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Pragmatism and morality

  1. Apr 17, 2006 #1
    Know what ive been wondering about. We always hear about the extremes on certain morallity arguements or something somewhat different.

    While im not a pragmatist. Im pretty sure they exist :rofl:
    so why dont we hear about pragmatic alternatives?

    Take homosexuallity.
    You have the christians and such where their scripture instructs them to kill homosexuals. Leviticus 20:13
    So you have 1 extreme saying to kill all homosexuals.
    Then you have obviously the opposite where you have rights for people.(ya i sit in this group, i just dont care who are gay nor what they do)

    but im wondering why we dont have pragmatic views. Like people who would instead of killing and leaving them be. So the pragmatic alternative being somewhere in between like forcing them all to get a sex change or something.

    or with the death penalty. Instead of death. cut off all their limbs. Usually a guy without limbs could never ever do something bad again.(im actually more so in the pragmatic position lol. i find it that if the person did something bad enough to get the death penalty. putting them to death isnt a very good punishment, punishment usually has the factor of suffering in it that makes it bad. but death isnt a punishment. for me if i was going to kill a person and there was the death penalty it wouldnt be as bad as if they were going to make me a very undesirable.)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2006 #2


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    How do you understand the word pragmatic? It has a technical meaning in philosophy and also a common meaning as a synonum for "practical". The usage in your post inclines me to interpret it the second way, but the first way (the Pragmatism of Pearce and Dewey) is not entirely exlcluded.
  4. Apr 19, 2006 #3
    odd. in my english class the word pragmatist came up in a book we were reading. As i was probably the only one reading the book. I just went to the teacher to ask what it meant. He explained that it meant that its a person who very often compromises in situations.

    and then almost right after i seen the very last episode of Star Trek Voyager. Where admiral janeway basically compromises in a situation and they then called her a pragmatist. Plus it fit prefectly well for the book.

    so i just assumed that was the correct one. My bad then.
  5. Apr 19, 2006 #4


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    OK, no problem. So in your case of homosexuality, consider the US Army's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. I would consider that a pragmatic (if not altogether successful) approach; wouldn't you? It was originally set forth as a compromise between people who thought the Army shouldn't have homosexuals at all, and those who felt that homosexuals had a right to be treated like everybody else, even in the Army.
  6. Apr 21, 2006 #5
    ya actually i do like that. alot of people seem to be happy with this. but then the same people dont like it when the homosexuals flaunt it. Like the queer eye show. Where you have these gay guys come in and act as if their way is superior and straight guys should be more like them. While perhaps the hetero women might like this. I dont think they are superior. If men thought they would get more of what they want(pusy) by doing these things. They would do it. Hell men are generally going in the opposite direction. Chivalry is pretty dead.
  7. Apr 22, 2006 #6


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    The Queer Eye show is not actually put on by gays as such, but by a network because it would be popular with the viewers. And it has been.

    You have shifted your topic from "having a pragmatic attitude toward social issues" to "how should manly men respond to gay themes in the culture". Forgive me if I infer that you have some unresolved issue with homosexuality personally.

    The philosophical approach (IMHO) would be to consider the issues dispassionately; for example do males "need to get in touch with their inner feminine"? Do they even have an inner feminine? Is the culture changing regarding male roles? When the culture we live in seems to challenge us personally what useful responses can we make?
  8. Apr 22, 2006 #7
    most of those beliefs are actually from relatives lol. or from media like TV.

    Honestly. As a trekkie. Im a humanistic secular strong-atheist left-winged stoic(human vulcan:What would Picard do?) nerd and geek.

    When it comes to morallity questions. Im usually argueing using the liberal/humanistic. but for me. I just really dont care about the practical applications.

    Should Ontario have a death penalty? I dunno i dont care. doesnt really affect me. but as a humanist. I do believe it would be more logical to keep them alive and try to fix em up with psychiatry/shock therapy.

    Should Ontario legalize and allow all the gay stuff?sure why not. doesnt really affect me. and legalizing it wont change anything.
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