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Re: Wrong for me vs. wrong for all

May 27, 1997 04:23 PM
by Tom Robertson

On Tue, 27 May 1997 15:10:36 -0400 (EDT) "K. Paul Johnson"
<> writes:

>Tom asks how I can simultaneously say that the choice
>about lecture fees is up to an individual lodge, and that I
>would boycott a lodge that charged them.  Same principle as that I
>"boycott" cigarettes and liquor, and don't hang out in smoke-
>filled bars, but don't mind other people doing so.
>Lots of other analogies could be raised, but the bottom line is
>that one can disapprove a course of action and dissociate
>oneself from it without thereby trying to prevent others from
>doing as they choose, or insisting that they live by one's own values.

This gets to the part that I don't understand.  When people say that they
do not impose their morality on others, and that such imposition is
wrong, I don't understand what they mean.  I both do not smoke and I disapprove of those who do, but whether or not I can do both without
imposing my morality on them depends on what is meant by imposing one's
morality on others.  I often hear the very stating of an opinion about
the morality of what someone else does being included in what the
imposition of one's morality means.  If that is what it means, then it
is impossible to boycott something without imposing one's morality on
others.  Since everyone affects everyone else by everything they do,
saying that what others do is up to them is only virtuous in some
situations, to some degree.  On the other hand, if reaching out and
grabbing someone's cigarette away from them is required in order to be
imposing one's morality on a smoker, then I wouldn't do that and would
consider it to be too much of an imposition.

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