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Re: Some more 'Situations'

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  • Tom
    Following Tom s excellent example, I have the following situations for the list to consider: 1.. A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 12 2:10 AM
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      Following Tom's excellent example, I have the following situations for the list to consider:

      1.. A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast.
      From this, I would assume that you have some idea of what you consider to be a legitimate reason for the man's actions. If you can explain the outcomes and if applicable, sacrifices then it would be easier to comment. With the current information, it is impossible to assess the merits of any course of action. Perhaps we can speculate that he is a psycho who gets some kick out of attacking people? This differs from the situation I put forward as there has not been a definition of alternative courses of action and/or likely subsequent outcomes based on the observation of similar events.
      1.. A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois. She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive. After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands. However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate lust for the man.
      1.. A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company.
      In both these cases, he/she should base his/her decision on whatever reasoning he/she sees fit and consider himself/herself responsible for the results of his/her actions. We do not have enough information to make an assessment of preferable outcomes based on pragmatic truths.

      Tom
    • T Brooks
      Tom is 100% correct. We have too little information with which to make a solid analysis of what is happening sociologically, pschologically, etc. But it
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 12 9:57 AM
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        Tom is 100% correct. We have too little information with which to make a
        solid analysis of what is happening sociologically, pschologically, etc. But
        it appears that in these hypotheical examinations we need to know more:
        which we most likely would in a "real" case. In this instance, it appears
        that Tom has pulled a Plato and has stacked the deck on his side. By
        presenting 2-3 sentence case studies (which is unrealistic: we often can
        obtain far more information from real cases, even if the person lives in
        Montana in a one room shed and shuns society) he has purposely given us too
        little information so that we will too little information to make a
        judgement of anything substantial.

        If we had more information -- which I would argue we would have more often
        than not in the real world -- his conclusion is false.

        Thom Brooks
        Dublin, Ireland


        >From: "Tom" <tjajones@...>
        >Reply-To: existlist@onelist.com
        >To: <existlist@onelist.com>
        >Subject: Re: [existlist] Some more 'Situations'
        >Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 10:10:27 +0100
        >
        >
        > Following Tom's excellent example, I have the following situations for
        >the list to consider:
        >
        > 1.. A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a
        >woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast.
        >From this, I would assume that you have some idea of what you consider to
        >be a legitimate reason for the man's actions. If you can explain the
        >outcomes and if applicable, sacrifices then it would be easier to comment.
        >With the current information, it is impossible to assess the merits of any
        >course of action. Perhaps we can speculate that he is a psycho who gets
        >some kick out of attacking people? This differs from the situation I put
        >forward as there has not been a definition of alternative courses of action
        >and/or likely subsequent outcomes based on the observation of similar
        >events.
        > 1.. A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois.
        >She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of
        >the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive.
        >After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She
        >knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware
        >from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands.
        >However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate
        >lust for the man.
        > 1.. A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire
        >whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he
        >fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and
        >would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they
        >openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company.
        >In both these cases, he/she should base his/her decision on whatever
        >reasoning he/she sees fit and consider himself/herself responsible for the
        >results of his/her actions. We do not have enough information to make an
        >assessment of preferable outcomes based on pragmatic truths.
        >
        >Tom
      • kotsu@xx.xxxxxx.xxx
        ... This is true, however, we must also judge possibilities of ethical judgement and sense others reations and chaos theory applied means that the logical
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 12 12:59 PM
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          On 08/12/99 18:57:28 you wrote:
          >
          >From: "T Brooks" <thom_brooks@...>
          >
          >
          >If we had more information -- which I would argue we would have more often
          >than not in the real world -- his conclusion is false.

          This is true, however, we must also judge possibilities of ethical judgement
          and sense others reations and chaos theory applied means that the logical
          assortment of information may not prove true every time, thus putting us
          back at our original ethical problem.

          Derick
          Macon, GA USA
        • T Brooks
          Granted. While our information may not always be accurate, it is not to be wholly disregarded. We shouldn t then act in ignorance of our information -- if we,
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 12 3:57 PM
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            Granted. While our information may not always be accurate, it is not to be
            wholly disregarded. We shouldn't then act in ignorance of our information --
            if we, indeed, have any information at all.

            And in addition, no matter how good our information we are forced to make
            choice constantly. We must act. And act in accordance with what we know.
            Perhaps then the problem you pose is avoided.

            Thom Brooks
            Dublin, Ireland

            >From: kotsu@...
            >Reply-To: existlist@onelist.com
            >To: existlist@onelist.com
            >Subject: Re: [existlist] Some more 'Situations'
            >Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 14:59:16 -0500 (CDT)
            >
            >From: kotsu@...
            >
            >On 08/12/99 18:57:28 you wrote:
            > >
            > >From: "T Brooks" <thom_brooks@...>
            > >
            > >
            > >If we had more information -- which I would argue we would have more
            >often
            > >than not in the real world -- his conclusion is false.
            >
            >This is true, however, we must also judge possibilities of ethical
            >judgement
            >and sense others reations and chaos theory applied means that the logical
            >assortment of information may not prove true every time, thus putting us
            >back at our original ethical problem.
            >
            >Derick
            >Macon, GA USA
            >
            >
            >
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          • kotsu@xx.xxxxxx.xxx
            Granted. While our information may not always be accurate, it is not to be wholly disregarded. We shouldn t then act in ignorance of our information -- if we,
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 12 6:11 PM
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              Granted. While our information may not always be accurate, it
              is not to be wholly disregarded. We shouldn't then act in ignorance
              of our information -- if we, indeed, have any information at
              all.

              And in addition, no matter how good our information we are forced
              to make choice constantly. We must act. And act in accordance
              with what we know. Perhaps then the problem you pose is avoided.

              Thom Brooks
              Dublin, Ireland

              ----
              This is a good point. We can judge our actions on what
              we know; we do not have enough to make a completely infomred
              ethical choice, but we can make a ethical choice based on experience.
              This thus not completely stop the
              absurdity, but it lessens it but expotentail amounts.

              Derick Varn
              Macon, GA USA




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            • Charles Vermont
              ... I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 14 6:08 AM
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                I was very interested to read the responses to the situations I proposed. Here are my own thoughts:

                >A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast. <

                I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the woman has asked him to perform a breast implant operation on her then it seems to me she 'should' be grateful. They have both agreed to do this work together. If he is a complete stranger then she 'should' be outraged.

                The other point was about the imprecision of words. If I had used the term 'makes a surgical incision just below her right breast' instead of 'gashes her with it just below her right breast' then I believe the list's response would have been different.

                >A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois. She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive. After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands. However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate lust for the man.<

                For me this is a key moral dilemma - 'should' the woman follow her instincts or, of her own free will, choose to delay gratification? It seems to me that if she had already chosen to avoid one night stands prior to meeting the man then she will be acting in 'Bad Faith' if she invites him to her room. If, however, she genuinely believes this experience will be better than all the previous ones then she 'should'. The important distinction here for me is whether she is taking full responsibility for the free will she possess - this is what I call 'giving herself choice'.

                >A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company. <

                This is a dilemma which has been taxing me a great deal recently. My view today is that he 'should' probably accept the invitation and then cry off later by claiming he is ill. Normally I am dead set against lying since it 'denies' other people the information they need in order to exercise their own freedom of choice. (For instance, I tell you I have repaired the car brakes when I haven't, you go for a drive, you have no way of stopping and crash. You would not have gone for a drive if I hadn't lied.) However, in this example there are Laura's feelings at stake. By telling a lie the man is not trying to mislead her, or encouraging her to make the choices he prefers rather than the ones she would make if he had not lied. He is merely finding a way to establish his own choices without offending Laura. In my terms, he is giving her choice - she may choose to keep her views on family intact while at the same time taking no offence at his non appearance.

                What do other members of the list think about the above?

                Charles Vermont
              • hank alphonse
                I dig it. I understand what your saying. I don t having anything intelligent to say just lurking . Shawn Reed Portage, Indiana ... From: Charles Vermont
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 14 6:25 AM
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                  I dig it. I understand what your saying. I don't having anything intelligent to say just "lurking". Shawn Reed Portage, Indiana
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Charles Vermont <Funchoice@...>
                  To: Existentialism List <existlist@onelist.com>
                  Date: Saturday, August 14, 1999 8:22 AM
                  Subject: [existlist] Some more 'Situations'


                  I was very interested to read the responses to the situations I proposed. Here are my own thoughts:

                  >A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast. <

                  I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the woman has asked him to perform a breast implant operation on her then it seems to me she 'should' be grateful. They have both agreed to do this work together. If he is a complete stranger then she 'should' be outraged.

                  The other point was about the imprecision of words. If I had used the term 'makes a surgical incision just below her right breast' instead of 'gashes her with it just below her right breast' then I believe the list's response would have been different.

                  >A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois. She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive. After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands. However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate lust for the man.<

                  For me this is a key moral dilemma - 'should' the woman follow her instincts or, of her own free will, choose to delay gratification? It seems to me that if she had already chosen to avoid one night stands prior to meeting the man then she will be acting in 'Bad Faith' if she invites him to her room. If, however, she genuinely believes this experience will be better than all the previous ones then she 'should'. The important distinction here for me is whether she is taking full responsibility for the free will she possess - this is what I call 'giving herself choice'.

                  >A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company. <

                  This is a dilemma which has been taxing me a great deal recently. My view today is that he 'should' probably accept the invitation and then cry off later by claiming he is ill. Normally I am dead set against lying since it 'denies' other people the information they need in order to exercise their own freedom of choice. (For instance, I tell you I have repaired the car brakes when I haven't, you go for a drive, you have no way of stopping and crash. You would not have gone for a drive if I hadn't lied.) However, in this example there are Laura's feelings at stake. By telling a lie the man is not trying to mislead her, or encouraging her to make the choices he prefers rather than the ones she would make if he had not lied. He is merely finding a way to establish his own choices without offending Laura. In my terms, he is giving her choice - she may choose to keep her views on family intact while at the same time taking no offence at his non appearance.

                  What do other members of the list think about the above?

                  Charles Vermont
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