[lit-ideas] Re: When Did You Last See Your Father?

PE:
> Moral wrongs are not determined by outcomes, as though one needs to
> see how things turn out to find out if one did something wrong.


I disagree.  Outcome is the only thing that makes something morally wrong. 
Why shouldn't one lie?  Because we do injury to another and society when we
mislead them.  Therefore lying is morally wrong.  But so is telling the
truth when it leads to the injury of another, telling the truth can be just
as morally wrong as lying.  It can, in fact, be more so.  The absolutes
about what is morally wrong seem silly to me.  It all depends on the
circumstance.  Is it morally wrong to kill a man?  Not to save yourself or
loved ones or even the social order -- though that last can be a sticky
wicket.  It is not wrong to lie to save someone, it is morally praiseworthy.

Mike Geary
    

> [Original Message]
> From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 5/17/2010 9:12:23 AM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: When Did You Last See Your Father?
>
> Mike Geary wrote:
>
> "It seems to me that you stripped 'morally wrong' of all meaning.   I
> would say the opposite, that in certain circumstances it's a moral
> imperative to lie."
>
>
> I find it odd that the claim that dissembling the truth is always
> morally wrong is understood as making 'morally wrong' less meaningful.
>  Yet, Mike acknowledges that there is a lie involved, but he seems to
> be saying that it isn't a lie.  That is, that there isn't a moral
> wrong to be found in the moral wrong of dissembling the truth.  And I
> am stripping 'morally wrong' of all meaning?
>
> In the case of the murderer, there are two distinct, yet related,
> activities.  First, there is the matter of answering the murderer, and
> then there is the matter of protecting the innocent person.  One may
> choose to lie in order to protect the innocent person, but that
> doesn't change the fact that one lies.  One may justify the lie by
> pointing to a specific outcome, but that outcome doesn't change the
> fact that one lied.
>
> Moral wrongs are not determined by outcomes, as though one needs to
> see how things turn out to find out if one did something wrong.
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Phil Enns
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