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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Thursday, December 1

Got Morality?

Do you wear it like a milk mustache? Something that wipes off?

Do you do the right things only when someone else might know or do you do it out of a personal commitment to doing the right thing?

Someone, my friend curi, I think, once said that moral principles are an approximation of true morality. Are they?

I don't know, but it reminds me of calculus. I think of calculus as a type of math that tries to make approximations of "physical" reality. I wonder what a moral equation would look like.

If moral principles may fail to offer useful guidance at critical points, what use are they then?

If a parent tends to be right about what a child should do but misses sometimes, it might be best to risk missing sometimes rather than miss a lot by going along with the child's view of what's right. But is the parent really right more of the time? Is being right more of the time a valid reason for forcing a child to act according to the parents wishes? Is having the "best" answer necessary to be right? Suppose the parent is simply "right enough" to keep Johnny alive and learning. Is that good enough?

If a society has generally agreed that parents should force their children (if necessary) to comply with certain expectations about civility, does a parent have the right to do otherwise?

If a loan officer puts down false information about you on your application for a mortgage, what are your obligations to yourself? Society? Do you find another agent? Call up the company and complain? Call up a government agency to complain? Tell all your friends so they can avoid this person? Do you go along with applying because "most" officers do it?


Leo said...

Blogger ate my comment so I'll keep it short this time.

Children tend to be civil if they have parents that take their interests in consideration. Society is not child friendly, so it's wise for parents to go against it on the children's behalf.

I think if you live by moral principles are not on your behalf, you will lead an unhappy life while others get richer and more powerful at your expense.

Anonymous said...

An interesting take on morality is at www.moralcompass.org