Originally posted by Serdgiam
reply to post by anon4m05
For me, I feel it boils down to not only the act but the results of the action.
I think a large step of the whole of humanity would be to take the result into consideration when taking action. The action and its result seems to
be as inseparable as electricity and magnetism.
I think that instead of having a society based on control and dependency, we could change it to a society based on enabling and empowering
individuals (and even have all of the tools to do so). I think this one change could be the foundation to build a stronger world, but it is one that
each of us, individually, have to decide to participate in. We all participate in the creation of our society, but by actually examining where we
will grow based on that participation, we can very literally change the world.
I agree very much so. Foresight with regard to the consequences of our actions is necessary to acting responsibly, and I whole heartedly agree on
moving from control and dependency to enabling and empowering. Despite this, I think it is much more complicated than that; I mean, in those instances
where you must react (because doing nothing would be just as bad), and you cannot think, one does not necessarily have time to consider those
consequences, but still, a decision must be made. We can, through a process of induction or deduction, have some legitimate gauge of consequences, but
it is relatively impossible to know if that is the way it will play out, even with all the time in the world to think about it. The problem is a
matter of time; this is something I have observed as of late.
In a nutshell; Kantian Ethics places emphasis on the here and now, with no regard to consequences, and operates according to a matter of principle and
duty(There are good actions, and bad actions, in and of themselves). Utilitarian ethics places emphasis on consequences, and posits that no action is
good in and of itself, but rather, that the consequences determines the good or bad of an action.
As you can see, the problem with both is a temporal one; that is to say, it is a problem of time. Kantian ethics seems counter-intuitive because it
holds no merit for consequences (and we KNOW consequences matter) and thus only grounds its morality in the present. Utilitarian ethics, on the other
hand, emphasizes the future (consequences). The problem with that is, while you think you are making a decision that is based in the future, the
morality of the act is actually grounded in the past, and so we can never really know if we are making good decisions or not in the present.
Both types of ethics are severely lacking in their abilities to direct us to what is the right or good thing to do, and often, they must be combined
(which is also difficult).
Virtue ethics seems to be the best suited for this kind of problem; but that's a whole other ball game.
Anyway, you have probably noticed that I enjoy rants as well, so no apology necessary
edit on 26-7-2013 by anon4m05 because: (no reason