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Week 4: Agree & Disagree - Moral Issues

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July 31st, 2005


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reinhabitants
10:32 pm - Week 4: Agree & Disagree
To earn 10 points of credit for Intro to Moral Issues, please respond to the question below. Your response needs to be 150 - 200 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


Name one thing that Caputo discusses in _Against Ethics_ that you agree with, and explain why. Also, name one thing that Caputo discusses that you disagree with, and explain why. Note: You may agree and disagree with different aspects of the same point.


To earn another 10 points of credit, please respond to any comment your classmates posted to this topic. Your response needs to be 75 - 100 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


Due Thursday, 8/4

(86 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 2nd, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)

Ben Jordan

(Link)
I agree with Caputo when he discusses how obligations come to him. I believe that we do not have control over what we think we should do or not do. Our obligations come from many sources, some are people and animals, and some are not living at all. We hear the call from Earth not to destroy it. But when it comes to discerning which obligations are good and which ones are bad, I believe I disagree. The way I interpret Caputo’s thoughts is that we are supposed to find the Obligation with the least number of downsides. While this may seem OK at first, I believe there are some things in this world that are good and some that are evil no matter where you are or who you are. I like to call Caputo’s way of thinking Moral Relativism. By using moral relativism I can justify any action no matter how evil it may be.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 3rd, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Ben Jordan

(Link)
I agree with you that there are no good and bad obligations. I really think it depens on your culture and the way we were brought up. For example, I think in class you talked about how you thought Abraham killing is son is wrong no matter what. In this case I think it is really confusing because Abraham had two obligations: one was to god and the other to his son. In this case Abraham has to weigh the downsides, and I guess god won.
Lizeth Gonzalez
Re:Bryan Daniels - (Anonymous) - Expand
kimberly barker - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 3rd, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC)

Lizeth Gonzalez

(Link)

The section I have liked so far is OBLIGATION’S POET, I liked the part that talks about how Derrida advises us to start wherever we are. In the book Caputo relates it to how he is going to start wherever, but I think we can apply it to our lives. I think this though could be applied to “It is never too late". For example, I think that if we want to change our minds we should be able to. We should not get stuck with what we decided in the past. If we want to start a new career or renew a friendship we should just start were we are and not think about what we did or did not do. I also liked the fact that Caputo talks about doing what we love to do. I really think we should do what we love even if we are not great at it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)

Re: Lizeth Gonzalez from Jen-Ling Chang

(Link)
I totally agree with you, and I like it. ^___^
For sure, we should do something which we love to do. Don’t get suck in the past. Sometimes I feel bad when I think about my past because I have some bad memory.
I agree with you that I can not get suck in the past because I can not change it. Therefore, I should forget it. And I can change my mind any time. Just do something what we love to do even if it is not easy. Our life would be better if we follow the rule
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)

Carrie Barnes

(Link)
I really like what Caputo says about how we need to start listening to obligation right now, in the middle of whatever we're doing. I think many times we stand around and ignore what's happening in society, and the ways that we could help. Some people might not know how, but then are some of us that just choose not to acknowledge the obligation to help out.
I also like what he says about obligation being earthbound. If we all felt that our obligations were to each other and to nature, the world might be a better place. Maybe people would help each other out more and maybe we wouldn't have so much pollution.
So, I don't have a disagreement, but more of a problem. How can we just drop everything and answer obligation? It's almost like we've made up things to worry about so that we don't have to act on things that are really going on around us. In a way we've trapped ourselves.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)

Haley Williams

(Link)
i agree with you about obligations... i definitely think that people realize that they have certain obligations and know that they should do something about it but choose to ignore it most likely out of selfishness... the world would be a much better place if we felt that our obligations were to each other and especially to nature because if we don't take care of the world we live in then our children and grandchildren will be very unfortunate.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)

Jen-Ling Chang

(Link)
I agree with Caputo when he interpreted the part which is about obligations. I always think about what is obligation and what I want to do. After I read this article from Caputo, I like the part which is about that we should star to do something which we want to do. Our life time is limit, so we should treasure our life time. Therefore, nothing will be too late to do. No matter our goals are how much hard, we should overcome it. Just do it right now. Also, I do agree that Caputo said nothing is right and wrong. If we want to proof what is right or what is wrong, I think the answer depends on our mind. If you think its right, it would be right. For example, some of the murderers didn’t think it was wrong that they killed somebody. However, I think it is totally wrong to kill somebody. To sum up, I think we just do something which we love to do.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)

Re: Jen-Ling Chang from Yi-Hsien Chang

(Link)
I agree with your idea. I think just do what we want to do in our life is must important and fun things. However, I think it is impossible to do what we really want to do in this real world. This is because we always have to do something we don't like to do but we must do. For example, we have to go to work, school, and other boring things. Moreover, I also agree with your other idea. I think human's mind is must powerful thing on this earth because we can do almost anything we want with our mind.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)

Andrew Lee

(Link)
One of the many things I liked about Caputo that he mentions in his book is the fact that good and evil do not necessarily go with every situation. Like Caputo, I believe that every situation has obligations that must be fulfilled and I agree that rather then finding the ‘good’ or ‘evil’ in things we should understand think about the different obligations surrounding it. However, I disagree with Caputo and his thoughts on minimalism. Granted, I don’t think that we should link events ad infinitum, but we should also not think of any event as a singular isolated action. To avoid relating past events and happenings that are relevant to the present would be unreasonable and ignorant. Now I’m not sure if that’s what Caputo is saying but it seems to me that all he is concerned with is the present and neither past nor future really matter to him. Other than that I think Caputo is a really smart philosopher with lots of interesting things to say.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 07:22 am (UTC)

Marinelle Chapin

(Link)
I agree that good and evil dont necessarily go with every situation. Evil deeds can be commited by a good person and vic versa. Life is not exactly black and white, its the grey ares that make life interesting.
I also agree with you that seperate events in our life are a part of a bigger picture. I wouldnt be who I am without my past, I most certainly will not fill up my days with regret, pride, or (fill in emotion here) of the past but I will learn from it and move on. Move on where? Well if I were to live in the now I would not care for my future, and personally I believe Ive got a lot of life ahead of me.
Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:35 am (UTC)

Yi-Hsien Chang

(Link)
I agree with Caputo’s obligation concepts. One of his concepts that really interested to me is how important we need to listen and feel the obligation. I think nowadays this world is full of selfishness and madness, no body even care about what obligation is. However, if everyone thinks as Caputo’s concepts that obligation is part of our nature. Then I think we still have really good chance to change everything around us. For example, people should take care of other people more and taking care of our nature seriously. Then I think this world will be so much more fun and better place to live. Moreover, I really think people should not stick in our pass; we should try really hard to move forward in our life all the time. However, I think knowing about pass is also very important because I really believe pass create who we are now. Therefore, learning mistakes from the pass is most significant to me. I believe learning mistakes make me stronger in every field of my life.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)

Marinelle Chapin

(Link)
Let me start out by saying Im a little confused as to why Caputo keeps bringing up the fact that he has lost his satalite. Is he trying to warn the readers that maybe his views would be different if he held onto this satalite of his? Personally Im at a point in my life were I feel my satalite slipping away so I see some sense in what Caputo is saying but at the same time it disturbes me. I'll give you a little review of my beliefs...I believe God has a plan for me (some people might call it fate) and I believe that to be a part of this plan I am obliged. I also know that I will not be given more obligations than I can handle. (That is not to say I have never stressed out or worried myself sick over my life. Trust me.) As I have grown up I have come to a realization that men (mankind) run on their own self interest. Being an observer of men has left me dumfounded. I am appaled at how some people act and think, myself inculded. I am not sure if obligation is just sent from above and I dont belive it is only an earthbond signal. I think it is in us, I dont know how it got there, but it is part of natures way of balancing out the selfishness of mankind. So in a sense I do agree that obligation uses mankind as pawns in its little game of chess. Giving us invisable orders to follow and putting us in situations we didnt nessciarily sign up for. The thing to remember is that most games have some sort of logic, rules, and even a little inteligence behind them.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:15 am (UTC)

Hunter Spoede's Response to Marinelle Chapin

(Link)
So do you believe that you had better reception when you were younger? I myself cannot remember ever knowing one-hundred percent of what to do. I know from my upbringing what it is wanted of me, but is that the same thing? I would love to think that the satellite is there and is getting reception. That is all about faith I suppose.

Also you talk of obligation balancing out the selfishness of mankind. I’m not sure I understand your meaning. But I think some of your obligations could be selfish in themselves. I do not mean to be rude if I am, I am just trying to understand what you meant by it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:09 am (UTC)

Hunter Spoede

(Link)
I do like that Caputo discusses talks about being told what is right and wrong. He questions how the “addresser is authorized.” Going back to find the origins of how this person has the right to tell us what is right and what is wrong. I am all for questioning authority; that is probably why I don’t really like the “Leap of Faith.” You are just to follow blindly and trust you are doing the right thing?

I guess that goes hand in hand with what I don’t agree with. I’m not sure I agree with Caputo that we ever had communication with the heavens. He talks of how the satellite no longer gets reception. I think we can be inspired by a greater-being, but not sure we were connected that much. If we were what caused us to not need communication? Did we do something that went against the broadcaster? Is that why we can’t hear the message anymore?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)

Andrea Mosley

(Link)
I agree with Caputo when he discusses good and evil. I think that people put too much emphasis on defining what is good and what is bad. The funny thing about that is that people define it very differently so what may be good and bad in book may be the total opposite in someone's book. We should, like he said, help each other when others need help. If you think about what is going on in the world today that would be a great concept that people should learn. I hate to bring up race, but that is a prime example. It seems like the white want to look out for the white, and the black want to look out for the black. Enough said about that topic. The thing that I really disagree with Caputo on is the issue that Abraham was an ugly man. I don't know if that was what he was saying exactly, but I think Abraham was a beautiful man. I think the people that are willing to obey God's word are the most beautiful creatures. Again that is all I will say on that topic so I will not go into my religious spell. Ha!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Jesse Jensen

(Link)
I agree there might be to much emphasis on good and evil, especially if good and bad are so ambiguous. Although I don't believe the fact that because many people have different views of what is good or bad necessarily means that there isn't something that is good or bad. There is only a contradiction if both people are right maybe one is wrong or maybe both of them are partially wrong and right. Even then whose to say that there are only 2 degrees of freedom. Maybe things are related to prospective and that some how effects right and wrong. In summation I think your right we should do are best to help each other but I think there still is a right or wrong.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)

DominikKabacinski

(Link)
Caputo mentions "weak" (diverse) society and how it would better our existence. His argument against "strong" community is that it provokes violence and inequality amongst other things. Strong community thinks and acts according to one set rule or ethic and everything outside the "box" is hated or wrong ethically. I could not agree more. Diverse society lowers or minimizes hatred, violence and misunderstandings. Such societies seem to experience a lot of personal freedom. A lot of different social groups co-exist more peacefully in weaker communities.

One thing that bothers me is this idea of OBLIGATION. Lets say that it is something that happens before a conscious thought. I still do not understand its affects on people. You can receive this obligation, think, and say yes or say no or do not think and say yes. I still believe that the decision is Yours. Even when you don't think and say yes, decision has been made by you not to think, and say yes. I believe that there are obligations comming from other beings but maybe subconsciously we bring out these obligations. Maybe these obligations come from our deepest psyche and are related to only US. There is an action and an equal and opposite re-action. I don't think most obligations happen without reason.


From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)

Ben Jordan

(Link)
I totally agree that a weak society is a better way. Weak societies seem more open to change; whether it be morals or laws. A weak community makes it possible to have a diverse society with many different types of people. It is very important in today's world that people care more about their nieghbor than they do their ethics and morals.
I also agree with you about obligation, I, too, believe they happen for a reason. The only thing I disagree with is that you can say no to an obligation. I believe if there is an obligation that you can say no to, it was never an obligation to begin with. It was simply an idea- or suggestion. We are BOUND to obligation.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)

Jesse Jesnen

(Link)
I thought Caputo has a good idea as of how to address issues regarding a practical sense. I believe he is very humble and knows that he doesn't really understand anything in entirely, because of that he has a good idea of how to interact. Although I feel that the universe has solutions they are just to precise to see on a large level. I also feel that ethics are a good model to work from one just has to ask if this is an extreme case where the ethic is confused and if the set of ethics you live by can be used in that particular situation. I think the argument made was that ethics where created to make it easy to make decisions, but I don't think the intent of ethics allows us to ignore whether it's valid. I believe most ethical people don't believe that ethic are a answer all solution.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)

Week 4 James Koket

(Link)
The one area of concern with Caputo in which I totally agree is his thought of our obligations. I wrote extensively about this subject in our last live journal post, but I will talk about it again, because I truly believe it is the most accurate and important point we have discussed so far in this class, at least in my eyes. Caputo states in his "Poet's obligation" that we must begin our obligations right now, in the middle of whatever we are doing. There is no better time than right now to start fulfilling our obligations. And, like I stated in the last post, I believe this obligation is our obligation to ourselves as human beings and a society. We are obligated, not necessarily to take care of each other, but to look out for each other. Each man is responsible for thier own lives, but it is everyone's obligation to make sure that people run thier lives to the fullest potential in order for society to function. He states that obligation is Earthbound, which I take as that our obligation is here on Earth, not to a higher power. We must help eachother, here in life. That is what I see as earthbound obligation.
I do not really agree with Caputo's view of communication with the heavens. Maybe some people are able to gain some strenth and ambition or hope from a heavenly figure, but I do not think necessarily we can communicate with the heavens. In our minds, people may think they are talking with a higher power, but I do not feel that we are able to do this, we are bound to this earth and the beings occupying it.
From:shannonbirdy
Date:August 9th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)

Re: Week 4 James Koket

(Link)
I like how you have stated that you believe this obligation is our obligation to ourselves as human beings and a society. We are obligated, not necessarily to take care of each other, but to look out for each other. Each man is responsible for thier own lives, but it is everyone's obligation to make sure that people run thier lives to the fullest potential in order for society to function. That is a strong statement that really made me think. I definiately agree.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)

Shannon Walker

(Link)
I agree with Caputo when he says that “life in general, and the life of obligation in particular, is a rather more difficult, risky business than ethics would allow.” I think that obligation is a “tricky word” that allows anyone to get screwed. The obligation of many things occurs such as borrowing money and don’t pay it back, or obligation to show up for a date at 6:30p.m., but you never showed up, or obligation to take a steroid test, but you decided to skip it.

I disagree with Caputo when he says that “Disasters do not produce a result. That is what is meant by disaster.” It is just like saying there is no cause and effect. According to Caputo, if an airplane hits a building and causes it to collapse, there is “a loss which is without why, groundless.” He based his opinion on “obligation is a matter of being bound (ligare) to a disaster.” If a Tsunami killed over 100,000 people from it destruction, it produces no results. I think that his thoughts on disasters didn’t make any sense.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)

Brizzach Lupher --- Re: Shannon Walker

(Link)
Yeah....doesn't make much sense to me either. Caputo's opinion on 'disaster doesn't produce a result' sounds like this to me:

1) he doesn't know what he's talking about (he's making an attempt though)

2) he doesn't know what he's talking about (As likened to the Great sea of stupidity as he says)

3) Sounds as if he's trying to deconstruct literally something he admits he doesn't know by babbling about it and responding with things he doesn't know a bit about. This could be likened to Philosophy HAHAHAHAHA :P

Yeah I totally agree with you about this though. It doesn't make much sense to me either. Just something to give an excuse to open his mouth about I guess... ::shrugs::
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)

Gerard Volpe

(Link)
I really think that i can agree and disagree at the same time on the topic of obligations and ethics. I believe that obligations are something that is different to everyone, what one person feels obligated to do another person may not feel obligated to do at all. I think that the way a person is raised has a huge impact on what they feel obligated to do, and it also shows the ethics a person has. I do not see obligations as something that you know i see it as something that you feel. For example when i feel obligated to do something i will feel terrible if i do not do it and i think that comes from the way i was raised. I disagree that some people think that obligations and ethics are something that just come to you, i feel that you can control both of these, i think that you are able to control your actions which can control your ethics. I also feel that you control what you are obligated to do but like i said before i think the way that you were raised shows because you probably feel obligated to do more things.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC)

Rebecca Riddle---response to Gerard Volpe

(Link)
I agree with you that the way you are raised has a great influence on your obligations, and I also agree that obligation is not something that you just know. I think that I am the only one that can decide what is right or wrong for me. I control my beliefs about certain things, and I can change my beliefs at any time. What I feel obligated to do today may not be the same as what I feel obligated to do next week. While my raising does have an impact on what I am obligated to do, I may decide that my raising wasn't correct, and change my views, therefore changing my obligations.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)

Shannon Walker’s Response to Andrea Mosley’s Reply

(Link)
I do NOT agree with your statement “if you think about what is going on in the world today that would be a great concept that people should learn. I hate to bring up race, but that is a prime example. It seems like the white want to look out for the white, and the black want to look out for the black.” Personally, I do not look at skin color to help or not to help people. Plus, I see opposite of races help each other everywhere. When my car wouldn’t start because the battery was low, a WHITE guy helps me to get my car running again by taking my battery to an auto store to get it recharged. Plus, he was also late to work! I gave him $40 dollars for that. Another example, me and my friends (black) help a WHITE woman to get her car to run again because she couldn’t find anybody else to help her to fix the car inside the parking lot (majority of the people in the parking lot were white).
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)

Bryan Daniels

(Link)
I agree with the whole obligation concept in life. Some our obligation can come just from where we are from. Like if you come from poverty and are successful in life and have money, you should feel obligated to go back and help out who helped you get where you are in life. At least be a role model so kids will know they can do more than play sports and sell drugs to make it out of those situation, cause most that do these things won't

I don't agree with the fact that people no longer have some of guiding hand in life. He speaks as if God doesn't answer when you can, maybe we're just not listening to the messege. Just because it doesn't come the way we want it we say it doesn't come. God gives us the answer we need whether we use it is up to us.
[User Picture]
From:rossalex
Date:August 4th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)

Ross Patterson

(Link)
Moving back to chapter 2, "Between Good and Evil"...

I feel like Caputo very directly tells the reader that he has NO IDEA what the answers to all of life's questions are. "I do not know what the Good is." (page 30) I feel like it brings the reader back down to earth - it brings to our attention the fact that he's simply "a clerk and a part-time poet," and that he's not telling us (throughout the book) that what he says IS the truth, or that how he sees things is some omniscient perspective. I also feel like he talks about "Good and Evil" in a deconstructionist manner (obviously, perhaps?)...he talks about the words themselves and starts defining them, realizing that they're socially constructed viewpoints, rather than there being very definite concepts of what is "Good" and what is "Evil".

To be disagreeable...Caputo says, "Events happen without 'why.'" Some may, but can it really be said in a universal sense? It may lead back to the concept of "disaster" - that the stars don't "care" about us - but, since all this that we're discussing is constructed socially, why can we not say that there's a "why"? I'm not so sure. Two could be talking..."Why did you eat the ice cream?" "Because I was hungry." It could be deconstructed, I suppose, but why deconstruct it?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Ross Patterson by James Mitchell

(Link)
I like your disagreement with Caputo. Plenty of people say "why" in situations that are not humanly possible to understand. That is why we have religion and why science asks the question till they feel they have the answer. I think the reason we deconstruct the "why" is becuase we need change over the years. We need reminders of the answers people give because we forget that all humans have the capability of being flawd. I'm not saying that religion is flawd but we need to ask why and deconstruct becuase we get no where without it. We live in too much fear if we dont understand why a tornado occurs or why our crops never make it through a dry season. We come up with answers like the gods are angry that is the fear.I'm also not saying that asking why in ever single situation is necessarely a good thing, but maybe asking why you would ask why is another way of putting it and another way of deconstruction that could help. If this makes absolutely no since I apologize. Liked your comment.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)

Rebecca Riddle

(Link)
I agree that the past helps shape who we are. If nothing else it give us a frame of reference for the handling of events. Since we all have different pasts, our references for handling things are all differen, which leads to the question of right and wrong. We were all brought up with different concepts of right and wrong. It might be right for one person to excessively drink on a daily basis, but it may be totally wrong for the next person to drink at all. It is easy to say that it is always wrong to kill someone, but if someoen breaks into my home with the intention of killing me, I am going to do my best to insure that he is the one carried out on a stretcher. I'm not going to think: "Killing this person would be wrong" and sit down and invite him to kill me. But we can't let the past be the last work on whether or not something is right or wrong. what was right to do in a situation in the past may not be what is right to do in a similar situation now. We have to use our past experiences to try to do what is right, but we can't be assured that since it was right last time, it is right this time.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Rebecca Riddle from ROBERT HOUPE

(Link)
I agree that every individual person's socialization and experiences make up their frame of reference for what they feel and how they act. If everyone had the same background and experience, then there would probably be less misunderstanding in the world; and less flaws in society.

The world is not static. I agree that the past shouldn't create an unbreakable precedent for what is right or wrong (or desirable). It can be tricky though. How do you know when to keep history, or when to modify it.

Our country's Constitution is an example. The Supreme Court can be split on the interpretation of the document. Are the words and their literal meanings untouchable, OR should we speculate "well, the founders didn't intend for it to mean...." How could they though; would they ever have envisioned the internet or space travel?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)

James Berry

I agree with Caputos thoughts on obligations and further more that a situation must be judged on its own unique circumstances. In life we all encounter certain obligations but the most important aspect to realize is that we still have a choice in the matter. I agree with the concept that their is now guiding satelite or "Destiny" and that we always have a choice. So even when faced with these obligations we still have the decison to pursue any course of action we see fit this is the primary reason I agree with Caputo. Yet there is still consquences for each action that we decide to take. We can accept these consequences and still make a decision regardless of the situation.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
(Link)

James Berry

Second Coment

I disagree with Derrida to a point I believe that deconstruction sserves as a point but not a final answer. What would be the point of tearing down something if you never rebuilt it. For the sake of progress old concepts need to be broken down and understood. I believe that these concepts should be improved upon by new concepts to replace the original ones. It is better to take apart a machine to understand how it works to rebuild a new and better machine than to simply tear it apart and learn nothing. The purpose of deconstruction can and should be for the pursut of knowledge to fully understand the situation at hand or at least to attempt to.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)

Darrick McDade

(Link)
When Caputo discusses good and evil i agree with him one hundred percent. If we were to to live in china or a country that kills there children to control their population. Would that make us evil? There are so many varieties of good and evil to just limit it with one definition. It is all in how you take it. A evil person can do something bad and a good person can do something evil. People change everyday and so does the definition. He also talks about obligation. I really dont agree with that. Take for instence, Your boss thinks he can talk to you anykind of way and expects you to take because your obligated to listen to him because he is your Boss....NO WAY
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC)

response-- Christian Alvarado

(Link)
I agree with your statement that an evil person can do something good* and a good person can do something evil. However, that does not change the definition of what is good and what is evil. Regardless of the person’s demeanor or general attitude, they definitions of the way in which they are capable of acting do not change. If a good person is acting in an evil manner, the definition of evil is still “acting morally bad, or in a wrong way” (or something to that effect), and vice-versa…
Re: Jason Tucker - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)

Christian Alvarado

(Link)
Caputo (and Derrida) say that we should begin to analyze our obligations at the point of where we are at this moment in our lives. From what I gather, these philosophers seem to glance at the past with a sense of prehistoric irrelevancy. If I am interpreting their words correctly (assuming there is a correct way to interpret their writings) then I find it difficult to ignore your past when attempting to evaluate your current situations; or in this case, obligations. Approaching thought, according to Caputo seems as difficult of a task as trying to discern where “The Great Beginning”, begins. It is all you past experiences and endeavors that have led you to where you are today. If one is to begin to contemplate their current obligations, it seems necessary to me that, not necessarily the beginning, but at least their past must be considered. I have enjoyed discussing Caputo, and as the case with any complex issues that are trying to be understood, I believe that I need more time with the material to comprehend what Caputo is trying to communicate.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)

Jason Tucker

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So far, I've found Caputo's assertion that obligations happen, without our consent. This seems well justified and reasonable. It seems that the observable fact that ethics and morality has been a goal of many philosophers over the course of human history clearly supports the idea that in some way we are enacted upon by obligation. I even feel that Caputo's insistence that obligation is a force that is enacted upon us as opposed to a result of another force justified in his work. However, when he painted a model of our physical insignificance in the universe to support the idea that we overestimate our importance, he lost me somewhat. While it is obvious that we are insignificant from both physical and time aspects, the feeling of importance is not a false one, just one supported by our point of view. That point of view may or may not be completely reasonable, but his argument was relatively weak on that point.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC)

James Mitchell

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The idea Caputo has that I agree with the most is the idea that the obligation to help others in times of distress or whatever is a basic good. He basically says that (for example) if a kid has AIDS we need to do what we can to help him or her. That is a basic ethic. Because that is a disaster and Caputo says that it is in our best interest to try and stop disasters if we can control its affects. Helping others is what helps us survive. I believe (and I think Caputo would agree) the most basic obligation we have is survival of the human race; survival of our own species. When the first homosapians existed, the one who discovered fire and the wheel had to tell someone else. We all dont discover science and religion for ourselves, it is past down and taught to us for family survival or whatever. One I disagree with Caputo is that obligations come to you whether you like it or not. While I do believe that there are certain obligations which you cannot avoid such as breathing or eating in order to survive, I do believe the majority of them you can avoid. I got really confused on whether a prescription is an obligation you choose to do or not and an obligation is the fact, the subject that is there whether you want it to be there or not. But, what if a kid the age of 7 commits suicide. Is he not letting go of those obligations. Is that not why most people commit suicide because the obligations of survival or pain are things that they cannot overtake. Now that I am writing I see that my earlier statements of obligations that are unavoidable are not entirely true. Look at Ghandi. If you have will power can do almost anything. I think that Caputo has forgotten about free will and the fact the a human can do anything humanly possible.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 4th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC)

kimberly barker

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I liked what Caputo said about obligations and how we are supposed to answers the call of our obligations. Everyone is going to have a different calling or obligation and that’s what makes up the good and the evil in the world. So in saying that I have to disagree with what he said about how there is no good or evil, but only in between. The reason I disagree is because I thinks it’s because of the obligations we choose to follow and take care of is what takes us closer to good or evil as we see it. For instance, some crazy mass murder decides to go on a killing spree. That’s not stuck between good and evil that IS evil. So for some reason unbeknownst to us he had an obligation in his mind to kill people and he chose to answer that obligation rather then turning from it.

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