Safe incest, sex with object, consume body; survey report on answers to Hadit’s extreme “morally wrong?” Questions (1)

foreword: In one of the lectures from “Moralities in Everyday life” in Coursera, I am immediately intrigued by four of Hadit’s extreme-circumstances questions for they trigger the blind spot in people’s moral judgment—

we tend to confuse cultural values, purity, psychological issues—in common, “normalcy”—with moral right, and it is very possible that our moral judgment is based on reasons amoral, or, even unreasonable gut feelings. As a result, we use moral rationalization—do the judgment first, then find a reason to justify it—instead of moral reasoning more often. 

In this unofficial report, I would give brief results of each question, lay out big arguments I heard, analyze the elements of moralities these answers involve, and finally give my own thoughts on these questions and answers.

I. How many Yes vs. No

I asked the following four questions to more than 10 persons (including my high school classmates and teachers) per questions:

1. consensual incest between adult brothers, kept as a secret, and they remain sibling relationship—morally wrong, or not?

Brief results (more info later): out of 14 persons, 8 persons consider it morally wrong, 1 person says it depends, while 4 persons consider it not wrong.

2. a family dog gets crushed by a car and dies. the family has no planned dinner so they eat the dog’s body for fun (not for survival), and feel happy—morally wrong, or not?

out of  12 persons, 6 persons consider it morally wrong, while 6 persons consider it not wrong.

3. cleaning a toilet with your country’s flag while you have nothing else to clean it with—morally wrong?

out of 12 persons, 5 persons consider it morally wrong, 1 person thinks it depends, while 6 persons consider it not wrong.

4. having sex with chicken meat brought from grocery store—morally wrong?

out of 12 persons, 6 persons consider it morally wrong, while 6 persons consider it not wrong.

only 2 persons consider all 4 actions not wrong, while 1 person consider the 3rd action wrong only.

II. main arguments & elements of moralities involve

(arguments are ranked from intense detest, moderate, liberal)

Morally-wrong arguments:

Argument 1 (from approximately 3 people per questions): it’s a misuse of something important & defiance against sentiments and purpose—purity & authority

People with this argument believe that these actions should not happen at the first place due to its impure and unnatural nature. For consensual incest and having sex with chicken meat, they believe it is defiance against natural kinship, and/or misuse of sex which is very powerful; in family dog and country flag case, treating what you hold dear as food is a disrespect for the sentiments of family love or nationalism. One interesting thing is that 1 of these people consider only the “cleaning flag with toilet” action immoral and, moreover, absolutely immoral no matter which country it is, because it is just very badly disrespectful for the country and the connected sentiments, and this same person believe that it is wrong to eat the dog from another family because it is disrespectful to their feelings. 

How it relates to different usual standards of moral and amoral judgment?

On one hand, this kind of reasons are based on high regard these people hold for healthy purpose/ intention and it showcases somehow admirable perfectionism, wedding oneself to noble principles. It is although not necessarily about moral, but a very critical approach to attaining psychological health and spiritual fulfillment, to make life worth as much as possible;

on the other hand, another aspect of this psychological purity could be the attachment to authority—the invisible but entrenched social values and order. When they talk of “what kinship is supposed to be like” and in what kind of a “destructive, distortive manner” could incest alter the chemistry of family relationships, they have determined what is natural “between family members” based on what is socially acknowledged and prevalent. It is the same for the family dog and country flag—no factual harm would be done to anyone or oneself due to the lifelessness of both objects (corpse and flag), but the social norms have rendered these two objects with important meanings and throughout history, ritual is a critical aspect of expression of humanity’s most sincere mind and heart.

While at first confused over how even the smartest people around me could not be liberal and open-minded regard to those harmless matters-of-choice, my wise philosophy teacher A. tells me about the reasonable concerns: those social norms have been established to consolidate the order and pragmatics of the world we live in, while the repetition and passage of ritual have guaranteed to always remind the society of certain sentiments and beliefs. Once they are broken, who knows how the other keystones of the social ideology system would be broken apart? what would come next?

The respect for what we’ve become and for what makes us the way we are now, the awareness of how fragile peace and security can be, are the motives why regardless of how it actually defies the human right of personal privacy of love and stuff, people still would contempt those whose private affairs challenge the normalcy: Who would know how to maintain the family structure while once everybody in the country begins to marry their siblings, and what would happen next?

For example, he says. People were pretty concerned about the normalization of homosexuality due to the concerns regarding other social affairs, such as family hierarchy, parenting, power change, etc, and also used to be very cliche on “gender binary” to maintain the gender roles that serve the society “the best”. But once we become accepting of gay and lesbians, and then the populace of LGBTQ community grow, the world still spins as well—and with the arrangement of male-or-female bathroom remains the same, which probably contribute to the convenience of this transition.

(I am totally supportive and even admiring of LGBTQ, but fairly speaking, isn’t the relationship between gay or lesbians and the same gender the same between straight people of opposite sex? so it makes sense to assume that restroom arrangement would be different if exhibiting sexualities in the public mind have expanded, but it doesn’t. so maybe breaking conventional values would not be as disruptive. what if we are assuming too much of “what would come next”?)

(To Be Continued…would also talk about my own answers next time)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mindfulness in Japanese Culture (2): Haiku

 Japanese could always be integrated with the small in the natural world and be enlightened, dive into the specific to a journey of the universal, and one way they convey their enlightenment to others is through haiku.

Internal and External: Retrieved online

The Road of Mystery leads to our mind; vice versa. The mind is the universe; they’re in one.

Haiku—observation and enlightenment

 Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry. It is not only about the observation of the external world, but also the internal ideas, impressions, state of mind that are evoked.

The Old Pond: Beautiful Philosophy Riddles

 The point is, if you perceive the natural phenomenon with a sensitive and thoughtful heart, you can access the life riddles within them. Take a look at the simplistic The Old Pond by Matsuo Basho, the first famous Haiku composer:  

The Silent Old Pond,

A Mirror of Ancient Calm,

A frog-leaps-in-flash.

The literal interpretation is: the water is calm and peaceful, and the leap of the frog renders it vitality, and then it turns back into serene silence, as if nothing has happened. It portrays the serene beauty of the nature, its inclusiveness of dynamics and stillness.

   However, if you dig even deeper, pond is really alike to our mind and frog might refer to worldly things that jump into our mind and arouse thoughts.Then the moral might be:

   Everything we are conscious of now would become bygones and memories. Some memories, we might never literally think of them again, but they have precipitated into the deeper part of our mind. They still have an impact on us.

Mindfulness in Japanese Culture: (1) Cherryblossom

the symbol of Bushido. photo retrieved from: zhifure.com

Mindfulness in Japanese culture

What is mindfulness?

  I suppose you’re all familiar with this word. Basically, mindfulness means the full attendance to what’s before you and what’s happening now, to view things without prediction or preconception—never assume you’ve known them well enough. It reminds you that you are part of a large community with other people and other living beings, helps you understand your surroundings better and see yourself from them.

Japanese and mindfulness

   One interesting feature of Japanese, or, more accurately saying, Asian culture is their focus on ever-changing things.

   Japanese deeply understand the impermanence of life and other existences, and strive to achieve the utmost values, obtain the utmost pleasure and wisdom from the fleeting world. They interpret or practice mindfulness in daily activities in order to achieve full knowledge and awareness of things, self, and morals.

Yearly Cherry Blossom appreciation. Retrieved from: livejapan. com

Cherry blossom appreciation—life and death are two sides of spiritual fulfillment

  Cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan that is recognized by the public. Every year, people get together with family and friends to watch cherry blossom blooming or fading. In Japanese culture, cherry blossom is a symbol of the human being’s own existence: fragile but brilliant.

   Cherry blossom is eye-catching due to its pure, mellow but bright color and the spiritual gesture of it stretching outward. It bears a special kind of liveliness, and that’s what confers it charm and power. Japanese believe they should live an as passionate and glorious life as cherry blossom, by practicing a strict moral code of honor, respect, and discipline, and fully committed to their path.

   It’s sad that this powerful, beautiful flower is short-lived, but this tragic noble characteristic is exactly a critical charm of cherry blossom that appeals to Japanese—It looks still graceful and vital while it’s falling, like rain or dancing butterflies; its inner power and soul are exerted in the last minute of life. Just as cherry blossom, Japanese, especially the traditional warriors, would practice all their virtues, passion and beauty until their last moment. They believe they are devoted to and embodying a greater cause; don’t mind using death as an instrument of the full display of their moral practices of convictions, and therefore are able to embrace sacrifices with inner peace and pride.

World Affair Council Model UN 2018, WHO, Research Notes & Paper


My Committee: WHO

Topic: Mental Health

Country: Republic of Korea

img_0434-copy1

photos taken by Professor Aavatsmark A. from Watkinson School

Sources my three teammates and I used for research:

http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/korea_who_aims_report.pdf A Report on Mental Health in South Korea, 2015.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5778761 Factors Associated with Mental Health Consultation in South Korea

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5714712/ Mental Health Assessment on South Korea Adults on Probation

http://www.intheforefront.org/in-korea-there-is-no-mental-health-barriers-to-treatment/ social stigma

https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/MMHC-Country-Press-Note-Korea.pdfhttps://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/MMHC-Country-Press-Note-Korea.pdf A Report on Mental Health in South Korea Compared to Other OECD

My country’s main measures:

  1. Integrate mental health system into public

    health system (from workforces to finance) (improve quality & reduce stigma)

    • Essential medications (antipsychotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, mood stabilizer, antiepileptic) in all mental health facilities including forensic centers and day treatment centers, in all pharmacies, all physician-and-non-physician-based health care center
  • Regulate alcohol—related to mental issues and crime
  • Allocate other medical doctors (physical doctors) work in outpatient facilities
  • Raise the coverage of therapy and outpatient care (many people can’t afford consultation)
  • Training on other medical doctors: 
      • All primary care doctors should have at least one referral per month to a health professional. All primary health centers should have interaction with a complementary therapists (used alongside conventional treatments, natural methods and products)

      Because they could prescribe freely

2. Improve and diversify facilities (too long stay in mental health hospitals and not enough follow-up treatment)

  • Further establish community-based facilities (inpatient units, residential facilities), such as: improve the number of psychiatrists and nurses, the number of psychosocial staff (psychologists, social workers, therapists), build more; include forensic inpatient centers, detoxification centers, homes for the destitute or the retardation
  • Further establish outpatient: more psychosocial staff, equal amount of reimbursement insurance for outpatient care, build day treatment centers in all community
  • Fund more community-based facilities

3. Improve workforces (disproportionate among various facilities)

  • Shorten the stay in mental hospitals, increase the number of nurses and psychiatrists
  • increase the number of psychologists in day treatment centers, outpatient facilities and community-based inpatient units
  • Review involuntary admissions
  • Training:
    • Require all psychologists, medical assistants, social workers, that work in mental hospitals, community-based facilities and outpatient facilities to receive at least one-year training in mental health, and have at least 2-full-day of refresher training, every year
    • A GLOBAL MEASURE:
    • Fund abroad training/study program for psychiatrists. Psychologists, occupational therapists in developing and OECD countries

3. Better integration of NGOs into governmental administration (supplementary with community-based system)

4. Follow-up care

  • Enforce yearly psychological intervention for patients
  • Provide outside employment for severely mentally-disabled
  • welfare: Improve the amount and broaden the coverage for mental health patients

5. provide support for vulnerable groups (reduce social stigma)

teenagers:

  • Require all primary and secondary school to have at least 1 to 2 mental health professionals, and hold at least 2 times activities on mental health, to prevent social stigma
  • Enforce special services for students assessed with mental issues

criminals: (issues with judicial system/ negative effect of prison life)

  • All prisoners should have at least one meeting with therapists per month
  • Mandatory training regarding mental health on judges, judicial officers, prison officers

other minority: 

  • Mandatory exchanges between psychiatrists and therapists and minority group, closer cooperation between the department of mental health and other departments that target minority groups, ethnically, religiously, financially

Workers:

  • place limits on maximum work time
  • require at least one mental health professionals in each workplace, inform those who are suspected of mental illnesses
  • enforce special services for employees assessed with mental issues

position paper:

Mental health has been a greatly neglected topic in WHO as the UN has put most of its efforts toward maternal health. However, the effects of mental health issues are not negligible. Statistics from a 2011 study show that more women in the world die due to a mental health related issue, than in childbirth. In many countries (especially in Asia), suicide has become a major concern. Regrettably, mental health issues has been historically neglected due to the powerful stigmas surrounding mental health around the world, of mental health issues being personality flaws or signs of weakness, as opposed to being seen as a medical condition. Thus, comprehensive research, data collection and continuous updates to policies are crucial in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a healthy and productive global circumstance.

South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates compared to most well developed countries. South Korea’s poor mental health combined with it’s very high alcoholism rate are the major issues that, in combination, cause it’s incredibly high suicide rate: About 60% of all suicides are estimated to stem from depression and other mood disorders. Pressure from family to succeed and stress from work contribute to the poor mental health. Korea’s mental health and alcoholism epidemic not only endangers individuals, but also the rest of Korean society because of the crime generated from them. Alcoholism is considered as the most common mental disorder among criminals, and even higher rate among reoffenders. Other issues such as serious depression and manic episodes cause irritability, contributing to antisocial behavior. 5.8% of the Korean population is affected by depression, but only 16% of those with depressive symptoms look for help. Traditional stigma and distrust of mental health treatments are the primary cause of this. Many Koreans view having a mental health issue as a burden on their family, causing them to avoid seeking help. Poverty among many citizens is another factor that prevents Koreans from accessing treatments. Besides, as Korean health insurance usually has lower reimbursement rates for outpatient therapy as well, this not only stifles community and outpatient services, but also stimulates the monopoly of users of mental hospitals compared to other facilities that focus on follow-up treatments and consultations.

South Korea believes that the key to improving mental health around the world, is the implementation of easily accessible UN sponsored mental health clinics, mandatory mental health and substance abuse education in primary and secondary schools around the world, as well as mandatory mental health education in the workplace. We also would like to place a larger focus on community solutions and discreet and secure outpatient care, as well as working to implement new treatment methodologies in hospitals to reduce stay time in psychiatric wards.

 

Fun, insightful conversation wt soulmate (1)

Been one and a half year since I last time spent a day reconnecting with Vania. We always enjoyed talking with each other, but this time we love each other more. I think part of the reason is that I learn to listen to her more; I want to be interested in my friend and learn about her.

A. Science and Course (School)

The first time I knew her, our common interest in historical stories and abstract concepts drew us close. Last year, Vania told me through chatting app that she thought she was sentimental and thus fitting for humanistic, while I said I was born for metaphysics.

Surprisingly, she majored in Math and Engineering now, and found herself really into science.

PART 1

I: what do you think the purpose of Biology, Physics, and Chemistry should be?

Vania: I know what some schools mostly have their students do is writing lab report. I would say designing an accurate test and analyzing data are critical abilities, but the experiment is only one part of science. We need solid knowledge foundations to build up further speculation, creativity, and independent research.

The necessary skills for both Biology and Chemistry, in my opinion, are namely arising new questions/ perspectives/ approaches, and supporting your speculations with evidence (including discovering evidence, analyzing evidence, and using it to convince others)

PART 2: potential of different sciences

Vania: I think as theoretical subjects, Biology and Physics both have more room for exploration than Chemistry. Our research in Chemistry have reached the end, I think; the rest are just different applications of the known formulas. How can we make more out of Chemistry, then? I would say, to further apply it to medicine, engineering, and other practical sciences.

Biology and Physics, however, we would never know enough about. Especially Physics, it’s intangible. All of what we know is confirmed with logic and speculation.

I: Physics is really inseparable with Philosophy, right?  Remember Three Bodies by Liu Cixin? I browsed a little and remember it talking about the boundaries of the universe and stuff…  (the idea that the universe has boundaries and the idea that it has no, are just equally stunning and mysterious)

Vania: (she know what I left unsaid,  because I first came up with this idea from a book that I’ve shared with her) Right. Let me give you some examples regarding recent discoveries in Physics field. Light is not the only existence that’s both wave and particle. A car also is…

PART 3 Courses at School

While we talked about science courses, Vania mentioned that they learnt Environmental Science as an AP course in higher grades.

I: I really think we should learn Environmental Science after we’ve known enough biology and chemistry. Shouldn’t this course enhance our awareness of both the beauty and fragility of our environment? So we need to understand what different factors that make up this environment are, understand the principles and rules of how they work. The rules—or the way, is always a core of a subject.

Vania: I would agree. I also think we should combine all Science Departments. Don’t you think it’s sometimes hard to draw the line between chemistry and biology, physics and biology? I don’t think it is an effective approach of study to start a new department around a new project—neural particle, for example—but just draw on the knowledge of all kinds of Science. I suppose the only obvious benefit of building a neural particle or stuff department is to draw people’s attention to a specific topic, to make them realize: oh, I never hold such a thing at high regard before, but now I know that it could be a topic!

I: It’s sometimes supposed that the purpose of courses at school is just to introduce you to subjects—to make you know such things exist and lead you to an overview of what’s in each. What do you think?

Vania: As I said, knowledge of existing theories is fundamental for original ideas.

I: I think I get what you mean by combining four departments—it would not only keep their results of a single research a long-term legacy, but could also make future generations approach this knowledge in a more systematical perspective, right?

 

 

 

 

What’s the matter within my duties?

I browsed the application form of an online English-teaching program in Chinese rural parts, and was anxious to find out that I would need to fill out my public benefit activities experience.

All I can remember I’ve done is donating money and materials, and that’s my parents’ wealth! I’ve donated money to scholarship organizations; I’ve donated clothes and medications to whoever in need through my school. I also give money to half of the beggars or street performers I’ve seen in the streets. But I never take actions or really spend time reaching out for the disadvantageous.

But what made me feel ashamed the most, at the moment I started to rethink about these, was: I have signed a treaty to pay for two sisters’ tuition from elementary to high school, but I forgot about them after four months of transferring money! Actually, I didn’t forget this promise; I just refused to write to them or meet them, and I expected my parents to continue transferring money for me. i was not interested in seeing their growth, neither was I concerned with how they were doing in their lives.

So mom said, “if you don’t want to connect with them yourself, we won’t do charity for you.”

thinking about this really hurts. I can’t imagine how the sisters’ parents felt like when they regularly checked their bank account but received no money from me, when they gradually lost the hope that I could help them.

I just know it’s not enough to sit comfortably at home while spraying random people with money that aren’t even mine. I need to know people. I need to hear them. I need to sincerely care about different aspects of their life. Money isn’t everything.

My mom is the one who recommends this program for me. She always wants me to get out of my fanciful brain—the abstract realm of philosophy, and to be involved with the community.

Some of her public benefit programs in the past, I have declined.

She comforted me, “it’s not your responsibility to do charity anyway. Donating money is much better than doing nothing.”

“But that’s your money!” I had tears in my eyes. I am a hypocrite. 

“That’s your pocket money, and some of your peers would rather buying clothes with their pocket money than giving it to others. You can’t help everyone in the world, so focus on this one teaching program now. ”

That made me feel better. Though I don’t want to only fulfill the bottom moral line; I wish to possess and practice virtues, and keeping my promises, giving others hope, and being sincerely interested in others are certainly some.

I lift my spirits anyway. I know very well, that sometimes blaming yourself in front of others is just a way to seek sympathy; I am probably hoping others to forgive me and recognize me while saying that I am disappointed at myself.

What I need right now, is to just do it!