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 Can Feelings be Unethical?
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Boron10
Religion Moderator

USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  08:50:29  Show Profile Send Boron10 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a digression from the Defending Phelps topic.
Originally posted by Dude

b10 said:
Let's clarify this, please: are you saying it is unethical to feel upset when somebody desecrates the symbol of something you love? Robb did not claim flag-burning should be illegal; quite the opposite, in fact. He did not say he would beat somebody up or even speak harshly to somebody burning a flag. He only said that it makes his "blood boil." It angers him.
It indicates an ultra-nationalist mindset.
I understand what you are trying to say, you just happen to be wrong.
I have only one answer to this....
Piss off then? The comparison is appropriate. There are significant dangers to extreme nationalism.

Robb is, of course, free to "feel" any way he wants. That doesn't change the fact that he is wrong. Ultra-nationalism is unethical, those who express this kind of extremist thinking are behaving in an unethical manner.

half said:
Ah, the good old "Reductio ad Hitlerum".
If you feel the comparison is somehow inappropriate, then go ahead and elaborate. Otherwise feel free to join B10 in "pissing off".

This kind of nationalist thinking is a legitimate danger. States have passed LAWS that prohibit burning or desecration of US flags. This isn't some fucking joke.

The best, and most obvious, example of extremist nationalism we currently have is Nazi Germany. I guess I could just as easily use N. Korea. Or maybe I could have used the example of extremist theocracies where it is a capital crime to burn their flag. Robb's "boiling blood" seems more likely to stem from ultra-nationalist thinking though, based on his posting history here on SFN. The Nazis are a legitimate example of extreme nationalism and the problems with that mindset.
Oddly enough, after re-reading this, I realized that I was mocking your ridiculous Nazi analogy, but expecting you to accept my ridiculous "mother's picture" analogy. I apologize for my presumption.
b10 said:
When did feelings, rather than actions, come into ethics?
If you like I can direct you to a reference for a simple explanation of ethics. Its all about good/bad and right/wrong. Actions are certainly subject to ethical judgements, but so are emotions and feelings. Unless you want to argue that it is ok to have a desire to hurt people, even if you don't do it. You do know we lock people up for having feelings like that, yes? Bec

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  10:16:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ethics has to do with socially accepted standards of behavior. Generally, while I think thought is something that we do, so therefore it is behavior, I don't think that it is a behavior that is governed by ethics.

Having said that, the thoughts and beliefs that lead to "feelings" may lead to destructive actions, which may or may not be socially acceptable.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  15:04:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have had some pretty freaking terrible thoughts. I would much prefer we leave those out of how ethical I am and limit that consideration to the actions I have taken.

I'm not ready for the thought police…



“You're innocent when you dream.” Tom Waits.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  21:45:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Someone here in these forums once said that morals are how you expect others to behave, while ethics are how you expect yourself to behave.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  23:24:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
b10, I'm not really interested in a conversation about the definition of ethics. If you are unaware of the definition of the concept, it is more than I can do to educate you.

But briefly:

Ethics deal with judgements of right vs wrong.

Is it wrong to feel angry over trivial things? Like, for example, spilled milk?

Obviously, yes.

Anything that you can make a right/wrong judgement about is subject to ethical evaluation. This includes actions and emotions.

Kil, I'm not suggesting that we police people's thoughts, merely that ethical judgements can (and do) apply to your emotions. There is a large spectrum of grey in between the poles, and an axis of relevance also. No one really cares if you get pissed off by spilled milk, but most people would still say you were wrong to be angered by it.

With all things in ethics it will be a rare occasion when any two random people agree exactly.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  05:11:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude wrote:
I'm not really interested in a conversation about the definition of ethics.
Why, so you can define it the way you see fit and end the discussion there? I don't agree with the way you have defined ethics:


But briefly:

Ethics deal with judgements of right vs wrong.
Right and wrong are human constructed concepts of moral right and wrong that have many consistent trends, but no real universals.

Is it wrong to feel angry over trivial things? Like, for example, spilled milk?

Obviously, yes.
Morally wrong? I would say obviously not. I was shocked that you used this as an example. I also disagreed with this example:
Unless you want to argue that it is ok to have a desire to hurt people, even if you don't do it. You do know we lock people up for having feelings like that, yes? Because those feelings are wrong, unethical.
I very much would argue that it is OK to have a desire to hurt people, and I will explain why:

It is totally normal and natural for people to have violent impulses, especially in moments of anger, and allowing ourselves to feel and accept feelings these emotions can help us move on. There is no evidence that such impulses cause a person to be more likely to act violently. For something to be “wrong” in my book, someone has to be hurt in some way. Who is hurt by such feelings?

Perhaps you might argue that someone is hurt by feeling bad about spilt milk because those unjustified feelings hurt themselves. But I've found that repressing and judging my own feelings makes things worse, not better. For example, yesterday I was feeling worse and worse because I ran out of time to do some things I wanted to do before work. Suddenly, I broke down in tears and started whining about my situation. After having expressed and legitimized these feelings, I felt relieved and could recognize how silly it was to be so upset over something so small. I went to work cheerful.

I entirely disagree with you that feelings should be considered right or wrong. Only actions should be considered subject to ethical judgment. In fact, Dude, it is wrong to make moral or ethical judgments on mere feelings, because it encourages repression and guilt of things which are harmless. There are plenty of philosophies (such as types of Buddhism) which argue that people should accept how they feel, even when those feelings are conventionally considered “bad”. Acceptance leads to freedom to move forward.

Some people would agree with you, others would agree with me. Both sides could make an argument (and plenty of people could make a sophisticated and complex argument for some sort of compromise), and in the end, we'd all still be equally correct in that ethics is a broad and complex concept defined by people.

Considering that there are academics who spend their careers debating about ethics, morals, and what they are, I find your condescension toward boron asinine.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 06/13/2007 05:12:08
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  10:04:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
marfknox said:
Why, so you can define it the way you see fit and end the discussion there?


Fuck you. Asshole.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  12:26:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

marfknox said:
Why, so you can define it the way you see fit and end the discussion there?


Fuck you. Asshole.


Really Dude? I thought she interpreted it the best way possible. The way I read it was, "If you don't agree with me, you're an idiot and not worth talking to."

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  12:53:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, fuck you too.

I can't be genuinely uninterested in a debate over the definition of ethics?

Fucking pricks.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  13:01:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude. I am really growing weary of the kind of response that you seem to favor too much of the time.

And that doesn't just include your reply to Marf and now Ricky in this thread. It really does look like if you don't agree with Dude you are going to face the wrath of Dude.

I have asked for a more civil board. So every time you do that you are pretty much telling me what you think of my request.

And no, you are not the only one guilty of what you just did. As you once pointed out, you are just “the best at it.” That is a dubious distinction Dude.

I'm going to ask you again to what you have already agreed to do. Tone it down…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  13:02:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, it was more of the:

If you are unaware of the definition of the concept, it is more than I can do to educate you.


Which caused me to think of it in that sense. But if you think you're going to put up an assertion without it being questioned here, think again.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  13:06:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well this thread took a nice cliff dropping turn, like the cliff Dude fell off when getting up on the wrong side of the bed today.

Fuck you too!

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  13:14:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil said:
It really does look like if you don't agree with Dude you are going to face the wrath of Dude.


Or it could be a reaction to imbeciles and their apparently acceptable passive-agressive hostility.

If you want a civil board, you need to ask everyone to reduce their level of hostility.

Or you could just ban anyone who says "fuck you", but you'd still be left with the basic problem. Overt hostility takes more than one form, Kil.

This thread, for example. Why the fuck can't I just be unintersted in a fucking debate over the fucking definition of fucking ethics?

I guess its ok to blatantly accuse people of lying, but not ok to tell them to fuck off when they do so.

Whatever.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  13:34:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Kil said:
It really does look like if you don't agree with Dude you are going to face the wrath of Dude.


Or it could be a reaction to imbeciles and their apparently acceptable passive-agressive hostility.

If you want a civil board, you need to ask everyone to reduce their level of hostility.

Or you could just ban anyone who says "fuck you", but you'd still be left with the basic problem. Overt hostility takes more than one form, Kil.

This thread, for example. Why the fuck can't I just be unintersted in a fucking debate over the fucking definition of fucking ethics?

I guess its ok to blatantly accuse people of lying, but not ok to tell them to fuck off when they do so.

Whatever.
But isn't this thread titled "Can Feelings be Unethical"? If so, then isn't it important to defined what it means to be ethical and, by extension, ethics? I'd say that it's important to have definitions in order to get to the crux of the problem. And so if you aren't interesting in trying define "ethics" (or at least, your definition) than why participate in this thread at all?
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Boron10
Religion Moderator

USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  14:10:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Boron10 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude, I chose to ignore this little slight:
Originally posted by Dude

If you are unaware of the definition of the concept, it is more than I can do to educate you.
Since immediately prior to it, you stated the conversation did not interest you. Oddly enough, it was (I assume) in regards to my request for your sources:
B10:
Dude:
If you like I can direct you to a reference for a simple explanation of ethics.
.
.
.
Please do provide that link, then.
I hadn't realized such a request would make you feel slighted. In starting this new topic, it was my intent to have a discussion, not a shouting match. If you have only vituperrious language to contribute (ie nothing of substance), I would appreciate your active non-participation.

Perhaps the mistake I made was using a post of yours in another thread as a catalyst for this discussion. I apologize if that made you feel hostile or defensive. It was not the intent. When I noticed you seemed irritated by something where I might have been at fault, I apologized:
B10:
Oddly enough, after re-reading this, I realized that I was mocking your ridiculous Nazi analogy, but expecting you to accept my ridiculous "mother's picture" analogy. I apologize for my presumption.
.
.
.
I may have been excessively condescending. I should have found a better way to illustrate my point; for that, I apologize.
Although I am poor at it, I am attempting to de-escalate this argument. Please accept my apologies.

Now, to dive back into the argument:
Originally posted by Dude

Kil said:
It really does look like if you don't agree with Dude you are going to face the wrath of Dude.
Or it could be a reaction to imbeciles and their apparently acceptable passive-agressive hostility.
I am not sure who here gets these vicious honorifics. If you are talking about me, I hope my above apologies are sufficient to convince you that no "passive-aggressive hostility" was intended.
If you want a civil board, you need to ask everyone to reduce their level of hostility.
He did.
Or you could just ban anyone who says "fuck you", but you'd still be left with the basic problem. Overt hostility takes more tha
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  15:49:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
b10 said:
You have every right to be uninterested. If you were uninterested, though, why did you participate?


My comments were in response to Kil not being ready for the thought police. There is a distinction to be made between wrong and "criminally" wrong.

I am uninterested in a debate over the definition of ethics because any definition that goes beyond the basic idea of making distinctions bwtween right and wrong is inevitably tainted by the personal ethics of those trying to define it. Just read marfknox's post, after she calls me a lair, for a fine example.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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