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  #26  
Old 04-11-2012, 07:47 PM
MaeMae MaeMae is offline
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

Do unto others as you would have done to you?
That's a basic no brainer. Except when ego interferes. What then, Anachiel?

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Old 04-11-2012, 08:09 PM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

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Do unto others as you would have done to you?
That's a basic no brainer. Except when ego interferes. What then, Anachiel?

Then history repeats itself and people go on moralizing retrospectively.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2012, 11:17 PM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

If, moral and ethical, codes are innate then how did Mr. Milgram get all those adults to "electrocute" others, when they could hear that they were in pain, potentially could die, and when they knew that they were not even being paid to do it, let alone directed to do so by law...
His experiment was unethical, but look at what it uncovered. By virtue of it being unethical, psychologists are not permitted to conduct such experments any longer and means by which our understanding could be enlightened further, have been prohibited. However, we still have the news. I live in London and here, children kill other children for nothing! There are children who would never participate in such violence, even if it conferred massive rewards. But, there are other (very young) children who would, even when completely unprovoked. To give an example of Jamie Bulger, a two year old murdered, in 1993, by being stolen and placed on train tracks by two random ten year old boys.
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  #29  
Old 04-12-2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

First, Milgram's experiments were not an exception. They produced alarmingly consistent results with sane adults in Western society. Second, may I recommend this reading: http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Cons.../dp/019928301X as an antithesis to Hauser's ill-supported claims and in support of more ecologically valid (i.e., outside of the lab) considerations. Mwah.
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  #30  
Old 04-12-2012, 01:47 AM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

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First, Milgram's experiments were not an exception. They produced alarmingly consistent results with sane adults in Western society. Second, may I recommend this reading: http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Cons.../dp/019928301X as an antithesis to Hauser's ill-supported claims and in support of more ecologically valid (i.e., outside of the lab) considerations. Mwah.
Perhaps so Mandy. Nevertheless, the following is also true!

EXAMPLE OF INNATE MORAL/ETHICAL CODE

A healthy man walks into a hospital where five patients are awaiting organ transplants.

Is it morally acceptable to kill the man in order to harvest his organs to save the lives of five others?

If you instantly answered no, you share a near-universal response to the dilemma, one offered by peoples and cultures all over the globe.
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  #31  
Old 04-12-2012, 03:28 AM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

Your example is riddled with emotive content. Theoretically, there is a difference between cognitive function and affective function. If we assume at any point that the two are interdependent, then we have a million extraneous variables to account for which could affect one's emotive response in any given situation. These may include shock, which is neuroscientifically distinct from instinct. People report different instincts and show huge variation in behaviour in a state of shock. Other extraneous variables include: socialisation, hormonal composition, nervous composition, content of memories, childhood conditioning, pre-natal care, etc. It is important to not only measure the influence of every one variable but also the interactions between all these. In psychological research, one unaccounted for variable, can skew results substantially and therefore the conclusion.

The problem with gaining a comprehensive understanding of morality is rooted in the origins of consciousness (arguments of which I am sure you are versed in). I do not feel that I am in a position to judge that person X has done an immoral thing because what I know is not his consciousness and it would be a fallacy for me to assume blindly that his consciousness is roughly the same as mine. I can take the perspective of the victim, but I cannot be sure that the victim even feels victimised. Often they do not. I cant judge the contents of anyone's consciousness - AT ALL. All I know is what I do/do not like and likes and dislikes are culturally dependent. In the UK, being slashed across the face with a sharp object would qualify for arrest. In Africa, the natives celebrate such an event, even though the child never chose it. The child is socialised into experiencing this as a great reward and not an immoral act.

To what extent do we have free will to decide to remove ourselves from the cuture we are born into, however small? In English culture, a wife who has a cheating husband will be very upset, need therapy, and have problems trusting again, ALL because she perceives his actions towards her as immoral. Fundamentally, she's taken by surprise at finding out, she's thinking "how could he" and some wives even will inflict serious harm on the husband/other woman as punishment for doing her wrong. In the Arab culture, a man can have several wives, treating them accordingly, and the wives will be completely unmoved by it whilst staying unquestionably devoted to obeying the commands of their one husband. Still, in the buddhist culture, people are encouraged to let go of all attachments. In all three, judgements about morality would be worlds apart because what we consider the be (im)moral is contingent on our socialisation and lacking much free will, giving the illusion of "innateness." If one exercises their small amount of free will, they will reap the benefits of our extremely adaptable brain, and what they consider to be immoral can change with time, whilst some will maintain their initial learning. This feeds into theories of depression/mental health and theories of depression/mental health feed into people escaping a prison sentence, for commiting an "immoral" act, due to being mentally unstable at the time of incident. Similarly, in the west people kill kattle for food, whereas in India, cows are a sacred animal. Calling a child sinful for eating beef would seem immoral in Britain, whereas calling a child sinful for eating beef in India would be right. What came first? The chicken or the egg?
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  #32  
Old 04-12-2012, 08:57 AM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

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Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
If you instantly answered no, you share a near-universal response to the dilemma, one offered by peoples and cultures all over the
This strikes me as a very broad, sweeping statement, which in fact presumes to understand the thought processes, morality and ethics of billions of people, hundreds of cultures and untold evolutions of ethics, not only through societal evolution but also through individual evolution - which is quite limiting, considering it such a broad and expansive topic (we are taking about morality after all - Jupiter/9th house).

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  #33  
Old 04-12-2012, 08:59 AM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

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Originally Posted by tsmall View Post
I agree that what seems black and white in theory often descends into shades of grey in real life, when choices have to be made.

Good thought to look at Jupiter, but wouldn't a person's Saturn placement have something to say about their morals as well? Perhaps with Moon and Mercury thrown in?
Yes indeed, Saturn too, perhaps for the way the rules are constructed, Jupiter for the values and Mercury for the way these internal things are communicated and thought about by the individual.
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  #34  
Old 04-12-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

"We are not of this world,and this world is not of us,and we fear lest we meet death in this realm of an alien God."

A Cathar prayer.

J.R.
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  #35  
Old 04-12-2012, 06:22 PM
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loaded question, to Tamara

Tamara,

You said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmall View Post
Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally wrong?
This is a loaded question. Look at it another way:

Is it ever moral to do something immoral?

Answer:

No.

That's the answer, pure and simple. You can't be moral if you are doing things that aren't moral. Try answering this question any other way and your head starts spinning...you start to have "reasonable doubt".

Now what if you ask: would you ever do something that you believe is immoral? That is a much different and perhaps more interesting question. To follow up: if you believe all killing is immoral would you ever kill? And how do you justify going against your morals? If you go against what you say are your morals are they truly your morals? If not, what are your true morals?

Answering and questioning,

Tim
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  #36  
Old 04-12-2012, 06:54 PM
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innate? to Jupiter

Jupiter,

You said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
Although morals and ethics are clearly used in order to impose controls on society that is not the reason for their existence...Ethical and moral codes are innate
First of all, something being "innate" is not a reason. OK, if I accept ethical and moral codes are innate that still leaves the question WHY do they exist? Secondly, "innate" means an inborn instinct that we have from birth...and there are many children who are not "innately" moral at all. They behave immorally (attack other children, steal their things, etc.) and think nothing of it. In your example there are plenty of children who might find it "cool" to take apart the healthy man just to do it, without needing any excuse of helping five unhealthy people. Children often take pleasure in violence.

No, morals and ethics are "trained into" people, as they grow up in society and gradually get a sense of what is and what is not acceptable. And there are some people who can't be trained, who are without a sense of morality and do whatever they want whenever they want simply to satisfy their curiosity. That seems to be what Mandy is talking about, the immoral people.

Interesting for Mandy to discuss the benefits of immorality. There were a lot of Nazi human experiments which were immoral according to many people yet we benefit today from the knowledge these experiments gave us. Same with the Nazi rocket scientists who were the basis of our space program. Maybe morality is over-rated?

Wondering immorally,

Tim
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  #37  
Old 04-12-2012, 10:17 PM
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

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Originally Posted by Neptune Rising View Post
This strikes me as a very broad, sweeping statement, which in fact presumes to understand the thought processes, morality and ethics of billions of people, hundreds of cultures and untold evolutions of ethics, not only through societal evolution but also through individual evolution - which is quite limiting, considering it such a broad and expansive topic (we are taking about morality after all - Jupiter/9th house).
I'm reposting the comment you referred to below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
If you instantly answered no, you share a near-universal response to the dilemma, one offered by peoples and cultures all over the globe.

But how did you reach this conclusion? Was it a rational decision learned in childhood, or was it—as Harvard evolutionary biologist and cognitive neuroscientist Marc Hauser claims—based on instincts encoded in our brains by evolution? In his recent book Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong (HarperCollins), Hauser argues that millions of years of natural selection have moulded a universal moral grammar within our brains that enables us to make rapid decisions about ethical dilemmas.
i.e. my post highlighted the claims of Harvard evolutionary biologist and cognitive neuroscientist Marc Hauser who argues that there is "a universal moral grammar within our brains"
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  #38  
Old 04-12-2012, 11:39 PM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsontc View Post
Tamara,

This is a loaded question. Look at it another way:

Is it ever moral to do something immoral?

Answer:

No.

That's the answer, pure and simple. You can't be moral if you are doing things that aren't moral. Try answering this question any other way and your head starts spinning...you start to have "reasonable doubt".

Now what if you ask: would you ever do something that you believe is immoral? That is a much different and perhaps more interesting question. To follow up: if you believe all killing is immoral would you ever kill? And how do you justify going against your morals? If you go against what you say are your morals are they truly your morals? If not, what are your true morals?

Answering and questioning,

Tim


Tim,

Bingo. Head spinning and everything. Isn't it funny how a simple question can lead you to try to define who you really are, and what you really believe? I mentioned before (either on this thread or the other one) that as humans we often say one thing and then do another. That can either be due to hypocrisy, or to something deeper. I do believe that all killing is wrong, but even though I've never been put in a position where I needed to choose one life (mine, or a loved one's) over another, I recognize that I would likely do what I believe to be wrong in that instance. Or, if I or a loved one were starving. Stealing is wrong. But yes, I would steal food if necessary.

A high school sociology class taught that there are three basic needs all people have. It was a long time ago, but I remember them as being the need to live. The need for food, clothing and shelter. And the need to be liked, loved and accepted. But the most basic of these is the need to live. If we believe in evolution, we each carry within us a primitive brain stem, whose soul purpose is to insure the continuation of the species, or of ourselves, through whatever means necessary. To consume resources and reproduce, if you will.

The question of morals and ethics boils then down to the personal vs. the social. There have been times that people have demonstrated great sacrifice for the greater good. Instances of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, or the one (pardon the Star Trek quote.)

I don't know that there is any right or wrong answer to this question. But, it is a good question for people to consider.

Tamara
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  #39  
Old 04-12-2012, 11:42 PM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

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Originally Posted by wilsontc View Post
There were a lot of Nazi human experiments which were immoral according to many people yet we benefit today from the knowledge these experiments gave us. Same with the Nazi rocket scientists who were the basis of our space program. Maybe morality is over-rated?

Wondering immorally,

Tim
You've made many excellent points Tim, such as regarding the way the question was originally posited, but the point above is particularly apt. I am currently in the process of postgrad in neuropsychology. Neuropsych faces a problem in that there are huge numbers of patients suffering psychologically and yet we know not a great deal about the brain in order to help them. I dont want to get too techical, but there are many promising ideas in neuropsychological research that could be conducted with various populations in order to yield a more comprehensive understanding of the more holistic, and natural, sides of brain function and yet the ethical board would never approve them. This is because there would be a small chance of an adverse consequence occuring as a result of expert experimentation. Also, practice shows such research is seldom funded. Conversely, we have all these drug trials with anti-depressants. What is more, the anti-depressants have been licensed for wide spread use. However, one physician can never predict how one's brian will react to the medication. Research has shown that suicide rates have gone up drastically directly as a result of Prozac. Perhaps part of the reason for this is because often one's symptoms tend to worsen for the first few weeks of taking the drug before any relief is experienced. Begs the question: Why is experimentation (which can help understand a multitude of ailments from the vegetative state to Alzheimers to depression) wrong and tightly controlled and the licensing of drugs to the already vulnerable (OUT) patients, who have no medical assistance at home, lack of funds for therapy, etc., and the drugs have a realistic possibility of making them substantially worse, is okay. I dont know how clearly I have conveyed what I want to say as I write this in a hurry, but the point is that the industry key to helping people prioritizes financial outcomes over those pro life, in many cases. I suppose this finds reflection in JUPITERASC's example, in that: is it better to (reversibly) affect potentially a few people in order to perpetuate lasting research, or to harm openly the already vulnerable, in greater numbers, and charge them for it in the process? Its not a hypothetical example. Also, it makes me think about Hauser's claims in the context of their relevance when pittied against the blindingly widespread social manipulation in the world today, leaving any "innate" morality corrupted from childhood (potentially).
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  #40  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:07 AM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

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You've made many excellent points Tim, such as regarding the way the question was originally posited,
Hi Mandy. You are probably right that the title of this thread, or the question posited, isn't as great as it could be. My thread title came from the discourse on this thread

http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum...ad.php?t=40720

which led me to reframe the original question, and start a new thread. Perhaps, if you want to reframe the question again, you can do so with a new thread? To my way of thinking, that is indeed how ideas evolve and grow...much like seeds planted in a garden that spring to life in unexpected ways.

Tamara
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  #41  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:20 AM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

I'm sorry,

I didnt have anything against your title. I participated in discussion before Tim had posted and I never made such a statement, which should support my claim. In thinking about the OP and JUPITERASC's position, I thought that Tim made an excellent point. Thats all. It was a point that opened my eyes to my way of thinking about the subject. Honestly, my last reply was in no way implicitly directed at the title of the thread, though I can understand how it could have easily been misinterpreted. To be clear, Tamara, I find your posts always intelligent and well informed. I am yet to see one that isnt. Here, Tim helped me to acknowledge a more direct route to thinking about JUPITERASC's post. I hope that clarifies things. Again, I apologise if I had offended you momentarily.

Last edited by Mandy; 04-13-2012 at 12:23 AM.
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  #42  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:29 AM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
I am currently in the process of postgrad in neuropsychology. Neuropsych faces a problem in that there are huge numbers of patients suffering psychologically and yet we know not a great deal about the brain in order to help them. I dont want to get too techical, but there are many promising ideas in neuropsychological research that could be conducted with various populations in order to yield a more comprehensive understanding of the more holistic, and natural, sides of brain function and yet the ethical board would never approve them. This is because there would be a small chance of an adverse consequence occuring as a result of expert experimentation. Also, practice shows such research is seldom funded. Conversely, we have all these drug trials with anti-depressants. What is more, the anti-depressants have been licensed for wide spread use. However, one physician can never predict how one's brian will react to the medication. Research has shown that suicide rates have gone up drastically directly as a result of Prozac. Perhaps part of the reason for this is because often one's symptoms tend to worsen for the first few weeks of taking the drug before any relief is experienced. Begs the question: Why is experimentation (which can help understand a multitude of ailments from the vegetative state to Alzheimers to depression) wrong and tightly controlled and the licensing of drugs to the already vulnerable (OUT) patients, who have no medical assistance at home, lack of funds for therapy, etc., and the drugs have a realistic possibility of making them substantially worse, is okay. I dont know how clearly I have conveyed what I want to say as I write this in a hurry, but the point is that the industry key to helping people prioritizes financial outcomes over those pro life, in many cases. I suppose this finds reflection in JUPITERASC's example, in that: is it better to (reversibly) affect potentially a few people in order to perpetuate lasting research, or to harm openly the already vulnerable, in greater numbers, and charge them for it in the process? Its not a hypothetical example. Also, it makes me think about Hauser's claims in the context of their relevance when pittied against the blindingly widespread social manipulation in the world today, leaving any "innate" morality corrupted from childhood (potentially).
Ethics related to neuropsychology? I assume there are existing guidelines Mandy You've mentioned drug trials, with Prozac as an example. I recently watched a documentary entitled "Psychiatry an Industry of Death" which IMO provides food for thought http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qs9T...eature=related
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  #43  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:34 AM
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Re: loaded question, to Tamara

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I'm sorry,

I didnt have anything against your title. I participated in discussion before Tim had posted and I never made such a statement, which should support my claim. In thinking about the OP and JUPITERASC's position, I thought that Tim made an excellent point. Thats all. It was a point that opened my eyes to my way of thinking about the subject. Honestly, my last reply was in no way implicitly directed at the title of the thread, though I can understand how it could have easily been misinterpreted. To be clear, Tamara, I find your posts always intelligent and well informed. I am yet to see one that isnt. Here, Tim helped me to acknowledge a more direct route to thinking about JUPITERASC's post. I hope that clarifies things. Again, I apologise if I had offended you momentarily.
Mandy, I wasn't offended in the least, and I like the research you are doing, as well as the posts you have made here. In some ways the ideas are hard to think about (such as the benefit we received from the tortuous experiments the Nazis carried out...yes we did benefit, but oh, my at such great cost..) If anything, the idea for this thread was meant only for each of us to carefully examine what we believe about ourselves and our morals, and then to challenge those ideas with situations or circumstances that would really force us to decide if we live up to our own expectations.

All is good.
Tamara
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  #44  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:10 PM
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following down the yellow brick road, to Jupiter

Jupiter,

You said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
Not a reason for.....?

That begs two questions:
(1)"Is immorality innate?"
(2) "Is immorality learned?

your comment may be summarized as "the ends justify the means"
Exactly! You understand! You didn't give the reason you promised: you said you had a reason then you started talking about morality being "innate". Which isn't a reason for anything.

And no, it doesn't "beg" any question. If children by their nature are not born moral, then morality is NOT innate. And that means NOT being moral is innate. Which means that immorality IS "innate". If immorality is "innate" that means it exists at birth so immorality is NOT learned.

To recap, the conclusions of my statements are:
- Immorality IS innate
- Immorality is NOT learned (which is the same thing as saying immorality is innate)

And my QUESTION can not be summarized as an ANSWER. My QUESTION "Maybe morality is over-rated?" is NOT the CONCLUSION "Morality IS over-rated" or "the end justifies the means". My question is just that, a question up for debate and discussion.

To Oz and back,

Tim
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:16 PM
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questions lead to more questions, to Tamara

Tamara,

You said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmall View Post
Isn't it funny how a simple question can lead you to try to define who you really are, and what you really believe?
Exactly! That's what's fun about questioning things...you start out with one question and that answer leads to new questions or help you define the question more clearly. It's all part of the process...

Questioning,

Tim
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:44 PM
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:36 AM
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Ethics related to neuropsychology?

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Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
Ethics related to neuropsychology? I assume there are existing guidelines Mandy
There are existing guidelines, but when you look statistically at the overall results/success/failure rate + poor understanding of neurotransmission, one can see that the pharmaceutical industry is blatantly breaching the code of ethics by poisoning the vulnerable (depressed/anxious/insomniac) population, at large.

Even when presented with all of the evidence about the fact nothing is known about the vegetative state (e.g., http://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/pascal....0vegetatif.pdf), since physiologically, these patients show no difference (e.g., no lesser blood glucose matabolism) from those who are "minimally conscious", and are not subjected to feeding withdrawal, the JUDGE (of all people) will still decide that it is most appropriate to have the life of a living patent, albeit "vegetative" (externally), terminated.

BUT, if a scientist wants to conduct research on this patient group (who are also fed drugs which may be doing more harm than good into a vegetative brain) by means of interventions, its often prohibited since this patient group cannot consent to this. Dont misunderstand me, I would never dream of inflicting any discomfort to these patients (I volunteer a hospital where they are and its the best job I've ever had and I'm not even paid for it), I'm just saying from an objective pov that what is considered ethical behaviour within "neuropsychology" is, comparably, not followed by those who have deciding input (doctors; judges), instead it is actively kept at a constant, so to ensure implicitly some kind of efficiency within society. However, the strict guidelines must be maintained by those who are trying to discover something new. Again, its a more ecologically valid example of your Hauser dilemma: whats better, to research the brain of a patient by means of necessary intervention, tightly controlled and in hospital, or to put that same patient to death following no research by means of necessary intervention/or to give them (in the case of depressed people) harmful drugs outside of the hospital?

As an unnecessary piece of information (in support of my rant), I was advising a friend the other day on what to do in order to get a certain benefit from the government. She isnt depressed, but I told her to go to the doctor and tell him that she is depressed. He gave her a prescription and when we looked it up, it turned out to be an anti-psychotic! It made me so scared to think what this man is precribing to people who are genuinely vulnerable such as the truly depressed or the elderly. We have reported him. But, when you cant trust your doctor to do the right thing (morally), because he probably believes that he's doing an excellent thing (morally), who is to blame?
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:59 PM
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wilsontc wilsontc is offline
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so close! to Jupiter

Jupiter,

You said:
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Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
The comment...is a matter of opinion...IF children by their nature are not born moral then the INFERENCE you make is that ALL children are 'not born moral'. That INFERENCE is false because SOME children ARE 'born moral'....may be alternatively summarised as “I'm immorally wondering that maybe immorality is under-rated?” aka “maybe the ends justify the means?”
No, that's a matter of fact. Either a reason IS there or it ISN'T and yours ISN'T there...still isn't there in fact...

So close! The inference I make from my original statement is that children have the ability to be immoral...so logically it follows that SOME children are immoral, exactly as you said. I never said ALL children behave this way...I simply said "many children" behave this way. That is, logically there are SOME children who do NOT behave this way.

True, you COULD summarize it that way, but that would be inaccurate. What is there about wondering about the immorality of something immoral makes the wondering immoral? If I wonder whether or not Jeffrey Dahmer was moral or immoral does that MAKE me immoral? And my point wasn't about immorality being UNDER-rated, it was about morality being OVER-rated.

The only thing here that you seem to have gotten right in my point is that you SHOULD have stated "Does the end justify the means?" as a QUESTION, not a STATEMENT. I see you have now corrected yourself to phrase this as a question. So ONE way to look at the question of is morality over-rated is "Does the end justify the means?" There are OTHER ways, but that is ONE question.

Getting closer,

Tim
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:36 PM
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eedwards eedwards is offline
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Re: Is it ever ethical or morally justified to do that which one knows to be morally

Morality and ethics classes are taught in schools. I have never heard of immorality or unethics classes being taught in schools...hmmm. If morality is inherently innate would these classes be necessary? Do you remember those little hardcover Golden books that we all loved as kids? They were entertaining but also, (in many cases), taught us about ethics and morals.

Last edited by eedwards; 04-14-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:28 PM
MaeMae MaeMae is offline
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Morality and ethics classes are taught in schools. I have never heard of immorality or unethics classes being taught in schools...hmmm. If morality is inherently innate would these classes be necessary? Do you remember those little hardcover Golden books that we all loved as kids? They were entertaining but also, (in many cases), taught us about ethics and morals.
all those golden books come in different forms, languages and messages for different people with different backgrounds.
The metaphorical tower of babble.
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