Reminder to self - need to make the comments on this blog more useable. Haloscan, maybe?
Bee wrote in the comments to my previous post: "Unless you are talking of a mathematical proof, right and wrong are context dependent. If you want to reach xyz, something might be the right thing to do, something else the wrong thing. Even if you know that, the question remains, do you want to reach xyz in the first place?"
Yes, right and wrong can be context dependent - but they are more or less absolute within the context. There is a right way (or a few right ways) to start a car, for instance. That doesn't change, regardless of the purpose for starting the car - going somewhere, or running over someone. Right and wrong are for dealing with "factual" reality.
"Why do you want to reach Atlantic City in the first place?"
"To bet at the blackjack tables".
That may be good or less good (morally bad) depending on your perspective.
Bee's question - why do you want to reach xyz in the first place, also reminds me of the question - why be good?
"Why be good (moral)?" is a perennial problem in Western systems of ethics. This was Glaucon's challenge to Plato. Apparently this question cannot even be meaningfully framed in most Indic systems - at least, so I understand. In Indian thought there is simply that which is life-sustaining and that which is not. By life-sustaining, I do not simply mean the physical body, but include the psyche,mind,etc., and the family/community/society,etc. One's actions are more or less conducive to the health of these things. The question "why be good?" morphs into "why should I choose to live?". But that is a private question, not susceptible to universalist answers.
Anyway, I picked up at the library, what from the first few pages seems like an interesting read: "A Case for Amorality: The Moral Fool" by Hans-Georg Moeller.
Noted for June 19, 2013
3 hours ago