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hi steven, you never mentioned it, but i assumed that i was the principle
person to whom this post was addressed....

>Words are not without meaning, they shouldn't mean just anything you want.

i agree...  however, i must plead ignorance to knowing the exact definition
of every word in the english language, especially some of the more slippery
ones that we tend to use in ethical debate....  there's no excuse for me not
studying up more for such arguments, but i don't think that i should stop
expressing my views just because i am not 100 percent versed in the exact
meaning of the words....  i'm not changing their meanings arbitrarily...
just trying to explain what i mean by them....  and as people so generously
provide exact definitions of those words on this list, it makes it much
easier!... :)

>1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others

i believe that i have expressed several times that this is how i feel
towards the earth...   i have also stated that i feel both selfish regard
and unselfish regard for its welfare...

(and now Mars for gods sake)

come on steven, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel....

>Being "nice" or "kind" is *not* altruistic. If we follow the gaia logic
>(sic) that the Earth is sentient then it
>follows that we are a part of Earth's sentience and therefore it's in our
>self interest to be nice to Earth and isn't Altruism.

as i've stated before, i'm not very familiar with the gaia logic and
therefore i could not profess to be following it...   however, *if it is*
the case that we are part of Earth's sentience and that therefore it's in
our self interest to be "nice" to Earth (which we wouldn't define as
altruism), then so be it...   my main contention is that we should be "nice"
to earth, i really don't care how we come to this conclusion or what we call
it...

>What this discussion seems to be saying is that *everything* imaginable
>deserves the same ethical consideration.

well, i wasn't intending it to lead there....   however, i have no problem
with the idea that everything *sentient* deserves ethical consideration....
but of course i believe that there are situations where we have to decide
between one or the other thing....   if it's me or the bacterium, i'm gonna
vote for me... :)

>I'll probably regret getting back into this, but today is my final exam for
>the term and I'll probably have the time.

i also have one last paper to turn in on the 14th and one last final on the
18th....  i graduate on the 19th...

bryan


-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Bissell <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, December 10, 1998 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: Is Altruism consistent with environmentalsim?


>Words are not without meaning, they shouldn't mean just anything you want.
>
>Main Entry: al·tru·ism
>Pronunciation: 'al-tru-"i-z&m
>Etymology: French altruisme, from autrui other people, from Old French,
>oblique case form of autre other, from Latin alter
>Date: 1853
>1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
>2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to
>itself but that benefits others of its species
>- al·tru·ist /-tru-ist/ noun
>- al·tru·is·tic /"al-tru-'is-tik/ adjective
>- al·tru·is·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb
>
>Being "nice" or "kind" is *not* altruistic. If we follow the gaia logic
>(sic) that the Earth is sentient (and now Mars for gods sake) then it
>follows that we are a part of Earth's sentience and therefore it's in our
>self interest to be nice to Earth and isn't Altruism.
>
>What this discussion seems to be saying is that *everything* imaginable
>deserves the same ethical consideration. That, however is vacuous..
>
>Main Entry: vac·u·ous
>Pronunciation: 'va-ky&-w&s
>Function: adjective
>Etymology: Latin vacuus
>Date: 1655
>1 : emptied of or lacking content
>2 : marked by lack of ideas or intelligence : STUPID, INANE <a vacuous
mind>
><a vacuous expression>
>3 : devoid of serious occupation : IDLE
>synonym see EMPTY
>- vac·u·ous·ly adverb
>- vac·u·ous·ness noun
>
>because it is more or less the same as saying nothing is worthy of ethical
>regard. If that is the case, what is the point? Ethics
>
>Main Entry: eth·ic
>Pronunciation: 'e-thik
>Function: noun
>Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin
>ethice, from Greek EthikE, from Ethikos
>Date: 14th century
>1 plural but singular or plural in construction : the discipline dealing
>with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
>2 a : a set of moral principles or values b : a theory or system of moral
>values <the present-day materialistic ethic> c plural but singular or
plural
>in construction : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a
>group <professional ethics> d : a guiding philosophy
>
>is suppose to help us make choices between competing actions. To tell us
>"right" from "wrong" not to say "everything is the same."
>
>I'll probably regret getting back into this, but today is my final exam for
>the term and I'll probably have the time.
>
>Steven J. Bissell
>http://www.du.edu/~sbissell
>http://www.responsivemanagement.com
>Our human ecology is that of a rare species of mammal
>in a social, omnivorous niche. Our demography is one of
>a slow-breeding, large, intelligent primate.
>To shatter our population structure, to become abundant
>in the way of rodents, not only destroys our ecological
>relations with the rest of nature, it sets the stage
>for our mass insanity.
>                                                       Paul Shepard
>
>





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