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October 2017



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SUV in Pool, Plastinated Human Bodies, and Morality

SUV takes plunge in Hawai'i Kai The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, June 29, 2004 (from skreidle who got it from sebatical)

When I saw the picture of the owner talking to a tow truck driver beside the pool I knew it would take a crane to get the SUV out of the pool.

Human body exposed in new exhibit CNN, Friday, July 2, 2004 (from agoodshinkickin)

"Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" makes its U.S. debut at the California Science Center. Gunther von Hagens created the exhibit and the preservation technique called "plastination" in which body fluids are replaced with clear, pliable plastic.


That reminds me of some tests I took on The Philosophers' Magazine on the net

Is described this way "The aim of this activity is to tell you something about your moral intuitions." But that isn't what Taboo's are. Taboos are not moral issue they are cultural issues, restrictions or prohibitions on behavior imposed by a culture.

They ask if the action are morally wrong. Is it morally wrong to eat your pet cat for dinner? Well, no but, ewww! it is certainly emotionally and socially wrong. "Yuk Factor" should never have barring on Morality I believe it is morally wrong to mistake preferences and aversions for moral stands.

I think the problem comes from people confusing the moral position that "Immoral things are to be avoided" with it's converse "Things to be avoided are immoral". It is a common logical error. The logical statement "If A than B" is not the same as "If B than A"

Hmmm. I just went and Googled the definitions of Morals and Ethics and it seem that it is common for people to define them much more broadly than I would. But that might be one of the Witchy things.

I have heard Christians argue that the Bible offers moral absolutes, it is the word of God if you do what it says you are right and if you don't you are wrong. But even if we put aside the fact that the Bible contains contradictions and mainstream Christians don't do even the red letter parts, They are still responsible for the choices they make. They say they are just following orders but even following orders is a choice. Free will and all. I can't believe in a God who would punish me for doing things I believed were wrong.

I believe that Morality is not absolute, it is difficult and people should struggle with it and be aware of their choices.

Morality Play
My Moral Parsimony Score was overall 59%
Geographical Distance 35%
Family Relatedness 35%
Acts and Omissions 67%
Scale 100%

I feel a greater moral obligation towards people located nearby, greater moral obligation towards people who are related to me, tend to believe that those who act have a slightly greater moral culpability than those who simply omit to act, and scale is not an important consideration in my moral worldview. And I am OK with that.

Oh Drat! I just read this interview with Ken Binmore The Good, the Right, and the Seemly It sounds like I really need to read his book Game Theory and the Social Contract

I thought I would hate "Affect, Culture and Morality" by Jonathan Haidt, Silvia Helena Koller and Maria G. Dias because it was sited as the basis of the "Taboo" game (above). But the article doesn't say that social norm should be considered part of morals it says that people in Brasil do consider taboos to be moral issues and upper class US intellectuals don't. That is different. I'm pretty typical of a US intellectual in considering Harm to be the basis of morality, Although I also temper that with consent.

Hmmm. I think I need to think about this some more. I am comfortable and content in my understanding of my moral choices but once again I have been startled by what other people come up with.