Practice Makes Perfect
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1. In order to help you mentally organize what you have learned in this class presume that you are having a discussion with a friend who passionately asserts that humans are not really capable of moral reasoning, or if they don’t practice it very often. Instead your friend claims that humans are conformist social animals who need to blend into group norms. They also point to the amount of harmful action (“just look at history”) that humans inflict on each other. In addition they argue that much moral reasoning is simply a retrospective rationalization of action already taken.
You respond by trying to explain the reality and complexity of moral reasoning and what it looks like in practice. How would you employ our readings and lectures to help illuminate this debate? Do you think that such a discussion could come to any resolution? –no people are very set in their ways (NOTE: DO NOT randomly discuss material from the class, but be sure to shape it into a structured argument. This means picking and choosing among the class material.
1st paragraph: things are not that black and white things are more complex than you think.
Spelucean case: people have a sense of morality
They needed to kill someone because if not they would have died They tried everyway
People inhetily want to do the right thing but sometimes they are forced by the situraion or a genetic malfunction aren’t able to do it A circumstance alters their moral code
Purple shirts: they were morally evil
Something being against the law doesn’t mean that its morally right
Socrates paradox: research him Socrates and moral reasoning
Abuse as a child leads to abuse-tends to be ironic
Drawing upon this abused chidren according to dadas go on and abuse their children
This supports the reason that people are trying to be good but in the end people who are evil end up that way despite of knowing they are wrong-even though they were inhereitly good Kekes is similar to Socrates paradox: maybe Our default position on human action is positive (autonomy) – people have individual rights, cooperate, have a view of altruism (spontaneous action of assistance), tolerant, see people as individuals and equally There is a road block-normal things should just flow postivily-walk the line Hoever like a highway if there is a mishap that may change the direction you choose to take That’s when you went down the wrong path-that was all circumstance the road block messed you up
Look up Gray- the warriors
Opponents may argue: Determinism-hard wired to have something happen a certain way-opposite of free will
Instead your friend claims that humans are conformist social animals who need to blend into group norms.
War is a really heated passionate thing because people are bound to their fellow soilders and the consequences of the social norms are literally life and death. Militaty ephsiaszes following orders doing what you are told to do Intro (Arendt) Sense of cooperation, camaraderie, etc. of war is nobling for people But dangerous
3. Forward (Gray)
Makes two points
Modern war is so destructive alienation effect; you can kill from a distance but feel dissociated removes people from their place in nature get separated from what we actually are how people function is the real question
the impersonal nature of modern war-people are following social norms
the difference between world war 2(sticking a knife in someone) and the gulf war (send a drown) is very disconnected and there is not human connection-its less morally troubling for people because its more disconnected you don’t have to be physically present to do something war is a progression of getting more distant from the active killing-how that reflected morality-its conundrum –seems more unreal but it is just as real While people action might in retrospect be wrong overall we are trying to come from a positive morally supportive place No one ever proved to go there and kill them and use that as an excuse-operated under a false premise-in restrospect we made a big mistake
The world is always spinning-everything is always changing-nothing is constant
Do the first paragraph: the nature of war: How it is a very social interative thing In the fox hole-the people around you- you are taught to fight-very heighten environment-life and death situation When we go to war what are we doing and how that stimulates and highlifhgs all the social and moral questions-how it goes together Next para: in particular technology over the years is a great example-has nature changed over the years from mideaevil sords over droms illustrates how tricky the debate of how My side: people are innately good and make conscious descions Are conscious decision makers while the others are programmed social animals (hardwire do whatever they want) and the other one are open independent descion makers (me) : open independent thinker
frat boy: programmed social animal
1. explain to him that things aren’t as easy as it seems
2. why it isn’t as easy
3. if the person is on the edge- I think I can change their point view-however if someone is set in their ways it may be very difficult to alter their point of view