Is ethics necessary any longer?

Does anyone here believe that in these times ethics is needed?

Or is it now unnecessary?

Do we need to see each individual as unique?

That is one way to be Ethical.

What say you?

Ethics is always needed so is not something specific to these times
Individuals are unique but that is something independent of ethics

Yes, I agree Ethics is always needed.

When you say, however, that “individuals are unique but that is something independent of ethics,” I must disagree. For the capacity to perceive an individual as “unique,” in the sense of the word “unique” as I use it, is to have a perspective on that person as being uncountably valuable. It works like this: when one means ‘it is all there’, one may judge something or someone as either:

Systemic: Perfect
Extrinsic: Good
Intrinsic: Unique.

When you Intrinsically-value someone, you find them to be unique. And you are thus being ethical. To I-value x, is (an abbreviation for) to Intrinsically-value x. To I-value an individual is - by definition within the discipline of Ethics - to be ethical. [When I speak of “the discipline of Ethics,” what is meant is: the field of study and research known as the Unified Theory of Ethics.]

For details, see the references below, in the signature:

Ethics can be one of the ways in which individuals are unique but it is not conditional on this
As there are many who have the same ethical values yet they still retain their individuality

I found this an odd question. Ethics are a part of these times, for good and for ill. It’s like asking is evaluation needed in these times. Well, evaluation is happening and will continue to. It can be done in a variety of different ways, including contradictory ways. Without ethics we don’t have these times, we have something else.

I don’t think so. Even if there were two individuals who were exactly alike, I think we should still not treat one poorly since the other is doing fine. I don’t think difference is what leads to valuing someone, but rather empathy for an experiencing entity.

True enough. I agree wholeheartedly in re “empathy for an experiencing entity.” That capacity is what the Hartman Value Inventory measures. If one has it, one scores high in: Intrinsic Value development. {To fail to have it is called ‘moral astigmatism.’

I sense a confusion here, due to the fact that I should have made the following distinction earlier - for which I apologize.

Let’s not conflate “unique” with “singular.” In logic the singular is also known as a one-tuple; or one-of-a-kind. It is a unicept. It is in a class by itself. Singulars are also discussed in Ontology, where they are contrasted with pluralities and universals. They are, in that field, designated as “particulars.”

In the frame-of-reference known as the Unified Theory of Ethics, "unique"signifies an Intrinsic valuation of an individual perceived as a whole. It is contrasted with conformist; a group of conformists behave like lemmings, or even robots in a sense. To say of someone that he or she is unique is to be complimentary. It is NOT merely different, although it is good to make a difference to live a meaningful life.

OK, but then it sounds like a person should be valued more highly if they are unique. Now I actually tend to value unique individuals more than other people, but I am not sure, for example, the law should.

I am not arguing that “a person should be valued more highly if they are unique.” Rather I’m explaining that when you speak of someone as “unique” you are valuing them highly (namely, as having aleph-one properties. …a very high number indeed!! See the entry ‘Science of Value’ in Wiki.) You are seeing them as deep and complex, as having a story to tell.
It sounds like you haven’t yet read the sections entitled What is Ethics? in the various essays listed below. You, of course, are not obliged to, but it sure would help!

…never claimed that “the law should.”

Yes, the new paradigm for ethics being offered in the References below does serve as a guide for Jurisprudence, and for legislation, and for Law School curricula - - however it does not indicate what you said it does in the passage quoted at the top of this post

Law and Justice are explained and analyzed axiologically in Ch.2, “On Justice” pp. 8-12, of the paper, ETHICAL ADVENTURES: Topics of Moral Significance, a paper which is listed in the Signature below; as well as on pp. 31-33 in the booklet titled How to Live Successfully. Here is a link to the latter pdf file: … SFULLY.pdf

BTW, I believe that no one is above the law, even a Chief Executive.

Comments? Other views?

so long as the law does not violate its contract with, and obligation to, its citizens, i would agree with this. but the moment it does, the victim of that violation is in principle (and practice if he’s got the minerals) no longer bound by that contract. for some, these ‘ethics debates’ don’t even begin; the question of ‘what is the right thing to do in society’ is the least of their problems.

in prison i knew a guy who was serving twenty-five years for a murder he claimed he didn’t commit. he was affraid to take the case to trial, because if he lost, he’d have gotten a life sentence… so he took the ‘plea bargain’ for twenty-five and pled guilty. he believed that the prosecutor just wanted to get another conviction under his belt and close the case, so he chose a suspect to charge who he thought he could persuade a jury to believe had done it. he told me when he got out he would find that prosecutor and kill him. the only thing holding him back, the only thing that still stirred in him, questioning his courage to do so, was his belief in god. well, i took care of that in about three weeks of walks on the yard with him during afternoon rec.

this is an example of a person who is no longer constrained by the rule of law. he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit, lost a quarter of his life, and will spend the remainder of his life as a social outcast who will experience great difficulty everywhere (work, family, friends etc.)

of course, such people still have a morality, but it is of another ethos… something older, more decisive, less multifarious, casual and flippant. call it ‘old school’ if you like.

in any case, for an ethics to be possible, the entity that enforces and upholds the laws which embody that ethics, must abide by those ethics before anything else, or… no deal. tell rousseau, hobbes and locke to put that in their book.

most philosophers who fiddle with morality lack the experience to wrestle with it in the first place, and no amount of text book theorizing will ever equal the knowledge one gets from facing the great two-faced beast in person.

You do not have to look to such belabored examples to understand the precious incompatible example.

Look at old school military ethics on desertion. It was a rare thing for deserters during Vietnam to be ethically convicted yet morally exonerated, when then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara upon his retirement wrote a memoir indicating the futility and groundlessness of the war.

The basic ontology of reasonable ethics has been passed by primarily, only to be short circuited and arruxtirally defeated after the fact.

As it says on p. 28 of THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS, (which is the first selection below, in the References, where a link to it is offered) in the listing of Moral Principles, obey the law when possible, but if the statute is an unjust law - in that it violates one or more of the principles - one is NOT obliged to comply with that law; one is to be a conscientious objector to such a law!
Here is the exact quote:

If he knew his Ethics, he would conclude that this plea he took was an immoral thing to do: he was not being true to himself, nor to the truth. He ought to have called into question his beliefs about the prosecutor, the jury, the law, etc. And he should never have plead guilty to false charges - thus choosing a life as an inmate for many, many years.
Furthermore, If he really believed in a good God, he would have faith hat some public defender would plant doubt in (in at least one of) the jury’-member’s minds about him as a suspect.

To do philosophy well you need a functioning brain.

To build a stable social order you need ethics.

Ethics is as necessary as a functioning brain :exclamation:

So the answer to the question, Is ethics necessary? is: Yes, it is.

To learn about ethics, read the references in the Signature below. Then let us know t what insights you gained.

Give suggestions for improvement. For example, show us how to move up to the next level - of precision, of clarity, of comprehensiveness, etc.

If you have no suggestions to make after reading over one or more of these papers, then at least you may want to write a brief review - of two sentences - giving your impression of the effort. Thanks in advance.

lol. doc, buddy, it duddint work like that. the ‘truth’ can go fuck itself when you run the risk of getting a life sentence for a crime you didn’t commit because you trust that an incompetent jury won’t be persuaded by the rhetoric of an opportunistic piece of shit prosecutor who’s offered no challenge by a court appointed defense attorney who doesn’t give a shit about you and won’t life a finger in your defense. no fuckin’ way do you take a risk like that, because if you lose the trial and get a life sentence… you’ll never have your revenge. so you take the plea offer, do the time, and then get down to business when you get out. lol. ‘the right thing to do’, the doc says. ever been to court, man? ever been tried for a crime you didn’t commit. or worse, ever been charged for a crime… and there was proof you didn’t commit it, but your defense attorney made no effort to use that proof in your favor? you don’t trust anyone in a court room, because ALL of them are full of shit. the practice of law in our capitalistic society is like a sport where the players do anything to get an advance or promotion. there is no morality in any of this. no justice. all about money.

now as an anarchist, i’m perfectly okay with this. in fact, i’d prefer the collapse of all law and order and find no advantage in any of it. i belong in the wild west. but what i’m not okay with is the pitiable nature of those who have the power; that they are still lying and telling the world they stand for ‘truth’ and ‘justice’. just come out already and be proud of the piece of shit that you are, know what i mean? that’s all i ask. instead we gotta play this silly little game where you ruin my life with your cowardly bullshit and then i gotta come hunt you down and make a big mess. yeah it happened to me. details aren’t necessary, but i took four years for a crime i didn’t commit instead of pleading not guilty and risking seven if i were found guilty by a jury of my queers. but my sentence didn’t end when i walked out of prison. what i got was a life sentence. a scarlet letter, you might say. later an administrative mistake was made by a law enforcement agency which got me charged with two more felonies i didn’t commit… at which point i went on the run… got caught four months later, and did two more years in jail (not prison… much worse than prison). and get this; i’m expected to pay ‘rent’ for the two years i spent in the jail. i owe them thousands of dollars. hahahaha. come get it, motherfuckers. nevermind. it’s a long and taxing story, not for the faint of philosophy.

in any case my experience with such matters has formed a strong cornerstone to my overall philosophical world view. i’m an anarchist with leftists leanings through attrition, through experience, through doing battle with monsters. i don’t just own the t-shirt like the anarchist ‘theorists’.

anyway we are in overall agreement regarding what your book is saying about law. but as i’ve explained in the above case, there are extreme circumstances a person can be in which demand of him to abandon his theoretical principles about ‘doing what is right’ and become a pragmatist. you can’t really understand this existential loophole in ethics unless you fall into its gaping jaws, though. see, this all sounds good in books and on forum boards, but there’s much, muuuuch more to it. when you find yourself to be the protagonist in some kafkaesque horror story, you tend to pay less attention to the chatter. this might explain my lack of enthusiasm for the latest threads on ethics whenever they appear. it’s the same ineffective floundering that does nothing to solve the problems i’ve experienced. shirley you understand. now if you’d like to organize a revolution, overthrow the government and begin a restructuring of the criminal justice system (among other things involving the extermination of capitalist bureaucracy in general), you can sign me up.

A truly excellent post that unfortunately demonstrates the contempt that reality has for idealistic notions

Reality does not have contempt. Individuals experience and express contempt.

The papers, links to which are given below, are written for those who already live by some ideals, but who may need some reinforcement to do even better.
They may need to add more Moral Principles to those they already live by, or they may improve by living up to those they already are aware of but which they don’t take seriously enough. In this way they will tend to be even more moral than they are – and thus will be a more-shiing example, a better role-model, a more-powerful force for good in this world.

Maybe they will change by no longer disparaging, dehumanizing, or insulting a human being. Or maybe they will give up shoplifting. I don’t know.

Firstly, though, they have to have a good grasp of what Ethics teaches and recommends …just as it would enhance us all to know what Relativity Theory in Physics teaches us, or what a knowledge of Cosmology teaches us.

The same for Environment Sciences such as Ecology. How many people these days understand why it rains more this year than previously, or why the glaciers are melting, while other areas on this planet are getting colder than usual: "polar vortices, for example. We are experiencing more forest fires, more droughts, more-intense hurricanes, more cyclones, tsunamis, etc. How many see the connection with the amount of carbon we are spewing into the atmosphere? How many appreciate the urgency of this climate-crisis problem?! Relatively few. There is also the same ignorance about Ethics.

Some people ask: “Why should I be moral?”

Suggest to them:
You should be moral because morality is in your best-interest.

Ask people you meet: Isn’t it true that morality is in our best-interest?
(By “morality” is meant: becoming the best that a human being can be and become; a person being true to himself or herself; living by principle, having standards.)

If you agree, then the question arises: What are we doing to make this a more-moral society?

As you have learned, by reading the first booklet listed below, making things better - is the axiom of the new paradigm for Ethics being proposed.

Your comments are welcome…

thinkdr wrote

What you are describing may not benefit another person in fact it may disadvantage or harm another person, but the person you have described would be moral unto themselves regardless.

The description given, that was quoted, is inadequate and highly-abbreviated.

That is why I have an entire chapter on the topic in The Structure of Ethics paper. If one takes the trouble to read those pages, pp.23-40, one will get a better, and fuller, picture of what is entailed in being moral.

Helping others is a direct implication of the more-developed description of “morality” that people will find in that booklet. A link to it is given at the outset of the signature below. q.v.

Anyway, Wendy, don’t you think that “becoming the best a human being can be” includes creating relationships, as well as situations, that benefit others?!!!

----------Henry Staten

What we can say, in response to Henry, is that the human species is evolving. It is gradually coming to appreciate the truths contained in the Unified Theory of Ethics.

These concepts are to be found in the references listed below. We are all members of one family, the family of humankind. We all have rights - as enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and along with these rights go corresponding obligations. We are obliged to be good - morally and ethically good.
What that amounts to is that we are to have empathy, compassion, responsibility, accountability, kindness, readiness to be of service, courtesy and respect – all to the extent possible for us as individuals possessing individuality

We need to gain in understanding …of such concepts as: with regard to the classic question for students of philosophy
" If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around there to hear it, did it make a sound?"
We need to eventually grasp that an answer to this question hinges on a definition of the word “sound.” Before good communication can take place regarding this maatter it is preferable that there is agreement as to the meaning of that word “sound.”

Likewise, with regard ]the moral issue: Shall human societies allow or tolerate abortions to occur? it is preferable if people understand the difference between a fetus and a human baby. A baby is an innocent human being; a fetus is what medical dictionaries define it to be, for it is a medical term.

A fetus probably resembles a fish more than a human. Yes, we can all agree that there ought be as few abortions as possible. Advance birth control makes this feasible.
Burgeoning human population brings with it a number of problems, including more carbon expelled into the shared atmosphere; problems of sustainability with ought to be considered ahead of time. And they will be as humanity evolves.

What are your views?

Do YOU have a firm grasp of (the reliable knowledge known as) Ethics? Are you familiar with the contents of the writings of Dr. Hartman and Dr. Katz on the subject? If not, brush up by reading over, by studying, the offerings below.

When it comes to policy, would you endorse and support the Equal Rights Amendment that recognizes rights for women?

Do you support efforts to take the money out of politics, by an Amendment, or some other way?

Do you support a child-centered society, in which special care is given to the nourishing and upbringing of children - including that they know Ethics and the ABCs of serenity (how to have peace-of-mind; how to have emotional intelligence)?

Speak up. Tell us where you stand.

In my recent post I discussed Applied Ethics, or how theoretical Ethics is relevant to life in this world. When Ethics is applied, activism (in a sense) is the result.

I came upon this quote which is at the intersection where Aesthetics overlaps with Ethics:

--------Vic Mensa

Comments? Questions? Views? :question: