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Understanding Humanity

Mental health vs. Freedom of thought

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If we leave people who believe in things that are detrimental to their function in society proceed as they are, it is immoral.

If we interfere with someone's life based on his belief that we perceive as detrimental to their function as society, it is immoral.

What would you do?


  1. MZeroX's Avatar
    This is a really tough one.

    One of the coolest responses that I've heard of regarding this is the sliding scale of normalcy, maybe. It's been a while, and since I've only heard of it and haven't read up on it myself, I can't really say much regarding it. Though it is easy to see that such a measurement scale is based upon ...crap, the word eludes me atm, but that view in anthropology... you know that one... damn, i'm sucking it hard right now. oh well. that view that morality is based off of human/popular convenience. Some really interesting things come off of that argument.

    As for what I'd do, I think the only approach is a deliberation among concerned parties, and then vote on the action, on an instance per instance basis. Or at least that is the only thing I can think of that seems like it'd be less extreme. It'd also be extremely tedious and nearly impossible in practice, unfortunately.

    Really, I wish I had more background in this subject, but desires imply not having it. So yeah, hopefully you've got some interesting things to say concerning this. Or maybe someone else, too. Anyone else. This type of muddled situation is so difficult yet so much fun.
  2. Counterguardian's Avatar
    You mean moral relativism?
  3. MZeroX's Avatar
    ...ah, it was cultural relativism! yeah, moral relativism as a component of cultural relativism.
  4. Counterguardian's Avatar
    Relativism is a rather fun concept, especially when you bundle it with natural selection. It tends to cause a lot of controversy in the right (or wrong) contexts.

    I have little experience with bioethics so I would love to have both a ethical philosopher and a medical student in this discussion, but the underlying problem is the question between the right to personal autonomy and the carer's duty of non-maleficence. Where do you draw the line? Does the possibility of abuse mean that it isn't right to draw a line to begin with?
  5. Aiden's Avatar
    Moral relativism is so flimsy, because it is self-contradictory.

    I prefer the assertion I made in my university Ethics class: the only moral position we are capable of gathering evidence to confirm, at the moment, is that humans make this stuff up, and the parts backed by those with the power and influence to see them spread and stick are what we end up with. Whether this undermines the validity of values depends entirely on your priorities.

    Anyway: is your mental state disruptive and/or threatening to the majority of lives of those around you? (or even just a small, vocal minority of them?)

    If the answer is yes to either (or both), then you can look forward to being treated as mentally ill without personal input being relevant to the discussion.

    As a psychology major, this prospect doesn't bother me at all. But then, I tend to take a utilitarian outlook on things.