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Ethics vs Morals [SPLIT]: contains some House spoilers

PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Melkster wrote: »
NotYou wrote: »
Melkster wrote: »
I think what everyone is forgetting here is that for lawyers, doctors - and hell, even fucking priests - the ethics of their profession supersede everything else. Yes, they are above personal morality. And yes, you'll lose your license (or get censured or punished or whatever) if you "do the objectively right thing" but break the vows of your profession. It's important. It's a big deal - for everyone. Every person needs to know that their lawyer will never tell any of your secrets, no matter how horrible. Anything else compromises the integrity of the profession. And if you can't handle that, you have no fucking business being a lawyer.

Same with being a doctor.
Spoiler:

no profession supersedes basic morality. You can argue that it wasn't a moral action, but you can't argue that because my job is this, that you have to act immorally. That is a ridiculous argument.

Yes, yes you can. That's the point. That's why the ethics are so powerful. A priest who broke the seal of confession to turn in a murderer would get thrown out (well maybe, kinda). A lawyer who broke his confidentiality and turned in his own client would get disbarred or worse. A doctor who
Spoiler:
should get his license revoked and then should go to jail.

And if you can't handle that, don't become a lawyer, priest, or doctor. Those ethical rules are there for a reason.

There are proper channels to handle these things. Being a vigilante and breaking your professional ethical obligations - which, yes, supersede everyday "normal person" ethical obligations - is always bad.

No because A- there are limits on confidentiality and B- what Law and Order says about professional ethics is not what real life says about them. If a person says he is going to commit a crime, confidentiality does not apply for priests, lawyers or doctors for instance. Professional codes of ethics don't overrule laws.

Additionally, the Hippocratic Oath that includes "do no harm" is mythical. The idea that a promise one makes as part of one's profession - and many doctors never take that oath - supersedes any and all other ethical obligations is nonsensical. If one promises a course of action that is unethical, the promise does not make the action ethical. If I promised to curb stomp babies as part of my Nazi Stormtrooper Code of Evil that doesn't make it ethical, because the greater demands of society override any lesser demands. Killing a patient is unethical normally not because of a professional oath but because killing a person is unethical under normal circumstances. And while promising a course of action that is ethically neutral and not following through can introduce an unethical characteristic to an action, if society demands actions contrary to your professional code then it wins out.

Now if you want to argue that the dictator's actions were insufficiently imminent, that's a reasonable objection. But I would suggest that the dictator's protection under subsequent potential circumstances and the gravity of his planned and prepared violence make the violence effectively imminent.

PantsB on
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Posts

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    I think what everyone is forgetting here is that for lawyers, doctors - and hell, even fucking priests - the ethics of their profession supersede everything else. Yes, they are above personal morality. And yes, you'll lose your license (or get censured or punished or whatever) if you "do the objectively right thing" but break the vows of your profession. It's important. It's a big deal - for everyone. Every person needs to know that their lawyer will never tell any of your secrets, no matter how horrible. Anything else compromises the integrity of the profession. And if you can't handle that, you have no fucking business being a lawyer.

    Same with being a doctor.
    Spoiler:

    no profession supersedes basic morality. You can argue that it wasn't a moral action, but you can't argue that because my job is this, that you have to act immorally. That is a ridiculous argument.

    Yes, yes you can. That's the point. That's why the ethics are so powerful. A priest who broke the seal of confession to turn in a murderer would get thrown out (well maybe, kinda). A lawyer who broke his confidentiality and turned in his own client would get disbarred or worse. A doctor who
    Spoiler:
    should get his license revoked and then should go to jail.

    And if you can't handle that, don't become a lawyer, priest, or doctor. Those ethical rules are there for a reason.

    There are proper channels to handle these things. Being a vigilante and breaking your professional ethical obligations - which, yes, supersede everyday "normal person" ethical obligations - is always bad.

    No because A- there are limits on confidentiality and B- what Law and Order says about professional ethics is not what real life says about them. If a person says he is going to commit a crime, confidentiality does not apply for priests, lawyers or doctors for instance. Professional codes of ethics don't overrule laws.

    Additionally, the Hippocratic Oath that includes "do no harm" is mythical. The idea that a promise one makes as part of one's profession - and many doctors never take that oath - supersedes any and all other ethical obligations is nonsensical. If one promises a course of action that is unethical, the promise does not make the action ethical. If I promised to curb stomp babies as part of my Nazi Stormtrooper Code of Evil that doesn't make it ethical, because the greater demands of society override any lesser demands. Killing a patient is unethical normally not because of a professional oath but because killing a person is unethical under normal circumstances. And while promising a course of action that is ethically neutral and not following through can introduce an unethical characteristic to an action, if society demands actions contrary to your professional code then it wins out.

    Now if you want to argue that the dictator's actions were insufficiently imminent, that's a reasonable objection. But I would suggest that the dictator's protection under subsequent potential circumstances and the gravity of his planned and prepared violence make the violence effectively imminent.
    Spoiler:

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

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    Spoiler:
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    If a person says he is going to commit a crime, confidentiality does not apply for priests, lawyers or doctors for instance. Professional codes of ethics don't overrule laws.
    This is absolutely, 100% not true. Priests are forbidden from linking a confession to the confessor, under penalty of excommunication. And at least in the US, the state is forbidden from trying to get a Priest to testify about such matters.

    As for the rest of your statement...
    Spoiler:

    you misread his statement you quoted, or are pretending it means something else...

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

    The AMA is a reliable source of information, though, obviously.

    And of course Chase had no real recourse to do anything. But just because he as an individual has no recourse doesn't mean our society has collectively determined that it's okay for
    Spoiler:

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.
    One of these things is not like the other.
    :whistle:

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The origination of medical compassion comes from Primum non nocere, which came originally, but not in that form, from the Hippocratic oath.

    The medical professional code of ethics is another case of ethic manifest.
    Ethic, what ought to be, is an ideal.
    Tagging profession to it doesn't cheapen its overall intent.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    And of course Chase had no real recourse to do anything. But just because he as an individual has no recourse doesn't mean our society has collectively determined that it's okay for
    Spoiler:

    Might I suggest that the reason Chase should follow the ethics of his profession have nothing to do with his profession at all, but rather with the fact that his professional ethics match up pretty well with society's notion of morality? If somewhere in his code of conduct it said it was okay to steal the wallets of all his patients, you wouldn't be arguing that he should do that, I presume.

    "Code of ethics" is a red herring, here. You're arguing against what Chase did because it violates morality, not because it violates his code of ethics.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Spoiler:

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I could also argue that an ethic that harmed others is not an ethic in multiple fields of ethical reasoning.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Edit:
    Melkster wrote: »
    We really need to get over using murder to justify murder. It's a problem. We human beings need to, you know, move beyond it. Eye for an eye, world blind, etc.
    Gotta disagree with you. While I generally don't believe in institutionalized executions, I firmly believe that immediate, personal vengeance is something central to the human psyche. If I see a man rape and try to murder my wife, do you think that I will ever have any interest in making peace with him? No. I'm going to defend my loved ones, with lethal force if need be.
    All we're really doing is teaching everyone that, when push comes to shove it's okay to murder your enemies instead of making peace with them.
    We don't need executions to do that. We have war to teach us that sometimes it's OK to kill people.

    I knew we were gonna find something to disagree on. :P We never agree 100%!

    But yeah, practically speaking, sometimes killing is necessary - but when it is, it needs to be authorized by society as a whole. It needs to be done legally, publicly, openly, with due process and the rights of the accused fully protected.

    Speaking from a position of where I would like humanity to be - and I do think we can get there someday - it would be nice if we just stopped killing eachother altogether. War and capital punishment included. But that world is a long way away.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Aaaaaand, applied ethics is totally different from pure ethics.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.

    The ethical considerations of the professions of law and medicine are set up by society; they are enforced by law. It's a collective decision that we, as a society and as a government made of up elected representatives of the people, have aimed towards a greater good: a higher "morality" than any one subjective incident. We want a word where
    Spoiler:

    And yes, it supersedes one doctor's subjective morality.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Pure Ethics ---> Applied Ethics ---> Code of Ethics
    Do no harm ---> Only Cure People ---> No Killing!

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Aaaaaand, applied ethics is totally different from pure ethics.

    Also, ethics are different from morals.

    Something can be ethical and yet immoral. A lot of folks seem to be using the terms interchangably.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Aaaaaand, applied ethics is totally different from pure ethics.

    Also, ethics are different from morals.

    Something can be ethical and yet immoral. A lot of folks seem to be using the terms interchangably.
    They beat that out of us pretty early in ethics class.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.

    The ethical considerations of the professions of law and medicine are set up by society; they are enforced by law. It's a collective decision that we, as a society and as a government made of up elected representatives of the people, have aimed towards a greater good: a higher "morality" than any one subjective incident. We want a word where
    Spoiler:

    And yes, it supersedes one doctor's subjective morality.

    No, because you are conflating ethics with morality. If the whole point of a doctor's code of conduct is that it matches up perfectly with the same morality we all use, then why bother to have something distinct? And the ethical considerations are not enforced by law - they are enforced by the AMA which has the right to revoke your license. Big difference, there.

    I mean, some of the rules governing doctors are enforced by law. But not all of them. And for the ones that are, it has nothing to do with morality. I mean, there's a reason that morality doesn't match up with legality in the general sense.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    I am morally obligated to say that I love D&D and that the moderators here rock (thank you for the split).
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger.
    Since assault with the intent to commit robbery constitutes moral turpitude, I don't think that'd be covered under professional ethics.

    I would love to agree with you and all, but the arbitrary code of conduct I just made up for myself says differently. The American Mugging Association has tied my hands, so sorry.

    But hey, that's just made up. Let's talk about, say, the mafia. Would anyone here like to argue that the mafia does not have its own very distinct code of ethics? Would anyone further like to argue that it lines up very well with standard morality?

    Again, ethics != morals.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    And yes, it supersedes one doctor's subjective morality.

    BOO! Get off the stage!

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.

    The ethical considerations of the professions of law and medicine are set up by society; they are enforced by law. It's a collective decision that we, as a society and as a government made of up elected representatives of the people, have aimed towards a greater good: a higher "morality" than any one subjective incident. We want a word where
    Spoiler:

    And yes, it supersedes one doctor's subjective morality.

    No, because you are conflating ethics with morality. If the whole point of a doctor's code of conduct is that it matches up perfectly with the same morality we all use, then why bother to have something distinct? And the ethical considerations are not enforced by law - they are enforced by the AMA which has the right to revoke your license. Big difference, there.

    I mean, some of the rules governing doctors are enforced by law. But not all of them. And for the ones that are, it has nothing to do with morality. I mean, there's a reason that morality doesn't match up with legality in the general sense.

    The AMA's leadership is elected. It's democratic. So is the government that authorizes it and sets up medical boards. If we as a society decided that doctors can sometimes
    Spoiler:
    then we can pass a law saying that. It's not up to the doc to take the law into his own hands.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Regardless of the specifics of this case, can we at least all agree that placing the arbitrary ethical dicta of a random profession above the basic tenets of morality is completely absurd?

    If not, then I will just establish my own profession. I am a professional mugger. My code of professional ethics dictates that I am bound to beat Melkster over the head and steal his money. I mean, yeah, it may be against society's idea of morality, but fuck, it's my professional code of ethics. My hands are tied. Now Melkster, give me your fucking wallet before I bludgeon you unconscious with my ethics and also with this tire iron.

    The ethical considerations of the professions of law and medicine are set up by society; they are enforced by law. It's a collective decision that we, as a society and as a government made of up elected representatives of the people, have aimed towards a greater good: a higher "morality" than any one subjective incident. We want a word where
    Spoiler:

    And yes, it supersedes one doctor's subjective morality.

    No, because you are conflating ethics with morality. If the whole point of a doctor's code of conduct is that it matches up perfectly with the same morality we all use, then why bother to have something distinct? And the ethical considerations are not enforced by law - they are enforced by the AMA which has the right to revoke your license. Big difference, there.

    I mean, some of the rules governing doctors are enforced by law. But not all of them. And for the ones that are, it has nothing to do with morality. I mean, there's a reason that morality doesn't match up with legality in the general sense.

    The AMA's leadership is elected. It's democratic. So is the government that authorizes it and sets up medical boards. If we as a society decided that doctors can sometimes
    Spoiler:
    then we can pass a law saying that. It's not up to the doc to take the law into his own hands.

    Again 80% of the physicians in the US are not members of the AMA. If the Neckbeard Association of North America decided that talking to girls was against the gamer code of ethics that's pretty much irrelevant to any non-members and if they voted that pirating video games was an ethical duty that doesn't effect whether pirating games is ethical or not for members or non-members alike.

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    Spoiler:
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    For the love of Christ, please stop accusing everyone of confusing ethics and morality, or if you do, please fucking precisely point it out. Because I've done no such thing in the course of my posts on this issue. On the contrary, I have clearly stated that Chase's individual moral obligations aren't as important as the societal implications. The ethics that society has set up (through AMA, state boards, whatever) are ordered towards a greater good than Chase or James Earl Jone's character.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    For the love of Christ, please stop accusing everyone of confusing ethics and morality, or if you do, please fucking precisely point it out. Because I've done no such thing in the course of my posts on this issue. On the contrary, I have clearly stated that Chase's individual moral obligations aren't as important as the societal implications. The ethics that society has set up (through AMA, state boards, whatever) are ordered towards a greater good than Chase or James Earl Jone's character.

    The "ethics that society has set up" has an accepted exception in the case of self-defense and the defense of others. Its illegal to shoot someone in the head. Its not illegal to shoot them in the head if they are about to kill you or another person. The test is "imminence" which is determined by whether other means such as the law could prevent the action. As the dictator acted outside the law in the US - and one could argue was thus in a state of war with society anyway - and as such could not be constrained by the legal framework - a point made explicit with the "civil suit" at the beginning of the episode - and showed determination that he would continue and escalate his genocidal behavior and as these actions was so extreme and unrecoverable, the ongoing policy of genocide was imminent.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    How about we do away with that argument and instead establish that killing is a universal taboo.
    That removes cultural relativism and the just murder argument.

    As a doctor, your main function is to heal.
    Killing is not healing.
    Medicine is blind and so forth.

    If Hitler showed up on a gurney, I would heal him, because my function is to heal.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Again, ethics != morals.
    I agree. My point was not to dispute that, but to state that the concept of professional ethics generally has a clause stating that the practitioners shouldn't outrage society's morals.
    I'm not so sure about this, especially in professions dealing with science or medicine. You're right that those ethics should respect the morality of society to a reasonable extent, but conflicts between the two are quite possible.

    R v. Morgentaler comes to mind. His professional ethics demanded that he be able to perform abortions, but procedure made it too difficult to do it legally and taboo made it unacceptable to the public at large. Long story short, he didn't go to jail and abortion is legal in Canada, although the public debate is still far from over.

    As a side note, the ruling was on the same day I was born.

    Rent wrote: »
    So that's what having no idea what you are talking about looks like
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Kant!!

    We have an agreed-upon ethic that, by design, is meant to overrule any personal moral judgment. Right or wrong, we are saying the immoral decision to violate the ethical standard outweighs any possible moral positive in the acts that violate it. That's the point.

    Is it ok for a doctor to kill his patient to feed his starving family?

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    In Medicine, I was under the impression - and I believe that I am correct - that their many ethical obligations are linked to the popularly elected government of the people. I know that in Texas, the Texas Medical Board is the body that awards licenses, makes sure doctors are keeping up with continuing education, disciplines doctors for violating the Texas Medical Practice Act, etc. The members of the Texas Medical Board is made up of doctors selected by the Governor of Texas and approved by the Senate.

    In Texas, what Chase did would indeed be
    Spoiler:

    By the way, here's a big list of ethical violations in Texas which will get your license revoked (or other disciplinary actions).

    Of course, what Chase did would also be
    Spoiler:

    And generally speaking, what this means is that society as a whole has decided is that vigilantism is wrong. We have decided that the best way to deal with crime is through the police and courts - which, again, is closely regulated and governed by the popularly elected representatives of the people. The best way to deal with foreign leaders is via the United States Congress (particularly the Senate, if I'm remembering the constitution well enough) and the Executive branch of the Federal Government, such as the President and the Secretary of State and their agencies and staff, both of which are democratically selected (or approved by the senate, in the Secretary of State).

    And the whole point of this is ordered towards something bigger than one homicidal old dictator or one crazy doctor (or any individual act of vigilantism). In the case of every day vigilantism, it's about preservation of due process, which is linked to keeping our society free (of government/political oppression, crazy people who just want to put you in jail, or whatever). In the case of Chase, it's about keeping our international dealings public and between the elected leaders of our government, where they remain accountable for their actions. And the point of that is that we think that having a public, transparent, democratic society is better than not and will result in a better world. Which, of course, is generally linked with our society's moral compass, too.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Rule Utilitarianism vs. Act Utilitarianism rabble rabble rabble

    Civil disobedience rabble rabble rabble

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Rule Utilitarianism is silly, because it naturally wonders upon what moral/ethical system we should base the rules, meaning that it is "utilitarianism, except when it's not utilitarianism."

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Yar wrote: »
    Rule Utilitarianism is silly, because it naturally wonders upon what moral/ethical system we should base the rules, meaning that it is "utilitarianism, except when it's not utilitarianism."

    What? No.

    Rule Utilitarians claim that actions should be judged as good or bad on the basis of the expected consequences were those actions to be universalized. So, for instance, even though killing the dictator might lead to good consequences as an individual act, were society to adopt the rule that doctors could kill patients, that would lead to negative consequences overall. That's rather hand-wavy, but it's more or less the distinction at issue.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    jdarksun wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    If a person says he is going to commit a crime, confidentiality does not apply for priests, lawyers or doctors for instance. Professional codes of ethics don't overrule laws.
    This is absolutely, 100% not true. Priests are forbidden from linking a confession to the confessor, under penalty of excommunication. And at least in the US, the state is forbidden from trying to get a Priest to testify about such matters.

    As for the rest of your statement...
    Spoiler:
    you misread his statement you quoted, or are pretending it means something else...
    I read his quote saying that:

    "If a person tells a Priest he is going to commit a crime, the Priest is obligated to act on it."

    This isn't true. The Priest might try to convince the would-be criminal not to go through with said act, but the Priest is forbidden to make that information public under Canon Law.
    Code of Canon Law, 983 §1, "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason."

    There have been numerous occasions where people have told priests that they're about to murder or rape somebody and the priest informed the police and the guy was stopped. I believe they had to get permission from somebody, but it's an encouraged practice.

  • Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2009
    If you are incapable of treating people you do not approve of, then you have no business being a doctor.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    For the love of Christ, please stop accusing everyone of confusing ethics and morality, or if you do, please fucking precisely point it out. Because I've done no such thing in the course of my posts on this issue. On the contrary, I have clearly stated that Chase's individual moral obligations aren't as important as the societal implications. The ethics that society has set up (through AMA, state boards, whatever) are ordered towards a greater good than Chase or James Earl Jone's character.

    My main quibble isn't with the assertion that Chase's actions were wrong. I'm honestly not sure where I stand on that. My only problem is with saying that his actions are wrong because of his professional ethics code.

    I mean, I agree that he is violating his code of ethics. But I think it's silly to say that violating a professional code of ethics is, by definition, always immoral. Just as it's silly to say that violating the law is always immoral.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    For the love of Christ, please stop accusing everyone of confusing ethics and morality, or if you do, please fucking precisely point it out. Because I've done no such thing in the course of my posts on this issue. On the contrary, I have clearly stated that Chase's individual moral obligations aren't as important as the societal implications. The ethics that society has set up (through AMA, state boards, whatever) are ordered towards a greater good than Chase or James Earl Jone's character.

    My main quibble isn't with the assertion that Chase's actions were wrong. I'm honestly not sure where I stand on that. My only problem is with saying that his actions are wrong because of his professional ethics code.

    I mean, I agree that he is violating his code of ethics. But I think it's silly to say that violating a professional code of ethics is, by definition, always immoral. Just as it's silly to say that violating the law is always immoral.

    Okay, let me rephrase then. Let's put this in very clear terms. When I say that what Chase did was wrong, I mean, he should have chosen not to do the thing that he did.

    Let me be even clearer:
    Spoiler:

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    Yes, and I get that point.

    Let me put it this way: There are times when it is not immoral to do something in violation of either the social contract or a certain code of ethics. This doesn't necessarily indicate that the social contract or the code of ethics are bad.

    Example: It is not immoral for me to jaywalk across a clearly deserted street. It is still illegal, though, and anti-jaywalking laws are good things. In the general sense, it's not something that should be left up to personal decision-making skills, because lots of dumb people will wind up causing accidents.

    Another example: It is illegal for me to run into a burning building if firemen on the scene are telling me not to because the house is about to collapse. (At least it is in some areas.) That doesn't make it immoral for me to run into such a house so I can save an armful of babies I know are in there. It's still against "society's rules", though.

    More pertinent example: It's illegal in most places to perform euthanasia, even on a person who is clearly going to die soon and is in an obscene amount of pain. I would say that euthanasia in such a situation would be perfectly moral. It would, however, be against the law and against the medical profession's code of ethics.

    Ethics and social contracts run into morality all the time, and it's not always the ethics that win out. That's my point.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    jdarksun wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    jdarksun wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    If a person says he is going to commit a crime, confidentiality does not apply for priests, lawyers or doctors for instance. Professional codes of ethics don't overrule laws.
    This is absolutely, 100% not true. Priests are forbidden from linking a confession to the confessor, under penalty of excommunication. And at least in the US, the state is forbidden from trying to get a Priest to testify about such matters.

    As for the rest of your statement...
    Spoiler:
    you misread his statement you quoted, or are pretending it means something else...
    I read his quote saying that:

    "If a person tells a Priest he is going to commit a crime, the Priest is obligated to act on it."

    This isn't true. The Priest might try to convince the would-be criminal not to go through with said act, but the Priest is forbidden to make that information public under Canon Law.
    Code of Canon Law, 983 §1, "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason."

    That got me thinking. What if the criminal is planning on committing a crime against the Church? Like killing one of the figure heads or locking up a church while mass is going on and setting it on fire? Does that Canon Law flinch then? I'm not trying to be funny, it was actually the first thing that came to my mind.

    159.jpg
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yes, and I get that point.

    Let me put it this way: There are times when it is not immoral to do something in violation of either the social contract or a certain code of ethics. This doesn't necessarily indicate that the social contract or the code of ethics are bad.

    Example: It is not immoral for me to jaywalk across a clearly deserted street. It is still illegal, though, and anti-jaywalking laws are good things. In the general sense, it's not something that should be left up to personal decision-making skills, because lots of dumb people will wind up causing accidents.

    Another example: It is illegal for me to run into a burning building if firemen on the scene are telling me not to because the house is about to collapse. (At least it is in some areas.) That doesn't make it immoral for me to run into such a house so I can save an armful of babies I know are in there. It's still against "society's rules", though.

    More pertinent example: It's illegal in most places to perform euthanasia, even on a person who is clearly going to die soon and is in an obscene amount of pain. I would say that euthanasia in such a situation would be perfectly moral. It would, however, be against the law and against the medical profession's code of ethics.

    Ethics and social contracts run into morality all the time, and it's not always the ethics that win out. That's my point.

    I'll be honest, I don't know if I believe in the idea of morality - or, even, if I know what the word means in a non-theological setting. I used to be very religious and was brought up on the whole idea of God and God's law and all that - and morality was simply another word for "What God Wants People To Do." And luckily for me they were all listed in a book for me to read. (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in fact.)

    But over the past three years (holy shit it's been three years) I've been trying to figure out how to define right and wrong in a non-theological setting - and what that even means. I suppose the only thing I'm comfortable with saying is, for me, morality means that thing which you should or shouldn't do. And how do you know what you should or shouldn't do? Well, it all depends on what world you want to live in. How should people behave? How should people act? To what end are our collective actions ordered?

    I think I understand your point. It's foolish to simply look at these issues in a vacuum. It would be foolish to say, absolutely, refusing to offer any explanation or exposition, that breaking the law is always something you shouldn't do.
    Spoiler:
    doing what he did. And that's a big reason why I believe that he shouldn't done what he did. But it's not merely because he broke the laws, it's that it contributes to that which the laws are designed to protect. Civil rights, due process, elected representatives for foreign affairs, etc etc.

    But there's certainly a line, too, where it is okay to temporarily ignore the law. Where is that line? I would place it pretty far down at they very very end of the spectrum, preferring order, democracy, and the stability of our society. There are very few situations where I think we should betray those core values, and they would only be in the most extreme cases - or in the cases where the law broken is of such low consequence that it really doesn't particularly matter. (Like, say, jay walking, as you said.)

    I guess if you could put me in a classic Dungeons and Dragons alignment, I'd be on the "Lawful" side, haha.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    hrmmm... wow...

    it's like.., all those crazy christians who keep yelling that it's impossible to be a moral person without having god in your heart are actually right in your case... That is depressing.

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    hrmmm... wow...

    it's like.., all those crazy christians who keep yelling that it's impossible to be a moral person without having god in your heart are actually right in your case... That is depressing.

    Are you talking to me?

    If so, be specific. When you say "it's impossible to be a moral person," what do you mean by "moral person"?

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't really understand the Ethics vs Morals argument. Isn't it really just a group morals vs individual morals argument? AFAIK the definition of ethic is the principles of right and wrong as agreed upon by a set of individuals; while the definition of morals is motivation based on right and wrong. I was under the impression that ethical standards set up for professions, like doctors, are simply an agreed upon set of acts or prohibitions that best ascribe to agreed upon morals. It's the same discussion of right and wrong, ethics are just the applied version of the more ambiguous group morals.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
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