[Noisebridge-discuss] Sigh -- I'm not helping with Maker Faires this year.

Gopiballava Flaherty gopiballava at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 16:55:04 PDT 2012


On Apr 3, 2012, at 16:16, Matt Joyce <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:

> I don't see it as a red herring at all.  I'll show respect to Von
> Braun's brilliance even in launching V2s at london to support a war of
> oppression.  Show respect where it is due.

Language can be complex. I don't know the best way to express how I feel about somebody like Von Braun. I can respect his brilliance while saying he was doing a bad thing. 


> Morality is a nasty thing in some regards.  It's a very personal
> thing.  What I consider moral and what you consider moral are
> different beasts and learning to respect someone else's convictions is
> difficult.

When you say respect, does this preclude my saying that I disagree with a choice?

You should note that I am not naming specific names of people but rather discussing abstract characteristics. For all of these cases there could be extenuating circumstances. 

> You can't judge people's decisions according to your own moral
> compass.

There exists no situation in which I can call a decision immoral?

> That in it's own right is unfair to them and quite honestly
> demeaning and tyrannical.

To say that somebody is immoral is tyrannical? I'm not going around screaming that people are evil. I am not saying that anything bad should happen to them. I am saying that I think a particular action is wrong. 

> Their intentions matter more than their
> actions when morality is discussed.

I think that the relevance of intentions is a very complex issue. The belief that genocide is necessary to save your civilization could be an honest intention for a laudable goal, but I would call it immoral. 

> And if their intentions met their
> own code of morality and they accepted the consequences of their
> actions, then who are you to judge them immoral?

I am some guy on a mailing list. If I can't discuss the morality of an abstract class of actions here, then you're effectively arguing that I can't ever express my opinions of morality. 

> Yes we have a shared society.  And we have laws we all agree to adhere
> to.  A code of conduct if you will.  But that is not morality.

Of course it isn't a code of morality. It should not be. Society should permit many actions that are immoral in the view of many people. 

> It's a
> framework that allows us to respect each others morals while surviving
> in proximity to those we don't necessarily agree with.

I frequently work extensively with people that I disagree with. I do not go around asking people to justify their morality. 

> I think you are judging people unfairly here.

I think you're overestimating the significance of my judgments. I am saying something is wrong. I am not saying you are a terrible person for doing it. 

> 
> On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM, Gopiballava Flaherty
> <gopiballava at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Apr 3, 2012, at 15:49, Matt Joyce <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> For many people in rural America especially first and second
>>> generation Americans service in the military offers the only
>>> reasonable opportunity they have coming out of high school.  If you
>>> have to emancipate yourself from your parents at 18 and you need to
>>> start a life for yourself, the incentives offered by the military can
>>> be the difference between success and failure in a very big way.
>> 
>> Absolutely. This is very unfortunate IMHO.
>> 
>>> This is not a clear cut good / bad discussion.  Many people throughout
>>> history ( especially the Irish ) have fought in wars that were not
>>> their own, and never a concern of theirs simply because that was the
>>> best of options made available to them by chance or fate or whatever
>>> you want to call it.
>> 
>> Being forced by circumstances into an immoral choice does not make the choice moral. I will likely be much less critical of an individual who makes such a choice, but I will not call the choice moral.
>> 
>>> And regardless of a persons reason for entering the military, it is a
>>> professional choice that demonstrates a strength of character some
>>> might call courage.
>> 
>> Red herring. I'm sure you could find many examples of courage shown by people during the commission of horrible things. Courage and perseverance in the pursuit of moral goals is laudable. Courage and perseverance in the pursuit of immoral choices, even when the alternate choices you have are unpleasant is not something I see as positive.
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