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Finding Good in Impulsive Behavior- Moore Theory

Have you ever reacted weird without giving it a second thought? This may have occurred to many of us. And many of us may have felt uncomfortable for it. The important question arises, ‘Is there any goodness in our impulsiveness?’

To sort out this confusion, Let’s understand the qualities of good in a philosophical way.

G E Moore concepts of Good points out the uniqueness of the quality of Good. Good is a simple and indefinable quality. Just as we can’t explain the color red to anyone and so same goes for good. We can’t explain anyone what’s good and what’s not unless some object is specified.

“Good,’ then, if we mean by it that quality which we assert to belong to a
thing, which we say that the thing is good, is incapable of any definition.”

-G E Moore

The second step to judge a thing as good is consequences. If a certain action produces right consequence, then it’s good.

An act is right if and only if it produces more good than any other available action.

-G E Moore

Moore has distinguished between the two state of affairs- the good action and the right action. The good action is consequentially right. And the right action is one which produces more or better good.

The third step to judge goodness of an object is its ethical implication. If an action is ethically acceptable, then it’s good otherwise not.

Conclusively, there are three steps to judge the qualities of Good as per G E Moore-

  1. Nature of an object
  2. Consequence
  3. Ethical impacts

By understanding the concept of Good, we are in a stage of finding goodness in an impulsive behavior. The impulsive behavior, if had no negative consequences, then it’s good. But ethically it’s not right to behave unnaturally and so it’s not good. And if acting impulsively is not in my nature, and still I am acting such. Then, definitely it isn’t good.

By analyzing the impulsive behavior, we come to conclude that impulsive behavior lacks the qualities of goodness and is hazardous not only to our health but also to others.

“Logical Positivism” In Brief

What is Logical Positivism?

It is a theory discovered by the members of the Vienna circle. It is an outlook that the philosophical problems would be considered as true and meaningful only if it could be analysed properly. The discovery of logic in philosophy by philosophers like Russell and Quine has widened the advantage & scope of philosophy. It shifted the subject philosophy from traditional orthodox definitions to Modern Logical Positivism.

“Vienna circle”

It is a group of major philosophers- Moritz Schlick, Philipp Frank, Rudolf Carnap, Victor kraftand and others. They considered positivism as an evolution of philosophy. Their main intention was to look back at all major philosophical problems and make a logical analysis to it. The problem which couldn’t be analysed logically is skipped to be treated as a Valid philosophical Problems.

Positivism could be said as switching of philosophy as a theoretical subject to science. The positivism could be understand better by reference to analytic philosophy. Previously, many have questioned the practical use of philosophy as a subject. But, the misconceptions was broken down with the progress of analytic thoughts. In a similar fashion, Logical positivisms could change the philosophy to one of the branches of science.

Rejection of Idealism

Philosophy considers idealism as a thought or idea arising from one’s mind. It has no value in reality. It is called as a fiction of the mind. ‘The mental thoughts gave way to all other physical and material thoughts’, is the basic concept of idealism. Positivism rejected idealism on the basis that the ideas of mind have no logical basis. It is the uncertain thoughts on the basis of which philosophy couldn’t be defined. Further, the ideas arising from the mind couldn’t be analyzed properly. Everyone has got distinct ideas. The subject matter describing philosophy should be universal and not distinctive.

Other Rejected Theory

  • Metaphysics

‘Positivism’ rejected the unrealistic elements of society. The abstract concepts of this society could not be experienced universally. ‘Love’, ‘Hate’, ‘Honesty’, ‘fear’ doesn’t carry worldwide accepted definitions.  Suppose if it’s experienced by more than one source, then there is no guarantee that the thoughts would resemble dicto. Generally, the concept of metaphysics differs from a person to person. It makes it difficult to announce it as a valid philosophical inquiry. The first principle, the questions concerning realities are quite debatable. Therefore, Positivists consider the metaphysical problems as unsuitable for valid analysis.

The statement such as “Absolute is beyond time couldn’t be verified.” Nobody has ever travelled beyond time to identify the qualities of absolute. The basic idea of Substances couldn’t be logically analyzed by the logical lenses of positivism.

  • Epistemology

Epistemology is known as the theory of knowledge. It could be validated and non-validated. Knowledge of thing which could be seen or observed is true. But, the knowledge of the external world is meaningless. The knowledge of the world where humans couldn’t travel nor could send anyone for the inquiry would be difficult to be called a true/ valid knowledge.

The idea of the external world is only in mind. And the theory which defines ideas i.e., metaphysics are rejected previously as a true means to scientific truth.

Apart from all this, Logical Positivism has rejected many theoretical principles which couldn’t be verified logically. One such rejection is the acceptance of transcendental ethics.  Transcendental ethics is the ‘value’ which isn’t the case but ‘ought to’ be the case.

This kind of values which couldn’t be experienced practically is difficult to be categorised as Logical positivism. So, the guidelines of Logical Positivists are very clear. They accept the views which could be analysed logically or mathematically and they absolutely reject principles which have no logical relevance.

Beware,you are under the surveillance of CCTV.

Technology is considered as a boon and should be only used in need. Too much of the technologies around could turn evil.

Nowadays, we live in a highly protected society wherein we are continuously being watched, our activities are tracked and our behaviour is controlled. It’s like we aren’t human but aliens coming from foreign planets. We are watched as if we may be threatening to society.

Offense of Being Watched

Let’s understand, who is watching whom? Humans are watching humans for the protection of human. Isn’t it sounds weird? But, it’s a fact. Here, I am talking about the use of CCTV. You may see this line written over everywhere; “Beware, you are under the surveillance of CCTV.” You look at any corner of a premise and you see the statement written plus an electronic eye watching over you. We feel different as soon as we realised we are being watched. It becomes our mentality that any actions we may indulge in can be used against us. We feel helpless.

This kind of conditions could be observed in the workplace, shopping mall, stadium, food outlet, classrooms and home premises. How we can justify the electronic monitoring of people at the workplace as well as other zones? Don’t you think sometimes privacy is hampered by CCTV surveillance?

Everyday Example

One of my friends left her job suddenly. Her employer was good, the job was satisfactory, the salary was attractive and work surrounding was pleasant. Everything was going fine, but her sudden resignation raised doubts among employer and other staffs. She was hesitant to share her problem, and she thought better to keep it secret. Somehow I managed to get the reason. She said to me she was terrified and felt being tortured on observed and taunted all the time.  It was the time when she took a break for sometimes and left her desks, she was called for the meeting.  Knowingly, she took an important call at the workplace and again pointed at. She plugged in ear phones and played music, and once again she was asked to stop doing such acts. She felt like a slave working for her master. Her each and every activity was observed and controlled. It was enough of her to take all the taunts, and suddenly she felt she can’t work where behaviour is controlled so badly. And hence she stop going to the office the next day.

Was she right? Do electronic eyes are making us feel conscious of our free choices and doings? Do we feel uncomfortable over someone watching us every second? Does our free flow of behaviour is restricted? How well this behaviour of observing each and every employee’s activity is justified?

Ethics in Technology

Companies give justification that such technologies are used to increase the productivity of their employees. But, controlling and conditioning behaviour could be effective for how long?  There are continuous warnings given unnecessarily to the employees. They are left helpless. They don’t have any red buzzer to press and ask their employers to stop. They helplessly perform tasks like a machine. This may leave negative impressions on the mind frame of employees. They may feel hesitant to behave freely.  Sometimes, they may feel like running away from such an atmosphere. It becomes so difficult for them to breathe properly and work. The concept of being watched every time is a kind of barrier to our personal privacy. When the use of technology starts giving troubles, then it becomes a high time to rethink and implement the right changes.

Stair (1992 p.655) clearly mentions the ethical problems in the use of technologies at workplaces. According to him, people privacy is completely threatened by the use of such restrictive technologies. It can also lead to a feeling of fear of all ways being watched- he called it the Panopticon phenomenon.

To summarize, Technology is considered as a boon and should be only used in need. Too much of the technologies around could become evil and raise many observable as well as unobservable problems.  No wonder, beware of CCTV is just like beware of ‘excess use of technology’.

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