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OT: Moral justufication (was aesthetic evaluation)

From:Andy Canivet <cathode_ray00@...>
Date:Friday, June 14, 2002, 20:07
>From: J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...> >Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...> >To: CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU >Subject: Re: aesthetic evaluation (was: RE: (OT) Music >Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 13:41:38 EDT > >In a message dated 06/13/2002 11.34.38 AM, butsuri@BTOPENWORLD.COM writes: > > >JS Bangs writes: > > > And Rosta sikyal: > > > > > > > > Where did the word "justifiable" come from? If we elect >principles, > > > > > what justification need there be for them? > > > > > > > > It's their justifiability that makes moral and aesthetic principles > > > > and judgements more than a mere matter of taste. If we elect > > > > unjustifiable principles, then judgements based on those principles > > > > inherit that unjustifiability. > > > > > > If I may jump in late with a "Me, too," I wholly agree with what And >is > > > saying, both here and in his original post. Although we may never >agree >[... ] on > > > a set of aesthetic principles, just as we may not agree on moral > > > principles, it's still better to attempt to formulate and justify > > > aesthetics and morals, instead of simply acquiescing to "anything >goes." > > > IMHO. > > > > >How does one justify moral or aesthetic principles other than with > >respect to a set of moral or aesthetic principles? > > IMHO... a rigid, over-defined set of moral and aesthetic principles is >not adaptable enough for survival in this age nor free or creative enough >-AND- none at all is sheer nihilism and/or existentialistic apathy... these >are both extremes. > So IMMHO some kind of flexible "middle path" 'tween these extremes is >always best :) and even this may fluctuate depending on necessity, >contingency or situation. Or inspiration/creative impulse. Sh*t Happens... >go >with the flow ;) > "Profound but contradictory ideas may exist side by side... Each tells >us >something important about where we stand in the universe." - Neil Postman > Does this make sense - both logically and intuitively 0_o? ;) > >Hanuman Zhang {HANoomaan JAHng} /'hanuma~n dZahN/ > >~§~
Yes - it absolutely makes sense. I believe this sort of creative responsiveness is what is meant by wisdom. Moral judgements are a skill, not the application of an algorithm. Morality will always fail if it depends entirely on formally defined rules, and likewise if it defaults to relativism ("my opinion is the only one that matters") or nihilism ("nothing matters so take what you can get"). But this is because of the Cartesian distinction between subject and object - the moral center is either totally objective (and thus fails to account for the individual), or totally subjective (and thus fails to account for the community / collective). Morality has to transcend this distinction and account for subjective experience and objective theory at the same time in order to be effective. If not, you get pretty much what we have right now - a choice between tyranny or anarchy; or at best a hugely complicated set of codes that only functions in the most extreme circumstances, and only after the fact (i.e. where the morality is defined in terms of the consequences of an infraction, instead of in terms of the motivation not to "infract"). Andy _________________________________________________________________ Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.