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[Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help

... and this is really not the forum for clarifying these issues of Ethics, honestly.


Andy Blunden
On 8/07/2016 11:36 AM, Christopher Schuck wrote:
Much of this last interchange seems to be as much about meta-ethics as
normative ethics. Andy chooses to identify ethics with human activity in
terms of practical norms (and some epistemologists argue that practical
reason is inherently normative). Others might see it more in terms of
"ideal good" (as Annalisa put it). If we're discussing how ethics is to
even be conceptualized and approached (e.g. questioning dichotomies of
"good" and "evil", whether a priori or a posteriori is relevant, virtues as
opposed to criterion-based consequentialism) - we're getting into
meta-ethics. For what that's worth.

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:18 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

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

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

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,