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Do the Ends Justify the Means?

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 07:42 pm
truth
Greyfan, I do not think you are wrong, and I have never heard or read a "compelling" arguement for absolutes. All morals and values are (like all belief systems) cultural constructions. I do not see how that can be reasonablyl denied.
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metaethics
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 08:05 pm
Greyfan wrote:
But I don't believe in its existence... What makes something moral is widespread agreement; as times change, so does morality.


Since you don't believe in the existence of morality, your definition of morality is valid and sound in your terms, and I don't disagree with you - it's your choice.

But to those who believe the existence of morality, 'your definition of your morality' is redefined as 'ethics' and there's something else that's as objective as the absolute, which in their terms is believed and called 'morality' as the ultimate knowledge.

Because of the difference in the belief and definition of morality, the answer to "whether the ends justify the means" could be slightly different to some extent between us. Those who believe morality would have the belief in universal moral principles that give them a common cause to define and justify the end, which in turn could justify the means as long as the end is moral and worth pursuing.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 09:53 pm
truth
Greyfan, is Metaethics right? Did you ever say that you didn't believe in the EXISTENCE of morality or morals? I thought you only disbelieved in ABSOLUTE morals. Morals as objective "givens" in nature, as opposed to rules made up by people in cultural systems. To me morals are forms of "frozen ethics."
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Aressler
 
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Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 11:27 am
Couldn't you call the constitution a set of so called morals? People have tried to deny the constitution but not on a large scale. So Is the constitution universal. I don't think so, but is it moral? I would have to say that I think it is.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 02:07 pm
truth
Aressler, do you think the moral nature of the Constitution is such because you do not consider its legal propositions to be immoral, or do you sense a connection between it and sacred beliefs? Remember, the Constitution did not provide for women's suffrage or the freedom from slavery when it was first written.
I see it as a perfectly secular document, and I just read an article somewhere (NY TIMES?) making this argument, noting that religious leaders of the time were furious with the founding fathers for framing the Document in secular terms.
I do not think, however, that just because the Constitution is secular that it has nothing to do with ethics. I agree that the "laws" of which it is constructed were believed by the framers to be both pragmatic and ethical in nature--but not enjoined by God.
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Aressler
 
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Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2004 03:03 pm
The only connection that I see between the constitution and sacred beliefs is that they both are meant for good. I think that the religous leaders at the time would have been furious due to the fact that the framers were not enjoined with God. (or at least most of them, I guess we don't know for sure). They were more of the intellects of their time. The constitution was secular but the bible for example has a little secularity as well, but not anywhere like slavery or the sufrage of women.
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