Thursday, April 02, 2009

thought of the day

The PBS channel in my area runs those "college on the air" or whatever they're called programs first thing in the morning. (I think you know what I mean - it's like basic survey classes in things like business, English composition, and so on).

Right now they're running a series on philosophy. I happened to flip by it and heard a snippet about Kantian ethics.

According to the person speaking, Kant believed that ethics stemmed from principles we all could adhere to (they were using the example of someone asking for a loan and claiming he would repay it, knowing he never would. The Kantian argument against doing that is, if everyone did that, it would undermine loan-giving, and soon no one would be willing to loan money).

The narrator said: In Kantian ethics, the height of immorality is making yourself an exception from the rules others are bound to.

Mmmm-hmmmm. I guess that makes me a Kantian, at least in one little way, considering the blinding rage that Special Snowflake behavior puts me in to.

(And you could extend that to other, oh, larger things. But I'm thinking about the person who tosses litter out their car window, or who parks in a handicapped spot when they're not actually handicapped or transporting someone who is, or the person who gets into the 20-items-or-less lane with 45 items because "I'm in a real hurry")

1 comment:

Cullen said...

OK. I want outside opinion on this. Let's say you are doing quick shopping and you want to use the express lane. Does 20 items mean:

1. 20 individual items, or
2. 20 different kinds of items?

That is, say I have 15 different kinds of things but 10 boxes of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese on top of the 15. Does that mean I have 25 items or do I have 16 since the cashier (at some places) can ring up multiples as one item?

I know where I stand on this, I'm interested to know where other people stand.