[lit-ideas] Re: Justifying Moral Principles?

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2015 16:07:02 -0600

Walter asks: "Are these really but articles of political faith?"

 The answer is yes, if by "political" you mean cultural.  I have of late --
whence, I know not -- become a deep down believer in culture.  Everything
is culture (anthopologically speaking) or as Heidegger put it "we are
always already immersed in a world.  It is passed on to us through the
generous auspices of Mum and Daddums first and then the world.  From the
first moment out of the womb until the final breath, our "selfhoodness" is
but that "set of beliefs and values" held by one's parents which, of
course, were similarly given to them and which they adopted and adapted in
their encounters with other of cultures (the neighbors) during their
journey through life, just as we adjust our given culture to accomodate
changes in the world.  Philosophy, I contend, is basically just the
encountering of other cultures and making judgments about them. In the end,
Mom and Dad are our personal Plato and Aristotle, and all those folk we
meet along the way to dusty death, they are those who hone our values, or
even totally dislodge them.  We meet the other and according to our needs,
we choose to change our views to accommodate theirs or not.  Essentially,
life is but the process of becoming our own unique culture.  Each Culture
(another way of saying "each individual") starts, as said, with Mommy and
Daddy (or their surrogates) -- we are given their culture, and as we
encounter other people in the world (encounter, that is, instances of
different cultures) -- we assess those cultures as to whether they supply
better or worse explanations of our experiences in the world than those
that were given to us by Mom and Dad.  Accordingly, we either increase our
support for Mom and Dad's cultural ways of explaining, believing, doing and
valuing, or we graft new beliefs onto that culture.  We find ourselves in a
more or less continual process of either confirming our culture by
rejecting some other one, or of adapting our culture when we determine that
some other better explains the world that we are constantly encountering.
In such a manner we develop our own uniqueish culture unto ourselves.  You
may sneer at this, my culture, dismissing it as sophomoric,  but, hey, that
just explains a lot about you -- so there.

On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 4:58 AM, Walter C. Okshevsky <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
wrote:

> We justify our judgements and actions through the giving and assessing of
> reasons.  In doing so, we appeal to one or more moral principles for
> purposes
> of securing satisfactory levels of impartiality and objectivity. But can
> the
> principles themselves be justified? Could Rorty"s "ethnocentrism" really
> be the
> last word on the subject?  On that meta=ethical view, any attempt to
> justify a
> moral scheme or "vocabulary" would prove to be question-begging since the
> justification would have to appeal to principles, norms and criteria
> internal
> to its own vocabulary. So how then do we justify the Categorical
> Imperative,
> Principle of Equal Respect for Persons, The Original Position, Principle of
> Discourse, etc.. Are these really but articles of political faith?
>
> Thawing out on the Avalon, NL
>
> Walter O
>
>
>
>
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