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Bicycle Race – Destination: Morality

If you´ve ever been to Holland, you probably know that every Dutch(wo)man more or less lives on his/her bike. They eat, drink, play console games, kiss or even play musical instruments (!) while cycling on the busiest road in town… as if it were as easy as taking a candy from a baby.

Fine. I (just like any other foreigner living in Holland) can live with that. Unfortunately, there is one more peculiar thing concerning bikes present: Yes, you guessed it – stealing bicycles is (almost) a national sport!

Two days ago, my shiny, 3-month-old bike was stolen. I was furious, but the only condolence I got from the Dutch was along the lines “So what? Just go and steal one for yourself!”

So I stopped whining, took a deep breath in and thought: What if everybody stole bicycles from everybody else? What if really everybody joined this craziness? How would that affect the societal morals? How quickly would this spill over to other things (like stealing your super-expensive pen – the Czech president would probably know)? And finally, what makes a crime socially “acceptable”? (If it is just “enough people doing it”, could fraud one day become ok?)

Any thoughts?

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Posted by on 9 September, 2012 in Traveling

 

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Ethics: What Is Debatable?

What do the following statements have in common?

“I don´t support abortions. They are wrong.”

“I generally condemn embryo research – actually, I consider it murder, not _research_.”

“I believe that euthanasia should be illegal.”

Correct. They are all moral judgments without substantiation. Way too often do we hear that X or Y is “immoral” without being told why exactly. Sometimes people argue “but the Bible/Quran/insert-a-holy-book-here says so“, sometimes (especially when people run out of arguments – well, “arguments” – altogether) we are told that “yeah, it is just wrong, I know it“. Right?

No. I am sorry, but someone´s feeling of what is moral is not an argument I would buy. If you were able to explain why a) abortion is murder (i.e. life begins at conception), b) the right to live of a fetus is more important than the right to bodily integrity – then yes, that would be different. I am open to discussions about morality, but beware: I am rather allergic to those “somebody said so” claims.

I could go on and argue why I personally believe in certain things, but instead, I would like to pose a few questions, my dear Readers, for you to think about (feel free to comment below):

A) Are women able to achieve equality when they live in a non-secular society? [see here some provoking facts; but feel free to argue even that women should not be equal to men]

B) Would it be OK to pay poor people to have less kids? [a place to start for example here]

C) Is euthanasia acceptable? [I strongly recommend this blog with many useful moral analyses]

Alternatively – do you have something that is really eating you? Please comment. Why? Because nothing is 100% good or bad – and before we as a society make a definite moral judgment, all those various points of view should be heard and taken into account. Why? Because hopefully then our decisions will not harm others (yes, dogmatists, I am talking about you).

 
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Posted by on 29 July, 2012 in Education, Random

 

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