All entries for Wednesday 29 March 2006

March 29, 2006

The Moral Maze

Its been a while since I last listened to the moral maze, and yet it hasn't lost any of its old fascinations: Melanie Phillip's ridiculous brand of fascism for feminists, the old religious guys who spend most of the program arguing over which of their biblical interpretations is really the more appropriate for the case at hand. Most importantly there's that 10 minutes or so of really good debate that tends to bring up something insightful.

Today it was the bloke who argued that Norman Kember was being self-indulgent, reckless and most interestingly, immoral by choosing to promote pacifism in the region. The crux of his argument was that Kember was opposing a constitual appointed force by his anti-war demonstrations. Ignoring for a moment that he was actually opposing the British & American Occupational forces, he seems to be completely denying any position that offers any possible opposition to the existing positions of power.

When he was asked what he thought of previous opponents in other circumstances his argument become rather confusing. For example Ghandi was 'fighting a constitutional abheration'. Leaving aside the semantic issue of whether Indian during that period had what one would call a constitution, after a while of this twisting and turning it became apparent that the only distinction between the immoral pacifism and apparently moral Ghandi was that this guy agree with Ghandi, but not Kember.

I think this bloke might have had a phd as well – its frankly quite disturbingly intellectually vapid that the man appears to have proposed the idea of a morality based entirely on person whim, where it can apply in some cases, but not others. But I suppose in less obvious ways most systems of morality are like this. Don't worry kids determining the one true system of ethics is on my 'do before you die' list, allong with enumerating all the accompanying moral rules. I cannot fail. (Its ok, realism isn't part of the list).

March 2006

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