Posted by DA Morgan on Feb 04, 2004 at 18:59
Re: Ethics (Pasti)
Communism was the greatest form of government ever conceived of by the mind of man ... provided of course one divorces it from the reality of humor behavior and biology.
So your question is actually quite complex and can not be made simple with any tool other than a large hammer.
Can I divorce ethics and religion? Absolutely. Can you? Perhaps. Can most of the people we cohabit this planet with? Absolute not!
If one views ethics as a set of rules governing individual behavior intended to provide for the "common good" no where does one have to bring in god or gods or other fabricated entities. But lets go for a pure science ethics issue and see how it is being played out in the real world. Lets talk about genetic engineering.
Can if benefit the common good? No question about it. It can potentially cure diseases, save money, decrease misery, pain, and suffering.
So why is it opposed by some, who are they, and what is the basis for their opposition?
They believe that the improvements to the common good stated above, and which they do not deny, are offset by a damage to the common good caused by a perceived devaluation of the value of human life.
Both sides are arguing the same thing. What is best for the common good. They just disagree as to what that common good is.
Keep in mind that, to reflect back on your example, it is humane to shoot a horse or put down a dog. Grandma, however, is made to suffer in agony for years long after she no longer has any quality of life. And most view this as ethical.
If it helps you at all ... a decade or more ago ... some research work was done on game theory that may be what you are seeking. Players that cooperated were more likely to win. And what constituted "cooperation" was exactly the same as the best strategy worked out by totally dispassionate comuters.
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