation ethics." Any approach to ethics that treats rules as absolute winds up being incoherent, as one and the same action in a fixed set of circumstances will be both moral and immoral. I promise to meet you for an appointment. On the way there, I pass an accident that has just occurred. There are injuries and no one else is around to help. Do I stop to render help? If I do, I break my promise, and, surely, there is a rule against promise-breaking. If I do not, then, plausibly, I violate a rule against neglecting people who need my help. If both rules are absolute, it's damned if I do and damned if I dont: either way I do something immoral. That's absurd, and so the prima facie understanding is called for.


"Puddleglum" by Weatherwax (one of the Muddlings).

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