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[Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help



Hi Andy,


So you are describing Normative Ethics, not Ethics.


Interestingly, "ethics" does derive from the Greek word for "habit" (????).


A habit seems to have a lack of awareness in it. Certainly habits are hard to break, which is why we hope to have good habits, not bad ones.


Unless you would like to define what you mean by "Practical norms" it seems to be an "amoral" phrase to me.


Typically, as I understand it, ethics is the study of human morality in the attempt to define what is good and right, vs. not good and not right so one can determine what is proper actions to live by (what habits are worth having). I consider that to be a consideration of values a priori. In terms of what is ideal or hypothetical.


Normative ethics seems to be a study of actions a posteriori, after the fact.


Please note that I do not like to use the terms "evil" or "wrong" and prefer to orient from the relations of what is good and what is right. This avoids dichotomies, and it allows for a spectrum of something being more right, or having more goodness than something else.


Getting back to utilitarianism, I still see it as a justification for economics, that is, economics as practiced today, which is usually not done scientifically, though it is very mathematical in nature. To measure utility requires all kinds of strange formulae, and that's why I used the metaphor hall of mirrors.


Still, I prefer to consider utility as a projection, than a reflection.


Eating humans has a projected value of goodness in one society, but not in another.


Not harming myself or others seems to have a universal application, and so it doesn't seem to be a projected subjective value, but a reflected one, if I may claim that a projected value is relative and subjective while a reflected one is a universal, objective value.


Happiness is also a universal, objective value. I don't know anyone who doesn't value happiness. However what makes people happy is a projected, subjective value. That's where utility comes in.


For what that is worth.


Kind regards,


Annalisa