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Passions in Poetry

A Tale of Two Wiki's

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serenity blaze
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0 posted 08-26-2010 06:01 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Moral luck
Main article: Moral luck
The problem of moral luck is that some people are born into, live within, and experience circumstances that seem to change their moral culpability when all other factors remain the same.
For instance, a case of circumstantial moral luck: a poor person is born into a poor family, and has no other way to feed himself so he steals his food. Another person, born into a very wealthy family, does very little but has ample food and does not need to steal to get it. Should the poor person be more morally blameworthy than the rich person? After all, it is not his fault that he was born into such circumstances, but a matter of "luck".
A related case is resultant moral luck. For instance, two persons behave in a morally culpable way, such as driving carelessly, but end up producing unequal amounts of harm: one strikes a pedestrian and kills him, while the other does not. That one driver caused a death and the other did not is no part of the drivers' intentional actions; yet most observers would likely ascribe greater blame to the driver who killed. (Compare consequentialism.)
The fundamental question of moral luck is how our moral responsibility is changed by factors over which we have no control

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_philosophy#M.C3.BCnchhausen_Trilemma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialism


There.

NOW, can we talk philosophy? Could one of you smart folk explain it to me please? And I LIKE analogy, but could we use a fresh one so as to keep this impersonal and therefore a subject we can explore with less risk of personal attack/insult?

I think we can do this, good people. Well, I think ya'll can do this. I need a little help...and in case someone is confused as to what I need help with, it would be the comparison and contrast of the two topics.

Thank you very much.


Cpat Hair
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1 posted 08-27-2010 07:35 AM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

Is the question do circumstances beyond our control at times influence the results of the same behaviors, be it the circumstances or the position we find ourselves in?
yes....
but, to me, in both caes or examples given above, one is no less morally responsible simply because they are hungry or they escaped harming another through their actions.

To steal...is to steal. To be careless, is to be careless. The moral doesn't change because of the circumstances.

Moral luck, to me sounds like an excuse for why "we" society... turn a blind eye.
Which is also to me... totally a different discussion..

:-)

serenity blaze
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2 posted 08-27-2010 08:04 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm still thinking...
Balladeer
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3 posted 08-27-2010 08:44 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

These are really excellent examples to cause one to think, Karen. As Ron says, stealing is stealing and wrong, regardless of circumstances. However, survival and reproduction are the two most basic drives humans have. Are you a thief? An honest person would answer no. Would you steal a loaf of bread to save your starving child? My bet is the answer would be yes. Reminds me of Les Miserables in that light.

In my opinion, the crime is in the justification of it more so than even the actual committment. If I were to steal that loaf of bread to save my child and were caught, I'd like to think I would say, "yes, I knew it was wrong and I did it, anyway." What we seem to have, though, is a society of excuse seekers. Instead of "Yes, I know stealing is wrong but I did it, anyway", we have, "I live in a society where no one cares, where the rich run everything and have so much while I am starving and it so unfair that I didn't have the opportunities others had and, if I want to take something not mine from those who have so much and can afford it, I don't see a problem with it. It's not my fault I was reduced to being forced to commit a crime."

Regardless of whether that person has a point about society, the fact is the action was wrong and no excuse can make it right. There is a lack of people willing to be responsible for their actions, I believe. I would have more respect for a person who says, "Yes, I did it. So what? I'm a thief." than one who claims "I'm not really a thief. Life, society, circumstances, the world, my bad parents, teachers who didn't teach me well, yada yada yada, made me steal. It's Officer Krumpke all over again.

You know what makes me see red? The lawyers who advertise that they can get you out of any ticket or DUI charge. They advertise it on tv, proudly. THERE is a microcosm of our society.

Anyway, thanks for making me think this morning...
serenity blaze
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4 posted 08-27-2010 09:57 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I keep finding myself thinking, "it depends"...grin, and my own sources (those wiki links) are standing there shrugging at me admitting they are pretty much inadequate.

After I get some morning stuff out of the way, I'll dig around some more. Maybe I can actually come up with an opinion of my own.

But thank you, gentlemen. I just have a nagging feeling that I'm missing a component here....hmmm.
Cpat Hair
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5 posted 08-27-2010 10:10 AM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

"In my opinion, the crime is in the justification of it more so than even the actual committment"

Mr. 'Deer... does this statement mean that it is a larger crime to justify an offense than to commit one?

If so, then justifying stealing a loaf of bread by saying you did it to save your child, is an offense worse than stealing the loaf itself?

I think..and it is of course only my poor opinon, but there are multiple levels of questions here...
1. An act that is deemed to be against the law or agains tthe moral code ( ie. Stealing)
2. Motivation for the act. (ie. the stateement I stole it to feed my child)
3. How society or the system deals out punishment to those who break the code.

this could easily end up in the means justify the ends debate...

it is or it isn't a breach of moral code and or transgression against the law...

regardless of the reason it might be done.
The reason it might be done, however, might indeed be understandable to most, which would lead to leniancy in how the issue is dealt with...
hmm.... sounds a bit like liberal judicial values...

  


Sunshine
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6 posted 08-27-2010 09:13 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Hello, Love.

In adding, or not adding to this, when I first read only your post, my first thought was...

Karma.

We only think we have capacity to change the world.

We sometimes forget that the world changes matter, which changes us.

But overall I'm looking forward to all of the others' responses.

Balladeer
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7 posted 08-28-2010 12:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, Ron, it doesn't. Apparently I used the wrong words to make my point, which confused you. When I refer to the "crime" of making excuses, I  was not referring to an actual crime, as in law-enforcement legal and punishable. I was simply referring to crime as in how you would say "It's a crime the way he treats his wife", which does not necessarily mean he beats her or commits actions that are arrestable. I had thought that would be understood but apparently it wasn't so I will try to be more literal in my comments.

Is stealing a transgression of the law? Certainly. Is it against one's moral code? Things get a little trickier there. Whose moral code? A mother who steals the bread may consider it her moral duty to save her child by any means necessary, including breaking the law. We have certainly seen cases of that. Moral codes are not written down in any book I am aware of and, frankly, I am suspicious of anyone who dictates to others what their moral codes or responsibilities should be. By whose definition? WHat qualifies them to be able to do so? Sir Thomas More is a good example. He had possibly the strongest moral code in history. He lived by it but didn't try to force it on others. When imprisoned breaking the law of not doing the king's bidding, he went without complain to prison, knowing that his refusal was against the law but refusing to sacrifice his moral code by condescending. A mother stealing to feed her child may feel the same way, knowing that her action is illegal but feeling her moral responsibility is to do anything to keep her child alive.

When I spoke about people using excuses as outs, I am not referring to the mother. I refer to people who knowingly break the law or act immorally and then claim "It's not my fault!", coming up with some of the most God- awful excuses one could ever hear.

Who is going to judge another's morality? Beats me. In the Bible, thousands of innocent new-borns were murdered. Was that a moral act? If you say yes, how can you justify it? If you say no, then you are calling God's action immoral? The being who arote the commandment "Thou shall not kill", did. Was that moral? Apparently Jews and Christians think so or else they knowingly follow an immoral God? See what happens when one starts trying to define it?

It takes a much smarter man that I am to try to dictate another's morality or pass judgement on them. I don't even try.
serenity blaze
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8 posted 08-28-2010 12:58 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hmmm.

Moral luck, then, is more about ethical conduct? Because if it is about ethical conduct (rules/laws) then we need a point of reference.
At least I would. If such a code were enforced by a majority opinion, then perception of good and evil comes into play. Which is probably why I found that on a "List of unsolved philosphical problems. ?

Consequentialism (I am working this out as I go along) would be the gray area then, if, if my wiki-reference is true, lends itself to the attitude of "the end justifies the means". And? aha!

There on that page I find "deontology"--new word for me--

"deontology derives the rightness or wrongness of an act from the character of the act itself rather than the outcomes of the action,

and onto then,

virtue ethics--"an approach to ethics that emphasizes the character of the moral agent,,
rather than rules or consequences, as the key elements of ethical thinking.

And for Kari's offering, let's also throw in Draconian law, which dictates an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth in the most literal sense. (I think.)

Now, I'm sure there's more to this, but do you think that laws which govern our freedom here in the United States utilize all of the above with varying intensities/emphasis, or just some of the above, or none of the above?

And if you could write the rules yourself, what would be your ethical formula?

(Um, I'd hoped to present the argument in an orderly fashion, from white to grays to black and white--and I hope I succeeded here.)

I'll tidy up all the quote thingies and better link presentation after I tidy up my thought processes.

serenity blaze
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9 posted 08-28-2010 01:00 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ah Mike, you type faster than I. I was hoping to leave Religious law out of this, just to keep it simple for now.

If the thread catches on, I see no reason to not talk about it later, but right now I'm more curious about collective agreement and self-government.
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10 posted 08-28-2010 01:11 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ah, ok. No problem. I don't really see a difference between religious laws and just laws but I can understand that that could open up another completely different avenue to travel down. I rescind that comment

Ass far as luck is concerned, Lee Trevino (the golfer) used to say, "The harder I practice, the luckier I get". I wonder if one could simply say the same about life in general and the morality it produces?
serenity blaze
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11 posted 08-28-2010 01:20 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I've just been thinking a lot lately, but I really am trying harder to be more patient and take the time and utilize a little focus.

How much of each standard would you say would come closest to your personal ideal?
serenity blaze
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12 posted 08-28-2010 01:33 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I think I'll sleep on that tonight, too.

g'nite everybody

Cpat Hair
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13 posted 08-28-2010 03:39 AM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

(chuckling) Mr. 'Deer...
then since the topic is moral luck, we should set aside criminal luck or law and focus on Morals? I do see the difference between the two, and I think to discuss the subject of moral luck we have to agree what morals?

If morals are relative, then the idea of moral luck is relative?
rwood
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14 posted 08-28-2010 08:41 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Am I morally lucky to be born in the Volunteer State? LOL.


That pretty much warps the agent of responsibility due to the environment being disproportionately given to a voluntary state of mind.

That seems too Nietzsche to me.


And there needs be more "types" of moral luck for me to be a fan of the moral theory.

Like: Menocausal....Evidential..etc.

Nice brain tangler!  

Cpat Hair
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15 posted 08-28-2010 08:14 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

Of course you were morally lucky to be born in TN..  LOL

your points are well taken and I happen to agree, in large part.

Balladeer
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16 posted 08-28-2010 09:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hey, Ron, yo u are right. I deviated from the topic. I got caught up in Karen's words about a mother stealing and went off on that tangent instead of moral luck. Sorry about that. It fits in with my ADD!

Ok, moral luck. First let's discuss luck. No doubt luck plays a very important role in our lives. The Beubonic plague killed over half of Europe. It would have been bad luck to be born there then. It would have been bad luck to be born a Jew in Germany in 1920. It is very bad luck to be born in Africa in areas where thousands are being slaughtered, raped and disfigured every month. These victims had no choice in their birth. There are children born with horrible birth defects and others who do not survive birth. These are the rolls of the dice that Lady Luck throws at us. So, yes, luck plays a major role in our lives from birth.

"The fundamental question of moral luck is how our moral responsibility is changed by factors over which we have no control"

Our luck is certainly changed by our circumstances but I don't see where that should influence our moral responsibility. As I understand it, moral responsibility is moral responsibility. It doesn't matter how big your house or bank account is. People should be held responsible for their actions. Unfortunately, we live in a world that follows the Golden Rule, i.e., he who has the gold rules. They are given breaks, special favors. Does their moral responsibility change? It shouldn't, imo. The "luck" seems to come from whether or not grave consequences come from their actions. It does not make them any less culpable, though so I'm really not sure exactly what the question is.
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17 posted 08-28-2010 10:10 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

ah, sir, one has to believe in luck... or is what we call luck, simply a way to explain how but for the grace of god goes I?
Or...is there a predestiny, a grace of god, or are we simply the result of random factors. The products as well as our lives of coin tosses?

fate? Karma? chance?

the answer would depend on the personal beliefs of those discussing... and we would find as many answers I think as we would find beliefs.
For myself, not knowing which answers are true.... I am not sure I am qualified to weigh in on one side or the other...

serenity blaze
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18 posted 08-28-2010 10:16 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Sorry for the confusion. Those aren't my words--that was taken from the article that defined the term. I do apologize for not making the source more clear.

There's gotta be a better source than wikipedia though. And I'll be back around.

The beer tasted bad, the Saints won, and there's a House marathon on tonight. This has nothing to do with the originating post..or does it? Damn if I don't distract m'self.

I'll be back.
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19 posted 08-28-2010 10:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I can assure you that I am not qualified to weigh in on one side or the other, either
serenity blaze
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20 posted 08-28-2010 11:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I need a better analogy, but even more than that, I have to have a moral to my moral luck story. *grin*

I start typing and I lose my focus.

Stories of moral luck and circumstance...I'm hard-pressed to find an example I can use that isn't religious. Lemmeee see--okay.

We seem to WANT parity--we tend to go to great lengths to make good sport in games. We want the teams to win because of ability, and not because of luck, or even say, the circumstance of the wealthier owners being able to "buy the best" thus we put a cap on players salaries, the teams with the worst records get first choice at draft picks, etc.

Now. Do we all agree that these now standard practices are reasonable rules that help to ensure parity in the game?
Balladeer
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21 posted 08-29-2010 12:13 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Agreed...and that has to do with morality and moral responsibility how?
serenity blaze
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22 posted 08-29-2010 12:30 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I just erased my answer TWICE.

*expletive tiny keyboards*

People are getting BIGGER and technology is making things smaller, it's seriously frustrating.

But anyhow, here's where I'm reading now--


Ah, now this is better...

"Moral luck occurs when an agent can be correctly treated as an object of moral judgment despite the fact that a significant aspect of what she is assessed for depends on factors beyond her control. Bernard Williams writes, “when I first introduced the expression moral luck, I expected to suggest an oxymoron” (Williams 1993, 251). Indeed, immunity from luck has been thought by many to be part of the very essence of morality. And yet, as Williams (1981) and Thomas Nagel (1979) showed in their now classic pair of articles, it appears that our everyday judgments and practices commit us to the existence of moral luck. The problem of moral luck arises because we seem to be committed to the general principle that we are morally assessable only to the extent that what we are assessed for depends on factors under our control (call this the “Control Principle”). At the same time, when it comes to countless particular cases, we morally assess agents for things that depend on factors that are not in their control. And making the situation still more problematic is the fact that a very natural line of reasoning suggests that it is impossible to morally assess anyone for anything if we adhere to the Control Principle."

FROM:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-luck/
So I'm thinking that we would need to leave the moral luck alone, and first decide exactly what morality might be, and if it is subjective as a perception of collective agreement, does it being an entity of its own accord?
serenity blaze
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23 posted 08-29-2010 12:41 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Sorry if that's confusing--um, I managed to braid two posts into one somehow. *giggle*

My son warned me about technology.

That's right, I'm talking via the medium my son warned me about...

but actually, that page is good reading so far, because I am so very tediously trying to make my way down to "The justification of laws and punishment" section on the page I just referred ya to...I think.

It wasn't easy getting here without talking about religion or politics either.
rwood
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24 posted 08-29-2010 07:25 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I’m thinking that: An exact decision on what morality might be, borders immorality.

Because we cannot 100% agree on what morality is: Won’t we, in a sense, be in a position of moral opposition? Which is what immorality suggests.

Moral realism? Lol. I’m glad the world is round. I’m not fond of boxes. They are objectively material to the suppression of my subjectively non-material, and very idiosyncratic, traits—Like getting up at 5am for no other reason than to listen to the voice that stirs me.

Some might feel a moral obligation to have me committed, even when they have not a grasp on the greatest good to Whom I’m committed.

And I don’t see how moral exacts could truly be applicable to being true to self, even if one feels they forget self for love, service, duty, or the unknown…etc.


Is it nap time yet?

Hello Ron   Yeah, I feel lucky to be born in Tennessee. By endearment, of course. But I do have to accept that my young'uns didn't feel so lucky and, therefore, they have left the nest for the big wild world. I miss them so much. They'll be back. I'm lucky that they'll miss my cooking! Lol.
 
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