Home Mail Chat Wallpapers
Go Back   ChiefsPlanet > The Lounge > Washington DC and The Holy Land

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-21-2010, 01:21 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
Make America Great Again
 
Direckshun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springpatch
Casino cash: $33532
Being virtuous is wonderful thing, but feeling virtuous is a shortcut to vice.

A fascinating thought experiment by the Guardian's Julian Baggini.

What do you think? How true is Baggini's argument to you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ie-more-ethics

Goodies behaving badly
Doing good deeds as a way of earning naughtiness points shows ethics has become a form of unenlightened self-interest
Julian Baggini
Tuesday 16 March 2010 19.00

Being virtuous is wonderful thing, but feeling virtuous is a shortcut to vice. That seems to be the moral of a fascinating piece of research by two Canadian psychologists, which suggests that the greener people are, the more likely they are to lie and cheat. Doing the right thing by the planet earns us credit in our ethical investment accounts that we can then spend by dumping on our fellow human beings. The "halo of green consumerism", it is claimed, is just a license to behave less well in other areas of life.

This finding doesn't surprise me. It echoes a report that came out in 2008, which showed that people who were most concerned about the environment were more likely to take long-haul flights. Some of those questioned explicitly said that recycling every last scrap of paper earned them the right to fly, as though you could swap carbon footprints for green air miles.

It would be wrong, however, to think there is something particularly hypocritical about environmentalists. The general truth lurking behind these findings is that the feeling of being pure is a moral contaminant. In ethical terms, the best never think that they are the best, and those that believe themselves to be on the side of the angels are often the worst devils.

Why should this be so? One reason is that complacency is as dangerous in ethics as it is in any other area of life where we strive for excellence. If we think we are "good people" we might think less about the possibility that we might actually be doing wrong.

But if that just seems to be a universal truth of human nature, what of the idea that being in moral credit earns us redeemable naughtiness points? I can imagine what the evolutionary psychologists would say: ethics is rooted in reciprocal altruism you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. So when you do the right thing, but not to any particular person, we instinctively feel that we have earned some sort of pay back. Since no-one will do that for us, we opt for self-service reciprocation.

That may indeed be natural, but that doesn't make it right. And even if it did, there is still a problem that when we allow ourselves to dish out the rewards, we can't trust ourselves to be fair. It's like that old Laurel and Hardy skit where Ollie shares out the money, "one for you, one for me; two for you, one-two for me ..." and so on. He who cuts the cake should never be allowed to choose the first slice.

The problem is compounded by the fact that we also tend to over-value the good we do and undervalue the harm. The more you believe that saving the world is the most important thing in it, the more your credit for doing your bit is inflated. Our own moral priorities always, uniquely, earn double points.

True virtue, in contrast, doesn't keep tabs, because it is self-effacing. Consider, for instance, how you'd answer the question, are you modest? The truly modest can't answer yes, as that would be immodest. But to answer no would be false. The only honest answer that is not self-defeating is to say, "I don't know: I try to be, but I might not succeed." It's not about false modesty, but maintaining a proper scepticism about our ability to judge our own moral fitness. Proper, because we can see how hardly anyone believes his or herself to be a villain, yet villains there surely are. And it's also so easy to be self-serving in our rationalisations.

True virtue would never liken its rewards to points on a loyalty card, not because it is its own reward, but because it is not something we should practice to accrue future benefits. If these latest studies show us anything, it's that we've lost sight of this. It is not to our credit that we see good deeds as ways of earning it. Ethics has gone beyond reciprocal altruism and become unenlightened self-interest. But I'd better stop there: I'm in danger of feeling very, very self-righteous.
Posts: 53,797
Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.Direckshun is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 02:59 PM   #2
ClevelandBronco ClevelandBronco is online now
Banned
 
ClevelandBronco's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2006
Casino cash: $19055
Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
A fascinating thought experiment by the Guardian's Julian Baggini.

What do you think? How true is Baggini's argument to you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ie-more-ethics

Goodies behaving badly
Doing good deeds as a way of earning naughtiness points shows ethics has become a form of unenlightened self-interest
Julian Baggini
Tuesday 16 March 2010 19.00

Being virtuous is wonderful thing, but feeling virtuous is a shortcut to vice. That seems to be the moral of a fascinating piece of research by two Canadian psychologists, which suggests that the greener people are, the more likely they are to lie and cheat. Doing the right thing by the planet earns us credit in our ethical investment accounts that we can then spend by dumping on our fellow human beings. The "halo of green consumerism", it is claimed, is just a license to behave less well in other areas of life...
I think embracing the appearances, trappings and rituals of religion has given some folks — only some, mind you — the same kind of license to excuse poor behavior.
__________________
"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth ..."
Pope Saint John Paul II
Posts: 24,463
ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.ClevelandBronco is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
Sully Sully is offline
It Goes On
 
Sully's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lees Summit
Casino cash: $36431
It's like when I get off the treadmill and have a diet coke... And think that leaves me safe to eat an entire pizza that night.
__________________
"And I don't wish that girl any bad luck," he said, "but I hope she gets hit with a car."
- Tommy Lasorda

Posts: 18,137
Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.Sully threw an interception on a screen pass.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 PM.


This is a test for a client's site.
Fort Worth Texas Process Servers
Covering Arlington, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and surrounding communities.
Tarrant County, Texas and Johnson County, Texas.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.