Saturday, October 10, 2009


By Terry Bankert, a Flint Family Law attorney lawyer sharing his opinion with you.


I recently talked with someone close as to why our politics are so polarizing. I would add they are judgmental, negative, narrowly focused and with an anonymity and unaccountability for the advocate of these polarizing statements. It became clear that this could be said about most internet interaction.

Why are they so negative.

What characteristics do these two forms of expression, politics and internet posting, have?

The field we would use to study these expressions would be generally “ethics”.

“The science of ethics or morals is concerned with character and with the conduct that is customarily approved or disapproved.’

“So ethics, the science of morality, seeks intelligent, reliable approval or disapproval of conduct and character.”

I did not know that. We have a way to analyze what I thought was just my right to have spontaneous reactions and pronouncements.

The quotations are from a dollar book from Salvation Army in Davison. ETHICS revised edition, Radoslav A Tsanoff, Professor of Philosophy, The Rice Institute., Harpers, 1947, 1955

“The terms approval and disapproval indicate the point of view from which ethical science investigates its field.”

Why do we gravitate to approving and disapproving. Why not just accept alternative positions and incorporate that which we agree with into our own philosophy.

‘Our common terms for expressing moral judgments are good and bad, right and wrong, better and not so good, worse and not so bad, highest and best, worthless and wicked.”

SO in politics and these internet posting we are making value judgments.

“ We have also words of more specific reference such as just, honorable, courageous, intemperate , treacherous, perverse, corrupting, saintly. Critical thought undertakes to order all these and related ideas under the general principal of value.”

So in politics and on the internet we are making value judgments.

“ Ethics is essentially concerned with the values of our experience. Its aim and guiding principal may be stated as intelligence in valuation.”

So we want to make value judgment intelligently in politics and on the internet?

Do we have the same expectations of all people when they make their moral judgments?

Should we expect the uneducated to advocate their value judgments at the same level as the educated, the poor at the level of the rich, republicans at the same level as the democrats?

[Excuse me I just made a bad unintelligent generalization that democrats are smarter and operate at a higher level that republicans. I’ll try to stop that now that I understand a little bit about the study of ethics.]

“ Might we not then hope to trace some lines of moral evolution from instinctive and impulsive anger and resentment…[sound like the internet and local politics to me]…towards a sense of justice; from gregarious and herd instinct towards social-mindedness; from obedience to leader and master towards dutiful fidelity?”

Our political interaction in the young nation the Unites States and the internet, less than 10 yr old, is maturing? How will they mature, what difference will become more apparent?
“the process of maturing moral values is gradual.” Give it time I guess.

‘”we may thus learn to cultivate more tolerance towards our ignorant fore bears..

[republicans?..oh there I go again.. I pledge to mature.]…as we our selves outgrow more of there errors.”

We will mature in our political and internet discourse. “ look to your self first in evaluations.

“ The ethical view of our life, and of any condition and action in it is, the view of the ultimate integrity and character of worth.”

What are the features of your moral outlook on life?

“ Ethics is concerned with judgments of approval or disapproval, with the norms of valuation in human conduct.”

How do we make our value judgments? Most of us do not know. We just do it.

Why look at our ethics.?

“ Ethics is thus the integral normative science or the science of systematized valuations. In simpler words used by W.G Everett “ Ethics is the science of values in their relation to the conduct of life as a whole. Or Durant Drake describes ethics as the science of what matters.”
So what matters to you? What matters in political discourse of internet interaction/?

Each issue we deal with will have come from some bank of knowledge, economic, politics, business, criminal justice, we must recognize these fields and their legitimate conclusions.

“ Challenge any one of them to justify itself, and before you are through you will have gone along the special radius, of economic or political valuation , towards the center of value, value basic, integral and decisive, which is the concern of ethical theory.”

So we are declaring value judgments as we attack each other politically or anonymously on the internet?

“But what are the higher and what are the lower values, and what is our principal of preference?”

When evaluating our positions through the prism of ethical evaluation, we must think differently, or at leas just think.

“ If political considerations lead us to support certain economic policies, or if our convictions on domestic policies, or if our convictions on domestic and international trade dictate certain political alignments it will not be enough to analyze and explain our motivation….we are bound to consider what our basic decision is to be and that involves our ultimate convictions and value in human life altogether. We come down to an ethical problem and the need of a justifiable ethical judgment.”


Your thoughts?

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

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