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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2008, 15:21 
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In [url=http://rationalpagans.com/viewtopic.php?t=20]another thread[/url], this came up: [quotea5="dug_down_deep"]Do you think so highly of your own capabilities for moral judgment that you don’‘t even [ia5]respect[/ia5] alternative views?[/quotea5] Part of the issue of the discussion of the thread has to do with ethics, but morals, and a judgement of them for or against others, keep getting thrown in. Why? Because the two are intertwined, yet separate, entities. And, they aren’‘t simple or clear-cut unless you’‘re looking only from your own point of view. Ethics, in this instance, have to do with a code of conduct for a group, that should help to direct an individual’‘s actions when a questionable situation is encountered. These are decided upon by a group (or some subset of the group), and are agreed to be upheld as part of the inclusion in the group. Morals have to do with your personal conceptions of right and wrong; in thought, word, and deed. While some may be derived from an ethical code (bushido, chivalry, law, religion, etc.), they may also differ, from person to person, based on the individual’‘s personal experience, observations, and the resulting synthesis of the world. We can probably all agree that ‘‘killing someone for no reason’‘ is wrong; that’‘s ‘‘ethics’‘. But, when we get to what constitutes a ‘‘good reason’‘, we’‘re all likely to have our own thresholds/criteria, and that’‘s ‘‘morals’‘. While, within the contexts of a single culture, most people will be able to uphold a given ethical code that originates in said culture, it is no garuntee. An example I offer comes from the realm of Anthropology (go figure, huh? ;) ), where one of the biggest issues in the code of ethics is like Star Trek’‘s ‘‘Prime Directive’‘: [quotea5]"[As best you are able] do not impact on a culture you are studying by introducing new ideas or objects from without that culture."[/quotea5] This is based in an understanding that even in an anthropologist just -being- there and -looking- different, they introduce a new situation into the culture and can institute change. As such, they need to keep from -actively- doing anything to change the culture. Why? So that the culture develops along it’‘s own ‘‘cultural evolutionary’‘ lines, and doesn’‘t end up just mimicing that of the anthropologist. Seems simple enough, right? It’‘s not. Especially when it comes to health issues. Western anthropologists get stocked with all types of medical supplies, so that they’‘ll be able to keep themselves from dying or being put out of commission and losing valuable research time. But at the same time, they’‘re living with/working with people. people who have families, and, of course, the anthropologist is a person too. So when a child in the village is sick, or drowning, or being left out to die, what does the anthropologist do? [ia5]Ethically[/ia5], they should stand by and watch. Offering/administering medical treatment is an active interference with the culture, and opens up new possibilities to the culture of ways to treat disease, actively going after a drowning child/person who’‘s in an area of water that’‘s culturally ‘‘off limits’‘ gives a negative impact, and keeping someone culturally ‘‘marked for death’‘ (i.e. - the ‘‘voodoo death’‘) alive is keeping things from working in the way they -should- for the culture. And yet, some anthropologists’‘ [ia5]morals[/ia5] are sometimes more important to them than the [ia5]ethics[/ia5]. They can’‘t stand to watch a friend’‘s child die when they know they have the cure in a locked box only 20m away. Just because no-one in the culture swims or will go near the ‘‘deep’‘ water due to dangerous ‘‘water spirits’‘ is no reason an anthropologist who knows how to swim can’‘t keep someone from drowning. And, it’‘s easy to rationalize that the saved drowning victim or the person saved from exposure could be removed from the culture and it would be just like they died - only they didn’‘t. Some anthropologists have let the sick child, the drowning victim, or the exposure victim die by cultural custom and been wracked with guilt ever after, since they knew they could do something. Is human life more important that culture? Is -all- human life more important than culture, or just some? But the big question seems to be conviction to one’‘s own morals. In smaller, more corporate societies, these seem to be more in line with upholding the good of the group, while in a large, industrialized, non-corporate society (like ours) it’‘s about individuals ‘‘doing good’‘ or doing ‘‘what’‘s right’‘. Need your morals match mine? No. Is it likely all of our morals are close? Well, maybe, but I would expect that we have significant differences on some points. [hra5]75[/hra5] So, that laid out ... Let me pose a hypothetical situation for discussion: We’‘re in a public service group. It’‘s also a social organization. We go out and help clean up neighborhoods, then hit a bar. We help build a house, then we have a party to relax and celebrate. The social aspect is almost as prevalent as the work aspect. And many people join and do the work in order to go to the parties (what can I say, we throw -great- parties). We can joke around and talk as we work, so long as we get the work done. Overall, it’‘s a decent environment. As with any group, we’‘ve got a team of people who help to organize us, and who help to keep us from kidding around too much, and a few of them hold the keys to the shed of tools we use whilst doing our public service, and they are seen as the ‘‘owners’‘ of such goods. As such, they have meetings amongst themselves that the general membership is not able to be included in, which includes subjects about the status of the gear we have, donations to help keep the organization going, what teams will go where and such. Also in here are some discussions of conduct, and some personal stuff about people; who works well together, who needs to be kept separated, who need to be on or off certain jobs. Such information is, of course, to be kept within the confines of the group. And say that it comes out, in one of these meetings, that certain members need to be removed, and some more rules enforced, and this comes from the few people who hold the keys. These changes are not subject to discussion, and -will- change the group dynamic, not just on a ‘‘working’‘ level, but also on a ‘‘social’‘ level. And the guys with the keys won’‘t be the ones to break the news, they’‘ll be wanting the other organizers to disseminate the info and uphold the changes in their own small areas of control. Some of the other members of the organizing team are astounded and upset over such a proclaimation. Some resign when the keys are rattled and offered as a threat. Some don’‘t. And for those who do resign, their places are filled by people who the guys with the keys know will support them. But someone on this organizational board lets a few people know of the plans. They don’‘t divulge (in this scenario) anything personal about the membership that they’‘ve learned in the discussions, only that the guys with the keys are unilaterally changing things, and some specifics about how they will be changed. Now, many of the members do good work, but are really only there for the ‘‘social’‘ aspect of the group. Some are really there for the work and not for the social aspect. In some ways, these changes may cause the group to lose many members and not be able to do as much work as possible. [lista5]Is it right to warn the membership? (Yes/No - Why?) Which should be protected, the work or social aspects? (Work/Social - Why?) Do the members have any rights? (Yes/No - Why?) Are those who resign wrong to repeat what was already ‘‘leaked’‘ and thus ‘‘public knowledge’‘? (Yes/No - Why?) Did those who resign help or hurt the situation? (Help/Hurt - Why?) Whose best intrests should be upheld in this situation, the guys with the keys, the organizing team, or the general membership? (GwtK/OT/GM - Why?) What should the aim of the public service group be?[/list:ua5] [color=bluea5][ia5] (Note: Although it may bear similarities to some other occurance, please, let’‘s take this as the hypothetical it is and not bring in politics from elsewhere. Thanks!)[/ia5][/colora5]

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2008, 11:17 
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Quote:
Is it right to warn the membership? (Yes/No - Why?)

Yes, because the duplicity or the omission of information by the leadership is dishonest and violates the human right to self-determination on the basis of fact. If the pope is hiding the fact that the Church actually operates to further political gain as opposed to spiritual gain, then the members of the Church deserve to know that because they have the right expressed above. And giving them that information by whatever means may violate the organizational ethic, but the organizational ethic is shit, to put it bluntly.

Quote:
Which should be protected, the work or social aspects? (Work/Social - Why?)

I don't understand the distinction.

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Do the members have any rights? (Yes/No - Why?)

Yes, the human right to self-determination on the basis of fact.

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Are those who resign wrong to repeat what was already 'leaked' and thus 'public knowledge'? (Yes/No - Why?)

No. Let's pretend we don't know what the facts are is nonsense.

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Did those who resign help or hurt the situation? (Help/Hurt - Why?)

Only time will tell if methods are successful or not. This is not a moral question, it's a pragmatic one.

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Whose best intrests should be upheld in this situation, the guys with the keys, the organizing team, or the general membership? (GwtK/OT/GM - Why?)

The mission that is known and agreed to by all is what should be upheld. Private plans and power structures should not be respected, as they have no ethical weight. The stated and agreed upon mission is what should be upheld -- nothing personal or proprietary.

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What should the aim of the public service group be?

To uphold its stated and agreed upon mission.

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2008, 17:33 
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not to be short, but yeah a mission should be the be all and end all.

It's the public agreement of what is to be worked towards.

EGA requires their mission to be published on every thing any chapter does.

Without the mission, there is nothing but a social group. It should be held above all, or what use is it?

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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2008, 22:57 
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Quote:
Is it right to warn the membership? (Yes/No - Why?)


Yes, from my point of view, based on the information given. I believe a properly organized group should probably have some ground rules with regards to the private or public nature of such decisions. If the ground rules state that this information should not be released, then the answer is "no", it is not right. If that seems unacceptable to the member(ship) do not join, or depart the organization.

I for one, am a non-joiner.

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Which should be protected, the work or social aspects? (Work/Social - Why?)


In the aforementioned case, the work should take precedence as the work is the purpose of the organization. If it were a social organization that also provided work services, then the social aspect takes precedence.

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Do the members have any rights? (Yes/No - Why?)


The answer to this all depends on the organizational structure. Are there rules, bylaws, or a similar structure defining these rights? If there are no definitions, then it is not inherent that the membership possess any rights. Though we may all claim certain rights as our own, we must also work to attain and preserve such rights. I do not immediately recall who said it (I think it was Jess): "You can always vote with your feet."

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Are those who resign wrong to repeat what was already 'leaked' and thus 'public knowledge'? (Yes/No - Why?)


See the initial question on right or wrong.

Quote:
Did those who resign help or hurt the situation? (Help/Hurt - Why?)


Said resignations would be impactful if they caused change. The nature of the change would result in the valuation of whether that change is positive or negative. A reduction of resistance within an organization can be both hurtful and helpful depending on more factors than are presented in the aforementioned example.

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Whose best intrests should be upheld in this situation, the guys with the keys, the organizing team, or the general membership? (GwtK/OT/GM - Why?)


Whose interests are truly represented? In reading the aforementioned example I see an organization that is focused on community service. The best interests of the community served should thus take precedence. All three levels exist to provide this "service", though each does so a little differently.

Quote:
What should the aim of the public service group be?


As it is defined in the question as a "public service group" the aim of the group should be to serve the public.

In the aforementioned example, a set of "bylaws" should be established with the intention of creating a basis of operation. These "bylaws" should assign authority (and limits thereon). Any group and/or individual acting against such "bylaws" should be penalized based on a pattern established within the same "bylaws". "Bylaws" are essentially given power in the same manner as any form of governance. No matter how it comes about (general membership vote, imposition by ruling council, other), those who govern do so only with the consent of those that are governed.

Even if a set of bylaws are unilaterally imposed by edict/decree, the membership can oppose that imposition by non-participation. If they wish to alter/change the situation without departing, they must seek to make those changes by whatever means they are allowed. An elected official can be deposed in the next election. A dictator can be overthrown. A tyrant can be taken down, though a tyrant that gains power through the application of force may be difficult to take down if the opposition is not willing to deal effectively with the subject.

Protesting the imposition of martial law by unarmed persons marching and making themselves targets of the guns of the ruling group, especially if that ruling group has been proven to be willing to use force on the unarmed, is an exercise in futility. Sacrifice of said persons so that media attention can then force change from an external force is another matter. (Re: East Timor)


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2008, 18:41 
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Neighbor of the Beast

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Wow! Did I kill this thread or what?! :dontknow:


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2008, 14:17 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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HavenMage wrote:
Wow! Did I kill this thread or what?! :dontknow:


Perhaps you provided a definative view? :wink:

Though I do admit that I -was- really interested to see what you thought ...

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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2008, 19:55 
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Neighbor of the Beast

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I hope I did not disappoint anyone with my opinion. Too many years involved in contract negotiations and stewardship have colored my opinions... :cheeky:


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