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Old 03-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #55
Samuel Dravis
 
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Really? Just because my last post was eaten by a crashed browser, and vanished forever into the ether, and I haven't gotten around to re-creating a response it took me almost an hour to type out in the first place... please don't take it to mean I have conceded the point.
Yes, really. I don't see how your views are logically consistent (I assumed you would do something in the mugging example), and you should have to explain yourself if you want to be taken seriously.

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I was going to just forget it all, let the point rest on my part, and let others take up the battle, however... since a detailed discussion of moral relativism and moral absolutism seems to be getting a bit far afield of the purpose of this thread. There are also deep discussions of "Free Will," the meaning of "privacy," and the role of the state in enforcing individual morality on people that we could get into while on the subject... but all of that seems a bit outside the main thrust of this thread.
I'm glad you decided to stick with it, because I think the defense of your positions would be interesting to see. Those are all perfectly fine discussions within the context of the thread, as it deals with the moral consequences of abortions. Go ahead if you feel like it.

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I will say this right now, though: There is one, and only one person that I have any power to make moral judgements for; and that is myself. I am the only person whom I have any control over in terms of spiritual salvation... if you wish to call it that.
Yes, you've said that before, and I asked you if you would do anything about a person being mugged. Since I think that most people are what is generally accepted as 'good,' I assumed you would do something. If you'd like to correct me, then do it. Again, I'm not interested in your spiritual salvation and it has nothing to do with this topic.

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I also don't feel I have the power or the authority to judge any other person in moral terms, having never been in their shoes. For example: never having been a young girl faced with the prospect of a life-altering unexpected pregnancy, I cannot state with any certainty exactly how I would react in that situation.
Therefore, I can't judge her on the actions she chooses to take at that point. That is something she has to work out on her own, based on the moral and ethical background she has been raised with.
I am not God, and have no way of seeing into her heart. Any decision she makes at that point will have to worked out between her and her deity.
You don't have to be God to determine if it's morally correct to protect other's rights to their own independent decisions. Indeed, if you really feel that no one has a right to protect that, ok. Just remember that you cannot condemn or interfere with anything that any other person does, and it is actually immoral by your standards to do so. That means you cannot say, for example, that people who commit genocide in Africa are 'bad', 'evil', 'wrong', etc., because that implies moral judgment and you cannot render moral judgment.

Do you believe that the people who commit genocide in Africa are wrong to do so?

I reject moral relativism, not because it doesn't sound good (it does, I agree), but because it is useless in determining how I should act and react in relation to other people. You could be morally relative if you're the only human being that exists, or if everyone in society never, ever took decisions for others upon themselves, but those are pure hypotheticals, much the same as perfect institutions of government. They don't take into account imperfection and cannot be applied in practice the same way as they are in theory. Theoretically, communism is a good idea. Realistically, people do not act in a way that allows communism to work, and it ends up historically as worse for the people than the alternatives. You may pay lip service to relativism, but you must base your decisions about others on some objective view (it's impossible to prove your objectivity is correct, but you must choose one to be able to justify preventing the mugger from hurting the woman).

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I read a good op/ed piece on Slate.com yesterday while thinking about all this. I agree with many of the points the writer makes:
Your article says nothing about the morality or immorality of abortions nor tries to prove it one way or another, so why is it relevent?

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Abortion cannot be stopped.
Crime cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Violence cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Abuse cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.
Murder cannot be stopped, so we should just accept it.

Yes, that's an incredibly useful idea on which to base your actions. I noticed the author of edlibs' article used it too. It wasn't that effective there either.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 03-07-2006 at 02:28 PM.
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