Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three duties and eight ethical principles

[Adam Smith's quote is from The Wealth of Nations: “According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.” Adam Smith... And Marathi Politics
from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik]

[Ethical Principles for the Intellectually Honest Critical Thinker
from Larval Subjects In the spirit of Martin Luther King, I have a dream! I have a dream that my philosophy students and myself might live passionately according to the following eight ethical principles:
Proposition 1: The intellectually honest critical thinker (IHCT) focuses not on the claim a person makes, but the argument by which the claim is supported...
Proposition 3: The IHCT never dismisses a claim as being an “opinion” or “subjective”, but politely asks for an argument in support of the claim...
Proposition 6: The IHCT strives for humility, modesty, and a lack of ego, struggling to separate one’s sense of self-worth from the need to always be right.
Proposition 7: The IHCT is charitable in her interpretation of the claims and arguments of others, striving to give them their most benign possible sense, avoiding the attribution of malicious motives, striving not to speculate about hidden motives, and providing missing premises where reasonable when they are not explicitly formulated...]

Smith's "three duties" and Sinthome's "eight ethical principles" are worth ruminating for the members of Savitri Era Fraternity when discourse in the time of conflict is being muddied with needless rancor. [TNM]

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