September 08, 2007
WEEKEND SPECIAL: DISCUSSING ETHICS WITH A GOAT
Note for first time readers: It is the policy of this blog to deal with fairly serious issues during the week. Sort of, anyway. Weekends, however are generally reserved for the commentaries of various animals in and around Goat Rope Farm.
This weekend, we are pleased to welcome back Alpine dairy goat Arcadia S. Venus, doyenne and diva. Venus' particular speciality--one shared by many goats--is the field of ethics and morality. A stern devotion to virtue has been, after all, the central feature of caprine behavior through the centuries.
Venus has taken time from her busy schedule of raiding ornamental plants to share her unique insights with our readers.
THE GOAT ROPE INTERVIEW: FREEDOM OF THE WILL AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY
GR: Venus, thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us this weekend. The issue we're grappling with is the relationship between free will, determinism, and moral responsibility.
Venus: Do you have any of those apple things?
GR: The issue is this: the natural sciences are deterministic in their orientation for the most part. They often assume uniform laws of nature and the strict rule of cause and effect...
Venus: That hay you gave us is crappy.
GR: The question is, does this deterministic schema apply to humans as well? And, if it does, what does this mean for the concept of moral responsibility.
Venus: You bought that crap, didn't you? Why don't you take some responsibility for that?
GR: So what you seem to be saying is that regardless of the apparent determinism that reigns in the realms of the natural sciences, this doesn't completely relieve us of moral responsibility. Because if it was all determined, you wouldn't have any reason to blame me for the bad hay, correct?
Venus: Shut up and give me some alfalfa cubes. And you better keep em coming if you want to see that grape plant and the wisteria again!
GR: I think I understand what you're saying. Despite all the forces that condition us and limit human freedom, we still have the power and duty to choose between courses of action and accept the consequences. Thanks so much for clearing that up, Venus!
Venus: Alfalfa cubes now or that smoke tree is going down...
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED