Monday, December 13, 2004

Great Ethicists: Chaim Volozhin, Yisrael Meir Kagan, Burton Visotzky, Luke Ford

I saw my shrink today and was cleared to go for another three months of moral leadership and heavy bio-chemical numbing.

I did not tell him my new belief that I am Spiderman (or at least Peter Parker).

I've been listed on this page with great ethical teachers such as Chaim Volozhin, Yisrael Meir Kagan, and Burton Visotzky. It's about time my contributions are recognized (I wonder if this will get me back into Aish HaTorah?):

An ethicist is one whose judgement on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by some community, and (importantly) is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge (see argument from authority).

The term jurist describes an ethicist whose judgement on law becomes part of a legal code, or otherwise has force of lawde jure) state sanction.

Some jurists have less formal (de facto) backing by an ethical community, e.g. a religious communityIslamic Law, for instance, such a community following (taqlid) a specific jurisprudence (fiqh) of shariah mimics judgement of a prior jurist. Catholic Canon Lawtheologian or simply a prominent teacher. To those outside this tradition, the jurist is simply an ethicist who they may more freely disagree with, and whose input on any issue is advisory. However, they may find it hard to avoid a fatwa or excommunication or other such shunning by the religious community, so it may be hard advice to ignore.

Outside the legal professionspiritual traditionphilosophers or more practical mediatorideology. Modern ethicists often take the view that ethics is only about such resolution.

The list of ethicists demonstrates the extreme range of people who have made, or contributed to, ethical debates. It also demonstrates that not all individuals who do so can be considered to be good moral examples by all.