On Fri, 27 Oct 1995, Michael McMaster wrote:
> It's not the "should" that should go - nor the right/wrong or
> good/evil. It's not the "moral judgements" that are the problem.
> What constitutes the problem is the lack of signifier for the speaker
> and their authority or validity in making the statement.
> The above sentences contain the same error. The problem is in our
> speaking and in our listening. What's the difference in the
> following two sentences?
> 1. People shouldn't make moral judgements.
> 2. I believe that people shouldn't make moral judgements.
> I'm not sure of the linguistic sources but I first heard the phrase
> "radial speaking" from a postmodernist. The term refers to speaking
> for yourself, for being aware that you (and others) are speaking for
> themselves and that what you are saying carries no more authority
> than the second more explicit formulation above.
I use two distinctly different frames of reference when I use terms such
as moral judgement, should, and ought whether or not I add a pronoun.
These are my personal opinion and my professional opinion.
I generally keep my personal opinions separate, but more and more, I find
it expedient to give an opinion that sounds professional and is not based
empirically or in a learned fashion. My personal opinions are derived
from the additional factor of "how I feel about the subject." I learned
long ago, that (being a male of the species, therefore, a Martian), that I
have feelings and those feelings are legitimate with or without
justification. There they are, "Just Is."
Within the professional context, I generally speak for myself. I study
ethics. This is a study of moral reasoning and in some ways the basis for
determining the should's of society. For example, I believe that we *do*
need to say that it is wrong and we *should not* randomly shoot children
at a playground. It would be simple enough to moral reason why we
*should* do this. But my personal beliefs and feelings, unsubstantiated,
tell me that this deed is unacceptable behavior and that I can believe
that about other people.
The caveat will be the grey areas. Some behavior is not absolutely ight
or wrong or when an attempt to solve through the "problem" a wicked
problem emerges that creates a situation of desperation. My experience
has been to experience this and to try to use my *existing* knowledge and
wisdom and somehow incorporate my feelings and the feelings of others into
the solution. The intent is a fiduciary response to a set of
circumstances. The result is sometimes paternalistic and shuts down
-- Jesse W. White firstname.lastname@example.org