Freedom and Greed

William Attwood wattwood at
Tue Jan 22 14:23:01 MST 2008

On Jan 22, 2008 2:04 PM, Levi Pearson <levi at> wrote:

> "William Attwood" <wattwood at> writes:
> >
> > Let us jump back to software, and avoid morals and ethics; both of which
> are
> > relative.
> This is the crux of it, isn't it?  There are powerful arguments that
> morality/ethics are not indeed relative.  I think most people agree
> that there are at least a subset of ethical rules that are universal.
> Our nation is founded upon that idea, at least.

I must be one of those people that don't agree on anything being universal.

> Of course, the problem is that with only logic and self-reflection as
> tools, it's difficult to figure out to everyone's satifsaction what
> those universal rules are.  The philosophers have been at it for
> thousands of years, though, so we're not completely lost.

A third item to add is reflecting on the actions of others and the
consequences of those actions.  I do believe we all find more important
philosophical conundrums to toy with than the belief in morals and ethics;
since you can't exactly argue belief or opinion.

> I think the philisophical grounding of ethics has value even to those
> who subscribe to the religious view that ethics are defined by deity,
> since it makes it possible to find common ground with those who don't
> follow the same religion or who follow no religion at all.

Society decides the common ground; it's only by statistics that you find
most society is based on religion, therefore being based on one or more
deity.  If you dive into societies where culture has no religion, you'll
find a different set of rights and wrongs, aka ethics and morals (at their

> Anyway, I hope this little digression from a digression doesn't lead
> to another debate; I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and
> perhaps shed some light on my motivation for the last debate.

If it did lead to a debate, I'm sure it would be a lengthy one with very few
meaningful entries, and a lot of banter from those wanting to post an
opinion.  Let's curb that a bit by agreeing that everyone here can disagree
in their own ways.  This thread has had some good responses, but for the
most part, it turned into a downward spiral with no end.

Hope to see more meaningful posts on Plug...  Anyone want to talk about
Ubuntu? ;)

>                --Levi

Thanks Levi, and the rest of you out on Plug (some of which might know me...
just might).


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