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Old dog, new tricks

By Zeram in Op-Ed
Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:51:08 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I just saw this CNN article about the proposed teaching of ethics in schools, and it got me to thinking about the relative merits of the idea, espically in light of the "Why communities matter" article and the epiphany it spawned for me.


Ethics as a public school class has been tried before in America. As the article states the classes eventually fell by the way side because people began to question wether or not right and wrong were absolutes. And with that questioning, ethics classes fell out of vouge.

And now suddenly it's become the Next Big Thing!(tm) Espically given the turmoil that the US school system has seen lately. The question that I find myself asking here (and not really being able to answer) is, is this a case of too little too late?

What I mean by that is, what exactly is being advocated here? For example take the recent trouble between China and the US (I promise not to belabor this discussion too much, I'm just as tired of it as everyone else). How would a discussion in an ethics class deal with that, specifically within the civic virtue/citizenship portion of the class. Didn't China live up to it's own particular civic virtue by asking for an apology? The facts may bear out that China was in the wrong, but either way China is only exercising a sense of respect and responsibility/trustworthiness by standing behind the actions of one of it's people. A valuable member of the military to hear China tell it. In a simmilar circumstance wouldn't the US do the same?

I will be the first one to admit that I find China's motives suspect in the matter. However out of fairness and general caring I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. But yet it seems that the president of the US would not extend China that same courtesy. And what does that say to kids taking an ethics class? It seems to say: "Ethics are neccessary for you, but not the highest elected offical of the US government."

And what kind of message is that? I would especially like to know what kind of message that is when multiplied by the other various geopolitical flashpoints that America is involved in/has been involved in. That seems to paint a very cloudy picture to me. Add in to this already murky topic any number of other peices of modern society and it only gets worse. Take doctors for example. While western medicine has been getting better, many, many doctors do their patients a serious disservice by being intellectually lazy and/or living by a corporate mentality of "pumping out more units (read: "treated" patients) equals more profit". And profit is good right? Don't get me wrong I am not arguing the relative merits of the economics of American medicine, merely the ethical considerations of people not getting the treatment that they need.

So what exactly does an ethics class teach a child today? Is there a good way to reconcile ethics with many of the things in modern life that people tend to blithely ignore out of convienence? And if the educators of today can somehow manage to navigate the maze of modern ethics and actually teach kids something, is it too late for them to put what they learn to any serious use in modern day society?

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Poll
Ethics classes?
o Something that has been lacking for too long! 15%
o Yet another class for the disaffected youth of America to fall asleep in. 41%
o Were useful in the 50's but now, well... 2%
o Great, lets teach the trolls who they are and aren't allowed to pick on. 5%
o Should be taought by Inoshiro! 0%
o Should be taught by Rusty! 4%
o This poll is unethical, along with the story which is too US centric thus I cannot afford you the ethical consideration of respect! 7%
o This space left intentionally blank. 22%

Votes: 70
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o article
o Also by Zeram


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Old dog, new tricks | 28 comments (27 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ethics classes (4.50 / 10) (#1)
by enterfornone on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 02:05:16 AM EST

As the article states the classes eventually fell by the way side because people began to question wether or not right and wrong were absolutes. And with that questioning, ethics classes fell out of vouge.
Isn't that the sort of thing that an Ethics class should be discussing. Or do they just want to teach a "this is what's right; this is what's wrong" morals class.

Learning ethics requires you to think about what is right and wrong, not just recite what the school, church and government want you to think is right and wrong.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

In our society? (3.60 / 5) (#5)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 07:14:17 AM EST

I agree with you whole-heartedly about a "learning" approach to ethics.

The only problem is that your ethics have to be grounded in some sort of world-view (or end-goal, belief, etc etc). While the government, schools and churches would have you subscribe to their standpoints, in the end people will stick to what they believe in. The sad part is that the majority of North Americans are in life for either money or power. Neither of these hold much water when it comes to ethics (often it's the case that the more unethical you are the better off you are in persuing these goals).

I don't think ethics classes are going to be effective whatsoever unless our society undergoes a radical shift in how we view ourselves and our relationship with our environment (social, physical, and everything inbetween). If you don't start your reasoning with the intention to truly strive for the betterment of the whole (not your whole as in the people in your family, group of friends, city, or even nation), then your ethical reasoning will be flawed from the beginning.

We need a lot more than ethics classes - society needs to re-think the way in which it views everything.

/end humanist rant ;)


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

no... (4.00 / 5) (#6)
by klamath on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 09:02:29 AM EST

You seem to have arbitrarily decided that "self-interest != ethical action". Why is this so?
The sad part is that the majority of North Americans are in life for either money or power. Neither of these hold much water when it comes to ethics
I agree power is generally unethical, but I see nothing wrong with trying to make money.
If you don't start your reasoning with the intention to truly strive for the betterment of the whole (not your whole as in the people in your family, group of friends, city, or even nation), then your ethical reasoning will be flawed from the beginning.
Now this is rediculous. You're saying that the only proper ethical standard is altruism (i.e. concern for the 'betterment of the whole'), and then proclaim that ethics classes will be useless until they advocate altruism. You're just trying to force your own standard of ethics down the throats of ethics students. As the previous poster argued, people should be allowed to learn philosophy for themselves, and decide on their own system of ethics. If altruism is truely a superior ethical view then I'm sure students will discover this on their own.

[ Parent ]
Power is not unethical (4.00 / 3) (#9)
by j on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 11:11:27 AM EST

I agree power is generally unethical, but I see nothing wrong with trying to make money.
I have to disagree here. First, power in and by itself is absolutely neutral. Power is neither action nor attitude and thus can't be governed by ethical considerations. The use of power and the attitude towards power are another story entirely.
The old adage that 'power corrupts' is in my opinion invalid. Greed and hatred corrupt. Power only gives you the means to follow your inclinations. It can bring out the worst in you. Or the best. But power in and by itself doesn't make you 'good' or 'bad'.

[ Parent ]
I've heard it this way (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by Skippy on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 11:12:41 PM EST

Power attracts the corruptible.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
Power and corruption. (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by static on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 07:34:03 AM EST

After years of me misquoting it, a good friend of mine pointed out to me that the quote is originally more likely "Power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." Notice the inclusion of the word "tends". He wasn't sure if both phrases had "tends", but at least one of them does.

It's perhaps too easy to argue that this is valid: look at world leaders, past and present; look at heads of major corporations; etc, etc. This, unfortunately, ignores all the uncorrupted world leaders, heads of major corporations, etc. My own experience leads me to believe it is probably right. However, that same experience also teaches me that individuals can guard against power-induced corruption.

I agree that power, in and of itself, is neutral. But I would argue that the wielding of it by humans has a corrupting influence. And you can still have the best of intentions and still yield to corruption to achieve them.

Wade.

[ Parent ]

If there was an uncorrupt world leader.... (1.50 / 2) (#25)
by nads on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 03:38:34 PM EST

.. we would have heard about him (her). The fact that we haven't is assurance enough that one doesn't exist and never has.

[ Parent ]
It is (sorta) (none / 0) (#28)
by klamath on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 10:44:55 PM EST

As I said, power (as it is commonly used) is 'generally' unethical -- but I think there are many cases where a powerful person is definately not an unethical one. I'd divide power into 2 groups:
  1. Power by phyical force. This includes all governments (democratic or not, benevolent or not), thugs/robbers, etc. The fundamental desire is to interpose themselves on an individual's rational mind. That is a pompous way of saying that they want to force people to do things that they would not naturally want to do. Now, the thug may have reasons, valid or not, for his actions: for example, promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number. But the fact remains that he is forcing someone, somewhere to make decisions not based on reason and reality, but on the threat of physical force. I think that possessing, desiring, or using this type of power is unethical.
  2. Power by virtue. This is really not a case of 'power' at all. Consider the 'powerful' businessman. He sells a product to millions of people, making a lot of money for himself in the process. Does he affect the lives of many people? Yes. But it is the rational decision of his customers that gives him his 'power': he is good at producing a given good or service, they want that good or service, so they choose to purchase it from him. The crucial difference is that he does not try to excercise force. This type of activity is very ethical.
Everyone who desires (or achieves) position #1 is probably unethical, so corruption and inefficiency are the natural results.

[ Parent ]
Shooting wars are rare between ethicists (4.28 / 7) (#2)
by eLuddite on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 04:17:07 AM EST

(Re the subj line: Ethicists differ significantly from religious fundamentalists so dont reply in that direction.)

Didn't China live up to it's own particular civic virtue by asking for an apology? The facts may bear out that China was in the wrong, but either way China is only exercising a sense of respect and responsibility/trustworthiness by standing behind the actions of one of it's people.

Not if that person's actions or orders were unethical.

Somewhere in this mess is a lie[*]. Lying is cross culturally wrong because it gets in the way of truth and truth is required in order to make decisions; decisions have consequences. Given identical facts of the case to ponder, I submit that a panel of Chinese ethicists would reach the same conclusion as a panel of American ethicists.

So what exactly does an ethics class teach a child today?

Hopefully how to reason about the way people _should_ act. Given an ethical question and two people who agree on fundamental moral precepts without reaching identical answers, one of them must be reasoning incorrectly. It's fairly important to be able to pick out which one, particularly since we all subscribe to the same moral values as a society and are affected equally when those values are incorrectly applied.

[*]

One could argue that it's not a lie if both parties never agreed on how close to land you have to be before you are too close. It seems unlikely that both militaries can be that ignorant of international rules affecting their operation and jurisdiction. Furthermore, if either party wished to contest this imaginary line on a map, it would mean they were aware of it and acted aggressively. Since both parties deny agressive intent, at least one of them must be lying.

---
God hates human rights.

Considering the things that you need to do to..... (3.00 / 4) (#3)
by delmoi on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 05:09:12 AM EST

considering the things you need to do to get into power, that's not to surprizing. If an ethicist is someone who sticks to his ethics, then I don't think that very many of them have been in the position to get into wars with eachother.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
the civic virtue (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by _Quinn on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 10:16:43 AM EST

   Does not lie with being `civil' -- which the president, it seems, was -- but in the course of action which is best for the country. (Upholding his sworn oath.) There were good reasons for the president to take the position he did, though I'm willing to doubt that he took that position because of them. :)

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
Close to land (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by DaveMe on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 04:08:57 PM EST

both parties never agreed on how close to land you have to be before you are too close
This comment doesn't apply necessarily to your post, but I have to make this point: seen from Europe, this discussion on how far from the coast it has been looks quite ridiculous. Take a moment and imagine the situation with China's and the US' roles switched, to see what I mean.

[ Parent ]
Facts (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by PresJPolk on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 04:48:49 PM EST

Given identical facts of the case to ponder, I submit that a panel of Chinese ethicists would reach the same conclusion as a panel of American ethicists.

Right on the money. Look at all the arguments over religion that come up. Given the fact that the tenets of religion X is true, people take certain actions. Those who don't accept religion X will come to different conclusions.

I'm not saying that the truth is relative. It's just that what one perceives will determine how one reacts. You can't judge a person's actions unless you know what that person knew.



[ Parent ]
The problem with Ethics class (3.28 / 7) (#4)
by Wonko The Sane on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 06:24:06 AM EST

The problem with Ethics class is the same as the problem with any class that tries to enforce values (think "Bible").

Programs that receive federal funding focus on six character elements: caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness. . All of this has a very nice sound to it, and there's hardly anyone that can say "I'm against caring!" or "I'm against trustworthiness!". However I'm sure there are many parents whose definition of, say, responsibility is quite different than the one of the person who decides on what goes into the program.

What all of this gets you is parents and schools teaching kids conflicting values. Making the class voluntary doesn't solve the problem either. Hell, one can even argue against it on "Separation of Church and State" grounds. (What, Humanism isn't a belief system?). In any case, public schools should stick to facts, and not deal with values, even if those are values 95% of the public agrees with.

This is an EX-PARROT!
It's hard to separate Ethics and Values. (none / 0) (#24)
by static on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 07:43:59 AM EST

    The problem with Ethics class is the same as the problem with any class that tries to enforce values (think "Bible").
Exactly. And to do it properly and fairly would touch on so many other topics.

In reasonably recent nations like Australia or the U.S., you would have to define various types of ethical values - those enshrined in Law, those society seems to accept ("consensus") and all the various grey areas. Then you would have to look at the ethics in force, and why, when your nations' founding documents were created. This would encompass quite a lot of history and the sociology and philosophy - and quite probably the religion - of the time.

Older societies, like the UK and Japan, you would have to take a more extended view of how they developed into what we have today.

I recommend Frances Schaeffer as an author if anyone is interested in learning more.

Wade.

[ Parent ]

Duty, honor, country (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by yankeehack on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 11:13:20 AM EST

Talking about ethics had made me think about what is taught at the US Military Academy at West Point.

If you haven't heard about it, it is encapsulated by a motto of Duty, Honor, Country of which the best embodiement of this concept was described in a speech by Gen. Mac Arthur at West Point.


No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!

Yeah, McArthur (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by weirdling on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 04:04:06 PM EST

There was a paragon of American ideals. The man who attacked the Bonus Army with Hipper tanks...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
MacAuthur delivered (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by khallow on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 09:24:03 PM EST

There was a paragon of American ideals. The man who attacked the Bonus Army with Hipper tanks...

Actually he attacked them with tear gas. The tanks and the fixed banyonets were there for show, maybe. Two infants died, asphyxiated by the tear gas. Still was a paragon of American ideals, just not the ideals you had in mind.

IMHO, maybe because of his flaws, he didn't back down from some of the toughest fighting in the 20th century. I don't think there are that many people in history who could have saved South Korea from extinction like he did. Also, he's one of the big reasons that Japan is an ally and not an enemy.

All in all, I think the US was lucky to have him.


Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

The Marine Corps and Navy would disagree (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by weirdling on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 01:24:54 AM EST

Not that I really have anything against the man, but MacArthur has a terrible reputation anywhere in the Navy or Marines, as the one who lost the Phillipines in the first place.
Oh, well. It's not that it matters; you're right, the Inchon invasion was a masterpiece, and assures him a place in history.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
a couple of points (4.00 / 4) (#11)
by cory on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 12:45:42 PM EST

Re: China standing by their man. I think you're confusing civil responsibility with nationalism. Civic responsibility is things like showing up for jury duty when you're called, voting in every election, keeping in touch with your representative (whether Congressman or MP, whatever), and keeping abreast of the issues so you can make informed decisions on all of those things. Saying a fellow national is right no matter what, especially when that person is in your country's military, that's putting the interests of your country ahead of anything else. Which is the basis of nationalism.

Re: whether the President extended China the benefit of the doubt. I haven't read the complete text of the final letter from Bush to Jiang, but my understanding is that the US officially expressed regrets over the incident without accepting responsibility for it or saying we were wrong to be where we were. At the same time, we didn't claim that China was in the wrong, either. Making either statement before a full inquiry, including neutral third party examination of the EP-3E (aside: let the Australians do it, they're no big fan of either China or the US from what I've seen), would be premature at best, potentially damaging to ongoing diplomatic efforts at worst. So, it appears to me that Bush was completely ethical in withholding judgement about the event until all of the facts are known.

(I'm going to be good and not close with a parting shot about Presidential ethics and the previous administration.)

Cory


I don't know... (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by Zeram on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 04:46:52 PM EST

The thing is participating in governement is the individuals ethical requirement. I'm saying that I think that the government's (by government I don't mean a person in general, but the government in general as an entity unto itself) ethical duty to support it's people. Was China wrong? Was the piolt wrong? I would say yes on both cases. But China did not just toss the piolt aside casually, for what ever reason, they chose to back him up. And shouldn't we expect the government to stand behind us when we act as it's agent? The Chinese military picked said that he could be a piolt, they made a choice and gave him the authority (no matter how temporary) to act for them in the sky, using thier equipment.


<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
[ Parent ]
Australia (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Scrymarch on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 07:14:43 PM EST

Making either statement before a full inquiry, including neutral third party examination of the EP-3E (aside: let the Australians do it, they're no big fan of either China or the US from what I've seen)

Well, on the behalf of my nation, I'm touched :)

Honestly, however, Australia's first international loyalty would be to the US. Having such a small population, Australia has always relied on a powerful ally for protection in global conflicts. Since WWII, that's been the US. Australia sent (sometimes a fairly small number of) troops on the US side to Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. I would say the average person on the street tends to dislike US chest-beating, but Australian governments learn to live with it.

China is a major trade partner, and Australia wouldn't want to lose that, either, so a review position would be a poisoned chalice of sorts ... we don't want to be forced to choose.

(Of course I am confident that if an independent Australian investigator was appointed they would come to an impartial decision. It just wouldn't look very good if it turned out the US was in the right.)

To find a nation that equally disliked the US and China and couldn't be bought, you'd probably have to look to one of the Scandanavian welfare states.

[ Parent ]

One small problem (4.00 / 7) (#14)
by weirdling on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 04:09:11 PM EST

China is clearly in the wrong. A simple analysis has a P-3 four-engined EW plane hit by an F-8 Chinese fighter-jet. I wonder which one is more able to evade? Then, come to find out that the thing hit the P-3 on the bottom, which is a point that the fighter-pilot can easily see but the P-3 crew cannot. Now, rule of the sky: get out of the way of heavies. Anything bigger than you is your business to avoid, not theirs. This is also the rule of the sea.
That being said, China's behaviour is not ethical, as they are refusing to accept responsibility, so there is no hypocrisy on the American side and nothing to explain to American children in school.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
what sort of ethics classes? (4.80 / 5) (#19)
by Puchitao on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 04:16:39 AM EST

I can't really tell from CNN's article what sort of ethics classes the public schools are considering. I certainly hope it's not classes in "the following things are right, and the following are wrong." ("right" and "wrong" being, of course, determined by the school's local hotline to the Objective Moral Truth Oracle.) I can imagine the final: Fill in (A) for Right and (B) for Wrong:
  1. Integrity
  2. Murder
  3. Sharing
  4. Drowning kittens
I can't see something like that as anything more than a waste of good classtime. I'd prefer to have my kid learn a bit of math or English than sit in a classroom and be told "Integrity is Good!" Pep rallies never did much to improve school spirit; I doubt that moral pep rallies will do much to improve morality.

On the other hand, a true class in philosophical Ethics would be a good addition to a (secondary) curriculum. Not a class about which things are good or bad, but about those qualities by virtue of which things can be good or bad. Don't tell the kids that X is good; they either already know that, or don't care. Ask them why X is good. Is it good because, if everyone did the opposite, chaos would ensue? Is it good because it increases the aggregate happiness of the population? Is it good because we have certain obligations towards each other?

I suspect you could get a good classroom debate about these sort of things. People tend to feel strongly about, say, deontological vs. consequentialist (means vs. ends, roughly) theories of ethics; I doubt they'll need much coaxing to defend their side. I have the suspicion that ramming "this is good, this is bad" down students' throats wouldn't be half as useful as getting them to reason about the serious issues behind ethics. Compare "X is good because school told me so" to "X is good because, IMO at least, living in a society engenders certain societal obligations, of which X is one" or "X is good in this situation because it causes less suffering than any other reasonable alternative".

Now, meta-ethics might be a little too much for a secondary ethics class; I don't know if our schools could handle hundreds of little newly-converted moral non-cognitivists running amok. But that aside, I have the hypothesis that a little reasoning about ethics will cause more ethical behavior than pep rallies in prescriptive ethics.

If the above sort of class is the sort that educators want to put in our schools, I'm behind it 100%. But I suspect, sadly, that it's some sort of "Integrity is good; Columbine was bad" tripe to allay someone's (SFAIK unsupported) fears that "kids aren't being taught morals in the home these days".

Perhaps we can do *snappy fun* with you everytime! -- Orz

Philosophical ethics and the end of rationality (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by crank42 on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:25:14 PM EST

On the other hand, a true class in philosophical Ethics would be a good addition to a (secondary) curriculum.

I can't see why. Mostly, as far as I can tell (and I was a professional philosopher before I gave it up), philosophical ethics since the Moderns has been largely a wasteland of dressed-up pre-conceived notions.

People tend to feel strongly about, say, deontological vs. consequentialist (means vs. ends, roughly) theories of ethics

And this is precisely the problem. For, while each pretends to some sort of fundamental rational basis for itself, neither is immune to paradoxes. The result has been a lot of generation of paradoxes, and concomitant theoretical epicycles, in the professional ethics journals. Frankly, anything would be better than subjecting a bunch of youngsters to the sorts of mental gymnastics that ethicists have adopted in order to keep flogging their favourite dead horses. In any other discipline, a paradox would be a reason to abandon the theory. In ethics, it's a reason to keep going.

[ Parent ]

Ethics Teaching In School Already Exists (2.50 / 2) (#22)
by AArthur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 11:38:17 PM EST

Health Class when dealing with physcological health discusses dealing with problems and issues in a socially acceptable manor.

Other classes teach this too... learning how to write a proper formal paper for English, presenting research for Social Studies, etc. teaches you how to express your views (no matter how exterme they are).

That said, a class in "socially accceptable" pratices seems like a good idea for me, especially when kids are in the critical stages of their lifes (2nd grade, 5th grade, 8th grade and 12th grade).


Socially acceptable, doesn't mean selling out your values or being "politically correct". You can do an good essay, on why the Nazis in Germany did many good things, and yet not cause trouble or offend people (by basing your research on facts, not making accusations, and being fair and unbias).

I've openly discussed an experimented with extreme right-ism and left-ism, yet I have never got in trouble for my beliefs. I discuss them, and try to sell them in a socially acceptable manor.

A proper debate, paper or other socially acceptable manor is far more effective then shooting up your co-workers, ranting and raving, posting threating messages or doing other socially unacceptable things.

People respect me for this. Many think I am quite cool to be able to discuss such far out things in a socially acceptable manors.

An historical example would be Barry Goldwater who has always had some very far right ideas. If he hadn't learned how to express them in a socially appropiate manor (in the form of speeches, writings, etc.) he would have never even made it to the Republican Candiate for President in 1964.

Ethics are essential to anybodys success. Even Liberals have to have ethnic standards, even if they are less then what Conservatives have. When is the last time you saw a liberal US Senator who smoked pot, showed up in shorts to congress, a half hour late, regulaurly?

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264

Government-sponsored ethics? (none / 0) (#27)
by chase on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 06:51:53 PM EST

I'm an athiest. I believe that hallucinogens (all) should be legal. And I don't agree with all morals, especially the concept of 'profanity' - isolating certain words from a language because they are religiously intolerable. When I have kids, the government better not be feeding my child a big bag of bs. It's bad enough when I have to go to health class every day and endure all this BS about drugs (5 joints equals 7 packs of cigarettes). It's OK to teach a child to be polite and respectful, but I'm terribly scared that an ethics class wouldn't stop there. I don't want a brainwashed child, I want a smart child that can think for himself. Maybe I'll be lucky and he'll oppose me in some of my views, so we can have fruitful debates and I can feel pride that they have developed independence.
Legalize Weed!
Old dog, new tricks | 28 comments (27 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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