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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - Harm Principle and Bigotry

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:22 am 
Okay, harm principle <i><b>H</b></i>... basic idea is that the relative morality of an action is based on whether or not it harms other people, harm being an understandably subjective term, since it varies in opinion if its just physical harm or if mental harm should be included.

Here's a couple of things I've been thinking about on the subject... if you have any more musings, I say go for them...

1. Say person <i>A</i> claims <i><b>H</b></i> as the sole basis of their ethical system <b>M</b>.

Person <i>B</i> has some notion <i>p</i> that is some negative notion <i>s</i> toward a demographic <i>d</i>, and that there is a general consensus that <i>B</i> is a bigot.

Can <i>A</i> make a claim on the morality of <i>B</i> based on <i>s</i> within his system <b>M</b>?

2a. Let's say <i>A</i> adds extra convention <i>q</i>, which states that bigotry is wrong, to <b>M</b> to make <b>M</b>*.

Now, lets say <i>A</i> is in a debate with <i>C</i> over some action <i>r</i>, which <i>C</i> is against based on convention <i>y</i> within his moral system <b>N</b>.

Can <i>A</i> use discount the moral value of <i>r</i> based on his lack of acceptance of <i>y</i>?

2b. If yes, then can <i>A</i> expect anyone to take heed when he appeals to <i>q</i>?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:41 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:42 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:08 am 
Yes (although it would probably be that B is not immoral so long as his bigotry doesn't cause harm), yes, and yes, but only because people are generally morons who don't bother to define their moral systems anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:07 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:08 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:21 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:24 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:43 pm 
You two stop sucking all the fun out of bigotry.

What prompted this question, anyway?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:25 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:37 pm 
It's going to be such a nice shock to Gerald when he discovers girls.


(Gah. I gotta stop posting 10 minutes after getting up.>


Last edited by Pronto on Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:48 pm 


Last edited by Gerald on Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:44 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:08 pm 
You sure?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:13 am 
I get the feeling no one has really understood the question. At the very least, no one has answered it.

I think it was phrased very precisely and had no difficulty.

My answers:

1) yes, A can come up with example harms that bigotry causes and depending on the exact nature of the s, A can use that to generalize about harms from bigotry. Bigotry can cause economic harms by causing inefficiencies that information cannot correct, for example.

2) no, A cannot discount r based on the fact that someone arguing r discounts one of his axioms of morality - that's an example of an ad hominem fallacy, where he discounts the argument based not on the argument itself but the credentials of the person arguing it.

However, A may discount r if it contradicts his axiom in some way, which it reasonably might be expected to do.

2b) if A commits the ad hominem fallacy -- is that the same as committing bigotry? well, depending on A's definition of bigotry. But probably. If A violates his own morality, can he be taken seriously? If following one's own morality is a requirement of being taken seriously. But if C uses the fact that A is a hypocrite to discount A's argument, then C is just committing another ad hominem.


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