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Thread: Provocation and Morality

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    Question Provocation and Morality

    I was reading a book review and came across this:

    The author's final declaration is unequivocal: The mass media does not provide information about a reality which exists. Mass media's reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself.

    His statement is a provocation. A provocation without a moral.

    The last sentence bothers me.

    IF morality is about right and wrong, and
    IF provocation is about deliberately causing anger, and
    IF anger occurs when you believe something is wrong,
    THEN how can provocation exist without morality?
    Last edited by KM; 07-19-2014 at 09:08 AM. Reason: aesthetic spacing

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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    I was reading a book review and came across this:
    Was qua WAS

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    The author's final declaration is unequivocal: The mass media does not provide information about a reality which exists.
    Reality qua REALITY which exists qua EXISTS?
    InFORMation as if FORM could be held without substance to hold it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    Mass media's reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself.
    I never met `the media' whats she like?
    For me communications media ARE mere means for PERSONAL/individual expression.
    I'll grant you that many who use the media to express function/serve/operate as SHILLS for hire for those who either OWN `the media' or those who hire `the media' to prostitute her talents.

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    His statement is a provocation. A provocation without a moral.
    Is qua IS `provocation'.
    Given that YOU are using a medium nested among media -- this vBulletin group nested within The WWW -- might we assume that what holds for `the media' holds for you and your use of theSE media?
    I believe so, though I'll assert that REIFICATION can and typically IS at work for all parties concerned.
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but YOU injected informative, suggestive `morality' into the mix as if morality-free INFORMATION were not possible.
    Yes, we all KNOW you're an NF/idealist and NFs live in a world -- of your/their fictive fabrication, through the magic of reification -- which is qua IS MORAL.
    And you have posted -- presented stimuli -- into a Skinner Box loaded with NT/Rational critters which by and large have mindsets which qualify as something more akin Amoral; not IMoral, mind you.
    We NTs don't typically make the mistake the SJs, and SPs do to YOUR/NF moralizing; we don't sympathize with it or invert it, or argue with it; we often see it as the redness in the fireman's suspenders; it's often EXTRANEOUS.
    Quarks, muons, and gluons don't act in a MORAL universe, nor do their interplay produce emergent morality ... except in the hearts and souls of those who moralize through reification.
    Forces both `of' and `in' Nature do not moralize or live in a moral universe either; Free Body Diagrams can use polarity to encode directionality of a force, but the NT/Rationals which use them don't misuse polarity to encode morality as NT flakes do with they `think POSITIVE' or insult an interlocutor with `You'RE so NEGATIVE' ... which has been said to me on many an occasion by those whose pooor wittle apple carts have been upset by some morality-free declaration of fact or opinion I expressed as per some motivational cocktail heavily dosed with TRUTH telling and ACCURACY.


    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    The last sentence bothers me.

    IF morality is about right and wrong, and
    IF provocation is about deliberately causing anger, and
    IF anger occurs when you believe something is wrong,
    THEN how can provocation exist without morality?
    How can a wave exist without a propagation medium (EG `medium' as the singular form of `media)?
    How can a program run as a process without a computer or neural net?

    When the tree falls in the forest and the sound waves inadvertently produced fall upon deaf ears or no ears at all, how can the sound PROVOKE either overt or covert responses?

    As a Buddhist was purported to have said once upon a time as fellow Buddhists were using THE AIR around them as a medium to propagate sound waves modulated by their vocal folds/cords: "It is not the flag that waves; it is your mind which waves."

    Can `moral' stones be provoked to fight, flee, or fuck?
    Can `moral' muons, gluons, and leptons form a New Moral Order ... fit political planks together within a sacred text thus codifying them into a doctrinaire dogma then (mis)use The Written Word as A medium among media to promote some sort of morality?
    Rather absurd, is-nay-SEEMS it not?

    Need `provocation' DELIBERATELY `cause' something or other to qualify as a provocation?
    When the tree falls in that forest must it intend to cause a sound every bit as deliberately as the fireman's suspenders intend redness to be experienced by a subjective beholder?

    To answer your perhaps-rhetorical question, provocation can't exists as spin-doctored without MORALIZERS.
    Behaviorists can and do work with a stimuli-responses model.
    It may require an NF/Idealist flake to imbue stimuli and/or responses with morals and/or superimpose a moralizing grid atop every scene staged via `the media'.

    To attribute IS human; to reifiy IS human.
    Attribution allows US to credit, blame, and attribute causality ... and imbue morality ... as if REAL, extant, and/or operative ... as if `information' could entail FORM without substance, without a propagation medium.
    Last edited by gps; 07-19-2014 at 04:43 PM.

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    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    Mass media's reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by gps View Post
    I never met `the media' whats she like?
    as gps indicates, the 'media' cannot create a reality, it lacks a mind. this is the truth that people are oblivious to that enables PEOPLE that create media to influence others reality in a pre-determined way. morality is non existent from within true perception, as to judge something dissolves perception.

    His statement is a provocation
    again, if you perceive his statement as just that, you yourself have created the provocation. upon perceiving his statement, the only judgement that has occurred is from calling his piece of expression a statement. in this sense, a judgement has occurred without morality (unless you find a label of 'statement' provoking).

    provocation or morality is then only created in the eye of the beholder, and share a relationship akin to the chicken and the egg.

    Mass media's reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself
    the author has created this reality of 'mass media' within his own reality (albeit, a common one amongst many hominoids), and falsely identified the 'mass media' as creating it. the same statement could be worded as (more accurately):

    My reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself
    in short, the author judged the media rather than observing it, and yes, people that craft media are good at orchestrating specific responses from a lot of people

    IF morality is about right and wrong, and
    IF provocation is about deliberately causing anger, and
    IF anger occurs when you believe something is wrong,
    THEN how can provocation exist without morality?
    if someone likes to make a mess of themselves, why hassle yourself wondering not only how to clean it up, but the reason they did it in the first place? as Dionne Warwick said, just walk on bye

    Last edited by mhc; 07-19-2014 at 02:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    IF morality is about right and wrong, and
    ok

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    IF provocation is about deliberately causing anger, and
    not necessarily, but ok. (it can also just be about causing any response)

    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    IF anger occurs when you believe something is wrong,
    THEN how can provocation exist without morality?
    anger happens when you're threatened, it's a way of puffing yourself up to aggressors. I got angry at a coyote the other day for stalking my dog. It was a natural, automatic response, not a moral one.

    another example is art. think about the sex pistols touring the south. they openly displayed aggression because that was their act, and they made people so fucking angry. the american population would probably be divided into two halves, one thinking the sex pistols are amoral and should be banned, and the other half thinking it's good fun. both perceive a provocation but process their anger differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    I was reading a book review and came across this:

    The author's final declaration is unequivocal: The mass media does not provide information about a reality which exists. Mass media's reality is a reality created, constructed and construed by the mass media itself.

    His statement is a provocation. A provocation without a moral.

    The last sentence bothers me.

    IF morality is about right and wrong, and
    IF provocation is about deliberately causing anger, and
    IF anger occurs when you believe something is wrong,
    THEN how can provocation exist without morality?
    Moral in this sense means "pithy lesson". It doesn't mean anything about the moral quality of a provocation or whether or not the provocation is driven by a moral consideration. What that review means is that the person has only pointed at a problem, but failed to provide any sort of lesson to be learned from the exercise of listening to their tirade.



    As a side note, and an observation I am always quick to throw out in the hopes that more people will remember it:

    There is an important distinction between morals and ethics. Morals are internally driven and enforced. Ethics are externally imposed--the rational source for them would be an intersection of some committee's moral sense. People often conflate the two by using them interchangeably because the effort of remembering which one to use is apparently too difficult. But it is a useful distinction to be able to make.



    I would also point out how fragile your line of reasoning is. If it were a house, it would be draftier than a pile of sticks.


    When we say morals are about right and wrong, we are actually missing an implied word: behavior. Morals are our internal ideas about right behavior and wrong behavior. This is important. It may be seen as 'not right' that a person should have to do something, or that something has happened, but that doesn't make it either immoral or unethical for those things to happen. Even at the point where we acknowledge that right and wrong are adjectives for an implicit noun of 'behavior', we also could argue for some implied clauses: human behavior.

    Morality is about right and wrong behavior for a human. Morals are determined by what a person thinks is the right thing to do, and what they think is the wrong thing to do under various stimuli. I would be sorely tempted to restrict it a little further to note that the stimuli presents opportunities where there is a weighing of harm and benefits to multiple other parties pending the decision of the person whose morals are involved.


    That anger occurs when you believe something is wrong doesn't mean that that is the only time anger occurs. Anger isn't always about right and wrong (and certainly not the right and wrong behavior as described above). Anger is anger. It a reflexive means of coping (albeit it a dangerous one) with something that the angry person doesn't want. This definition excludes rage-a-holics.


    How can a provocation exist without morality? This question is ripe with ambiguity. Whose morality? The morality of the provocateur or the provoked? What if the person doing the provocation does so unknowingly and the person provoked comes to anger from annoyance at interruption? In this case, neither party has a moral stake in the actions--the only clear moral stake is in the actions of the provoked: they can act immorally or morally as a response to their anger, though how they judge their actions internally is the determinant of whether or not they act morally or immorally. Whether or not they can be held liable to their social group is an ethical issue.
    Last edited by Hephaestus; 07-19-2014 at 06:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Moral in this sense means "pithy lesson".
    With ALL such `pithy lessons' lying firmly outside of the domain of morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    It doesn't mean anything about the moral quality of a provocation or whether or not the provocation is driven by a moral consideration.
    Doesn't NECESSARILY mean, imply, or entail ... although MIGHT, depending on context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    What that review means is that the person has only pointed at a problem, but failed to provide any sort of lesson to be learned from the exercise of listening to their tirade.
    Means qua MEANS ... irrespective of eye/mind of a beholder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    As a side note, and an observation I am always quick to throw out in the hopes that more people will remember it:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    There is an important distinction between morals and ethics.
    Morals are internally driven and enforced.
    Hmmm ... I kinda thought it was the other way around.
    Situational ethics entail that the `situation' be assessed internally and responded-to PERSONally irrespective of the `morals' of any Abrahamic buffoon OUT THERE with morals encapsulated in dogmatic commandments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Ethics are externally imposed--the rational source for them would be an intersection of some committee's moral sense.
    What if `ethics' were morals once removed?
    The US of A was founded upon values encoded in The Constitution, which supposedly established mutually-exclusive`church' and `state'.
    How long did it take before the moral prohibition against `murder' was pushed across from the `church' side of things into the would-be separate `ethical' side things?
    What was involved in transforming a biblical moral codified into a commandment into a ethical would-be `secular' `law' ... other than mental masturbation manifested by the legislative branch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    People often conflate the two by using them interchangeably because the effort of remembering which one to use is apparently too difficult.
    But it is a useful distinction to be able to make.
    As useful as many a distinction without a difference, antonym, or not-necessarily `proper' pronoun.
    So long as two terms exist in a social name space the sociolinguistics camp and ethicists both have job security.
    So long as religious bullshit can be laundered into would-be `secular ethics' via the magic of Legislative fiats and statutes the ILLUSION of difference can be maintained.
    Though obviously Legislators can conjure up as-if-from-Gods-Herselves laws, statutes, and codes with all the `moral' mandates as if `religious' ... as if religion was any less socio-political than legislative processes playing the same game of Simon Says.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I would also point out how fragile your line of reasoning is.
    If it were a house, it would be draftier than a pile of sticks.
    So long as the sticks hold up the roof and the roof sheds water we can live with flow-through ventalation, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    When we say morals are about right and wrong, we are actually missing an implied word: behavior.
    Morals are our internal ideas about right behavior and wrong behavior.
    Nah, for me I have personal ethics; I leave `morals' in the hands of the religious nut jobs.
    My ethics ARE pretty much all situational, circumstantial, contextual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    This is important.
    It may be seen as 'not right' that a person should have to do something, or that something has happened, but that doesn't make it either immoral or unethical for those things to happen.
    Even at the point where we acknowledge that right and wrong are adjectives for an implicit noun of 'behavior', we also could argue for some implied clauses: human behavior.
    Not to mention that right and wrong quite often contribute to a false dichotomy and entail black-and-white thinking entailing only 1 BIT of resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Morality is about right and wrong behavior for a human.
    Agreed; though not a socioPolitical cluster fuck of humans.
    It may be immoral for An Abrahamic human to kill/murder, but when a whole flock of the hypocrites got together for WWI and WWII what was immoral for The One was NOT immoral for The Many.
    When A human kills a paltry fraction of those killed in either world war the human would be branded `mass murderer'; when a would-be `nation'/country of humans engages in COLLECTIVE behavior yielding the same results it's called some euphemism ELSE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Morals are determined by what a person thinks is the right thing to do, and what they think is the wrong thing to do under various stimuli.
    Preserving the all-or-nothing, black-or-white, promotive-of-false-dichotomous emotion-laden-cognitive fallacy-promotive framework.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I would be sorely tempted to restrict it a little further to note that the stimuli presents opportunities where there is a weighing of harm and benefits to multiple other parties pending the decision of the person whose morals are involved.
    You're flirting with situational ethics here, Hephy ... which is the bane of all the absolutist assholes and their dogmatic sacred-text-based BULLSHIT misconceptions of morality, right-and-wrong, good-MORAL-order, good-social-order, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    That anger occurs when you believe something is wrong doesn't mean that that is the only time anger occurs.
    Anger isn't always about right and wrong (and certainly not the right and wrong behavior as described above).
    Anger IS an emotion which can be triggered from without, within, some combination or even biochemically or hormonally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Anger is anger.
    And a tautology IS a tautology

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    It's a reflexive means of coping (albeit it a dangerous one) with something that the angry person doesn't want.
    A woman artist friend of mine -- Angie R.G. -- used to de-vilify anger by revealing that she experienced anger when her boundaries were violated and that she used anger to motivate her to accomplish `leg work' and bureaucratic tasks.

    On those occasions at Emotions Anon meetings wherein I introduced myself with "My name is Gene ... and I'm empowered by my Emotions." Anger WAS and IS one of those emotions capable of empowering me.
    Self-control and wisdom can influence HOW and WHAT the anger can motivate one to enact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    This definition excludes rage-a-holics.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    How can a provocation exist without morality?
    This question is ripe with ambiguity.
    Whose morality?
    The morality of the provocateur or the provoked?
    Provocateur or the provoked?
    As opposed to objectivizier and object ... victimizer and victim ... doer and done-to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    What if the person doing the provocation does so unknowingly and the person provoked comes to anger from annoyance at interruption?
    In this case, neither party has a moral stake in the actions--the only clear moral stake is in the actions of the provoked:
    they can act immorally or morally as a response to their anger, though how they judge their actions internally is the determinant of whether or not they act morally or immorally.
    Whether or not they can be held liable to their social group is an ethical issue.
    Points well taken, up to and until the `social group' doesn't hold all (re)actors equally accountable/liable ... or it's one `social group' versus another as in war.
    Or when it's the `social group' -- via it's get/stay out of jail free AGENTS -- which violates the ethics or morals for which IT punishes mere citizens.
    To wit, Janet Reno was not administered a lethal injection for her participation in the federal massacre at Waco whereas Timothy McVeigh WAS for his retaliation against the federal `social group' responsible for the murder of citizens supposedly entitled to the `fair and equal protection of the laws' as per the oath to protect and defend the constitution by every member of the executive branch of `the social group' from the President right on down to the agents actively depriving those citizens of their constitutional right to fair and equal protection.
    Was Reno `provoked' to kill children who were US citizens?
    Was McVeigh `provoked' to blow up a Federal building when Reno and the chain of command under her were not punished for MURDER?

    As an NT/rational how can I focus on truth and accuracy in my personal expression when there are those OUT THERE who simply can't or won't accept these as POSSIBLE motivations as they are looking for morals or pity lessons every time I skewer one or their sacred cows without providing them a security blanket or a replacement sacred cow to sooth their FEELINGS?
    There seem very few sacred cow ILLUSIONS capable of withstanding the light of day.
    Last edited by gps; 07-21-2014 at 03:32 AM.

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsune View Post
    His statement is a provocation. A provocation without a moral.
    Is it the book that writes this (as opposed to a comment from yourself)? I think that statement is incorrect. The comment on the media failing to provide information is a provocation only because it angers (as you say provocations should). We don't expect the media to mislead (well, I suppose some of us do in this day and age) but if the media is misleading by providing inaccurate information or biased viewpoints, that is morally wrong, so it is provocation with a moral as far as I can see.

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    @gps, Morals need not be absolutist and without concern for situation. Nor are they religious.

    Religions are ethical creeds. When someone is said to have <religious> morals, it [should] mean that their morals are in line with the ethics of the religion in question, and likely that part of their morals is to adhere to said religion.

    I include the "should" because I acknowledge that many who would make such a statement lack sufficient understanding of the words they are using to use them in that manner. I'd also allege that the most vocal speakers of such things are the ones with the weakest understanding of the words.

    Just as it is important to keep the distinction of ethics (external) and morals (internal), it is important to keep the distinction that morals are not religious in nature. There are religious types who want to propogate such thinking so as to equate the atheist (or heretic) with the amoral and lacking in conscience. I'm a bit surprised you'd cede that ground so readily.
    I'm suspicious of people who say they'll die for a flag but won't wear a mask for their neighbor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    @gps, Morals need not be absolutist and without concern for situation. Nor are they religious.

    Religions are ethical creeds. When someone is said to have <religious> morals, it [should] mean that their morals are in line with the ethics of the religion in question, and likely that part of their morals is to adhere to said religion.

    I include the "should" because I acknowledge that many who would make such a statement lack sufficient understanding of the words they are using to use them in that manner.
    I'd also allege that the most vocal speakers of such things are the ones with the weakest understanding of the words.

    Just as it is important to keep the distinction of ethics (external) and morals (internal), it is important to keep the distinction that morals are not religious in nature.
    There are religious types who want to propagate such thinking so as to equate the atheist (or heretic) with the amoral and lacking in conscience.
    I'm a bit surprised you'd cede that ground so readily.
    Did I seem to forfeit ground?
    Here we are (mis)using language which entails rule-based behavior in a sociolinguistic, socioIMpolitical situation as per situational ethics.
    Do you suppose whatever parts of the human brain or psyche which manifest rule-based behavior operate as-if there is an iota of difference between morals, ethics, or rules of grammar and spelling?

    When individuals get pissed off at others for `breaking the rules' which they themselves either `are' or FEEL constrained do you really suppose their psyche puts a point on it fine enough to differentiate whether the rules qualify as `moral', `ethical', grammatical, orthographical, or -- as the English say -- `in good form'?
    I obviously think/believe/intuit not.

    In the TV series `Dexter' he lived by `a code' drilled into him by his father figure.
    Did this code qualify as ethical, moral, or something more generically SuperEgoish a_la Freud?
    That series ran for 8 seasons ... with good moral/ethical folks watching him kill in violation of moral and ethical prohibitions.
    Yet the situations in which he killed -- as per both situational ethics and his `code' -- were arguably the underpinning of the ongoing drama.

    When kitsune experiences emotion apparently entailing the lack of a moral or `pithy lesson' is this REALLY what's at issue?
    Or might she be lacking RULES and guide lines as per moral/ethical guidance which can allow her to steer clear of trouble incurred in socio-impolitical contexts where both morals and ethics can be applied to interpret the tea leaves and ink blots of HER behavior/conduct?
    Whereas we INTPs might steer clear of sociopolitical contexts wherein the mob with their torches and pitchforks are inclined to hunt us down like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, ENFPs often swim in shark infested waters where `professional ethics' and OTHER PEOPLE'S `morals' ARE used to JUDGE and optionally PUNISH those adjudicated in court -- often of `public opinion' -- unethical and/or immoral.

    You and I can discuss and debate abstract distinctions evincing precious little difference as we have little skin in the game.
    I suspect that kitsune has some skin in the game and would like some fail-safe moral guidance to help her stay out of trouble ... emotional trouble, if nothing else.
    Last edited by gps; 08-07-2014 at 04:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gps View Post
    Did I seem to forfeit ground?
    Here we are (mis)using language which entails rule-based behavior in a sociolinguistic, socioIMpolitical situation as per situational ethics.
    Do you suppose whatever parts of the human brain or psyche which manifest rule-based behavior operate as-if there is an iota of difference between morals, ethics, or rules of grammar and spelling?

    When individuals get pissed off at others for `breaking the rules' which they themselves either `are' or FEEL constrained do you really suppose their psyche puts a point on it fine enough to differentiate whether the rules qualify as `moral', `ethical', grammatical, orthographical, or -- as the English say -- `in good form'?
    I obviously think/believe/intuit not.
    I do find more than an iota of difference between morals, ethics, rules of grammar, and spelling. There is an enormous observed internal difference in the how, why and feel of following those different rule structures. There is enormous difference in the importance I place on them, on the response to violation of them, and my level of concern if I see others violating them.

    If I violate my own morals, I grow agitated and uncomfortable, then I beat myself up about it. I may even grow ill, and will almost certainly weep pending extenuating circumstances. If I violate some ethical standard, the only stress I will feel will be if the ethical standard coincided with my morals, or if I fear the consequences of being caught. If I violate a rule of grammar, I'll at worst, note it in passing as I would a thin spot in the paint on a doorjam. And if I note I misspelled word, well, I'll not be surprised in the least. It happens.

    How I'd respond to observing others breaking the rules set forth within each set is much more obviously variable to me, and I'd be here indefinitely searching out cases I felt relevant. But a general observation of how those cases are navigated can be made.

    1. I evaluate by morals first: what do am I internally driven to do?

    2. I evaluate by ethics second: what are the demands of others on me to do at this point, and am I willing to risk or accept the consequences of ignoring them?

    3. I only evaluate by rules of grammar and spelling where apropos: where I am called on to evaluate the spelling and grammar, I so do.

    Quote Originally Posted by gps View Post
    In the TV series `Dexter' he lived by `a code' drilled into him by his father figure.
    Did this code qualify as ethical, moral, or something more generically SuperEgoish a_la Freud?
    That series ran for 7 seasons ... with good moral/ethical folks watching him kill in violation of moral and ethical prohibitions.
    Yet the situations in which he killed -- as per both situational ethics and his `code' -- were arguably the underpinning of the ongoing drama.
    Drama is all about creating conflicted characters. Dexter worked when it worked because of competing ethical systems, and the hint of a moral one that was outside of either. The underpinning wasn't situational ethics but a morality that was in direct opposition to common ethics. It was about someone who had been taught to align their reprehensible needs with the sympathies of people.

    His code was built purely on survival and to work around his limited ability to see the problems of his actions. It was only a set of rules to help him hide his actions, and to attempt to assuage the conscience of the person permitting him to be a murderer loosed on his community. The code was a moral compromise for the person who gave it to him, a person who was struggling with a complex weave of moral compromises--a few of which were also ethical compromises.

    Quote Originally Posted by gps View Post
    When kitsune experiences emotion apparently entailing the lack of a moral or `pithy lesson' is this REALLY what's at issue?
    That isn't what she was experiencing though. Based on her OP, what she was experiencing was a misunderstanding of the statement. It was a misunderstanding that provoked some interesting debate, but she herself did not experience anything over a lack of lesson. She apparently didn't observe that meaning at all.

    Speaking of interesting misunderstandings, reapplying yours here is an interesting thought in itself: does a provocation necessarily entail a moral in the sense of a pithy lesson? Does "the moral of the provocation" have an equivalent ring to "the moral of the story"--assuming of course the ring of either isn't just from repetition of the latter?
    I'm suspicious of people who say they'll die for a flag but won't wear a mask for their neighbor.

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