Thursday, February 24, 2005
Moral relativism stands in contrast to moral absolutism, which sees morals as fixed by an absolute human nature (John Rawls), or external sources such as deities (many religions) or the universe itself (as in Objectivism). Those who believe in moral absolutes often are highly critical of moral relativism; some have been known to equate it with outright immorality or amorality.
Moral relativism has sometimes been placed in contrast to ethnocentrism. Essentially, the claim is that judging members of one society by the moral standards of another is a form of ethnocentrism; some moral relativists claim that people can only be judged by the mores of their own society. (This is analogous to the stance often taken by historians, in that historical figures cannot be judged by modern standards, but only in the context of their time.) Other moral relativists argue that, as moral codes differ among societies, one can only utilize the "common ground" to judge moral matters between societies.
One consequence of this viewpoint, also known as cultural relativism, is the principle that any judgment of society as a whole is invalid: individuals are judged against the standards of their society; societies themselves have no larger context in which judgement is even meaningful. This is a source of conflict between moral relativists and moral absolutists, since a moral absolutist would argue that society as a whole can be judged for its acceptance of "immoral" practices, such as slavery. Such judgments are inconsistent with relativism, although in practice relativists often make such judgments anyway (for example, a relativist is unlikely to defend slave-owners on relativistic principles).
Another view point is the individual viewpoint, also known as emotivism, where people judge morality based on ones emotions and feelings.
The philosopher David Hume suggests principles similar to those of moral relativism in an appendix to his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).
See also: morality, ethics, Situational ethics.
References and external links
Sunday, February 20, 2005
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush indicated in interviews secretly taped by a friend before he became president that he had used marijuana but would not admit it for fear of setting a bad example for children.
Portions of the tapes, recorded from 1998 to 2000 by author Doug Wead without Bush's knowledge, were aired on ABC News on Sunday and published by The New York Times. Their authenticity was verified by the media outlets but has not been independently checked by Reuters. (Click Link above for full story)
.:: So what does this mean? ::.
This means that the guy, GW Bush is a duplicitous bankrupt twit who got to where he is by playing the power game of family which is to say used the despotistic tools that the power elite have used since day one. What is an example of power elite? Hmmm, perhaps King George of Briton, aka that guy that our American Founding Fathers broke away from in a search for freedom. What is day one? Hmmm, perhaps since the days Aristotle pened his Organon. The Western thought with it's outline starting interestingly enough in the very soils the War for Oil is being fought now... was then nutured in Greece and is outlined decently here.
What is the point? The point is the the NEOCONSERVATIVES have gotten this war going, the NeoCon folks put GW Bush back in office by calling a MORAL urgency for the conservative religous folks to elect GW Bush back on his 'higher moral character' and the guy is a DESPOT.
At some moment in time the American people will come to know with out a doubt about the truth of GW Bush and his skating out on his minimal duty at the National Guard and yet this guy is pushing war and sending our children to their death when he would not answer the calling himself in his time of the Vietnam Conflict. At some moment in time the obvious wrong of the way of the last remaing SUPERPOWER trumping around with a big stick will be seriously visable to all with clarity. The problem is.... the NEO CON folks want to see the end.
The NEO CON folks want Apocalypse to occur becuase they feel that is when Jesus will return. What is the problem with Jesus returning? Well it begs a serious question to be asked... kinda eluded to in the Indiana Jones Last Crusade... Jesus was a poor carpenter, the rich guy in the movie thought the Holy Grail would be this elaborate jewel encrusted thing. When it was a simple cup from a simple JEWISH CARPENTER... does anyone think these people today will recognize Jesus today? Come on... the probability is slim to none.
The idea is like the Buddhist emplore, everyone has a Buddha nature within. The folks, the NEO CONS are betting the farm that white charriots will come from the sky and ZAP PING BANG will change a desolate landscape into UTOPIA Heaven a Garden of Eden.
Well.... eventually the reality of Bush and the politic of today will become evident to the majority... will it be too late to stop the spiral into a desolation of the world? What will it take to rebuild?
Good moral character, ethics, compassion, desire for balance of all things, skills of a basic nature like understanding of how things work...
We may or may not have the internet, gas motors, telephones, refrigeration for food... clean water... what will we do?
Study up now huh?
Bush did inhale and he is driving this train too fast into the station.... watch out Casey Jones!
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Professor Brian Lepard of the University of Nebraska in the United States said that violations of human rights appear to be relentlessly increasing despite dramatic advances last century aimed at safeguarding them.
Professor Lepard was delivering the Dr. Aziz Navidi Memorial Lecture, which is named after a prominent Baha'i lawyer renowned for his courage and skill in defending persecuted Baha'is.
The conference held 9-12 December 2004, attracted participants from 10 countries and was organized by the Law Association of the Tahirih Institute, an educational institute of the Dutch Baha'i community.
"International law and world religions must form a new partnership, drawing on their mutual strengths if human rights are to become a living reality for human beings groaning under the yoke of oppression, tyranny, and deprivations of their most basic human needs," Professor Lepard said.
Professor Lepard said that many human rights are not enforced internationally because there is no agreement on their moral basis. That shortcoming helps some governments and individuals justify their violation of human rights, he said.
States are beginning to recognize the moral bankruptcy of much of existing international law and are emphasizing the need for a moral foundation for legal norms, he said. In addition, enlightened religious leaders are showing a growing interest in modern-day human rights law.
Professor Lepard said the moral and ethical teachings of religions -- which underpinned international law at its historical formation -- give that moral foundation to human rights by declaring that they are God-given rights. They also help prioritize those rights, and they give recognition of individual duties to promote and protect the human rights of others.
"The ethical teachings of the world religions underscore that all human beings are members of one human family and are thus are entitled to the same fundamental human rights," Professor Lepard said.
Only the spiritual principle of the oneness of humanity will help people build bridges of friendship with those of other religions, nationalities or races and provide a firm foundation for respecting the rights of others, he said.
Among other papers delivered by Baha'i lawyers were:
- "State and Religious Order in Baha'i Theology" by Tajan Tober (Germany).
- "The Oneness of Humanity as a Contemporary Legal Principle" by Neysun Mahboubi (United States).
- "The Place of Idealism in an Emerging International Legal Order" by Salim Nakhjavani (United Kingdom).
- "From Empire to Empathy: Law, Spirituality, and the Oneness of Humankind," by Payam Akhavan.
Other contributions to the conference came from a legal officer with the International Criminal Court, Rod Rastan; two Dutch lawyers, Karlijn van der Voort and Nushin Milani; and Baha'i scholar and lawyer Susan Lamb.
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Sunday, February 06, 2005
What I found in multiple places was a list of 'responses' by the professor and surprise surprise the only places running the stuff.... underground radical sites. Where is the mainstream media? This is quoted ...
"If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name." said Ward Churchill, Jan 31 2005 regarding the september 11 (9/11) world trade tower terror.
What about the concept is burning people? Why is it that when I read, I nod my head thinking ... yeah what about the pain the US Government has pushed on other people in other places? On people right here at home? Why is it that our representative government publically creates situations where tortue is taking place, then when public quivers at the idea, the only ones who's heads are rolling are the white trash? Where are the Yale and Anapolois kids that make up the command structure type people?
Why is this still exceptable? Why is this still happening? Why is it that our hero's used to be white trash and now they are our scapegoats? Dannial Boone, Abraham Lincoln for instance where poor appalachia types.
Free speach is not only about content we approve of. Free speach, the free radicals, the dissenting voices are the devils advocates that help people look at both sides of an issue, or at other viewpoints, or cause us to wake up and stair at the mirror. With out people like Ward Churchill dissenting, where are the controls in society to dissallow attrociteies? Why are we so pious and above reproach?
Do people deny that we the American people are underwriting our government who do things to not be proud of. Do people deny our government does things underhanded? You mean the government does everything right? You mean like slavery womans rights like healthcare like social security like tearing out rail and putting in roads in LA like the list could go on and on and on.
Free speach is very important. Free speach helps keep this place on a better track then other options out there. If we allow Ward Churchill to be a scape goat, we the America's will slide into a place where poets are jailed for words written and familys are taken away by train to live in camps.
I know this piece is poorly written... but, my point is, with out free speach, we might as well pack it up. Free speach IS THE ESSENCE of America.
We must protect this core value.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
-- Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, interviewed by Roger Lipsey
In the Spring 2005 issue of PARABOLA on Awakening
I first found out about this guy from a http://www.wired.com story line on the topic of frees peech and copyright concerns. Originally my interest in copyright was from work I did on an electronic book idea ( cost of entry into my concept was tied to cost of memory at the time, project got shelved.)E-book's did not do like the hype thought they would but it comes down to the issue of readability while sitting on the commuter train. There are good tools in the manufacturing of high contrast devices but that is a different track to talk about sometime.
One of the magazines I get in the post has been InformationWeek and while it has languished in its usefulness compared to other mags I get, this one caught my eye. "Who owns Weblog content?" (pg.20) by John Foley / firstname.lastname@example.org ... In the story he mentions Bob Roudebush who has a BLOG and does a good job of it IMO. But I was wondering what my old hero Lessig thought...
.::Here is a clip of Lessig's front page from today::.
the (c) office asks a brilliant question
This, as PublicKnowledge notes, fantastic news. For many years, many have been trying to refocus this debate on copyright from the binary questions that p2p sharing seems to raise ("seems to") to the more pragmatic and fundamental questions that this insanely inefficient and bizarrely complex system of speech regulation called copyright raises. When Congress shifted our system of copyright from an "opt-in" to an "opt-out" regime, it transformed copyright from a system that automatically narrowed its protection (and hence regulation) to those works that had some continuing need for copyright protection, to a system that totally indiscriminately spreads copyright to every creative work reduced to a tangible form -- automatically, and for the full term of copyright.
This issue is the focus of our challenge in Kahle v. Ashcroft. It is something I've been whining about in every publication that will have me (see, e.g., this op-ed in the LA Times).
posted by [ Lessig ] on [ Jan 28 05 at 5:12 AM ] to [ free culture ] [ 13 comments ] [ post diffusion: 8 trackbacks + technorati ]
If the concept of the Capitalist economy no longer works, what is next? I summarize that in my opinion the model does not work because in looking only at the bottom line for financial statement and the wants of the shareholders... generational issues are not equated or valued. What happens what is the effect of what is being done today on the generations of tomorrow? The sad thing is we are the shareholders. We are the market force that is like a wave that the corporate reacts to. If we the wave of humanity like something and demand is there, corporations will fill the need. But the effect is the same as the affect of true democracy. Majority of people are not concerned with the social consequences of actions, they are only concerned with basic needs; video games, fast food, sex and beer.
One senses the democracy model and the capital based model is the current best out there to be living in... The other sense though is just because this train has the best service does not mean it is not going to run off the track just the same. Casey Jones watch your speed.....
Soundoff, talkback, comments welcome. What ideas are there for other models that consider the best interests of the planet as much as region and locality and the individual? What new matrix is needed to judge ethics and morality whereby to sustain peace and good health to the largest number of people?
.::How does copyright concern play in? .... questions, all questions::.