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Philosophy: Moral Theory

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[13 Sep 2006|10:18am]

Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
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[14 May 2006|05:31pm]

I find it so ironic that it's the supposedly pacifistic, tolerant liberal who always ends up casting the first stone. Have you ever watched a KKK or Neo Nazi rally? The KKK members never physically attack anyone; it is always the dissenting crowd who gathers to attempt to shout them down who ends up throwing a fist or a rock. Does that mean what the KKK does is right? No, of course not, but it tells a tale of hypocricy; that those who are loudest in demanding freedom of speech and of the press are the first ones to attempt to forcibly silence those who question their ideals. There is no uncorrupt political system. Politics is all a matter of choosing which platform you hate the least.
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No Such Thing As Luck - A Biblical Perspective [05 Jul 2006|04:04pm]

Luck’s True Identity

Luck is a much-used word in our modern-day vocabulary. We hear it used over and over again today. Good and bad luck are concepts we actually have known about from our youth. References to luck being the direct cause behind this-and-that event are as commonplace to us as the daily rising of the sun. What luck truly is and is not, however, are going to become fully evident shortly.
The following straightforward presentation of luck’s true meaning should be tremendously helpful to those who need honest answers about this wayward concept. First we will look at what luck is not:
Luck is not fate, fortune lot, destiny, or chance. All of these concepts are outgrowths of pagan idolatry. They describe the meaningless qualities and attributes of false, pagan gods. Consequently, they are bogus concepts that describe nothing existing in reality – they cannot rightfully define luck.

Luck is not an inexplicable force that cannot be understood, explained, or accounted for. The natural-minded, irrational man mistakenly imagined the existence of a force called luck, and then said, “It can not be explained.” The only forthright and truthful explanation for the ultimate forces behind good and evil, however, are clearly defined by God’s Word – our Bible. There are no other spiritual forces affecting our lives beyond those named by this greatest of all books, and upon this reality we can confidently rest.

Luck is not a source of prosperity, nor is it the cause of evil and destruction. Early in their existence, men denied God and His Word. They began to devise their own explanations and beliefs about the causes of prosperity and destruction. Eventually, in Roman times, men attributed prosperity to a goddess named Fortuna. Today, the goddess Fortuna is called luck and people continue to foolishly and mistakenly credit it with the power to bestow prosperity. The true and abiding source of prosperity, however, is God, the Creator of heaven and earth. The blessings we enjoy in life are from Him. The source of evil, destruction, and death is from the archenemy of God, called the devil or Satan.

Additionally, luck is none of the following:
An innocent, harmless, crutch-word that can be used without any real impact or consequences.
A natural impulse operating through personal instinct.
A force that comes and goes in cycles.
An accident, happenstance or circumstance.

Now that we have established what luck is not, finally we can move ahead with certainty and accurately name what luck is, and what it has been, throughout its sordid history.

Luck is a religious devotion. Those who embrace its meaning, sing its praises. They pay it homage. They bow to it within the depths of their hearts and minds, seeking its blessing and summoning its protection from harm’s way. They believe in luck’s power and they attribute its works to many categories of life. Their outstanding confession, and the manner in which they embrace luck, certainly is a religious devotion. A Confession of luck is surely a religious acknowledgement of one’s belief in the power of a god.

Luck is a corruption of sound thought and will. It was after Adam lost his spiritual connection with God that the sound thinking of men and women started to corrupt. The foolish reasoning of natural-minded men sought to elevate their thinking above God’s Word. The evil conclusions of godless men attributed prosperity and safety to idolatrous gods- gods they had imagined and made with the works of their own hands. Their corrupted theology ascribed power to objects that had no power.

Luck is a misguided belief in the existence of a metaphysical god. The supposed god of luck is mysteriously hidden from view; nevertheless, many believe it is a generating force causing good, and working evil. Although there is no physical semblance to see or touch, active belief in this metaphysical god continues. Popular belief in luck is kept alive by the metaphysical teachings of mythology. This bewildering body of metaphysical theology has been elevated to a place almost like Scripture. These legendary, “scripture-like” records have captivated people’s believing. They depict the defining qualities of what luck is. It is to the unsound, idolatrous images of chance, fate, destiny, and fortune that they give homage. Luck has become the modern embodiment of these ancient pagan theologies, and it is to this metaphysical luck god that people knell with reverence in their thinking and believing.
The following is a three sentence, concise, “nutshell” summation for the meaning of luck:
Luck is a religious devotion, an idolatrous confession, a corruption
of sound thought and will. It is a misguided belief in the existence
of a metaphysical god; a denial of cause and effect. Luck is passive
submission to fatalistic thinking; a doctrine of devils that stands
diametrically opposed to the Word of God.
Not exactly the dictionary’s definition, but free from cloudiness. It paints a clear picture. It accurately points out truth and exposes error.
The next time a good intentioned friend or acquaintance wishes you “good luck”, be ready. Tell them you had rather have their heartfelt prayers. Tell them how you look to your Heavenly Father for His blessings upon the activities of your life. Let them know it is God who enriches and protects. Let them know that confessing luck is just a modern day form of idolatry. Teach them to count on God. God is always faithful to His Word.
As “luck would have it” is no longer available; it is no longer a viable option. Luck has had its day and that day has ended. It has been buried and laid to rest. All of us can now say, with tremendous authority, “There is no such thing as luck!”

Excerpts from the last chapter of Charlie P. Johnston’s book, No Such Thing As Luck – A Biblical Perspective, available at www.JohnstonPublications.com or Amazon.com.
Copyright © 2005 by Charlie P. Johnston Jr. All rights reserved.
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philosophical poll [12 Jul 2006|01:17pm]

Hi there, I'm loving this `space`...

I've just posted a philosophical poll on my live journal http://rubyslippers01.livejournal.com/ & would love it if you wouldn't mind taking a second out of your day to lend your thoughts & contribute to what should be a interesting response.

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Objective Moral Fact [14 May 2006|04:15pm]

Those who argue for positions which unjustifiably restrict the rights of others to speak against the prevailing authority (as fascism does) have no reasonable expectation of being granted the right to freely express their political views. Allowing them enough rope to prove that they are incapable of actually valid argumentation is a charititable act; cutting them off once sufficient evidence is gathered is not blameworthy.

So what? [14 May 2006|12:44pm]

Even if El Presidente "declassified" Plame's information, it's still criminal; regardless of their protestations otherwise, there is no reasonable explanation of the chain of events except that it was politically motivated. US intelligence assets were lost in a time of war as a result of the actions of the administration; that is "adhering to [the] Enemies [of the People of the United States of America], giving them Aid and Comfort", by definition. Consequently, this administration is guilty of treason and is, literally, a criminal regime.
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[13 Jan 2006|03:31pm]

This is some kind of quasi-psychological, quasi-philosophical reflection. Not much in the way of argument really. Just an sketchy idea:

The tone and content of moral thoughts and feelings differs depending on which of three (maybe more, less, I'm not sure) different relationship-schemata it occurs in the context of. These are:

Self-independent/other-dependent(parent): If the other individual is under your control or in some way dependent on you, the primary moral duties are utilitarian. You should act in their best interests and to protect them, possibly against their wishes.

Self-dependent/other-dependent(child): If the other individual is in a position of control and responsibility, the primary moral duty is obedience and submission, on the premise that they know what's best and you don't. It may also include moral duties based on how something seems to another person more than what concrete effects it has (I suspect that much 'sexual morality' may have links with this schema).

Self-independent/other-independent(adult): If both of you are independent and (fairly) autonomous beings, the primary moral duties consist in honesty, respect for the other's choices, and the honouring of both explicit and implicit contracts.

This seems to me to make some small amount of sense, in terms of making sense of our often conflicting moral intuitions. It suggests, moreover, that some cases of moral conflicts result from seeing the same entity in two or more different ways.

X-posted in real_, just_, and vanilla.
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Fallacious Reasoning [13 Dec 2005|09:33pm]

Appeal to Emotion is not suddenly valid because it's being used to argue against ethical realism.

Appeal to Force is not suddently valid because it's being used to argue against ethical realism.

Negative Appeal to Common Practice (that not everybody or every society agrees about every aspect of something) is not suddenly valid because it's being used to argue against ethical realism.

I have to yet to see a valid argument against ethical realism.
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History and Moral Philosophy [28 Nov 2005|10:21pm]

Historically, when business interests are first married to the military power of a federal government, by which I mean business interests gain control over the political structure which controls the military (which is properly called "corporatism" since it puts the profits of corporations over the rights of the people), the rights of the many are sacrificed for the profits of the few.
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Today's Topic [25 Nov 2005|01:03pm]

I find Kant's moral theory extremely complex and oftentimes confusing when you try to apply it to actual situations.

How does Kant feel about abortion?
Does this depend on when a person becomes a rational agent- or does it depend on whether there's a possibility of capability of rational agency?

Furthermore, are you allowed to abort if the baby is the product of rape and you were the victim? Doesn't Kant say that if someone is acting irrationally, and treating you as a means rather than an end in yourself, then you don't need to obey categorical imperative?

I find this issue in relation to Kantian ethics extremely confusing. Clarification anybody?
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Today's Topic [14 Nov 2005|03:34pm]

For Kant, morals are based on universal law, to be immoral is to be irrational.
I find this view to be really extremist... with a utilitarian, I'm going to argue at least partial psychological egoism, and claim that we have a leaning toward being motivated out of our own self-interest, so we can a lot more easily stomach utilitarian theory...

On the other hand, Kant is so far from practical concerns (when I say this I mean consequences in regard to self-interest) that they seem to be polar opposites.

Given at least some psychological egoism, why should anyone bother to buy into Kant's account of morality?
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The Daily Show on Gay Marriage [10 Nov 2005|03:12pm]

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Today's Topic [06 Nov 2005|03:00pm]

Give an account of respect (what it is- but don't ONLY give a list of attributes or examples if possible).
Then explain how respect relates to morality, if it does at all. If not, give an argument for why it does not.
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Today's Topic [05 Nov 2005|07:20pm]

What are the most extreme moral theories you've come across in your time?
Why do you consider them to be extreme? Please provide details and examples of why this is so.
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Bring It [25 Oct 2005|07:19pm]

What possible coherent arguments could you have against the following principle offered as the fundamental principle of a mixed consequentialist-deontology? I will admit that the axiology underlying it is that freedom is inherently valuable, but I highly doubt that anybody who desires to unjustly restrict the freedom of any other person wishes their own freedom to be similarly restricted.
All moral agents have the right to do whatever they want as long as doing so does not create an unreasonable risk of infringement upon any right of any other moral agent.

Addendum: It being provable that a particular type of action has a 50% or greater probability of infringing upon any right of any person would qualify it as "unreasonable risk" and warrant its being stopped before it happens (like with drunk driving). Or, if an otherwise reasonable act actually does infringe upon a right, but it still wouldn't be warranted to stop it, since we don't know it's going to do that, but, I think we would be warranted in imposing compesantive (not punitative) punishment.
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Today's Topic [16 Oct 2005|11:04pm]

Is the separation of epistemic and ethical/moral claims always a possibility?
How about other fields than just epistemology? Does ethics get mixed in with other fields too?

Are there times when ethical statements are inseparable from other types of statements?
How can we solve mixing them together... or is there just no solution sometimes?
3 comments|post comment

Today's Topic [12 Oct 2005|08:40pm]

Is it moral or immoral to teach sex ed in schools?
At what age should we begin? And at what ages is it immoral/moral?

Late highschool?
Early highschool?
(Middle school, if you have it where you are?)
Late elementary school?
Early elementary school?

Please back up your position with reasoning or evidence, not just opinions founded upon assumption.
16 comments|post comment

War and Morality [10 Oct 2005|04:42pm]

Under what circumstances is it morally permissible to declare war on another country? Is there such thing as a moral obligation to invade a foreign country whose government is perceived to oppress its people, or is this out of the jurisdiction of other nations? For those of you who are pacifists, what is to be done about human rights violations around the globe that are not merely isolated incidents but are in some way systemic? Can this be mitigated by protest alone, or is some invervention that may likely result in violence justified?

I've sometimes heard it implied that war somehow stands outside of morality, that moral reasons are not required to engage in war and that the justification for war is strictly pragmatic. Is it the case that wars are inevitable, perhaps owing to human nature, limited resources, ect? If you believe so, how is it that we can derive a solid distinction between conflict at the international and intra-national levels, with the former being amoral and the latter normally being thought to answer to justice and morality?
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Today's Topic [09 Oct 2005|01:40am]

Is a person morally responsible to themself?
How so?

Can morality exist if only 1 person exists or does it require at least more than 1 person?
How many people does it require, and why?
4 comments|post comment

Today's Topic [08 Oct 2005|01:08pm]

If you see someone drowning, how much of a moral obligation do you have to save them?
Explain why, and whether or not you have this obligation depending on whether or not it is actually within your power to save them or not.

Do you have any other attached moral obligations- like to track down their family, or call a lifeguard or something of that sort, even after the person has died?
17 comments|post comment

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