11/27/11

All talk of ethics these days seems to me tangled to the point of stasis

Revaluing Values: What Is Revaluing Values?: "All talk of ethics these days seems to me tangled to the point of stasis. There may be schools of ethics but if there are they are hardly in the public realm. I hear the name of Rawls dropped here and there and I was at Union Seminary when Reinhold Niebuhr was there. Since then no major ethics figure has emerged from religious climes that I know of  and our public intellectuals such as they are appear to inhabit various sides of various issues, hardly a platform for the advancement of ethical principles."

'via Blog this'

What Is Revaluing Values?

All talk of ethics these days seems to me tangled to the point of stasis. There may be schools of ethics but if there are they are hardly in the public realm. I hear the name of Rawls dropped here and there and I was at Union Seminary when Reinhold Niebuhr was there. Since then no major ethics figure has emerged from religious climes that I know of  and our public intellectuals such as they are appear to inhabit various sides of various issues, hardly a platform for the advancement of ethical principles.

If I think backward and come to Kierkegaard I note that he relegated ethics and aesthetics to a place less important than religion in his thinking. I am not aware that Nietzsche propounded an ethic though he did what seems to me the fundamental work needed to make such a project possible. If I go backward further I find ethics to be a province of philosophy with radically different positions depending on who is philosophizing.

These days I am partial to what I can understand in the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce. I am not trying to be humble, merely indicating that, unlike Peirce, I have no facility in mathematics or the sciences. If I have any claim it rests in  being a person who, in Tillich's term, has an ultimate concern which could be called a quest for a universal ethic.

Universalism has been the underpinnning of my thinking and the consistent principle underlying my own conclusions. The ethic which I would advance is based on the theory (assumption) that it is in the very nature of reality and of human beings to live in an immanent frame where values - the term "willed values" is in my understanding is an oxymoron - are the engine of history.  Human beings by their choices individually and severally determine the course of events. Insofar as ethics has any reality it refers not to a choice of what is right or wrong but to the values whose espousal makes a life vibrant, beautiful, admirable. I think that in this I am not far from Peirce. Nor, for that matter, from Jesus and a number of others who have been movers of history because they held and practiced the most admirable of values.
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The task of ethics is to determine  the values which, acting in harmony, constitute a sort of human summum bonum. My candidates are non-idolatry as the root value and democracy, tolerance and helpfulness as active and dynamic values within the immanent frame.

I believe that one reason why ethics has been left off in the mist is that it is often confused with virtues - like those enunciated by Aristotle. The problem with virtues is that they may or may not be inherently admirable and good. The values I have advanced are progressive. They make for development, for progress. They resonate with continuity and evolution.

With this preamble, revaluing values can be understood as an argument such as the one I make here, Had Nietzsche been a proponent of these values, he might have achieved the revaluation of values which he properly urged on the West.  We will never know.

As we move forward in this crucial century, I believe that the validity of the four values I advance here and elsewhere will be proved out. I held these long before the advent of today's democratic movements. But I believe their resonance is merely proof of the theory underlying the project. We are those who live by willed values. Self-realization is the willing of ontological or realistic or truthful or beautiful values.

Scene from Markman: A Film About Jesus

Markman: A Film About Jesus:

"INTERIOR. TIGER: WARD'S CAR. HOLLYWOOD AVENUE. DAY.

    Tiger, somber, is listening to a TAPE.

    TAPE (Voice Over) The Cold War never ended. It kept on right here in the good old USA. Marxist professors, Jewish media subversives, racial agitators, confused women and friends of Satan. Enemies of Jesus. Oh, people, beware of false Christs, humanist agents of the Devil. When Jesus comes it will be in power. The enemies of God will be judged and then consigned to the fires of damnation. It's all right here in the Bible. Tiger shouts out the window.

    TIGER: All right here in the Bible."

'via Blog this'

Police cars were appearing on various side streets

Adam Panflick: The Boston Car Wars (1980s): "Police cars were appearing on various side streets, their renegade movements adding to the gridlock. A fight broke out between the crew-cut Irish limo driver and a portly Hispanic cabbie. But Adam was, by now, entering the Dunkin'Donuts on the next block. At the counter he purchased a baker's dozen of oat bran donuts and walked purposively to a rear table where he began to consume them, one per bite. He washed down his mammoth mouthfuls with gulps from a jumbo Classic Coke."

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Global Online Privacy

Sam's Town is not your hot Strip casino

Monopololisto Man: Monopolisto Man Plays Oscar st Sam's Town: "Sam's Town is not your hot Strip casino. It attracts a regular local clientele and people on the way in or out of Vegas on the route that takes you south toward the Dam. Monopolisto Man looks like what he is. A nondescript, somewhat handsome preppie sort who has over the years shed most if not all affectation and accepted his lot in life, that of being an inveterate gambler who has never managed to go broke and whose losses are punctuated by extended periods of reasonable success."

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Global Online Privacy

Melchizedek’s Grandfather Orlando Falls Prey To Pirates

The Complete History of Adam Panflick: "Chapter Two — Melchizedek’s Grandfather Orlando Falls Prey To Pirates, His Fortuitous Escape, His Son Stanley Migrates to America and Almost Becomes a Robber Baron, his Son Martin Follows Suit"

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Global Online Privacy

The seer saw beyond all sacred laws

The seer saw beyond all sacred laws
And lifted high all simple human needs
Like hunger and relief from fear and pain
The keepers of the law were most displeased

This is from The Tao of Mark, now a Kindle book


We are on the cusp of a great change

Noxious Oil: Paint-on solar cells snapped up by Saudis:

'via Blog this'

We are on the cusp of a great change
A day when power will come from our sun
Let us hope the world learns from the past
And spreads the wealth all own to everyone

Paint-on solar cells snapped up by Saudis


UPDATED: 7/18/2012

Paint-on solar cells developed:

'via Blog this'


Seems the Saudis want this technology.

That we need an alternative to oil is obvious. That we want the same interests that have given us oil to control the solar alternative is less obvious. The money is with the oil powers. But this time around we need to decentralize power in all ways, including the wealth that attaches to it. If these cells work, it is a potential blessing. If corporations get between us and the technology blessings can turn into curses.


Among first songs I ever wrote, I recall this lyric

Among first songs I ever wrote, I recall this lyric which I relate now to Peirce's connection of ethics to beauty - that is to aesthetics - that is as what creates the basis for ethics - that is as what makes us free and life admirable.

Why do they take something beautiful
And crush it before you can see it
Why do they take something beautiful
And tear it apart just for being

That is the way of the world my friend
That is the way of the world
Da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da

He came down from the mountain top
And stretched out his hand in love
Why is it that some people can't stand
To be touched by a light from above

That is the way of the world my friend
That is the way of the world
Da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da

You know how to rationalize
Keep your thing going while a good woman dies

Da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da

Beauty is the mystery of the Tao

Beauty is the mystery of the Tao
It is the deepest urge in human souls
Connecting soul and Tao is life's great goal
Incipient pervasive ever now

Jesus conquered not by might or guile

Beyond Creed: Worship is no longer a hole in the corner affair:

'via Blog this'

Jesus conquered not by might or guile
People freely chose to shun his way
He was with the outcasts all the while
The power of a corrupt church held sway

Full Original Text of Beyond Creed

No earthly form of government will do

Winning The War Within Collected Sonnets:

No earthly form of government will do
No worldly realm is run by faith and grace
Yet that’s the way that Jesus calls us to
Thy kingdom come means simply let it be"

Ethics is the work of self-control

Peircelets: Charles Sanders Peirce on The Ethical Imperative:

'via Blog this'

Ethics is the work of self-control
Self-mastery alone will make us whole
And only this way can our wills be free
For only thus do we see true beauty

Charles Sanders Peirce on The Ethical Imperative

"If I had a son, I should instill into him this view of morality (that is, that Ethics is the science of the method of bringing Self-Control to bear to gain satisfaction) and force him to see that there is but one thing that raises one individual animal above another,--Self-Mastery; and should teach him that the Will is free only in the sense that, by employing the proper appliances, he can make himself behave in the way he really desires to behave. As to what one ought to desire, it is, I should teach him, what he will desire if he sufficiently considers it, and that will be to make his life beautiful, admirable. Now the science of the Admirable is true Esthetics." (As quoted in Brent, Peirce: A Life, p49).

Cap tip Aaron.

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