[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

Barnaby Thieme bathieme at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 11 13:00:41 MDT 2010

Hi Dan, 

> You are confusing entertaining hypotheticals, on the one hand, with 
> articulating and establishing sound ethical principles, on the other.

It seems pretty clear to me that the purpose of hypothetical scenarios of this kind is to challenge the reader to reply, and to justify their response with a coherent rationale. What else could they be for? 

> HHDL's answer is simply the prudent refusal to enter a loaded hypothetical, 
> since whatever he says would not be taken as speculation of the moment, but 
> as principles to live by by at least some of the eventual audience.

I agree with this -- in fact, this seems to be pretty similar to the point I was making, i.e., it's difficult to generalize from individual ethical situations in which many variables are at play, and to formulate categorical ethical statements of sufficient complexity to be useful. 

I don't readily recall an effort to articulate a universal framework for ethics that withstood much scrutiny or felt persuasive -- are you arguing on behalf of the existence of such frameworks? 


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