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In striving to fulfill the archetype of Good [versus Evil] in a world of seemingly infinite gray and ever-changing ethics and politics, self-entanglement results from the instinctual need to self-involve. Paradoxes arise as one seeks to satisfy the collective society, the specific individual, and even oneself, all of which maintain their own contradictions and conflicts over what is The One moral option or course of action - and is it even moral and right to presume there is ultimately one option or action which serves as the paragon above others?

In order to be objective, we must distance ourselves as much as we involve ourselves. Yet in many ways, ethics are as subjective as they are objective. How can we reconcile objectivity and subjectivity - how much energy must we invest in answering this fundamental question before we can even begin to practice or profess ethics? Thus, we find that the compelling need to be both distant and involved - permeable as liquid - is potentially harmonic, chaotic, or both depending on how the individual's quest to find balance unfolds.

For every answer, more questions arise, and it must be questioned if Goodness' imperative would even allow for us to pause momentarily in transforming ourselves into a more ethical being; is the stagnation of self-improvement inherently immoral?

Here, I attempt to give only questions and not answers. After all, maybe my answers would be not necessary immoral but amoral despite moral intentions - then again, is the amoral perspective inherently immoral?

How do you reconcile these dilemmas?
 

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I have just accepted that everything in the world is subjective. People read into things differently, have different values, and different priorities. I just do what I can with what I think is right. I'm a very black and white person, but I realize that not everyone else is (and my black may be their white) so I have just given up on the constant struggle to prove myself as right. My sister made me attend this thing called the Landmark Forum and it kind of taught us that there is no universal right or wrong and that with the thinking that it does exist, you get so caught up in proving yourself that you destroy relationships and end up getting absolutely nowhere. It was an excruciating process, that 3 day seminar, but ultimately, I did learn something about it.

My sister always gets mad at me for telling people stories of our childhood (we're only a year apart) and thinks that I'm telling them in order to humiliate her. I laughed when I heard that. I mean, we're adults now! As if I have time to think of ways to embarass my sister now! But that was her reality- what she was making as her reality. So I've pretty much given up on proving myself right. I just let everything be IRL anyway.
 

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I can't decide what my sister's type is. She's definitely an ennagram type 1, but as far as the MBTI goes, she's an ESXX. I have my doubts that she's a TJ because she's kind of unorganized and has no desire to be on time. She also gets extremely crazy when she gets mad- like she throws stuff, which I think is a VERY emotional thing to do, so she's probably an ESFP. We get along for the most part, because she knows I'm good at what I do and I get results (she LOVES it when I work for her), but we end up fighting over some really stupid stuff. I can only take a few hours of her at a time before I end up calling her a bitch. She's bossier than I am!
 

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My answers....

By not seeing them as dilemmas, is my answer. While I can accept that there should exist some supreme answer, I also accept that my ability to find it is infinitesmal at any given moment and that through experiences, I will adjust and may marginally improve. Of all the ways to do something, there has to be a supremum to the set. However, my ability to find it is rarely good. Another way to look at this is the paradox of how good is hindsight compared to foresight. Sometimes one can get lucky, but that doesn't always go far, IME.

Ethics are an attempt at adding some structural rules to how we operate within this world. They are an interpretation of rules and like so many other things, that interpretation is the source of many problems. Depending on one's faiths and beliefs, I think the ethics are born from that in a lot of ways. Some people may do things I find unethical but they may not see it the same way I do. Ethical dilemmas are fun to analyze and argue either side as I can often understand each side enough to argue for it with little trouble.

Stagnation is a questionable position as with each passing second, are we really in the same spot that we were? Aren't there things going on around us that will move whether we do or not? Do we always know what our thoughts and feelings are doing at any point in time? Just trying to play devil's advocate on the idea that stagnation may not even be possible much less a bad thing.

If one wants to walk amongst various paradoxes, that is a choice for one to take. At the same time, one could choose to see through the paradoxes as there are many examples both in Mathematics and Philosophy but also in various works of art like "The Matrix," "Vanilla Sky," "Mulholland Drive," "eXistenZ," and most recently, "Inception," for films but there are also many TV shows that explored various morality dillemmas like "Twilight Zone," "The Hitchhiker," "Tales from the Crypt," and "The Outer Limits," which often ended with a twist that would leave me with a smirk or chuckle at the irony of the ending usually.

I am not saying that I'm right and everyone else is wrong, but that these are my views on how I resolve the paradox you present.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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1st Question: Yes.

2nd Question: Not much.

3rd Question: Stagnation is an incorrect assumption. Otherwise, the answer is no.

4th Question: Why the "inherently" qualifier? In this case, it depends.

5th Question: By adjusting my personal ethics map to more closely resemble the actual terrain of principles governing human interactions.

A bit of advice: Writing should be something you do to convey ideas, thoughts, and information. The language used should not be selected for verbosity or to impress the audience, but should connect the audience and the writer. IOW, thoughts for discussion should be written as simply as possible while still maintaining accuracy.

HTH
 

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What the clusterfuck was that? If you want people to understand you, talk in simple, understandable language, rather than trying to impress everyone with your big words.

Edit: Hah, realised the above poster basically said the same thing. Still true though. Throw away the thesaraus and write what you really think, clearly and simply.
 

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Is this for choosing an action to a situation? In that case things are much simpler.

Pillars!

Harmony > Forgiveness > (Fairness <= Unselfishness\Generosity) > Justice > Truth



If you focus too much on concepts that are eventually irrelevant, then you will waste a lot of time. At the end of the line, your actions should try to make people better, individuals and society.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is this for choosing an action to a situation? In that case things are much simpler.

Pillars!

Harmony > Forgiveness > (Fairness <= Unselfishness\Generosity) > Justice > Truth



If you focus too much on concepts that are eventually irrelevant, then you will waste a lot of time. At the end of the line, your actions should try to make people better, individuals and society.
That is true, but what constitutes 'better' tends to conflict amongst individuals (we need only look at people's political ideologies to discern this...); 'better' is sometimes so vague that the path we must take seems equally ambiguous. Therefore, I think it is a remarkable challenge to attempt to harmonize one another given our moral variability. Nonetheless, it is a worthy ideal [to play the part in both the collective society's and the individual's moral progression] that we might work towards fulfilling.

But I do believe that, ultimately, sophomoric speculations and contemplations are trumped by actions, and the adherence to this belief is the foundation that gives me the courage to act in good will.
 

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What the majority of people think is 'right' & 'better' is that themselves are treated equally, and that there is justice in the system. Sadly, nobody wants to live their life giving and not receiving anything in return. And without genuine goodness in people to make them generous, the world will never go in the right direction, and wealth will keep flowing towards the richest.

It is not a conflict between two things that are right, it is a conflict betweeen doing the right thing and being selfish. The problem is that people do not strive to become better, they are happy where they are.
 

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Political ideologies are not that far off in the general populace. Other than the control freaks that tend to become megalomaniacs, that is. All conservatives and liberals want the same things: Safe neighborhoods, low crime, good schools, clean water, etc. Where we differ is the path we choose to arrive at those things.
 

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What the majority of people think is 'right' & 'better' is that themselves are treated equally, and that there is justice in the system. Sadly, nobody wants to live their life giving and not receiving anything in return. And without genuine goodness in people to make them generous, the world will never go in the right direction, and wealth will keep flowing towards the richest.

It is not a conflict between two things that are right, it is a conflict betweeen doing the right thing and being selfish. The problem is that people do not strive to become better, they are happy where they are.


There's nothing sad about that. We as humans are motivated primarily by self-interest; our actions are our attempt to ensure our own survival. You can try and raise yourself above everyone with a moral platform ("for the greater good"), but all you end up doing is hiding behind it, using it as a way to validate your actions, justify to everyone (and to yourself) that your actions are "right" and "just". Or you can be like me, and not deny that your in it for yourself, and that you'll do all you can to get what you need to survive and thrive. And no one ever gives without expecting to recieve something in return, simply feeling "good" about giving something is already recieving something. No one gives to feel miserable.

And "wealth following to the richest"? Wrong. Wealth doesn't flow; wealth is something that is accumalated. It is static, and it can be squandered. The term you are looking for is income. And income flows to the able and the competent. As soon as those earning it stop being able and competent, then they will lose it.

Income, wealth, money whatever you call it is a means of achieving an end in this modern world. It lets you get what you want; it ultimately lets you survive. So rather than hoping for other's "generosity", do everything yourself, rely only on yourself to get what you need out of life. That is what is truly "right"; self-sufficency and being able, willing and wanting to get what you want out of life.
 

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I have no idea about your claims, but I am not hiding behind any platform, it is just what I believe. There is a difference between giving everything you got, and living in a lot of wealth, like many rich people. Your argument goes both ways, you are hiding behind the belief that human are instinctual and "are in it for themselves". Some people actually commit a lot for others, which means that humans are able to rise above their instincts for survival and be able to sacrfice a little for others good.

Your second point, what about the many hundred thousands of children, who work for the big corporations to earn a pay that is one hundreths of what we earn. Are they not competent? Are they not able enough? People who live in poverty their whole lives, and people who got nothing at all. And some parts of Africa, where hunger and sickness are a daily matter. While the western world lives in wealth. It doesn't flow, because nobody move it. You have probably figured out that there is nothing you can do with it, but it starts with the individual. It starts with the individual, because you can inspire children, who can grow up to inspire others. That is why I believe in being "good".

Don't justify being on the sideline, just because everyone else is.

I think you misunderstood me, I am not whining because people don't give to me, I am whining about this because people don't give to other people, and because of the lack of efforts many people live in poor conditions.

And what you say about wealth and income flows to the able and competent is probably true, and that is exactly the problem. After it has flowed one way, it should flow back so that everyone has what they need.

EDIT: Of course, I do not expect you to understand, we have, after all, very different perspectives on things.
 

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lol anyone who seriously wants to answer those questions would write a 5 page essay on each. I think I'll bullshit this one and just say I know wrong when I see it and I know people who manipulate for self-centered purposes when I see em and all I can do is sigh and say to myself: some just lack class and I accept them as flawed but they are people with decency that they don't value enough to show.
 

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There are moral princples and there are applications of princplies, or actions. Principles do not change, they are static, devoid of flux. Actions change according to the situation. For example, a moral principle is that we should develop ourselves. Just what that development might entail depends on the person and the circumstance, which includes differences as broad as culture and as narrow as how we feel that day. All factors must be taken into account and oftentimes the answer is not so clear cut as we initually think it is. Our gut tells us what is right and wrong, but our mind often over-interprets and makes certain actions universal when they are not. The principles themselves do not change.
 

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I understand where the original poster is coming from. I am right. I want to shape the world in my vision. However, I would be responsible for managing other people's visions as well if I were in charge of the world. I don't agree with their visions, so what would I do? Would I compromise my own ideals for people who were wrong, or would I force my will upon others. Either way, its defying my attempt for perfection.

Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that I can never be a world leader. Maybe only in my amateur science fiction novels/short stories (of course I'm not talking about me - I meant in a utopia... or dystopian... kind of way).
 

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Yeah...If I were in a position of such power, I'd probably become the dictator who saw himself as a saint!
 

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I see all moral dilemmas as a bunch of objective morals stacked on top of each other. The subjectivity comes in when you decide which of those objective morals is more important than another, in a life where choices frequently go against some objective morals, but are in line with others.

Do you lie to your abusive son-in-law who wants to know where your daughter went so he can beat her up? Some say lying is wrong even in that cirumstance (the don't-lie moral is more important than the don't-allow-abuse moral), others say lying is right (don't-allow-abuse is more important than don't-lie). Different cultures emphasize different objective morals, leading to what looks like no universal moral code, when there is one.
 

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I've accepted that there is no ultimate logical basis for moral codes. My desire to make everything "just so" is mostly for my own pleasure, and to satisfy my own insecurities about imperfection.
 
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