?

Log in

Week 4: Agree & Disagree - Moral Issues Page 2

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile

July 31st, 2005


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
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:


Page 2 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 12:02 am (UTC)

Soud Al-Mudhaf

(Link)
One thing that I find puzzling (and among the many things I disagree with Caputo on) about Caputo is that when he discusses the origins of obligation, he fails to further elaborate or research, even, into the examples he gives. All he says is that he does not know, without any attempt to provide even a minimal analysis.

Quote: " I do not know what if any hidden forces I obey when I give heed to this otherness, by what forces I am bound over. Is it the voice or face of God? Or the deep momentum of a network of laws embedded in the "tradition," of what is handed down to me by the ages? Or some still darker law of the unconscious, some blind repressed event that keeps repeating itself on me? Or even some evolutionary survival mechanism aimed at keeping the species going? I cannot say. " (Page 8, Against Ethics)

When I read the paragraph above, I was hoping that Caputo would delve into each of the six examples of the "hidden forces" he supplies above - perhaps giving the reader some morsels of information gaind from his own thinking into the whole thing. Why did he pick these particular six ? Is there some particular way they're connected in his mind ?

Needless to say, I was disappointed that he didn't.

What I do agree with Caputo on, is that he accepts his role as an Extra-Skriver - an observer, as it were, that collects all the pieces of information that have "fallen through the grasp of ethics".
Though I may disagree with his choice of presentation (his vague poetics do get rather old after a certain amount of time), his role is commendable.
To me, it's as if he's (slyly) trying to educate people of deconstruction and the importance of obligation through the collected scraps - he's acquitted of the brunt of the criticism because he does not simply present his own opinions, he merely uses facts in such a way that it allows him to use his opinions alongside, with ample enough proof so that it doesn't seem like they're completely unfounded.
To put this in a more "modern" example, it's like him taking the simplest ideas of Derrida, and putting them together so that they spell out his opinions without him having to state them himself (except for filling in in-between the scraps themselves for coherency, perhaps). Ingenious, really.

However, he may not be doing that at all. It's just how I see it. But, ultimately, there are many more things that I disagree with Caputo on than agree.
[User Picture]
From:billionrboysclb
Date:August 5th, 2005 01:24 am (UTC)

MONTE D. JORDAN WEEK 4

(Link)
Webster's Dictionary defines an obligation as something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action. Ethics are defined by webster as the discipline of dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. Caputo says in his book that an obligation goes beyond an ethic,but I would have to disagree, but I do agree that ethics are something that we were taught to believe was right by our family and through society and thats how most people develop them, we develop ethics by what others have told us was right and wrong, he says that An obligation on the other hand is something we subconscienly decide to make or not, not influenced by what others have told us. In class someone mentioned that if there is a child starving in Africa, he would give his 50 cents and thats about all he would do. I believe that lots more can be done than throwing 50 cents at the kid and saying "here you go, I've done my part." I would have to say that the way we were raised and the experiences that we have had in our lives definitely influence if we feel obligated or not. There is so much that needs to be done in this world and 50 cents is nothing....time spent and an actual effort is needed to make a change.
[User Picture]
From:eagleroo2001
Date:August 5th, 2005 01:25 am (UTC)

Week 4: Melanie Alt

(Link)
I am in total agreement with most of Caputo’s ideas concerning obligation. But I wonder if that obligation comes from how we are raised. We take into ourselves obligations of the family, but does that really stem from the fact that our parent’s took care of their parent’s as they got older and that has been something done forever. I agree that it is something to be felt and to hear. We have an obligation to keep our air clean, but that is for our benefit and the future’s benefit, is it not? I think that we feel obligated to make others feel, especially in any kind of relationship (romantic, family, etc.). We do not want those we love to suffer, so we are obligated to them to do what we can so they won’t. But this comes from feeling their needs I think.

As for disagreement, I have been one to understand astrology and talking with the heavens and the ideas behind a God, Gods or Goddesses, but I do not agree with holding that in such a high place. I think this can happen for people, but I have always taken a Devil’s Advocate roll in such things as the Bible being the world’s most popular book of fiction. I think that the idea of communicating with a heavenly body can act as a safety net. There is something bigger and more powerful out there, so why not trust in it so that what I do I can blame on not being as all powerful and all knowing as that heavenly being.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)

Ross Patterson

(Link)
First of all, I have the FUNNIEST front page headline to show you (weatherford's...surprised?). Remind me.

Do you feel like there's self-obligation? Obligations to do things for yourself, for you to be successful...or, are those other things (not obligations)? OR, are those self-obligations that people may feel ACTUALLY obligations to other people? It's a very confusing subject to me.

I think that a LOT of obligations come from how people are raised. After all, people pick up so much from their families...religion and traditions being very high on the list. Family often creates so much EXPECTATION, which, in turn, creates obligation, whether conscious or sub-conscious.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:22 am (UTC)

Reply 4 Fred Kemp

(Link)
I like what you said about the influence that parents and general society have had on our obligation outline. I had written about further down on the page and think that overly obligating ourselves, either from exterior or interior influence can cause us to make some seriously messed up decissions. There must be a time when we not only take a realistic look at the bounderies but also our responsibilities that may, rightfully so, stop us from attempting to attain perfect happiness. Thanks for your comment.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)

Jessica Cain--Week 4

(Link)
Since alot of people have discussed the topic of obligation, I think I will discuss Caputo's views on Ethics. I agree with him when he says that it is important to "marry" the two different views on what ethics historically meant to the Jews and Greeks. Jews see ethics as obligation, and Greeks see ethics as beauty. But Caputo says we should take everything in and form our own opinions...and I agree with that. I dont think everyhting has to be black or white. Life, ethics, obligations, etc. all have areas of grey. And along with that I somewhat disagree with Caputo's view of absolute goodness or evil. Again, areas of grey. I dont think that if there is a such thing as absolute goodness, there has to be an absolute evil. Physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but i think that good and evil can be identified without any action ever taking place, so that doesn't apply. And I also think the more we try to deconstruct an idea, our original questions may change because we can get so involved on one little detail. Sometimes we should just take things as they are and just BE.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 02:46 am (UTC)

Brach Lupher (post 4)

(Link)
I look at obligation (contrasted to Caputo's comment of obligation being finite or earth-bound) as being something that is revealed more and more to us through Grace. IMO, obligation is like Faith in GOD. Believing is obliging and obliging is believing. Which always has a reward even though it is 'to me' an obligation (which is to do something for the sake of doing something that is asked for without pay). Working for Good is the purpose and the payment. I believe that obligation can be its own reward b/c (metaphorically speaking) I don't focus/worry on earth-bound terms of what I should do (no person in particular)but am open 'first and foremost' to the so called 'satellite' that beams the signal down for me to receive and obey without question. 'I' believe the satellite signal strengthens (as an unasked for reward; because HE loves us) and xfers us more and more data to be 'compiled' for the sake of production or that which is good.

In disagree to Caputo's “Between Good and Evil” (who mentions he doesn't know good so therefore must turn to the life of 'evil'). In my eyes, good exists and is right before our very eyes but we must first say yes to the obligation of doing it for it to be revealed more so. Which I see is the problem firsthand here. For me it all starts with the foundation of Christianity. To me Orthodox Christianity can be likened to a newly planted tree that has those tree supports you see around the tree via ropes, wires, etc. to keep it growing straight because the tree cannot support itself because it is not fully mature yet; but in time (as long as the support is still there) the tree grows straight not bending towards some other artificial light around the corner (i.e. lima bean middle school lab experiment) but to its fullest potential.

yeah....just my 2 cents (whatever it's worth: probably nothing as pennies are worthless in these modern times) :D
From:nickolbek
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)

Nicole Kolbek

(Link)
I agree with Caputo when he said that nothing is wrong or right. What is right for me might not be for you. What I think is wrong at this very moment, might just be the best thing for me in the long run. I was laid off from a very presidious job (hence my college return). So I moved to Texas, and for years I thought I made the wrong decision. Now, looking back, I am so glad I did. What others believe to be right, I might not agree with. I guess that sums up our political arena. The older I get, the more I have changed what I thought was right and wrong.
Obligations – I don’t like to think of everything that I do as an obligation. Some times I make a decision and not even think while I am doing it. It is like it is subconscious. I don’t like to think that I love my children out of obligation either. Maybe it is the word obligation. It sounds so negative.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:17 am (UTC)

Fred Kemp week 4

(Link)
Caputo is mainly correct in his ideas on obligations. I was raised in this manner (to be proactive). There would seem to be a large turn away from this in the American community today. With the lowering of score standards in our public schools we neglect our obligation to raise a better generation than we ourselves are. It seems that the obligation to take accountability for ones own life and actions has been cast a side. We now expect the community, which we do not properly support, to take up the slack for our families as well as take the brunt of the blame for the problems that we are having. I probably feel this way because both of my parents are public educators, one here in Texas and one in New Orleans. They have both taught me the importance of being proactive in our schools and our communities because the cost is not having a society you want to be in. On the other hand when concerning Obligations there should be a limit on what we can expect our selves to do/obligate to. No one can expect to move a mountain with a shovel and when we lose track of realistic goals and ideas we start look like, well we start to look like the Democratic campaign of 04'. One that thought they were obligated to please everyone and did not take on the issues that could have easily won them the election. Bitter Much? Yea.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)

this clock is messed up, now it is 10:23

(Link)
If anbody is out there that is doing the time thing watch out it is tweeked.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC)

Re: Fred Kemp week 4 - Chris Brown

(Link)
I don't know that even with a solid message the Dems could have won in '04. Voting trends have more to do with that than issues do. The problem is the issues they have are bad publicity. The lefts main issue in abortion. How does it look when everything they say is "I like killing babies?" They're even trying to recruit pro-life Democrats because there stance has alienated so many people.

The left doesn't have issues. They have no message or core beliefs.

But I digress, I'll keep my political comments to myself from now on.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)

Chris Brown

(Link)
One thing I find interesting is his comments about obligation. Caputo says his "satellite has been knocked out." To say that obligation is only to man is naive. I believe man has obligation to God and man, but most people are blinded by life to see their obligations to God. As a Christian I believe one must first lay his obligations before God, before God will give him obligations. Most people believe that their relationship with God is a one way street, that he will simply send down blessings and tasks for them, and they can sit back on take it in. However, I believe that in order to receive obligations, you must first ask for them. A relationship with God is like any other. You must put into it what you expect to get out of it. Until you lay down yourself to his will, he will not bother giving you obligations. Why would you give a child a briefcase? He has no use for it, and until he is ready and willing to use it, it is useless to him.

However, I do agree with his comments that "Obligations do not ask for my consent. Obligation is not like a contract I have signed after having a chance first to review it carefully and to have consulted my lawyer. It is anything I have agreed to be a party to. It binds me. It comes over and binds me." Obligation is something we cannot turn from or change. We all have obligations to other people, God, and ourselves. You can try and escape from your obligations, but no matter how far you run, your obligations will still stand.


[User Picture]
From:kateconnelly
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:50 am (UTC)

Katherine *Katie* Owens

(Link)
I identified with Caputo's section, Between Good and Evil. He made me question if it really even mattered if there is an absolute Good or an absolute Evil so long as I am following my obligations. I should not spend my time postulating the meaning of creation when I can help "...from below with the multiple disasters (evils) by which we are daily visited, with broken bodies and damaged lives, with the sort of things that are more manifest to our batlike eyes." (p. 33) When Caputo says that we are "in the midst of factical life and its daily pleasures and perils," this makes me want to go out and live. I firmly agree with him when it comes to pluralism. Without the ability to value multiple truths, we will be only shutting others out.

I disagree that we have lost our satelite and that we are drifting. I still believe that we have a connection to this Higher Force in our lives. I do not think that we are adrift..
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)

Loren Moore

(Link)
I can't claim to have a clear understanding of all of Caputo's points. If I should question a concept in his book it would regard the idea of an obligation to a suffering person being instinctive. If I had no concept of suffering, not from experience nor through tales or visions, I wonder if I would feel desire to help a person stuck under a rock. How would I know if it hurt (given a language barrier)? Perhaps the obligatory force would be to watch and learn (morbidly speaking).
There is plenty I agree with in Caputo's book. I like that he recommends "...imagination, variation, and experimentation in the pursuit of Good, in the invention of many goods." At least as long as we don't get ahead of ourselves, I think this is wise way of existence that doesn't just benefit one but potentially all of the world in some way.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:02 am (UTC)

Re: Joseph Murry

(Link)
I agree that having not experienced a sensation of suffering would not pull one to help a person towards an obligation of someone in need. I do feel that it is a learned behavior to aid one in need, but I personally think that humanity are more swayed by negative influences than positive.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)

Joseph Murry

(Link)
I agree with Caputo's comments discussing how obligations come to us. I agree that we have no control over the obligations that face us enternaly, I feel that the enternal obligations are kind automatically configured within our psyche and human body. I disagree however with the idea that we can not control which obligations we choose to acknowledge, we as humans can hold our breath, refuse to eat, and many other voluntary obligations that we control. Just because we hear and feel an obligation does not mean we must act upon it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC)

Re: Joseph Murry

(Link)
This all makes a lot of sense, but personally I look at internal obligations as being how the person perceives the given situation. A majority of actions could be perceived many different ways, depending on how the person looks at it, or more importantly what that person's state of mind is currently in. I suppose if you think of the situation in an obligatory way, you'll most likely feel like you're obliged to react a certain way in that situation. Maybe it could pay off to look at any given situation just from a different angle.
(Deleted comment)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)

Adam Reiman

(Link)
I totaly agree with what you said about good and evil. It is very hard sometimes to decide right or wrong. My parents think that my being gay is evil. Many liberals think people like my parents are evil for having such a narrow view of right and wrong. But I'm not evil and neither are they. They try to live by what is right and want the best for me. I have accepted what I am and no loger worry about sin and hell. I just try to treat others the way I would like to be treated if I were in their place.
From:earthman
Date:August 5th, 2005 08:43 am (UTC)

Obligation Vs Freewill

(Link)
What I've been able to piece together of the idea is that "obligation" is simply a "call to action" as it were. You can choose to ignor obligation, as is said, but you will likely feel bad about ignoring the call. To me, Caputo's Obligation seems to be the irrational realization that something is wrong and that you might be able to do something about it. The feeling comes before you make any judgement of what or even if you can do anything about the problem, there by making the obligation itself unavoidable, but he would not spend so much time talking about the need to act on obligations if he believed that there was no choice involved.

The idea is that we need to be more aware of these feelings and more willing to act on them, as they tend to choices that would serve to strengthen our ties to others and generaly are just good deeds. Most of these "obligations" outside of personal survival and comfort stem from an inborn sympathy most people have that comes from the realization that we are all human, and even beyond that, occationaly reaching other spieces, and what would hurt you does hurt others.
(Deleted comment)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:28 am (UTC)

Josh Forisha

(Link)
Caputo's thoughts on obligations intrigue me.

On the one hand, it is true that obligations are present in some form all over. Obligations of your own; things your body needs, or choices you feel more strongly about for your own well being. There are obligations to friends and family too, as well as obligations to less static concepts. All of these layers of obligations exist, with a sensible hierarchy based on the importance to the individual. All of this is true if you're under the assumption of obligations.

Where my thoughts on obligations stray from those of Caputo, is whether or not every decision could be considered one of obligation. To me, it still seems that certain choices are made outside of the bounds of obligation to something. When someone is bored, for instance; sure, you could call the act of entertaining oneself an obligation to themself to stay occupied - but who really looks at it that way? I think that obligations do exist, but there is a cause and effect that link them all together. That cause and effect is the more prominent feature of it all, to me..
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:29 am (UTC)

Adam Reiman

(Link)
I agree with what he says about obligations. I often feel that I have too many obligations. Sometimes I have had to choose between demanding family obligations, a significant other, or what i want to do. I usually had to weigh which choice would cause me the least pain and grief. So I enjoyed reading that section because it helped me sort out my thoughts.

I don’t really agree with the thing about communication from the heavens. Some people like to think a new job offer or a prospective buyer on a house that been for sale a while is some kind of miracle pointing them along a new path in life. I don’t really believe this is so and to act based on these “miracles” instead of on logic is silly.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 5th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)

j carter

(Link)
I think Caputo has some pretty cool ideas. Philosophers have been batting around the idea of Ethics and putting their own two-cents in for centuries, and before philosophy proper came to be, there were theologians and thinkers. Each of these had a different take on Ethics, and each one either builds upon or, most often, refutes or revises the one that came before it. Poor Ethics has been moved around as much as a military brat or orphan. This makes for a sort of shifting sand as far as a solid foundation goes, and seems to suggest a tentative or imaginary connection to the Other and The Beginning and all that sort of stuff. And the ideas behind some theory or whatever of Ethics might be based on a supreme intelligence or might deny such existence and find another reason for a certain brand of Ethics. I guess for some, Caputo for instance, this is a little unsettling. And I guess I have to agree.
One thing, however, that (probably) all of these philosopher’s ideas have in common is that they have to deal with Obligation. No way around it. Why? Because, as Caputo (and those he quotes) says, “obligation happens”, it “is a fact, as it were”. You, I, we, they, have to deal with it, even before we know we are dealing with it. Why? Caputo does not have an answer, and he is hard-pressed to find anyone else who has a good answer either. He says that Ethics cannot contain obligation, that obligation is “twisting free” of Ethics. Obligation precedes us, at least as individuals. It is an earth-bound phenomena. Whether it is independent of us is debatable, but it does not ask how we feel about it. Ethics on the other hand, is really a human creation. It is escapable, at least much more so than obligation. Seems to make sense to me.
I skimmed around, and started here and there in the spirit of deconstruction, and after reading the part about how we can stand on this cold star and yell to the stars, who do not care and cannot care, about injustice, found some passages where Caputo seemed to flounder on this, sort of. But I forget where that was. Anyway, even though I hardly understand it, Caputo’s book seems reasonable and is not a bad read.
From:earthman
Date:August 5th, 2005 09:11 am (UTC)
(Link)
I realize that I am late, but I was taking care of other obligations. I don't expect credit, but I hope it is recognized that I have been active in conversation above and beyond the requirements and that I am taking the class seriously.

Now, on to the meaty bits:

Caputo gives a very poor definition for his use of "Obligation" and would be booted from any logic or rhetoric class for his failure to let us all in on his little joke. Never the less, I think I have a working understanding of what is meant, as explained in several places. The thing I would like to talk about first are not the obligations themselves, but the need to listen to them.

I agree whole-heartedly that people need to be more willing to listen to the little voice in their head that tells them, "We are all in this together. You can't do this alone and others need your help." There is something in his belief, that we must listen and be ready to act when we are needed, that oddly both Kant AND Nietzsche might find wisdom in.

The thing that I objected to most, for reasons I cannot force anyone else to accept, is that the universe isn't listening. I have seen evidence, that I cannot recreate, that there is a force which is "God" in my head, and that that force does care what we need and what we ask for. That, though, may be too much for this discussion.
From:shannonbirdy
Date:August 9th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)

Shannon Bird

(Link)
Where Caputo states that we should start listening to out obligations, NOW, I think is a great point. People today tend to "go with the flow" and forget to analyze the NOW. Taking into consideration certain obligations that are looked over on a daily basis, could help make a better and lead to a more peaceful place of living. Like Caputo says, "good" and "evil" do not necessarily go with every situation, and I think that is a strong point that he stated. Instead of digging around to fing what is "good" and "evil" in situations, analyzing the obligations that are involved is a stronger and in my opinion better way of analyzing situaitons. Along with this, if analyzed differently, I think things would run smoother. As someone else in one of the past live journal entries stated, and I totally agreed with, eas that obligation is our obligation to ourselves as human beings, and as a society. We are not necessialry obligated to take care of each other, but to look out ofor one another.

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com