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You’ll know it when you Google it

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An interesting legal case in Florida, reported by the NYT:

In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.

It is not clear that the approach will succeed. The Florida state prosecutor in the case, which is scheduled for trial July 1, said the search data may not be relevant because the volume of Internet searches is not necessarily an indication of, or proxy for, a community’s values.

What do you think? Does a community’s googling reflect their values? Or does it only reflect their private values, as opposed to their public values? Is that a viable distinction?

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21 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    This (as usual) will not be phrased in a philosophical way, perhaps after others provide comments/discussion I will be able to rephrase my view…

    First, I doubt Google provides an accurate assessment of a community’s values. I have Google’d many things, but they wouldn’t say anything about my view concerning global warming, abortion, the death-penalty, or what my values are concerning sexually explicit material.

    Leaving that aside, the case still poses an interesting question.

    It seems to me that the defense is aiming to show that the Pensacola public is not nearly as ‘wholesome’ as they would like to believe. It seems the defense has a long shot at winning this, but it is something that should be raised – despite the outcome of the case, it should have people thinking about what they truly are (as opposed to what we LIKE TO BELIEVE we are). Pornography (from what I’ve heard and seen statistics on) is rampant in Utah, surprisingly though, Utah values when it comes to sexuality are extremely conservative.

    (Warning: Opinion Incoming)

    Perhaps it is time for the American public to come out from under its rock concerning a few areas, one of which would be sexuality. I can flip on the television and within minutes find a program that is demeaning another race/sex, or a program that has women scantily clad (though not naked!) killing people in brutal fashion. European countries, based on a few previous experiences, seem to be further along with their acceptance of sexuality (by this I simply mean that it isn’t taboo).

    Men and women are going home and logging in on pornography sites each night, why is it that they/we are so willing to risk their/our marriages/families on it in private, but criticize those who do get ousted for viewing this material?

    (omg! Philosophy Incoming!)

    It might be time to peel back the veil that has for so long concealed the noumena and accept what we really are – dirty, unwholesome, sinning, hedonistic-heathens.

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  2. Alex says:

    Sorry, meant to add this:

    Essentially, I think people need to stop having two different value systems. As it is now, we all (well, most ‘normal’ people) use two values systems, 1. is the value system we use when around others and 2. the value system that we use when we are in the comfort of our own privacy.

    We should try to abolish this, in my opinion, because it simply does not accomplish much – if anything.

    Ex. John Smith lives a normal life, has a family and kids, and goes home and watches homosexual pornography at night when the kids and wife are asleep.

    I suppose this could play out two ways…

    1. John Smith truly loves his life, he loves how it has all played out.
    or
    2. John Smith feels his life is in shambles, despite whether others can see it or not.

    With one universal value system (essentially the abolishment of the ‘private’ values – or even the ‘public?’ I don’t know) John Smith will have two new options…

    1. He will continue loving his family, job, life-in-general, and feel free to watch the pornography of his choice – knowing there will be no repercussions because his values will be accepted.
    or
    2. John Smith will not feel pressured by society to continue living this fake life and reorder it in a way that will offer him a chance at happiness.

    I need to think about this more… I await the onslaught of criticism I see looming over the horizon!

    :-)

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  3. Alex says:

    Sorry, one more comment…

    “What do you think? Does a community’s googling reflect their values? Or does it only reflect their private values, as opposed to their public values? Is that a viable distinction?”

    Again, like I (tried to) explained in my second post, I don’t think there should be a distinction made between private and public values. As things stand now, we all put on a mask when we go out in public – we should try to banish this sense of needing a mask and show our true self (our noumenas, if you will).

    I know very little about religion(s), but one of the few things I am fairly certain of is this: Jesus Christ was not just a good man (God? A part of the trinity? Confusing!) when he was in public – he was the same man when he was alone.

    We may not be able to achieve perfection like Christ, but dammit, we should be free to be who we truly are both in public and in private. Stop making pornography taboo – many people view it (yes Pensacola-ites, even you), lets stop pretending it is something that only ‘bad’ people do.

    It has been a boring day at work, I’ll try to make this my last post.

    After re-reading what I have written, I hope it hasn’t gotten sidetracked… Also, I have been reading some Nietzsche by the pool, perhaps everyone (or at least every profound soul) NEEDS a mask… So maybe my three posts can be chalked up as being utterly wrong.

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  4. Kleiner says:

    Unless Huenemann has something in mind with the private vs public values that I am not getting, I agree with Alex. I’m inclined to say that insofar as one has a real distinction between ‘private values’ and ‘public values’ they are, at bottom, really unprincipled.

    I would take a ‘virtue ethics’ view here – you are what you do. Your character results from repeated action, not from what you say your principles are but from those principles you act on/from.

    It is worth making a distinction, though, between principle and action in one sense. I rather suspect we all fall short of what we think we ought to be. In this sense, everyone is a ‘hypocrite’ of sorts, in that we each fail to live up to our principles. But in this case, I have just one set of values, I just sometimes (perhaps often) fail to live up to my principles. Morality involves ‘striving’ in this regard (and moral communities need exemplars so they have something to strive toward). Point is, this is different than having two different sets of values, one private and one public. So those of us that have one set of principles that we fail to live up to are hypocrites, those with two opposing sets of principles are just unprincipled (by the way, I think everyone in the world falls into one of these two camps).

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  5. Huenemann says:

    nI think this is a very interesting legal case, since it raises the possibility of actually having some way to measure what a community’s values are. I don’t think counting Google searches is the way to do it, though.

    I think there is a private/public values distinction that isn’t just hypocrisy. I might really enjoy pornography in the privacy of my own home, and at the same time be tolerant of other people enjoying it privately, while also not wanting it to be a public value (being taught in schools, showcased in the county fair, promoted on billboards, etc.). I would be a hypocrite if I campaigned against others enjoying pornography while I continued to enjoy it.

    So a community might say “here are our public values — chastity, fortitude, justice, etc.” while also valuing individuals’ freedom to pursue their own idea of happiness, so long as their pursuit of it does not come into public conflict with the public values. Or is this crazy?

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  6. Kleiner says:

    I am not sure it is ‘crazy’, and I see your point. But such a way of thinking certainly runs upstream of at least classical thinking about value, and I think it is wrong-headed. That whole way of framing the matter, I think, unnaturally divides the private/public, inner/outer, individual/community, etc. If you think value is tied to nature (human nature and our ends), then privacy and publicity are accidents. Your move is typically modern, but wrongheaded in the eyes of classical ethics.

    I think both Plato and Aristotle would argue that there is no real public vs private distinction in matters of virtue. If something is good (that is, conducive to the fulfillment of the ends of man), then it is good period. If viewing pornography fulfills an end of man, and you are privately convinced of that, there would be no reason for you to not publicly tout your eudaimonic activity. (Of course, I am pretty darn sure pornography doesn’t fulfill an end of man, and it rather seems to frustrate certain proper ends of man.)

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  7. Huenemann says:

    As much as I truly admire Plato and Aristotle’s notions of virtue (I honestly do), I think Locke & co. win this round. The best we can hope for in society is a set of principles that allow individuals to work out the good for themselves without harming or obstructing others.

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  8. Kleiner says:

    Well, that is more of a political principle than a moral one. It concerns liberty (the lack of interference in my affairs) rather than the [positive] moral good. In other words, what that suggests is that my private values ought to be kept private, and that the public arena should be kept value-free. I think this is pretty naive – Plato is right, there is no such thing as a value-free anything. You cannot cleanse the public square of value, religious or otherwise, because everything (art, laws, buildings, parks, etc) have morally formative power. Those that pretend to be able to have a ‘naked public square’ are usually just sanctimonious secularists.

    That said, I am no moral totalitarian. In a free, open, and pluralistic society obviously not everything that is immoral will be illegal (Aquinas recognizes the importance of this political liberty when he makes exactly that claim). So I guess we can say that the public square can be partially cleansed, and (contra Plato here) moral wisdom and political power will not entirely coincide. But they need to partially coincide so that certain grounding moral principles (something like a Bill of Rights that protects the inherent dignity of the human person) have political clout. In other words, I am no radical libertarian either. With Aristotle, I think you can – and ought to sometimes – ‘legislate morality’ (Aristotle would argue that anyone who thinks you cannot legislate morality understands neither politics nor morality!). For instance, I think it is a good idea to have murder, stealing, certain kinds of lying, etc be made illegal (this is the liberty point). But I also think that certain legal incentives to right behavior (tax incentives for charitable giving, for instance) are a good idea, and are likely to habituate right action (even if not virtue) in the citizenry (the morally formative point). (For other examples of how I don’t want govt totally out of my life: I am glad we have national forests and fuel efficiency standards). In short, I think I might be a ‘weak paternalist’ when it comes to my ‘liberty-limiting principles’.
    (Aside, people interested in such questions might look into taking our PHIL 1120 Social Ethics course).
    (Aside 2: Of course most debates concern which principles are ‘basic’ and so allow for some governmental paternalism, and which are not. Problems usually arise when you have misinformed of just plain stupid people running things. See, for instance, the ridiculous over-regulation of alcohol here in this state. For those wanting to rail against such excessive (and frankly totally misinformed) paternalism, I hear there will be a ‘free the beer’ liquor rally on July 5 on the courthouse lawn).

    Either way, what you say about Locke seems different from what you initially suggested. Before you suggested that I might privately find porn good while thinking it bad in the public arena. Here you are suggesting that I find porn privately good, but I keep it to myself (neither promoting nor denouncing it publicly) so as to let others work out the good for themselves. I think this is an appropriate posture in some instances. However, for the most part I think we should have a crowded public square – with each citizen openly sharing and arguing in the battleground of moral ideas. Of course this public square cannot be totally free since such an exchange is only possible in the context of agreement on some values (let’s call them ‘human rights’). This ‘basic set of principles’ (which Huenemann also suggests we need) needs to be grounded in something, hence my insistence above on classical thinking that ties ethics to nature.

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  9. Huenemann says:

    I agree with the crowded public square idea. And one of the topics under discussion should be the distinction between private and public values, and whether particular activities (like pornography, religion bashing, and the promotion of religions) should fall on one side or the other.

    Locke, I don’t think, advocates keeping mum about one’s values. You can discuss them all you want. You just shouldn’t legislate them unless either (a) it is a matter of preserving individual liberties, or (b) preserving the state, or (c) it’s pretty much independent of (a) and (b), but a solid majority seem to like the idea. (I can’t say I know Locke would say this; I’m just guessing he’d sign on to it because it is so eminently reasonable to me!)

    By the way, I’m reading Fareed Zakaria’s book “The Future of Freedom” which very neatly discusses the tensions between liberty and democracy (it is easy to have either one without the other).

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  10. Kleiner says:

    I am not yet settled on these questions, but I think I have a bit more of a ‘weak paternalist’ streak in me than Locke would. I think there is room for legislation that not only restricts but that also speaks to the ‘striving’ aspect of moral development. Of course we have to be extremely careful about such things in a pluralistic society, and living in Utah has given me more libertarian leanings in some cases (oddly enough, a white man can have something of a minority experience here, so long as they are not LDS). But while liberty (negative freedom) is important, I think we all too often forget more positive aspects freedom, the moral striving toward the good (rather than just the absence of restriction).

    This question actually speaks to the question of leadership in our politicians. Lots of times politicians get blasted for being ‘poll-driven’ and so not offering ‘real leadership’. But doesn’t being ‘poll-driven’ just help to restrict them to your above 3-fold criteria (in particular, ‘c’)? Leadership, if what we mean by that is moving the citizenry to a place where they do not themselves [yet] want to go, is essentially elitist in that sense.
    Not that I have a particular problem with elitism, I’ll confess to seriously flirting with it! For example, I think the Utah legislature should make the politically unpopular move to invest more in education and higher education (the latter in particular is unpopular). It would be good for the citizenry, whether they realize it or not! Here is where I become very sympathetic to Plato: IF (BIG IF) our politicians are wise and good, then let them lead us masses wherever they see fit. I guess it is the IF that is always the stumbling block there though, isn’t it?

    This also speaks to another odd aspect of our culture. I think we are an ‘expert culture’, we love having experts. In most aspects of our lives we are more than happy to defer to experts (this is in everything from relationships to science to movie reviewers). But almost no one thinks there are ‘moral experts’ or, rather, almost everyone takes himself to be a moral expert. Philosophers, people who have actually thought long and hard about moral issues, are never turned to. Point is, we are a culture largely devoid of moral heroes. This is a very sad state of affairs (one that both Plato and Aristotle would consider catastrophic to our culture). Pope John Paul II is the only figure I can think of who had fairly broad appeal as a moral authority (though even had had plenty of detractors). So perhaps we don’t have the ‘striving’ aspect of morality in our political culture because we have so few exemplars (or at least exemplars that have something like a universal appeal). I think this is why no one really talks about virtue anymore. A sad state indeed.

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  11. Mike says:

    I worked for a year or so at a company that did political polling. McCain was one of their clients (he still his). Kleiner’s view on polling seems a bit naive. Polling is what provides the candidates the perspective to choose which issues they’ll be talking about, that doesn’t mean it will direct policy decisions. It’s taken in regard to playing the people like the tools they generally are. McCain also hates Utah mostly because they favored Romney so strongly early in the primaries. I found a friend to replace me at that job so I keep up to date with him. They usually poll demographic groups that they’re interested in getting better numbers on, throw a bunch of topics at them and see which ones stick. Then they play out that issue in speeches.

    Hillary Clinton was the best example I can think of someone who always played to the polls. McCain in the primaries was close behind. I could see a point where Obama was impacted strongly by ‘the handlers’ but then i saw a turn. I don’t think he does as well with the numbers when he plays the polling game. That’s a pleasant surprise about the populous although his sort of broad based “change” approach (too often short on specifics but much better than “more of the same” as a rallying cry) isn’t exactly what i’d hope was catching on as an alternative. Still I prefer it to the poll directed speech making (I can’t emphasize this enough, it’s poll directed speech making, not poll directed policy making).

    The cave in by the dems on warantless wiretapping will further solidify my sentiment that there’s really only one party and we desperately need an opposition party. I’d prefer to see Obama in the whitehouse than McCain but what I’d really prefer is principled leadership.

    Kleiner’s “IF” is a huge stumbling block. Also, when you’re thinking of government legislating morality, remember, it might not be your morality they legislate. Another incentive for a libertarian streak. Also, when you give nearly unlimited powers to the executive it’s not necessarily your guy who will get them. That’s why the powers and the legislating morality are so dangerous.

    Anyhow, just my opinion, take with a grain of salt and a pint of homebrew.

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  12. Kleiner says:

    Welcome back, Mike.

    I don’t doubt at all that Mike is right, that the polling data directs speeches and the ubiquitous talking points. I think everyone does this on both sides of the aisle (Obama as much as anyone, his speeches are full of well vetted lines). But I do not think it is naive to think the polling data has some effect on policy decisions. I worked for a time in a congressional office in DC. Not always but sometimes the congressman wanted polling data for voting decisions (to decide where the politics was on a particular vote, and in some instances to see if his vote would carry too high a political price if his position was unpopular).
    Either way, I think my point still stands. If politicians speak to and attend to issues that polling data suggests people want to hear about, aren’t they being good representatives and leading/following ‘from the polls’ rather than demonstrating what so often gets called ‘real leadership’?
    Anyway, I don’t care that much about this point.

    Obviously the IF is the big stumbling block, I tried to make that clear. And you are quite right that the imposition of sectarian values (see the liquor laws in this state) is an argument, the best argument I think, for libertarianism.
    But the government already legislates morality. All governments legislate morality, because the civic code is not and cannot be value-neutral. The question is not whether or not we will have our govt legislate morality. The question is, how do we raise the ‘reason quotient’ in our public policy discussions and decisions so that those policies, which inevitably do have morally formative effects on the citizenry, legislate a morality that is reasonable and grounded in authentic principles and rights?

    So I agree that we must show restraint when legislating on ‘secondary’ moral principles (liquor laws, etc). But I think we should be bold to legislate from and for certain grounding moral principles and rights (what we Catholics often call ‘respecting the dignity of the human person’). This is not a matter of legislating ‘my morality’ as opposed to ‘your morality’. That language presupposes that morality is a matter of private opinion. This is why I hearken back to classical ethics, where morality concerns something public – human nature. So what is required for us to have a higher ‘reason quotient’ in our public policy (and other moral) debates is that we first develop an adequate anthropology. We must first get as clear as we can on the meaning of the human person if our public policy debates are to be grounded in anything which could pass as ‘universal’ and publicly reasonable.

    It is when we abandon any effort to ground our policies in authentic moral principles rooted in human nature that we get into doing really bad things. For instance, Bush’s profoundly immoral position on the status of the Gitmo ‘detainees and enemy combatants’ (he won’t call them ‘POWs’ or ‘criminals’ since then he would be subject to well developed moral and legal principles on how each of those groups of people ought to be treated).

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  13. Mike says:

    It is when we abandon any effort to ground our policies in authentic moral principles rooted in human nature that we get into doing really bad things. For instance, Bush’s profoundly immoral position on the status of the Gitmo ‘detainees and enemy combatants’ (he won’t call them ‘POWs’ or ‘criminals’ since then he would be subject to well developed moral and legal principles on how each of those groups of people ought to be treated).

    It’s somewhat disturbing to me that you think grounding “our policies in authentic moral principles” is going to solve this problem when we all know that Bush is supposedly a Christian (I don’t doubt that he is).

    Perhaps it isn’t more “grounding” that’s necessary here but more listening and understanding. Humanized principles instead of reasonized principles (technological enframing?). Not human nature as a principle, human beings as beings. Perhaps something oriented around understanding and consensus or something like this?

    I agree that if the politicians listen to and act upon non-contrived polling (something that does not exist, usually they’re even framed in a way to get a certain response) then that counts more as “representative” democracy. Like if Bush changed his ways now that he has such a low approval rating. Also, well vetted lines doesn’t mean ‘poll driven’ (fallacy of equivocation). Not to say obama has the moral high ground here, just not poll driven speeches. Speech then poll instead of poll then speech.

    I’m really undecided on a lot of this so hopefully I don’t come off too strong. Glad to be back, for the moment though I don’t have much time. I think my kindness level has some sort of correlation to my stress level (which hasn’t much diminished) so I’m trying to be mindful of that :).

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  14. Huenemann says:

    I want to head off this dispute before we enter into the well-trodden theory vs. practice, or “to what extent does theoretical reflection matter?” debate.

    I thought what was interesting about the legal case in Florida is that Googling is being used to measure a community’s values. For reasons stated above, I think that’s not a good idea. But that raises the question, “Well then, Mr. Smarty Pants, how should we measure a community’s values?” One further question is whether the community’s values should be determined by what the members of the community actually value, or whether we should appeal to elite experts to decide for the community what they REALLY value, though they may not know it.

    But setting that further question aside, and supposing that what the members of the community value is indeed relevant to the values of the community, then how do we proceed in figuring out what those values are? Option 1: take a poll. Option 2: see who writes the most letters to the editor, or who stages the biggest rally. Option 3: listen for the loudest voices. I think all these options stink, but right now I don’t have any better ones to offer.

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  15. Mike says:

    good point, Charlie. I’m not sure i’m on topic ;).

    I’ve been wanting to get into the federalist papers and a few things of that variety. I wonder if that sort of thing would be helpful here.

    how about option 4) data analysis about behavior patterns (the idea being that the googling thing isn’t bad just not necessarily representative so other data sources should be queried).

    And to use the most common answer to these sorts of questions — some combination of the above mentioned options.

    (aside– I do agree with Kleiner that we’re basically legislating morality but I still think it’s a dangerous thing. However we choose to orient it, it shouldn’t be something counter productive that flips one way for this admin then the other way for the next. )

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  16. Kleiner says:

    I pulled us off topic, sorry Huenemann. That said, I want to make a quick reply to Mike:

    a) I don’t see ‘reasoned’ and ‘humanized’ as being mutually exclusive. Quite to the contrary, I see them as intimately compatible and perhaps co-necessary. In large part this is because I don’t mean ‘reasoned’ in the modern technological sense (rationality), I mean it in the much broader (and much more ‘humanized’) classical sense (a sense that is far more welcoming of listening and understanding). Also, don’t get scared off by my word ‘grounded’, I don’t mean anything at all Kantian there, or even something that would imply a priori principles.
    Point is, I did not mean to treat human nature as a ‘mere principle’. Again, nowhere more than the Catholic moral tradition will you find intensive and humanized understandings of the human person (the Catholic tradition, this shows particularly in the work of JPII, is personalist to the core). The person – not some abstract notion of nature – is what drives my moral philosophy (though questions of the person will involve questions of their existentially lived nature).
    b) The remark about Bush being Christian and the insinuation that his Gitmo policies somehow follow from Christian moral principles would be offensive if it were not so ridiculous. I won’t hold you to every stupid thing particular pluralists have ever done, don’t hold ‘Christianity’ and ‘Christian moral philosophy’ to every stupid thing individual Christians have done. I don’t know Bush’s heart, I do know that his Gitmo policies are not in accordance with what I take to be the bulk of the Catholic/Christian moral philosophical traditions (or frankly, with secular moral philosophical traditions).
    I came on strong here, and I am surely responding to more than just you here. You’ll forgive my utter exasperation at the admittedly funny but too often stupidly simplistic politics of the Jon Stewart anti-religious liberalism. Its apparent sophistication is terribly superficial.

    Back to Huenemann. I agree, it seems all those 3 options stink. And I am not sure Mike’s 4th option is much better, since I am not convinced that behavior will necessarily reflect values because humans are, for whatever else you might want to call it, sinful. We almost always fall short of what we would like to be (this was my hypocrite point above).

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  17. Mike says:

    I’m not saying bush’s principles follow from Christian principles, that’s exactly my point. If they don’t follow from those then perhaps it isn’t the principles that need fixing (and perhaps no “grounding” of classical or any other variety really helps (hint: environmental nurturing vs theoretical nurturing)). I don’t think much follows from much else so try not to read that into my positions if you can.

    This– “the insinuation that his Gitmo policies somehow follow from Christian moral principles” is Kleiner arguing with himself.

    Because of ‘sin nature’ or whatever behavior is a better metric than opinion (words) to evaluate people’s values. It avoids the liars problem. But you could use more public behaviors or value them more highly than private behaviors. I’m not sure about how that all works together in a way that’s best for society. Looking to opinion for data seems really odd to me.

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  18. Kleiner says:

    Sorry to heap something on you that was not there. Now that we seem to be on the same page, I guess my issue with Bush would be this – if you have a good moral ‘framework’ on your hands (I’m trying to avoid the word ‘principle’), why the hell aren’t you acting on it?!? I think I know why – it is because the worst kind of utilitarian thinking has taken over this administration when it comes to the ‘war on terror’.
    Anyway, we’ll drop this point to return to Huenemann’s post:

    Again, I am not sure that behavior is the best measure of people’s values. Speaking for myself, I know that my behavior frequently falls well short of what I think would be good. It is not that I lie when I tell people my opinion about values, it is that I am too often too morally weak to actually live out my moral values.
    I think the question of the hero/moral hero is so important here. There are all sorts of studies over the last decade or so that suggest that people (adults and children alike) just don’t have heroes anymore. Since morality involves striving, perhaps it would be our heroes (if we had any) that would be the best representatives of our moral values. Again, with Aristotle, if you want to know what [I think] is good I will point to the phronemos (the good man, the man of practical wisdom).

    By the way, I rather like arguing with myself – I almost always win!

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  19. Mike says:

    Yeah, i see that issue and what you’re getting at, I’m not sure how to resolve it. I’m the same, I just don’t know I want laws based on my opinions (or anything collectively or independently introspective). Perhaps trial and error and looking at what societies have done and the impact that has had is the best way to go here?

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  20. Kleiner says:

    Instead of saying that laws will be based on ‘opinion’, I guess I would choose different words. Laws would be based on hopes, aspirations, ends. They would be based on what man could be rather than on what man is (how we might commune together rather than how we actually do).
    Isn’t that the point of ‘change politics’ – that it looks and moves toward what it not yet but what might yet be? Such a politics requires vision, which is different than having a data snapshot of how things are now.

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  21. Mike says:

    My earlier statement about introspection was way too broad and probably will come back to bite me.

    I guess I’d still like to depend on social movements and religion to take us where we need to go. And laws to keep us from where we really shouldn’t go (especially taking away other people’s liberties). So laws are negative formation (which could turn into positive formation if we have better education and such in the prison systems, I saw someone today wearing a t-shirt that said “vocational rehabilitation works”) while movements/ religions/ parenting/ deliberate-living are positive formation and we need to put energy into both.

    I think I think (yeah, i really said that) that law should be oriented around preserving individual liberties (not allowing anyone to trample on others) where as the best morality is oriented around that sort of positive vision (possibilities) that Kleiner is getting at. I hate to think the state will provide any vision for us. Perhaps the law could also be oriented around trying to stop the negative social movements (e.g. most marketing).

    I still don’t have any clear idea how to deal with Huenemann’s initial question.

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