Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thoughts During PHI 1620


I am sitting in my ethics class.  We are talking about the moral system developed by the author of my text based on the theories discussed in previous class sessions.  I am having a difficult time staying awake.  I keep yawning rather noisily.  The people around me probably think I have some digestive issues or something.  Oh well.  After this semester, I will probably never see any of these people again.  We just spent the last 5+ minutes developing hand cramps, as we wordily wasted ink establishing that this theory is compatible with Kant's idea that people should never be viewed only as a means, but always an end.   Glad that's been established.  Moving on...Oh now we're saying you shouldn't contradict yourself (really?!?!) but don't be rigid in your theory.  Uhm.  get me out of here. 

If you've made two promises but you cannot keep one without breaking the other, what do you do?  Keeping your promises must be too rigid a principle (sarcasm).  Maybe, for some people, the only unbroken promise is the one that is not made.  Perhaps you should not make promises you can't keep.

Oh!  Abortion debate!  pg. 160... "people tend to argue past each other in abortion debates..." I'm actually agreeing with my proff on this one.  "'2.  Human life begins at conception.'  That's the Catholic concept anyways," ...and the only concept science supports!  Biologists define humans by the chromosomes.  Conception is when the 2 sets of 23 chromosomes join to form the 46 chromosomes of the same unique DNA that individual human will have for the rest of his or her life. 
Now he's talking about Roe v. Wade...hmmm...he knows his stuff.
Most of the class looks stiff, legs crossed, leaned back, arms folded.  He goes on about different ways people determine whether people are human, then "Moving on,"  OK then.

Now he's talked for about 3 minutes on solving conflict.  I think.  It's difficult to find the point in all of his ranting.  He just talks.  People are now haunched over their texts.  He must have seen every sort of hair division by this point in his career. 
Now he's discussing the golden rule, and trying to make a joke.  He's moving toward the board.  More notes...
The first point of the author's ethical system involves revering life and accepting death.  "...drink life like water and death like wine," ~Chesterton  sounds good. 
WHAT?!  Well duh, using a respirator is justifiable! 
Even though this proff and I both seem to be native English speakers, there is such a language barrier between us.
How is that first point compatible with consequentialistic theory? 

I like glittery black things.  They are pretty.

Pg. 175.  YES!  Almost the end of the chapter.  He'll probably let us have our break before we begin to review for the midterm, to be taken in two weeks, after break.  I need chocolate. 
"'Living together before marriage'" we go.  "Now let's say they're practicing safe sex," ...not gonna say anything.  Not gonna say anything.  Not gonna say anything.
"His other example, is rape."  Wow.  "I think what's wrong with rape is that we aren't respecting another person's autonomy."  Ummmm I think it's a bit more than that (!) .
"Any questions?  Then let's have our break."  No arguments from this end of the room.


Went for a little walk.  Used the bathroom.  Got some water in my system.  Sitting and writing this with 5 minutes to spare.  As usual.  Evidently, at least half the class is addicted to nicotine.  It must be an expensive and time consuming addiction.  I think I'll steer clear of smoking as well as coffee.  I'm not gonna eat my chocolate now.  Writing this is effectively keeping me awake.  I'll have an apple when I get home.  The teacher is erasing the board.  I think the kid who just walked into the classroom works at the same place I do.  I wonder how different I look with my hair down.

"Midterm exam review,"  Oh joy.  There'll be a vocab/short answer section and an essay/long answer section.  The girl next to me took her things and never came back from break.  Huh.  Now we are talking about ethnocentrism and tolerance.  Tolerance.  A word very much abused, misused, and misunderstood in this culture.  How sad. 
We should know the criticisms of Utilitarianism.  I wonder what the criticisms of Catholicism would be, were it to be discussed. 
Aristotle and Mill both said that the ultimate end of man is happiness.  I beg to differ. 
I could not be an anthropologist; it requires the descriptive approach to ethics, rather than the prescriptive approach.  Wouldn't work.
We only need to know cultural relativism from Chapter 5!  That chapter was my favorite thus far!
LOL  I love the term "free will problem".  LOL
"Soft determinism is when free will is compatible with determinism."  "I'm sorry, what is free will compatible with?"  Good.  I am glad I'm not the only one having a rough time taking notes when this guy talks. 
Aaaaaand absolute consequentialism makes no sense in practice. 
That chart is not giving me definitions!
YAY!  That's it.  Class dismissed.

Now let's see if I pass...

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