Not Saussure

January 19, 2007

What’s the basis of your ethics

Filed under: Law — notsaussure @ 8:54 pm

Queen Minx, who seems to find these quizzes as much fun as do I, writes:

I do find them amusing in an addictive ‘I have nothing better to do and even though they’re crap it’s interesting in a banal and soggy cornflake way’

Very well. Enough of the banal and soggy cornflake pop-psychology tests: try The Meta-ethical Theories Test

You scored 60 Objectivism, 42 Naturalism, and 69 Cognitivism!
Many judges and much of the legal system is Intuitionist (as far as it goes, philosophically) in outlook to some degree.”Ethical intuitionism is usually understood as a meta-ethical theory that embraces the following theses:
Moral realism, the view that there are objective facts about value, Ethical non-naturalism, the view that these evaluative facts cannot be reduced to natural facts, and The thesis that we sometimes have intuitive awareness of value, or intuitive knowledge of evaluative facts, which forms the foundation of our ethical knowledge.”

As always with these things, I wasn’t too sure about some of the questions — it’s inherent in multiple choice tests, but I certainly thought some of the choices were false ones and others were grossly over-simplified, but it certainly picked up on my strong views on the importance of the legal system; the quote from A Man For All Seasons is reasonably well known, and worth repeating:

And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down (and you’re just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

This seems particularly apposite at the moment.

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  1. Can you explain further?

    Comment by Jeremycj — January 19, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

  2. Which, the answer or my view that the Robert Bolt extract seems particularly apposite?

    If you mean the latter, I had in mind the way the government is — with, I am certain, absolutely the best of intentions — seems determined to tear down every legal restraint on its powers, every benefit of law enjoyed by the private citizen, in its attempts to save ‘the law-abiding majority’ from various ‘devils’, be they terrorists, people involved in serious crime or people who engage in anti-social behaviour.

    The whole direction of this government’s policy is to try to remove as many legal restraints and safeguards as possible from ministers’ actions because these hamper their pursuit of doubtless desirable ends. When these ends prove unattainable, the government’s response is to cut down more and more laws — the right to silence, protection against double jeopardy, habeas corpus, the burden and standard of proof — that stand in its way.

    This genuinely scares me and a lot of other people who work in the law and criminal justice.

    Comment by notsaussure — January 20, 2007 @ 12:01 am

  3. […] Notsaussure, this bit of fun. I think I go along with Queenminx in that I don’t take these things too […]

    Pingback by Longrider » — January 21, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  4. I did it … but I think this one might of put me off quizzes for life … it gave me a headache, and I already have a hangover … glutton for punishment, me!! I think I will go for a lie-down!!

    Moral Skepticism
    You scored 35 Objectivism, 63 Naturalism, and 17 Cognitivism!

    Comment by queenminx — January 21, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

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