(sigh)

1) Go to http://thesaurus.com.

2) At the top of the page, enter the word “ethical”.

3) Look at the first synonym listed (it’s alphabetical).

Note this synonym is taken from Roget’s New Millennium™ Thesaurus.

56 thoughts on “(sigh)

  1. What in the fuck?
    So, somehow, we aren’t ethical anymore.
    And I thought dictionaries/thesauri (thesauruses?) were trustable things.

  2. On the other hand, maybe they included the term “Christian” in a sort of lower-case “c” sense (even though it is obviously capitalized)—you know, alluding to the way Christians are allegedly supposed to behave, even though many don’t?

    But probably they mean it they way we suspect they do.  oh oh

    By the way (and monstrously off-topic), Mrs. SEB, your avatar is teh groovy!

  3. Note that “kosher” is also included, but qualified with “informal or slang”.
    Mrs. SEB- ditto what Sadie said about your avatar.  Too cool for school!

  4. Well. Y’know, I’d always thought, mistakenly it turns out, that ethics were distinct from morals in that ethics were determined by evaluating the outcomes of a given course of action in terms of their impact on others; whereas morals were simply traditional beliefs based partly on common sense and partly on the cultural context. ie I would have thought a doctor could not ethically refuse treatment, but might by way of their morals. I have unlearnt something here, but i’m not sure that i have learnt something more appropriate or correct.

    (for aussies) Further i thought, if what i had previously thought of as a fairly reliable reference could do this, what would the companion to the worlds only dictionary (that i own) that has less definitions the bigger it gets, the Macquarie, do?

    ethical adj 1. Medicinal 2. Moral

    What is the moral of this story? Buy a Collins.

    And for rogets? Politely worded emails or, my personal favourite, fire (and lots of it)?

  5. Yeah, moral and ethical are not technically supposed to be synoyms, even though they are listed as such.  I’ve always thought the following definitions fit:

    ethical –  Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession.

    moral – Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.

    (Both Taken from Dictionary.com btw).

    Being a RPG geek, I also have a shade of bias on this issue since morality and ethics are strictly divided in some games in the matter of character alignments (sorry for any non-D&D geeks reading this).

    The worst thing is that Moral, being a synonym, has Christian as the first synonym under the thesaurus entery as well. 

    Looks like they have cornered the market by gosh, we’d better just pack it up and by some of Pascal’s Lottery tickets…

    .

  6. I’m surprised that so many of you weren’t aware of this already. You need to keep in mind that English is a living language where the usage of words evolves over time. Dictionaries and the like are explanations of how words are used and defined by the general usage, not necessarily the final word (if you will) on what its meaning should be.

    In theory, at least, if enough people start using the word “Christian” to mean “dirty, rotten, lying, scumbag” then sooner or later the Dictionaries would be updated to reflect that usage. The fact that most dictionaries were the product of religious people probably had a lot to do with how definitions were set up to begin with.  For example the word “Pagan” is a direct reflection of this Christian bias as its original meaning was “anyone who isn’t a Christian” and then a bit later was modified to “anyone who isn’t a Christian, Muslim, or Jew.”

  7. Hi SEB—

      Been a daily lurker since introduced to the site by ***Dave. Let’s remember that dictionaries and thesauri *reflect* how society thinks. The alternative is for dictionaries and thesauri to *define* what we think, aka Newspeak and 1984.

    Let us take this as a challenge – atheist and Christian (et al) alike – and maybe it will be reflected:

    Let your ethics define your religion (or lack thereof); don’t let on your religion (or thesaurus.com!) define your ethics.

    Similarly, assess’s others’ religious beliefs individually by their ethics, not their ethics by their religious beliefs.

    Tony
    an ethical follower of Big Sky Daddy
    tongue laugh

  8. Look at the bright side.  You’ve got Nietzsche on your side proclaiming you to be the master morality.  We Christians are just a slave morality. tongue wink

  9. People here in Austria still say “Christian” (christlich) to mean “good”- but nowadays often more or less ironically, as in “ein christlicher Preis” (a good price).  Probably no one here is old enough to remember the compliment “that’s mighty white of you”.  And don’t forget that the “barbarians” are the people who say “bar, bar”; in other words, those who can’t speak proper Greek.

  10. Les: In theory, at least, if enough people start using the word “Christian” to mean “dirty, rotten, lying, scumbag” then sooner or later the dictionaries would be updated to reflect that usage.

    OK, I’ll start: George Bush is a Christian.

  11. DoF: Sadie, I miss your old avatar, for entirely prurient reasons.

    I agree entirely.
    Then I try to figure the motives that may have caused the changing and get nowhere. I suppose that avatar had run its course. confused
    I may as well ask; Sadie, what’s the story of your new avatar?

  12. 1.  Jeez, guys,  it’s not a conspiracy.  (At least, if it is, nobody’s clued me in on it.)  As noted, dictionaries and thesaurii are descriptive, not proscriptive.  One could just as easily imagine someone deciding this was all a conspiracy by Jewish publishers because “kosher” is also listed.

    As a largely Christian nation (and liguistic group), it isn’t surprising that “Christian” is used by some as a synonym for “ethical.”  What’s sad is how often that’s not the case.

    2.

    Let your ethics define your religion (or lack thereof); don’t let on your religion (or thesaurus.com!) define your ethics.

    I’m not sure I agree—to some extent it should be a feedback loop (what one believes influences what one does and how one does it; what one does and how one does it influences how one believes).

    3.

    I thought, and have now reconfirmed, that the ‘barbarians’ was a term europeans have used since the darkages for african/arab raiders from north west of africa ala the barbary coast

    No, the original writer was correct.  It’s from the Greeks, and refers to non-Greeks who spoke babbling noises to their ears.  Picked up by the Romans later.  As for the Barbary Coast, it may have come from “barbarian,” it may have come from the Arab word “Berber” for the natives there (which may, though, have come from the Greek “barbarian” thing again), or it may (less likely) have come from the conquering Barbarossa (“red-beard”).

  13. I thought, and have now reconfirmed, that the ‘barbarians’ was a term europeans have used since the darkages for african/arab raiders from north west of africa ala the barbary coast

    That may well be, Death, but the word “barbarian” is older than that- it comes to English via ancient Greek, originally Proto-Indo-European “baba-”, to stammer.  “Barbary Coast” is from “Berber”, which also comes from Greek βά

  14. Aha. While i choose to stand corrected, i’ll add (in the spirit of nitpicking) that i was not conclusively proved wrong (as much as i did not show that zilch was wrong)

    I may be getting the hang of this. :some kind of friendly smiley:

  15. ***Dave: I’m not sure I agree—to some extent it should be a feedback loop (what one believes influences what one does and how one does it; what one does and how one does it influences how one believes).

    I think you just hit upon the difference between a moderate and an extremist.  There are two kinds of feedback: positive and negative.  Positive feedback systems (like a microphone picking up the output of the speaker it is controlling) tend to become unstable and drift toward one extreme or another.  Negative feedback systems (like a gyroscopic balance system) are stable and return to a nominal state.

  16. (yawns – up all night) on the evolution of words

    While lexiconographers have a duty, or at least an obligation under their job description, to monitor the evolution of language, they would also have a role as loremasters; recording/displaying archaic usage along with modern usage of a given word. This is more about the aforementioned shrinking macquarie, rather than roget.

    in this regard, the definition of dubya as a dirty lying rotten scumbug who still doesn’t seem to have been indicted for vote rigging and general acts of mass destruction will always come after 1. arsehole in a comphrehensive dictionary.

    Night-night

  17. DOF: I think you just hit upon the difference between a moderate and an extremist.  There are two kinds of feedback: positive and negative.  Positive feedback systems (like a microphone picking up the output of the speaker it is controlling) tend to become unstable and drift toward one extreme or another.  Negative feedback systems (like a gyroscopic balance system) are stable and return to a nominal state.

    I’m not sure I follow here.  Is what you mean that a belief system that’s driven solely by rigid dictates (or, on the other end, a lack of guidelines) will tend to heterodyne to either extremes of behavior or extremes of belief or both, whereas a system where beliefs and “the real world” check each other will tend to be relatively stable?

  18. Not sure I follow either – it’s a very undeveloped idea.  Somebody could probably do a good sociology research project about this, but here goes:

    Positive feedback: you have a set of ‘Damn the torpedoes’ rules that determine if you are one of the true elect.  In the social group context, everyone is trying to demonstrate that they are truer than everyone else.  The more extreme, the better their feedback.  Because of the cosmic significance of being ‘true’, outside-world consequences won’t enter in as feedback.  If no other factors intervene, the system will go to extremes.  (Think Westboro Baptist Church)

    Negative feedback: you have a set of guidelines and feedback comes from outside-world consequences in addition to the social group context.  Negative outside-world consequences result in pressure back toward center.  (Think Mennonite Central Committee)

    What are the feedback components?  How does conceptual source, social reinforcement, and accounting for consequences flow through the group?  What is the function of ‘inclusive vs. exclusive’ in relation to the conceptual source? Hmm…

  19. Hmm… continued; In a positive feedback system, the output drives the input; in a negative feedback system, the output limits the input. 

    Probably not much good beyond metaphor value to compare social groups to electronic circuits.

  20. Probably not much good beyond metaphor value to compare social groups to electronic circuits.

    Depends on the complexity of the circuits, doesn’t it? I think we’ve got a ways to go yet, before we can model social groups electronically.  A good word to describe the problem of predictiing societal behavior is “intractable”.

  21. LuckyJohnny: I may as well ask; Sadie, what’s the story of your new avatar?

    Only the best television show of all time (in my humblest opinion)! Here’s a comprehensive guide to The Prisoner, which aired seventeen episodes in 1967.

    For all you folks who miss my hippie chick avatar, I promise she’ll return again, so don’t grieve too much.  smile

  22. Sadie: Only the best television show of all time

    Ah. Patrick McGoohan. I recall him from Dangerman in the early 60s. wink

  23. Interesting.

    I guess that explains the ‘pagan’ practices of solstice celibrations, fertility rites and other agriculturally significant beliefs, without (as much ) emphasis on trying to pin down the more general nature and origins of the mundane

  24. Anyone want to guess at the Republican campaign strategies for the current election season?

    DoF, I was talking about human societal behavior… LOL

  25. re: “pagan”

      I appreciate and really think we should celebrate the “pagan” holiday almost as global holidays (I’m like to read about calendar reformers, am an environmentalist, favor global governance, etc, for the same reason.).

    However, I worry about the propensity for humans to confuse aligning one’s appreciation of values with a dogma based on those values. Perhaps this difference is the same difference between pagans (non-dogmatic) and Wiccans (dogmatic?) <—on this I’m just guessing from a totally uninformed position and happy to be corrected.

    In the language taught to me in Christian upbringing, “It is important to be a steward of the Earth, nut don’t confuse the creation with the Creator.”

  26. Pagans vs. Wiccans:  a more familiar analogy to the relation would be that while all Presbyterians (Wiccans) are Christians (pagans), not all Christians are Presbyterians.

    The quote about stewardship is a good example of Christian dogma, that the “creator” deserves more (and separate) attention than the “creation.”  Using that analogy to illustrate what most (if not all) Wiccans believe, the very acts involved with practicing stewardship of the earth are considered communion with the “creator.”  So too the act that results in the creation of new (human) life… the Charge of the Star Goddess says, “All acts of love and pleasure are my rites.”

  27. The quote about stewardship is a good example of Christian dogma, that the “creator

  28. Let me try to explain a bit further…

    Before becoming an atheist, I’ve been a Christian, and I’ve been a pagan, and of course the differences are many; but one of the most fundamental is that as a Christian I was taught that human beings have stewardship over the Earth because we are “higher” beings than the rest of its inhabitants – because we have souls.  On the flipside, pagans are taught that humankind may be more intelligent than most of the planet’s creatures, but on a spiritual level, all creatures are equal… even animals possess a spirit/soul.  So its not so much that the Earth itself is a conscious entity, but that all its inhabitants are a part of the whole; that the “divine spark” of life runs through every living thing, and even the smallest act can be an act of worship, because “god” is everywhere and in everything.

    Does that make more sense?

  29. Does that make more sense?

    No, OB, the pagan beliefs don’t make any more sense than Christian teachings.  tongue rolleye But they’re a lot more congenial.  And we could do with a lot more congeniality, whether it makes sense or no.  Respecting all creatures and the Earth is increasingly becoming a matter of survival, even if there is no divinity involved.

  30. goddammit, I posted a reply, but I don’t see it… grrrr

    Although I’ve left gods behind, except as characters in some fantastic stories, I still feel it’s a moral obligation to take care of this rock we live on so that future generations aren’t scrabbling for survival.  Unlike Christians, neither pagans nor atheists can look forward to getting a “do-over” after Jesus descends (and a thousand years of tribulations, woo hoo).

    (If the “lost” post appears, my apologies for double-dipping)

  31. thanks for the clarification. My apologies to SEB and others for asking too many theistic questions. This post, which borders on semantics, is almost certainly my last, for that reason.

    The question may hinge on what you mean by “divine”. If you consider all created entities “divine” and worship the “divine”, and thus worship creation (and its inhabitants), there would be conflict between the two ideologies.

    (A couple of questions to clarify: Is your automobile – a created product – spiritually equal to a human, its creator? Is cutting down a tree spiritually or morally equal to murdering a human?)

    If you are congenial, as the last commentor noted, to all beings, I don’t think there is conflict – at least not with the Christian teaching I received growing up.

    Now this line of Christian teaching could more closely align with paganism that it would with the line of fundamentalist Christian teaching about dominion. Dominion is more often considered a right held by higher spiritual beings (thus dogmatic), versus stewardship a responsibility by simply more intelligent and capable beings.

  32. I don’t know that it’s possible to ask too many theistic questions so no need to apologize. As long as the folks participating seem to be gaining something from the conversation then I’m unconcerned with how many theistic questions it contains.

  33. wow… okay. I’m just gonna leave that alone. 

    I just wanted to clarify that, in case it was lost in the thread, I don’t believe in dominion, in terms of a right. But I do believe we should practice stewards – but not as a religious obligations, but

    Higher spiritual beings? Consider me an agnostic on that one. I’m more of the mind that if biological beings can evolve souls as much as intelligence, maybe yes. But maybe souls are an absolute, in which case no. It’s not a simple question, though.

    I don’t equate consciousness/sentience with having a soul or vice versa. Otherwise, we’ll soon be arguing over whether computers have souls and whether they need to be “saved” grin LOL

    Capable beings? That was simply a way to describe beings capable of stewardship? You, me…yes. Les’s cat? I can only say that for my cat, I am the one scooping his shit, so no for mine. 

    Thanks to Les for letting me ask questions here. Many of you might recognize where I’m coming from, and I appreciate your letting me find my way by probing and asking politely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.