Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just and Unjust Accusation

Update:  Have deleted some yuck from this post.  


Preparing this for an email to "Lefty", in continuance of a blog comments section fight about when it's justified to cry "racist!"  Kinda sitting with it for a few days, until the weekend. 

I.  Common ground

We both stand for justice and moral behavior.

II. Lefty: Racial accusation against conservatives cannot be unjust, as being accused of racism is positive for a conservative's image, power, and wealth.

Greg: An accusation might be harmful to an accused, and/or might lead to unforeseen harmful consequences. Outcome is not absolutely knowable.

The morality of an action is not dependent upon a future outcome; is not dependent upon the righteousness of an outcome. It cannot be, as humans cannot predict the full consequences (Butterfly Effect) of our actions.

Instead, the morality of an action is necessarily dependent upon everything known at the moment an action is taken. Future outcomes or consequences do not change the morality or immorality of a past action.

Therefore, specifically on topic: moral and just accusation is about everything known at the moment of accusation. It cannot be about righteousness of outcome, as full consequences cannot be known by humans (either in advance, or ever).

III.  Deleted

IV.  Lefty: unexplicated evidence is "all we can do"

Expanded Lefty: accusation based upon unexplicated personal experience, and cultural and historical understanding, is "all we can do"

Greg:  If an accuser understands the evidence (aka the personal experience and understanding) which informs accusation: how difficult can it be to share pertinent detail? Even if difficult, doesn't the accuser have responsibility to share pertinent detail?

If an accuser does not understand the evidence which informs accusation: why is public accusation justified?

Sometimes, shortcut references might serve their true purpose of pointing an understanding audience towards appropriate justifying evidence. However, imo, in instances of racial accusation: shortcut references are usually employed - not to inform - but to obscure a dearth of evidence.

V. Ethic of reciprocity

The ethic of reciprocity (also known as the Golden Rule) is an ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others.

A key element of the golden rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people, not just members of his or her in-group, with consideration. The golden rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts. Principal philosophers and religious figures have stated it in different ways.
The Sage Hillel formulated the Silver rule in order to illustrate the underlying principles of Jewish moral law:
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
Rabbi Akiba emphasized the importance of Leviticus 19:18.
Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

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