CURRENT RUMINATION: Does it normally matter if we survive death?
Welcome to the Rumination Room. In this space we hope to engage people in productive discussions pertaining to ethics. If you wish to participate we ask that you read the discussion guidelines below to help conduct a constructive conversation. You will also need a Facebook account to participate. The site’s moderator reserves the right to delete any comments not following the basic rules of acceptable conduct.
In real life, people will use a variety of moral theories to justify their position. This often leads to people talking past each other, but the diversity of real morality or ethics is much more useful for solving problems than if only one theory is adopted. The reason why is that one theory is not complex enough to do the work we need done in ethics.
Remember that people use different theories, principles, ethical factors, and so on to make their decisions. Their views must be respected as much as any reasonable person’s views.
There are two principles that must be applied at all times when discussing ethics and interacting with people. They are:
Questions of meaning come before questions of truth.
Before we can determine if a statement is true or false, we must first understand what it means. This will cut down on a lot of misunderstandings that could be avoided by a simple question asking what something means.
The Principle of Charity.
Each person deserves to have his or her views heard and interpreted in the best possible light. It also helps us find the best evidence first, instead of fooling around with ideas that are weak.
Step 1. Assume the person speaking is intelligent and has something important to say.
Step 2. Take what the person has said, written, communicated, and then make it as strong as possible.
Step 3. Evaluate the revised material to find its strengths and weaknesses. Be fair about it.
Step 4. Based on the evidence, draw a conclusion. Has the person made her case or not?
You will be responsible for using these principles throughout the discussion.