I keep thinking that I’ve posted things already, and then it isn’t here. I must be posting in my mind lately. Actually that is how I write many posts: think about them and and construct what I’m going to say, then write everything down quickly (with way too many typos and messed up punctuation). I should return to crafting articles in the way I used to: old fashioned writing and drafting.
Well, there is quite a bit to talk about in today’s ethics. Too much, actually. I came across quite a bit of theology that is … I don’t know what to term it, “gay-based?” It takes lots of time to talk properly about that since the field is mined and you have to carefully define and explain everything to step around all that. If you want real communication, that is. Another day.
Then there was the discussion with my husband. We have been talking about economics and the foreseeable horizon in our economic future in the nation. He is very Libertarian at the moment. we were talking about the bailouts, so when he said, “….like the war on drugs, accomplishing nothing” . I said whoa. As in “Whoa, Nelly!” Who says the war on drugs didn’t accomplish anything? The discussion led to me being able to articulate what I long held is a problem in discussions about the outcome of prohibition or arguments for legalizing drugs or prostitution, etc. All those are debates that Libertarians tend to engage in. The trouble with economic based philosophies is that they extrapolate the thinking into ethical issues. Economic and ethical goals are very different, and success measures are completely different in the two. So you have to make a distinction between them and not allow false analogies to creep in and become accepted through mere reiteration.
For one thing, when gauging the success of the “war on” (i.e.war on drugs) ethical problems the elements of societal damage have to be factored in. It isn’t the amount of the problem you still have left, but the societal damage in terms of human misery that you have prevented. When societies give free rein to damaging behaviors, society weakens as the vitality of the group weakens. The best outcome has come from regulation rather than prohibition usually, but some things are so detrimental in their nature and their use tends to such widespread problems (out of all proportion to their actions) that they have to be prohibited. Drug addictions are one I would put in that group, prostitution is another. The damage is pernicious and not limited to only the direct participants in the behavior.
So while I am for a free market, and think that capitalism is still the best economic tool for a free system…. I don’t extend that thinking to ethical issues. In fact, it is the ethical problems that lead to a downfall of any system that is used for an institution (such as the economy of a nation). Unfettered greed being foremost. Certain systems are more vulnerable to the known ethical snares (I would argue that Socialism is more vulnerable than a regulated capitalism).
The only obvious thing is that we have to have restraints. The discussions are always about how much restraint and what enforcement is necessary and allowed.
That’s all the out loud thinking for today.