Humanism

Interesting question:

This topic contains 51 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 52 total)
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  • #37052

    Autumn
    Participant

    I think you’ve now added enough new values to the scenario that this has substantially strayed from the original question.

    No I don’t agree. How you approach any problem in deontological ethics is contingent on the laws you’ve formulated and how you apply them.

    The original scenario was people picnicking on a grave. The next of kin still visit the grave, but would not be there.

    What you are factoring in now includes additional values.

    The people picnicking on the grave have no significant reason. They have ample other options. Picnicking on the grave causes or potentially causes harm/ upsets the kin of the deceased.

    The question you asked wasn’t “is it wrong for me, to…”. It was, “is it wrong to…”.

    So yes, you’ve changed too much at this point. With the additional conditions you’ve attached to the question, I don’t really find it an interesting question is all I’m saying.

    #37053

    Davis
    Moderator

    What would be wrong with having a picnic on somebody’s grave?

    Ivy, imagine the worst happened and say, your son passed away (sorry to make you imagine the unimaginable). And then you go to visit the grave and you see a bunch of high school students and one of their pet dogs having a picnic on top of his little grave, eating sandwiches and drinking cans of beer. It wouldn’t bother you? I would imagine you would very much be in the minority opinion in this case. Though not all moral systems would take into account “majority opinion”.

    How you answer the broader question of this activity being right or wrong depends on your approach to dealing with moral issues. It is only ever wrong (or in violation of a moral principle) depending on the system you use. Legally it could be wrong (it can be private property)? Consequentially it could be wrong (by the harm it causes). In utilitarian terms it could be wrong (Weighing the value of the activity vs. the suffering it can cause). In received morality it can be wrong (for whatever reason they arbitrarily form their rule). Deontologically it could be wrong (by the moral laws you have formulated). By the golden rule it could be wrong (in simplest terms…if it you wouldn’t want it done to you). If you frame your actions, for example by the Golden rule, and you don’t care if someone violates your private property or has a feast on a loved one’s grave…then for you at least…there is no problem.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  Davis.
    #37055

    Davis
    Moderator

    So yes, you’ve changed too much at this point. With the additional conditions you’ve attached to the question, I don’t really find it an interesting question is all I’m saying.

    This is the only way to approach the problem deontologically (and at this point we were discussing only my deontological answer…not my various other answers). In a deontological approach it must be based on laws that require other contingent factors. As I said…there is no value, deontologically, in formulating a rule based solely on the original question. It is simply far too specific (and I clearly stated in my second post that the law I stated was the best deontological approach I could come up with…it is not an easy system to deal with).

    As for it being an interesting question: moral systems aren’t dependent on whether the question is interesting or not. For example in the field of bioethics (one of the most interesting and relevant moral fields at the time) they deal with all sorts of rather trivial question which in the aggregate become difficult to work out in a systematic way. I find it extremely interesting.

    In any case, I chose a rather trivial scenario which could elicit a small emotional response to see how users here would answer the question and back up why. For the most part, people were weary of answering the question in an absolutist terms which, I believe, is a fairly admirable and honest answer. I’ve asked a similar question in a couple other forums and people answered in mostly absolutist terms and seemed pretty unable to consistently back up “why” after asking some simple question. So over all, I’d say I’m impressed with people’s answers here.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  Davis.
    #37059

    Autumn
    Participant

    edit: [removed] nm-I don’t feel like extending this particular tangent.

    #37066

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis: so… To follow up on the example that you just gave… First of all, I worked at a funeral home and cemetery, actually a string of them in the area and I’m pretty familiar with the culture of that profession. It would be a violation of their rules to have teenagers drinking beer and having a party like that… So that would be actually against the rules and not what I had imagined. One of the busiest days of the year believe it or not in the cemeteries is memorial day. We will usually have some kind of event, and tons of people believe it or not will come to visit. It’s the busiest day of the year. It was like our Black Friday equivalent,… So there were people who would come and have a picnic on peoples graves, usually their loved ones. But I can also tell you that if somebody was to have a picnic in a respectful manner, and bring flowers or something… not to be acting stupid but just to be having lunch you know? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. My dad is buried in another state, and I wish I could go visit him easily but… If other people can, I’m sure he doesn’t mind the company LOL… So I think the example that you brought up adds an extra layer to it. If you’re talking about teenagers acting stupid and drinking beer on a grave versus somebody just bringing a blanket in a basket of food to have some lunch, those are two completely different pictures don’t you think?

    #37067

    Davis
    Moderator

    If you’re talking about teenagers acting stupid and drinking beer on a grave versus somebody just bringing a blanket in a basket of food to have some lunch, those are two completely different pictures don’t you think?

    Well no. You said there’s ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with it. That’s a fairly categorical response. You then asked why it would be wrong. I gave a scenario of people picnicking that might bother you (and not one that is particularly outlandish…to be honest half the picnics I see in the park are young people with sandwiches and alcoholic drinks) and apparently now there is something wrong with that. They aren’t two completely different pictures in any case. The first is a vague scenario…the second one is a not infrequent example of it.

    #37068

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis if they are abiding by all cemetery regulations and rules there is nothing wrong with it. If they are not then they are clearly out of line. Cemeteries don’t allow that kind of behavior…..I didn’t think I would need to add the caveat that “as long as they abide by cemetery rules,” but I’m adding it now. They would likely get cited for trespassing doing something like that.

    #37070

    Davis
    Moderator

    They would likely get cited for trespassing doing something like that.

    I’m not really looking for a legal answer here. There are all sorts of moral issues that are technically not illegal or not excluded by general rules or policies that can still be morally wrong. But in any case, I believe I can work out where you stand on the issue from your answers.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  Davis.
    #37072

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Who’s going to mind?  That is the crucial question.

    • the cemetary owners.
    • the relatives of the deceased.
    • onlookers.

    In the last two cases, you could be accused of disrespecting the dead.  Is that what anybody wants?

    #37073

    Davis
    Moderator

    Who’s going to mind?  That is the crucial question.

    It depends very much on the moral system that you are using. And depending on the moral system it can also depend on moral norms. But yeah…of the three sorts of people you are referring to…people picnicking on a seemingly strangers grave could upset all three of those kinds of people.

    Kristina is right to point out (at least for some moral systems) that upsetting people alone is not enough of a reason to not do something. When we make comments here about the absurdity of believing in God…we certainly upset many random believers who might visit this site.

    #37074

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    upsetting people alone is not enough of a reason to not do something.

    It depends on the reason why they are upset.  We tend to see “disrespecting your dead” as a sacred no-go area, while “disrespecting your beliefs” we understand as fair game.

    #37075

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Who’s going to mind? That is the crucial question.

    It depends very much on the moral system that you are using.

    I’m curious as to which other people could be involved, under different moral systems.  I would have thought it’s a question of simple reality.

    #37076

    Davis
    Moderator

    I’m curious as to which other people could be involved, under different moral systems.  I would have thought it’s a question of simple reality.

    Under some deontological systems, depending on how you frame your moral rules, consistency is much more important than “upsetting particular people in a particular situation”. Though again that entirely depends on the moral law. If your moral law specifically includes avoiding upsetting people, then of course it is relevant.

    Received morality (like a set of imposed rule books or religious law) can also not give the slightest shit about how your actions upset people but whether it breaks a rule you are simply not allowed to break.

    Utilitarian ethics takes suffering far more into consideration than upsetting people’s sensibilities (though this is a hyper over-generalisation so please don’t read too much into this).

    #37077

    Autumn
    Participant

    Who’s going to mind? That is the crucial question.

    It depends very much on the moral system that you are using.

    I’m curious as to which other people could be involved, under different moral systems. I would have thought it’s a question of simple reality.

    In reality, you likely won’t find out who does or doesn’t mind. The answers in reality could range from absolutely no one to every person who is aware of the activity, or even suspects it occurred.

    In the scenario as originally presented, there is a pretty good chance the kin of the deceased never find out this picnic ever happened.

    How moral systems account for what we don’t know will vary, no? For instance, “Would the family mind if they did know?” or “Is it worthwhile on the condition they might mind?” etc.

    #37078

    Davis
    Moderator

    It depends on the reason why they are upset.

    I think in most cases, the reason why you are doing something, despite the fact that it upsets people…is more important than why someone gets upset about something. Pointlessly doing something that upsets someone, (whether they get upset for an understandable reason or a completely ridiculous one)…is hardly considered praiseworthy under just about any moral system.

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