Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kant and Egalitarianism

Last Ethical outing at CityLit

Well when Ariel introduced us to the CityLit course on Moral Philosophy 10 weeks or so ago he did mention it wouldn't be easy and it didn't feel like it was - it was undoubtedly too short to give the individual topics the time and space their particular angle warranted (even Ayn Rand's  Objectivism  felt was worth more time).

The overwhelming good (for me) was that it gave me the opportunity to see that 'things' could be judged and that perhaps consistency of such judgements was something worth aspiring to.

John Rawls (nice little video of the man here)  who was one of the modern philosophers we considered all to briefly in our final session was to all intents and purposes a Kant-ian Egalitarian (and a favoured thinker by former  US president   Bill Clinton) but it seems one can be of the Kantian persuasion but non Egalitarian in your leanings as was the other modern philosopher under our  fading' spotlight Robert Nozick (favoured by Neo-Cons) - he as far as I can see made some incisive points on freedom in his review of Distributive Justice - but I feel my heart is not with him.

I (like many of us) reckon the state is not the best judge on allocating resources to solve problems but the alternative of 'no- state' offers what might be eben more perilous for the weak and disenfranchised.

So a challenge for me is to consider appropriately what are 'Moral' questions and then   make use of the school of Moral Philosophy which might throw light on what we should do - I am also (and hope to remain) cognisant of the dangers of appearing to be 'Moralistic' - I am now even more conscious of my own shortcomings (without aspiring to be at a level of a Socrates).

Is our planet the most important thing?
Perhaps we should worry that many can not afford £400,000
for a roof above their head?

Do we care about fairness - and if we do how do we define fairness - I liked the thought experiment Rawls's describes in the  'Veil of Ignorance ' but also can not totally reject the ideas of Rand (or for that matter Nietzsche).

Utility is attractive in the abstract but perhaps can be less compelling in 'real life' - when viewed against allocations to ones 'flesh and blood'  anyway something of value I hope has been gleaned by me from looking at my own views on morals..

Should we be taxed to support the homeless and destitute or does that make us all slaves to the state? 

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