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July 20th, 2004 - Phil's Rambling Rants

July 20th, 2004

July 20th, 2004
10:30 pm

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Ethics and Morals
I've done some thinking about the big question of how to judge whether behavior -- whether our own we're contemplating or someone else's we're critiquing -- is good or bad, and how we go about making that choice. The way I see it, there are two basic approaches. One, at the root, comes down to someone in authority saying "thus and such is the right way to behave, because I say so", or (essentially equivalently) "thus and such is the right way to behave, because God says so, and I speak for God". The other, at the root, comes down to people deciding for themselves, based on rational thinking, whether behavior is good or bad.

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