Showing posts with label rational morality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rational morality. Show all posts

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Moral Rules, Community Standards and Conscience.


If we are to make any sense of this topic, Morality, we must distinguish between moral behavior and moral rules. Moral behavior is concerned with how we treat each other and how we treat other animals. When we mistreat someone, we should feel guilt or remorse. When we hear of someone mistreated, we should feel moral outrage. These feelings are innate and instinctive. We refer to these instincts that enable us to discern right from wrong as Conscience.
There is a third distinction that must be considered: Community moral imperatives which preceed the moral rules. This is where the intersection of reason and moral outrage result in a workable community. And where workable communities may be in considerable conflict.

As an example consider the food animals. At one extreme is the community exemplified by PETA. At the other is the community of trophy hunters that waste the food that may be subsistance for other carnivores or even their poorer neighbors. In the middle we have a mixture of rules, and community standards for the ethical treatment of food animals. The rules basically are concerned with humane slaughter. Community standards which are rapidly and rationally evolving concern the treatment of food animals while alive. There is a local university where the community standard is that free range meat is the only meat served in campus eating places. It is served side by side with soy based products for the PETA crowd. If you want cheap feedlot meat products you must go off campus, and being seen in a feedlot or manufactured food establishment may result in community scorn at the very mildest. Most of the local off campus eateries must comply with the free range ethic to survive.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

On stealing

Prejudice v Evidence - Beliefnet Forums: "I will still think about nuanced applications, fair use of copyrighted material, as an example, or ripping an out of print CD with a direct contribution to the originator. But I can do this because I have thought about why I do not steal."