TA 106 (Müller)

Response 26 (to C69 by Fisher)

by Herbert FJ Müller
28 December 2009, posted 2 January 2010

The reply by Harwood Fisher to my C25 is quite interesting, not least because it raises further questions, of which I will mention a few.

It is my impression that ethics or morals are general rules or sets of rules for behaviour and thinking (like the golden rule, the categorical imperative, the ten commandments).  In that case, theories and their terms (concepts) are, at least to start with,  secondary rather than primary.  Such beliefs, like other beliefs, are most effective when not doubted or even discussed.

Percepts and concepts contribute to the convictions but are not necessarily binding on everyone, as in “the axis of evil”.  Surely they are not necessarily “hard-wired” <4>.

The long-term effects of theoretical assumptions, mainly since the French and Russian revolutions, have been less than convincing, and the same can be said about the present religious counter-revolution or over-restoration, which has,  among other things,  produced an enormous theoretical muddle.

But allow me to ask a more practical question.  Supposing you were asked to organize a sort of ethical agency for the UN, how would you go about that ?


Herbert FJ Müller
e-mail herbert.muller (at) kjf. ca
          herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca