Forum Message

Topic: Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction
Posted by: nj
Date/Time: 09/05/2004 10:01:58

hey, Amilcar.

Well, let's get right on to talking about revenge.

From chapter 5 of Govier, "A Delicate Balance", page 43:

"He humiliated you by staging a damaging attack; by humiliating him in an equally damaging one, you want to prove that you're not one down.[...] by showing that you've got the power and the strength to put him down.  Then you get the satisfaction of seeing him suffer at least as much as you have, and of knowing you achieved this result.[...] The power you show in bringing this about will restore your self-esteem.  That's one of the moral arguments in support of revenge."

She lists several proposed reasons for taking revenge:

1. to restore your self-esteem
2. to bring about justice
3. to gain social solidarity, (calling for revenge rallies people to action)
4. the nonwimp argument (striking back shows your determination and resolve, so others won't do the same thing to you)
5. to satisfy you

She also lists reasons against it, some of which I list below.

6. revenge is often an act of sudden opportunity, not of sudden means.  Self-esteem, improved simply because you hurt someone when you had the chance, is frail.

7. justice is another term for revenge, in my book. 

8. Social solidarity, achieved by calling for revenge, motivates those people toward revenge.  Since revenge is cyclical, forever retaliated against, the solidarity achieved doesn't bring the safety to the people that the solidarity would have been valuable to help achieve.  Instead, the group effort to gain revenge entangles that group in a conflict, as it has Isreali's, Palestinians, Serbs, Shiites, Sunnis, Blacks, Whites, Indians, Pakistanis, ....

9. Any moral balance that revenge-taking is meant to achieve violates the principle of morals, that "right" or "wrong" are assigned according to the known and intended results of a moral action, and not assigned according to a weighing of the full history of revenge-taking on both sides. 

10. You might show determination and resolve by taking revenge, so others won't treat you how you were ill-treated.  But to do so might provoke retaliations from the others you feared in the first place.  After taking revenge, you'll probably have reason to fear them even more.  At least it's questionable whether the act of taking revenge actually helped protect you.

11. the satisfaction of revenge is immoral.  The feeling may or may not be there afterward, but the act itself does not have ethical grounds simply because it made you feel good.

What are your thoughts about moral balance, Amilcar?


Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Ethics, second position, and abstraction05/05/2004 10:01:13nj
     Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction05/05/2004 15:40:17Amilcarkabral
          Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction05/05/2004 20:53:04nj
               Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction06/05/2004 13:58:59Amilcar
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction09/05/2004 10:01:58nj
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction14/05/2004 18:27:10nj
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction14/05/2004 19:03:21nj
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction14/05/2004 20:41:24Elie
                                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction14/05/2004 20:55:05
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction14/05/2004 21:15:07Eli
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction15/05/2004 02:32:47E_lie
                                                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction15/05/2004 09:06:40
                                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction15/05/2004 10:04:02e_lie
                                                            Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction15/05/2004 10:51:25e_lie
                                                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction15/05/2004 19:51:14nj
                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 01:05:51e_lie
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 01:33:24e_lie
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 01:45:28nj
                                                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 03:40:51e_lie
                                                                                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 05:13:33
                                                                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction16/05/2004 09:40:59e_lie
                                                                                               relevant links16/05/2004 10:08:56e_lie
     Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction05/05/2004 20:59:32nj
          Re:Re:Ethics, second position, and abstraction06/05/2004 18:57:20GSM
     Positive intentions and Ethics26/05/2004 01:45:59Greg Alexander
          Re:Positive intentions and Ethics27/05/2004 18:46:19nj
               Re:Re:Positive intentions and Ethics28/05/2004 00:53:27Greg Alexander
                    Re:Re:Re:Positive intentions and Ethics28/05/2004 06:20:40nj
                         Re:Positive intentions and Ethics28/05/2004 11:23:53Greg Alexander
                              Re:Re:Positive intentions and Ethics28/05/2004 18:58:15nj
                                   Re:Re:Re:Positive intentions and Ethics29/05/2004 03:07:52Greg Alexander
                              Re:Re:Positive intentions and Ethics28/05/2004 21:29:50nj

Forum Home