Relationship of ethics and logic

Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics

relationship of ethics and logic

Aug 19, The relationship between psychology and ethics is determined by whether psychology is conceptualized as a natural or a human science. Ethics concerns right conduct, as logic relates to right reasoning. God's will, which allows us to reap the benefits of being in an intimate relationship with God. As nouns the difference between ethics and logic is that ethics is (philosophy) ( uncountable, mathematics) The mathematical study of relationships between.

They are like sociopaths who can fake empathy by saying things they know empathetic people say in certain situations or like color blind people who have learned by association to say tomatoes and fire trucks are red because that is what people who can see color say about them.

As I wrote before, some people attribute the problem to logic's being like math to them and they say they are not good at math. But the reverse is probably closer to the truth; they can't do math because math is a form of logic, and they can't do logic or make reasonable deductions, or detect whether a deduction is reasonable or not.

When I was growing up, teachers and relatives often gave us logic problems that they usually referred to then as 'brain teasers'. A couple of teachers had index cards in a box on their desk that contained such problems and when you were done with your assigned work, you could come up to the desk and take an index card with a problem on it to see whether you could solve it.

Some of us found it fun, but people blind to logic would not, and they are probably good kinds of problems to see who can do logic at all and understand deductions and who cannot. But the problems have to be new to you, otherwise you can just go through steps you have been taught as a recipe or algorithm to get the answer without really thinking about it or understanding it.

And not being able to derive the answer on your own is not necessarily a sign you are not able to do logic, because some times you cannot discover a solution to a specific problem at a specific time, but it is problematic if you can't understand the answer already given if it is pretty clear and logical. For an example of the sort of thing I am talking about: The third person can see both people in front of him; the middle person can see the person in front of him, but not the person behind him.

The first person, at the front, can see neither of the other two. They all know the following: Three hats are chosen by someone else from these five hats and one each will be placed on the heads of the three people in the line.

None of them will be able to see their own hat color, but the middle person can see the hat color of the front person, and the person at the back of the line can see the hat color of both of the two people in front of him. They can all hear each other and the questioner, who first asks the guy at the back of the line "What color hat is on your head?

What color hat does he have, and how did he and you know? Now, at first sight this might seem like a math problem, because it involves numbers. But it is not really, particularly since there are only five hats. Insofar as it involves "math" at all, it is very, very low level math.

This is not algebra or calculus. The person in front is wearing a black hat, and here is how he and you should know that. Since the person in back does not know what color his hat is, that means the hats on both people in front of him cannot both be white. Since there were only two white hats in the original group of five hats, if both the front two were white, the third man would know his hat has to be black and he would have said he was wearing a black hat.

Since he says he doesn't know what color his hat is, that means either the first two hats are both black or at least one of them is black.

relationship of ethics and logic

When the middle person then says he doesn't know what color hat he has on, that means the first person cannot be wearing a white hat, because if he were, that would mean the middle man would know he had to be wearing a black hat.

Since the middle person doesn't know what color his own hat is, that means the first person's hat has to be black, and he can figure that out for himself using the reasoning we just went through. What is important is whether as the answer is being explained, one can follow it or not, since it is a fairly simple and straightforward deduction that is being explained.

And if you want to see a logic problem devoid of all numbers and math, consider the following: You are walking along a path that leads directly to a village you are seeking, call it Village A. But suddenly you come to an unexpected fork and don't know which way to go. But along come two local inhabitants who know the way. The problem is one of them always tells the truth and the other always lies, but you don't know which one is which, and to make matters worse, you are only allowed to ask one question and you can only address it to one of them.

There is at least one question you can ask that will let you know from the answer you get which fork you should take to get to the village you want. What is that question? Now this one is extremely difficult to figure out, but it should be easy to recognize how the right solution works, and then explain it yourself, once you are told it and think about it a minute, if you have any understanding of deduction.

You ask either person, and it doesn't matter which, "Which path would the other person say is the correct path to Village A? But 3 if you had asked the truth teller that question, he will tell you the truth about what the liar would have said, which would have been the wrong path. So whether you hear the lie about the truth or the truth about the lie, you will be given the wrong path, and thus you know to take the other one.

Of course, like most logic riddles these are far-fetched and contrived, but that is necessary to keep people from knowing or arguing about the content of more realistic problems, where they may have either knowledge that does not require reasoning or where they think they do.

Logic is about deducing what we don't know directly from what we do know already. If we could know everything directly, we would not need to use logic. That is why it is seductive to think that if we just learn enough facts, we won't need to know logic or how to reason. But we usually can't come to know all the facts we might need or want, and are then left to have to deduce them. When we play poker, you know what is in your own hand, by looking at it.

You don't have to deduce what cards you already have. But since you don't know directly what is in the other players' hands without cheating, you have to use logic based on knowing the odds of different hands, which cards have been played that they then cannot have, and possibly their betting quirks and telltale signs, to deduce what they likely have.

And when people are asked to reason about something with which they have some familiarity, and they get it right, it is difficult to tell when they are reasoning for themselves and making deductions versus when they are just saying what they already know or believe. So if you give the correct answer to it, it does not show you can reason.

However, if after the answer was explained to you, you still could not answer it correctly, that might be a sign you cannot reason.

Is Being Logical the Same as Being Ethical? | Conference on Ethics and Public Argumentation (CEPA)

It would explain, for example, why when evidence is given about the fatal flaws in any regulation or policy, that is not sufficient to get those in charge of those regulations or policies to change or rescind it.

For example, it is fast becoming widespread medical insurance practice not to pay doctors or hospitals for patients whose problems recur or need additional follow up treatment because that is claimed to be a sign they were not treated correctly the first time, which was already paid. And as one doctor put it, apparently it would be a sign of successful treatment if the patient just dies, since then there would be no recurring health problems or necessary follow-up medical treatments.

But the policy is not changed. By the way, sacrcasm, satire, and cynicism of that sort, based on logic, does no good for changing the minds of logipaths for two reasons: They can see it mocks them, but they don't know why, and think it is just because the person presenting it simply disagrees with their views and is being arrogant or condescending about it.

Instead of being educated or persuaded to change through such logic, they are merely offended. Lack of basic reasoning ability explains why businesses and other institutions have many really stupid policies and rules, and why those are not changed when they are shown to be stupid.

relationship of ethics and logic

Instead some formal procedure is pointed to that makes them legitimately instituted and thus "perfectly reasonable" to logipaths. For many people, being reasonable just means following the rules, and the rules are reasonable if they were passed by the proper procedure according to the rules for making rules and policy. My college degree is in philosophy, and when the International Baccalaureate diploma became available in some local high schools, one of the courses in it is "Theory of Knowledge" which is basically a philosophy course.

I called the State Board of Education to find out what it would take to become certified to teach it, given that I already had an MA in philosophy. Could I just take some education courses?

I was told no, that would not be sufficient. In order to teach a philosophy type of course in a high school, you need an education certificate in Social Studies, and philosophy courses don't count toward a degree in social studies, so I would basically have to start from scratch to get a degree in education with a social science major.

I could not teach a philosophy course with a degree in philosophy, but I could teach it with a degree in social studies which has nothing to do with philosophy, any social studies field.

And I then distilled it in that manner for the person telling me the regulations, who agreed that was an accurate charcterization of the policy, and when I said "And I'll bet that makes perfectly good sense to you, doesn't it? Supervisors in business, government, and in medicine, and superior officers in the military, often make terrible decisions and policies, and those too often result in the loss of life through reckless disregard for product or per personnel's safety and human life think Ford Pinto, for examplenot to mention vast amounts of wasted, unpaid, or robbed labor that is the ultimate result of poor financial decisions.

The catastrophic loss of the space shuttle Challenger was an example of poor reasoning by management. Engineers warned administrators that the fuel seals might not hold in the extreme, unseasonably cold temperatures occurring at launch time in Florida that morning.

They begged for the launch to be postponed till the temperatures were much warmer. Administrators said there was no evidence of such danger.

But there was no such evidence only because tests had not been conducted at such low temperatures that were never expected to happen at the launch site, and the managers ignored evidence based on theoretical understanding of the properties of the materials involved. Here is a supremely sophisticated, complex engineering project, run by administrators who ignore the warnings of engineers.

And they do that when the price of postponement is paltry compared with the cost of catastrophe. Surely this displays a total lack of reasoning ability, not just some uncharacteristic mistake or understandable occasional human error in judgment. It also explains why form and traditional or standard procedure, and "business as usual" or as it is extrapolated by mere intuition without much logical reasoning that it should be doneoften take precedence over substance and results or consequences.

It is only when someone or something important to somebody in a higher position of authority or when overwhelmingly sufficient people protest that the results are a sign of mismanagement, that consequences begin to matter and policies get ostensibly examined and possibly changed though still, often notor people fired or prosecuted though again, often not.

The view is that if the rules or standard procedures or some freely associated approximation to them are followed, nothing can go wrong, and if something does go wrong, it is not because of the rules or following them. That there could be something wrong with properly instituted rules, makes no sense to those without basic reasoning skills. And the admonition is always if you "don't like" the rules as if it is not about problems with the rules, but about whether enough people like the rules or notyou should work to get them changed, rather than breaking them, no matter how bad the consequences for others usually would be in following them.

Following rules and standard procedures is a poor substitute for understanding, particularly moral understanding, but many people simply don't know the difference or that there is a difference. This was taken a step further in Major League Baseball's ruling on the clearly mistaken umpire call that cost Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on the last out when a runner was called safe at first, and instant replay showed him clearly out.

The umpire, Jim Joyce, saw the replay later and tearfully apologized to Galarraga afterward for his terrible mistake. But baseball doesn't have a rule to allow instant replay, and the commissioner's office used that excuse not to reverse the call. I don't think they need one for this because they are not understanding their own rule already in place that governs it: No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

In such cases, someone's decision has to count and so the "judgment" of the umpire is relied upon and is final, even if it may be arbitrary or unable to be known to be mistaken. But when even the umpire admits he was mistaken, and every baseball fan who saw the game or the news reports and replay later knows the call was wrong, it seems most irrational to say the call has to stand, even though reversing it would affect nothing other than the 27th and 28th batters' batting averages negligibly, and would give Galarraga the significant credit for the amazing and rare performance of pitching a perfect game that he deserves.

In football, the precedence of "judgment call" is preserved even with the instant replay rules, in that it takes conclusive evidence in the replays to override the call on the field by the official. And part of the significance of that is when replay evidence is inconclusive from all angles, meaning there is likely no possible way to tell what actually happened, whichever way the referee judged it will be the call.

Had the official called it the other way, that would have been what stood.

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Those are the kinds of cases where what is in some sense the arbitrariness or luck of the call can and should stand, simply because that arbitrariness and luck cannot be avoided. But in cases where the evidence is definitive, it is bizarre to say one has to still consider it a judgment call, and that the mistake needs to be officially accepted as correct.

Some television commentators added that part of the wonder and beauty of baseball is that it has a history of human error, and should not be changed in that way. Good thing these people are not in charge of medical progress, making pronouncements like 'the beauty of the history of medicine is that lots of people died in the past of things we could cure now if we chose to, but we shouldn't choose to do that and spoil such a wonderful tradition.

relationship of ethics and logic

And it explains why people give lame reasons as long as they can argue they are true. So instead, other means besides logic are employed to persuade politicians, such as marches in the street, large rallies, poll survey results, huge petition drives, visible political pressure in large numbers, donors threatening to cut off campaign contributions or promising to make very generous ones, etc.

In such cases, politicians and elected officials follow public opinion, no matter which way it goes, rather than helping lead and shape it through reasonable explanations to their constituents about what is right and why, given the best possible evidence. The only politicians immune to public opinion are those locked in to an ideological position, but those positions tend to be impervious to logic and rational argument also.

In many cases, politicians' beliefs, based simply on likes and dislikes or on feelings of what is right, simply are the same as the majority of their voting constituents, and what gets them elected is not the logic of either the constitutent or the candidate, but the fact that the candidate can articulate or express the beliefs of those constituents in a way that allows them to feel well-represented by him or her. And that may help to explain why the Supreme Court so far has equated or confused campaign contributions with freedom of speech.

If the only "logic" a candidate can understand, or a contributor can express, is approval or disapproval of political positions by the giving or withholding of significant campaign funds, then money is their form of "argument". Moreover, insofar as a majority of voters confuses advertising with the logical presentation and scrutiny of political positions, and money is needed to increase advertising, then one can, in some stretch of logic, maintain that money is necessary for free speech even if it is not equated with it.

Is Being Logical the Same as Being Ethical?

And a majority of the court, as of this writing, either think at least some of that is a reasonable form of argument or think they have to let it count as such to those who believe it. Even research scientists often misinterpret their data and don't have a good sense of what constitutes legitimate evidence. A current obsession in medical research in the United States is with random, double-blind, placebo-control trials as being the only good evidence even though there is good reason for other sorts of evidence being just as good and often more appropriate and ethically superior see, for example, A Perspective on the Ethics of Clinical Medical Research on Human Subjects or Smith, Gordon C S and Pell, Jill P.

Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: Part way through each term in my ethics courses, I get comments from some of them saying "Oh, you want us to think deeply about what is right in these cases, not just give a surface answer to get credit just for 'doing' the assignment", while others say "I just don't understand what you want.

None of this meaning the reasoning and the examples and analogies given in the explanations in the readings and in the discussions makes any sense to me. Often students will say they have read the material three or four times and they still don't understand anything. Upon questioning them, it will be clear they are right, that they don't understand anything. So I will then ask some probing questions to see what they understand, and the conversation typically goes something like this: Do you remember the example about the correctly convicted murderers on a train headed toward a school bus with 10 children on it.

Kind of, but I didn't understand it. There are rightly convicted murderers being transported by train to another prison. But a school bus with ten young students on it is stuck on the tracks. You can stop the train from hitting the bus only by switching it to run off a washed out bridge over a cliff.

The engineer will be saved or is already dead, but he will not be killed with the murderers. Likewise any prison guards. What should you do, save the people on the train or the kids on the bus? I guess I would save the children on the bus. Yes, isn't that what you should do? Okay, but what does that have to do with anything? Well that was one of the situations I gave to show that the principle of utilitarianism -- that you should always do what brings the greatest good to the greatest number of people -- is wrong.

And there were ten other different kinds of cases where it would also be wrong to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Do you see that? I'll go back and read that again and see what it says.

Maybe I'll get it now. But I just can't remember all this stuff. There is a lot there. But this is not about memorizing anything; I said that in the announcements. It is about understanding it as you read. You should see what the examples illustrate, and think about the principles they help show are right or wrong.

Some are meant to show what is right about a principle; others are meant to show what is wrong with some principle. I didn't know that. Okay, I'll read it again. There is not much reason to believe students like that will understand reasoning or logic any better in the work place or the military.

relationship of ethics and logic

A friend of mine was in charge of the computer programming and data for a national company. He was invited to a meeting where they discussed the idea of buying a half million dollar computer system for the company.

He explained to them why it would not serve their purposes well and thought it was unnecessary and would be a waste of the money. They held more meetings without him and then bought the system. It didn't do what they wanted it to, and so it was basically a half million dollar loss for them. He later asked one of the bosses why they had not had him at the other meetings, and was told: And we wanted to buy it.

The reason many children get turned off to math is that it is too often taught by rote memorization and drill rather than by understanding.

That works for doing calculations that are already set up, but it doesn't help students learn about number relationships; so when they get to word problems or to algebra or any kind of higher level math that requires understanding number relationships, they are lost.

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Ethical Reflections: Ethics & Logic

Where logic deals with the reasoning process pertaining to the truth or falsehood of statements, ethics deals with the rightness or wrongness of actions. Both logic and ethics presuppose that truth and goodness are real, and that reasoning logically or ethically can bring us closer to the ideal or the standard. Christians believe that God is the author of Truth and Goodness, and that there are absolute standards to which we can aspire.

Logic is foundational to ethics, because ethics is reasoning about the rightness or wrongness of conduct. That reasoning can either be logical, and conclusions necessarily derived from premises, or illogical and inconsistent.

Logic also helps us to think clearly about what is being argued ethically, and whether the basis of an argument has been assumed, or actually proved. Many people argue against the death penalty, for example, assuming that because the taking of the life of a person is involved that death is affirmed rather than life.

This conclusion does not follow from the premises. The argument goes something like this. Whatever affirms life should not involve death. The death penalty involves the death of a person. Therefore, the death penalty does not affirm life. Though this is a valid argument, it is not true because it contains a false premise: To demonstrate that sometimes death serves life, consider that the near-death experiences of many people have resulted in a much greater appreciation of the value of life, family, health, etc.

So in that case, the reality of death served to bring about a greater commitment to life and that which gives life. Ethical reasoning and reflection is only as good as its standard for what constitutes true goodness. Today, much ethical reflection is proffered that admits to no absolute moral standard, and is thus self-refuting.

Even the sacrifice of innocent children, then, might be perfectly justifiable in some cultures, but I just find it personally distasteful. I could decide to sacrifice you to my gods and you cannot say that what I do is wrong in any meaningful way. All you can do is seek a practical escape, and to run when you see me coming with my knife. Ethics evaluates our behaviors and seeks to find rightness or wrongness in the things that we choose.

We do not pronounce ethical judgments about the behavior of raccoons, because they are not capable of choosing good behavior over bad, or of making such moral judgments. We do not blame raccoons for trying to climb into our garbage cans and spreading trash everywhere, because we know that they are just acting on their instincts. We humans, however, are not ruled by instinct.

We can and must make choices about what to believe and how to act, and we are accountable for our choices because we have choices i. These choices are made in various contexts, and some choices are more apparent than others. Christian ethics sees humans as responsible for their moral choices, even when those choices are made for us unless we choose otherwise. For example, the choice to be racist in the pre-civil rights South did not appear to be a choice but it was. A very few people refused to comply with the injustice of slavery and bigotry and paid a stiff penalty for it up to and including death.

Biblically and ethically, strong social pressure to conform to unethical and ungodly social norms does not justify compliance. Thoughts and Intents There are ten facets of our lives that admit to ethical reflection: We feel the way we do as a result of a mixture of factors: They all have their place.