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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Some Thoughts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0875  Friday, 21 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 08:27:15 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.0865 Re: Some Thoughts

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 15:17:01 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0865 Re: Some Thoughts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 08:27:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Some Thoughts
Comment:        SHK 11.0865 Re: Some Thoughts

Dale,

You wondered,

>Is there any school of thought that suggest the same
>thing for ethics, that we're hardwired for some
>kind of "ethical commitment"?

C. S. Lewis thought so.  In one of his Christian books, which I no
longer have so I can't look it up or even be certain of the title, he
tries to take on the moral relativism and anthropology of his time.

As best I remember it, and I'll welcome a correction, Lewis was alarmed
by the relativism of anthropological findings which said that different
cultures had different moral values.  He cleverly countered this by
saying that if you went to a primitive native (note the condescension),
and took his spear, he would say, "That is my spear.  It was wrong to
take it from me."  Lewis maintained that all mankind shared at least
that much morality.

I have since heard that Lewis was dead wrong, that there are some
cultures where people will say, "If you can take my spear from me, you
are more worthy to possess the spear."  On the other hand, I have never
heard of a culture that has NO moral system.  There always seems to be a
governing principle, even if it is just, "The strong man takes what he
wants." and the governing principle is shared by most people in that
society.

Correction or confirmation anyone?

Best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 15:17:01 -0400
Subject: 11.0865 Re: Some Thoughts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0865 Re: Some Thoughts

Piaget suggests that, rather than being hardwired from birth, ethical
commitment develops with formal operational thinking (the ability to
think in terms of abstract systems rather than just concrete presence)
around the fifth to eighth year, reaching its full development at
adolescence when many children become passionate about "causes" for the
first time.

Clifford Stetner
 

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