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Why are some people's ethics acceptable and others not?  RSS feed

 
Tyler Ludens
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Why are some people's ethics acceptable and others not? 

I think they aren't acceptable because they are uncommon.  They are controversial because they aren't the default position.



 
Neil Layton
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Yet again I find myself in agreement with Tyler. People with more mainstream views tend to forget that their views are invisible because they are the default. White people tend not to think that racism is a problem because they don't live with it day in day out. Allistics aren't aware of how hostile most of their environments are for some minorities, simply because society is geared up to their needs. Meat eaters forget that their viewpoint is implicitly rammed down everyone's throat day in, day out simply because it's the cultural default. The second anyone raises these (or a host of other matters) the default response is an attempt to shut it down.

"Shut up and eat your cereal" (Scottish meme - long story) serves only to make the place welcoming to the mainstream.
 
r ranson
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Very good question Tyler.  I spent 4 years at uni learning about that, and I still have no idea. 

This has clearly stepped into cider press territory, so now it has it's very own cider press topic.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Well, I've got a minority answer; some ethics should not be acceptable because they are wrong. Some ethics should be acceptable because they are right.

So, unacceptable ethics are thought by the majority, or the vocal minority, to be wrong.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Gilbert, it almost seems like you're saying minority values and ethics are wrong because they are in the minority - can you clarify?

An example would be, minority populations who feel they should have the same rights as the majority - are wrong, because they are in the minority.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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No, I'm just saying that in any population, minority ethics are not acceptable because the majority feels they are wrong, not because the majority feels they are unusual, etc.

And since the majority (or vocal minority, which comes to the same thing) thinks they are wrong, they will try to keep them out of the public square.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Do  you feel that is the case here at permies.com, that the majority thinks minority values are wrong and will try to keep them out of the "public square"?  Although of course, this isn't actually a "public square," it's a private one, but - does it fit with the imperative to "be nice" to suppress dissenting opinions?  Or are the minorities supposed to "be nice" by suppressing their own expression of minority opinions?

That would seem to be in conflict with what Paul wants for the forum:

paul wheaton wrote:This image shows one of my many concerns.   I think a lot of communities on the internet do this, and this what I don't want for permies.com.



 
Tyler Ludens
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Another thing, maybe, is that expressing an alternative ethic is seen as "judging" the majority ethic. 

 
Gilbert Fritz
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All my minority opinions are considered wrong by the majority, and yes, possibly judgmental.

As far as permies moderation goes:

I think some minority opinions are productive, while others are unproductive.

For instance, a while ago on these boards a new member posited that we should all hope for a nuclear war to wipe we human scum off the face of this glorious planet. I flagged him, and not only did his post disappear, but so did he. Definitely a minority opinion. I'm glad it was suppressed.

So, some minority opinions are non-productive to a given forum or community. These can be suppressed, and that is the moderator's call. Some are productive, even if they can create some waves, and these can probably be allowed, with moderators making sure the waves don't turn into a full blown hurricane that will chase the minority folks away.

I think we can eat meat as part of a permaculture lifestyle, others don't. I'm actually not sure if I am the minority or the majority. But it does not matter; we are each able to state our opinion, since this discussion can be productive for the board as a whole.

To sum up, I think moderators are right in removing non-productive minority opinion; we can all post our productive minority opinions, and moderators make sure that does not get us chased out.

This would only apply to permies, which exists for a certain purpose. This same framework would not apply, say, to the world wide web.


Edited to remove "should"
 
Tyler Ludens
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"I think we can eat meat as part of a permaculture lifestyle" might open up the possibility of discussing if it is always appropriate/ or a good idea to eat meat as part of a permaculture lifestyle.  This is one of those difficult topics some of us are afraid to talk about much.  Maybe we can eat meat - but is it always a good idea?  And, even more challenging - is it always ethical?*

edited because the word should disappeared!


* I'm not saying we need to discuss this now in this thread, I am giving it as an example of a minority opinion, value, or ethic.


 
Gilbert Fritz
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I edited it to remove should, that word keeps keeps creeping in!
 
Rus Williams
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This is known in politics as the Overton Window.


It's pretty applicable to what you're discussing here. Basically there are some people who can see several steps ahead or behind, and there are lots of people who can only see one or two steps forward or backwards, and anything outside that window is weird/ deviant/ dangerous.

What is REALLY interesting in this discussion is that the majority of people are unable to remember what it was like to hold an opinion (ethic) that was different to the one they hold now, it seems that as a species we are, generally speaking, pretty poor at seeing outside of our own current environment and belief set.

My opinion is that when many people talk about their ethics, they are more often than not using an ''appeal to authority type argument'' (such as in the wonderful cartoon above) for people to dispense with critical, open, difficult, living thinking and rather choose to live by a set of  rules that fit that persons current belief system.

Ethics are not a stick to beat other people with, which unfortunately is what happened with Mollisons 3rd ethic.

It went from being 'Setting limits to population and consumption' to 'Fair share'
Meaning that people were able to believe that they could tell other people to give them stuff, and if those people didn't comply, then they were not being ethical.

Ethics are quiet, personal things IMO. I tend to be allergic to people who have noisy ones.





 
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