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Q4: January 30, 2009

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in Uncategorized.
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Alright, question 4 from Lily‘s list of interview questions!

4.  According to your most recent blog posts, you’ve been spending a lot of time lately pondering life’s weighty things like ethics and morality.  Can you share with us one of your revelations or conclusions, if you’ve reached any yet?

Something that I’ve always struggled with is the concept of subjective morality.  It’s not that I think everyones lives follow the same mold and everyone’s morals and ethics fit everyone else’s situations, because I definitely don’t.  This is why I have such a hard time with say, the Christian 10 commandments.  Those 10 things certainly are good guidelines for you life, and some of them I definitely understand as being almost “moral absolutes”.  But then again, I don’t really believe in “moral absolutes”…so I’m stuck.

And those are the kinds of things that I’ve been pondering lately.  What do I consider to be “moral absolutes”?  What are my exceptions to those rules?  Why are they moral absolutes to me?  What things do I hold most dear?  What happens when someone I care about breaks one of my moral absolutes?  How do I feel about that?  

That last question – yeah, it’s the question that has been plaguing me mostly.  How do I feel about it when someone close to me breaks one of the very few things that I consider to be an absolute?  What do I do in that situation?  Why do I feel like the asshole when I don’t have an answer?  

I will definitely be updating as I come to more conclusions on the subject, but as for right now I haven’t done a whole lot of research into what others have said about this.  I’m going to be reading Kant’s Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals again, DeBouvouir’s Ethics of Ambiguity again, and Neitzche’s Good and Evil again in hopes of finding something I like.  If those don’t do it for me, it will probably be Plato’s Nichomachean Ethics, and some of Marcus Aurelius’ works.

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1. Alex - January 30, 2009

You are going to be reading the top 3 philosophers on the topic, for sure. I have been trying to find some things for you, but there is nothing that really sticks out. I would also read anything by Joseph Campbell on the topic (I know, I’m addicted to the man). Melissa is in her own world and hasn’t responded to my questions regarding this topic, sorry. But I think Kant, Nietchze and Simone are the way to go. Even if you don’t agree completely, they make good arguments. Go you for diving into this head on! I am a little too far into psych now to go with the philosophers on this stuff, damn cognitive psych has ruined me, haha. But we do develop morals over time, based on our experiences, what we are taught, how we are socialized. The Golden Rule is found everywhere because it’s the basic way to live one’s life despite culture, religion, language, etc. The concept of choice though, that is where a more grey area comes in for me. Not all men/women are given the same options and choices and free will in life, therefore not all men/women are able to choose to do what is “right” or “wrong” in my eyes. Hence moral ambiguity. But there are some basic cross-cultural taboos like incest (even if it’s defined differently across cultures). I mean, people spend their lives studying this stuff! It’s exciting because there is no “real” answer! 😀 Sorry I went off on a tangent. I guess I need to get back to my little bubble now.


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