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But that is a mistake.

Just like legality and legitimacy are not the same thing, ethics and morality are not the same thing.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 2nd, 2010 at 09:29:13 PM EST
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But like legitimacy, ethics depend on the society you are in and, particularly, the constraints it faces. It is clearly unethical to leave malformed newborns to die of exposure in a modern industrial state - or even in a premodern state with relatively strong social safety nets. But if you're a subsistence farmer in a premodern state with no support for handling handicapped children, and you're only barely surviving as it is, then it's a lot more of a grey area.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 3rd, 2010 at 06:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I should have elaborated. Just because ethics and morality are often taken as being synonymous does not mean that they are. My point was that, like mores, ethics is specific to the culture, however much some ethicists might want to make them universal.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 3rd, 2010 at 11:42:18 AM EST
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