Greetings my friends – In all my travels – I wish you long life as our dear friend Spock has. In telling you about him, it brings back – memory.
We want you to say this – with all your heart
Speak inside your conscience – and say
“I have free will, I can do what I want, and I – will kneel before the Lord. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Because God loves me, and I will love back. With all my heart.”
Read your bible – take the good – leave the rest.
Our time here on earth is short. What you do every single day creates your path.
Just read it – and believe.
In all I have done in my life – God has never forgotten me.
And he will remember you.
No matter what you have done, start today – do the right thing. And when it gets hard, impossible – take a minute and pray.
8-15-2018 – 9:19PM PST – West Coast United States of America
August is here! Thank you so much for visiting this website. If anything makes you smile, think, feel more alive – then God bless you!
It is a collection of my dreams. My ideas, and I hope it helps someone in life. I have been to hell’s entrance when I died at the hospital (ask me) – but it will be okay – we can fix it !
Help me, fix our planet. Fix our people. Make it just a little better then when you found it.
Was the Mandela Effect real?
Why do all these people remember the same thing that I do, but it was not real? Heath was really cool, I liked his work and his attitude.
I did not realize that he had died at 28. Maybe just a coincidence – but far too young. You would be shocked at the vibration of the number 28.
Most of us are too busy to pursue these strange coincidences, and we all have debt, financial issues, stress, hard jobs, and family troubles. We all do.
Someone told me yesterday the retiring age was 55 when he was a child. Now they are trying to move it up to 70. This guy told me “they are trying to work us to death”.
Well – we can enjoy every single day. We can count our blessings. We can love our family, our friends, we can help the poor. We can give to others who need. We can be better people. This is why I still work on this website. To dream and inspire greater.
In my life I have been to many dark places, some of them it would be difficult to write about. Many times I would ask, why God. Why was I given this hard of a life?
I am writing my autobiography and will share it with you all when it is published. At this rate, I have set the release to August, 20th, 2028.
Here is a riddle for you.
You saw me where I never was and where I could not be. And yet within that very place, my face you often see.
What do you think the answer is? I was never good at riddles.
Behold, my reflection. That is the answer. I really didn’t come too close myself. Want another one?
It is greater than God and more evil than the devil. The poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it you’ll die. What is it?
Think about that for a min – the answer is very simple. What is greater than God?
Nothing. Nothing is greater than God, nothing is more evil than the devil, the poor have nothing, the rich need nothing and if you eat nothing you’ll die.
The word ‘riddle’ describes a statement or question, which directly requires a concrete answer or presents a puzzle whose hidden meaning has to be deciphered. There are two kinds of riddles. First there is the enigma – a metaphorically expressed riddle – and second there is a conundrum – a very tricky problem usually including a pun in its question or answer. An example for a conundrum would be: “What is the difference between a jeweler and a jailer?” – “One sells watches and the other watches cells.”
I am always hungry and will die if not fed, whatever I touch will soon turn red.
The answer is Fire.
I just want to tell you all, that Mr. Paul Michael Black was my brother. He died in August 20th, 2006. He leaped off a mountain in Maryland. It was not his fault. Paul, we both know why that all happened. I prayed to the most high God to have him have mercy on your soul. I love you, brother.
Currently it’s still cold, a storm is passing through my town.
We had lots of dark clouds today. I want to express myself again through another podcast on soundcloud, and that is below these pictures. Just click the play button. I have disabled auto-play due to it being annoying for people who already listened to it once.
Today is the 28th day of February. Does anyone know about our planet going through the Ascension?
We have lots of things about technology, cryptocurrency, the stock market, artificial intelligence, and new health discoveries. Finding the time to gather my thoughts to write all this stuff down is so time consuming, but it should come about.
I heard the Youtube censorship is really cracking down. They are policing the channels like crazy. My vision is to buy enough bandwidth and put anything on my site that is needed, regardless of what any company thinks. We are the number28, and we live in the greatest country in the world. I also love all the other people on this planet. Just google some of the censorship going on right now, very disturbing times with free speech.
Right now however, I wanted to just rant a little and get more creative with some reality stuff and how I see things after my experience last year. God willing I can post more inspiration things and point the direction of our blogs to the greater good.
CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE BRAND NEW BLOGGING ENTERTAINMENT RANT UPDATE!
Again, always a work in progress. We want to tell you that you are important. That you matter. That we are about you and want the best for you. Love is stronger and is the highest vibration in the universe. All the planets vibrate in space and have a sound. Our spirit is demanding our attention, we all need love. We are attracted to that energy. I will tell you that the motivation keeping this site alive is through passion and pure grit.
Remember karma means if you do something good, it will come back to you. Just stay positive. I wish you a prosperous 2018 !
The number 28 is proud to announce we are working with our friends at SunSigns.org allowing us to post some of their vision on this website. It is my privilege to present:
Significance & Meaning Of Angel Number 28
When Angel Number 28 repeats itself in your life, angels are assuring you of profusion of wealth which you can enjoy. For this it is absolutely essential for you to be optimistic, self-assured, and approach life with a constructive outlook. You should be indebted to the divine forces for this abundance and this is meant for sharing with the humanity. The more you bestow on others, the more you will prosper.
Angel Number 28 Meaning
The angel number 28 meaning is a mixture of the energies and qualities of Number 2 and Number 8. Number 2 signifies team work and collaboration, perceptiveness and humanitarian service. Qualities of flexibility and compassion, synchronization and stability are the other personality traits. It also refers to the real purpose of existence and your spiritual objectives.
Angel Number 28 meaning shows that an old cycle is coming to an end and a new cycle is about to commence naturally. This change will be extremely profitable for you. Angels will look after your worldly needs during this transition.
Interesting stuff going on there. Thank you for this content SunSign admin!
We also encourage others to check out their site about astrology and the power of divine karmic laws.
Just celebrated the United States birthday of being 241 years old! Proud to be here but I really need to travel more. It really pays to know your history, it guides you into sorting out the core values of life and to gear toward what’s really important.
Still learning to go beyond jack of all trades – but things seem scattered picking a single thing to specialize in. It’s good to know, and wisdom is acquired very slowly. I talk to the older crowd to get direction with that.
Getting more organized and being stern to core values are key to directing inner happiness. To many of you reading this, just reading through some previous posts will assist in your own health and overall wellness.
The number 28 is very fascinating, I continue to grow along side of concepts with astrology, meshing with math. Exploring the beauty of geometry all around us is very rewarding.
Also, wisdom, justice, and love are 3 things that inspire to build a strong moral guideline, that helped me stay positive and strong.
Continue to stay healthy and live for those core values.
Let’s not get too personal, but I went and looked up the Biography of a 100 people who changed the world. Christ was Number One on their list.
I discovered things I never knew that I will share with you. My personal option is I believe there is a god, and it is far more deeper and complex then what we see.
I believe god can create a conscience for all men who seek him, with love, can find him. Through meditation or prayer may be given his favor.
Only unselfishly if we ask for knowledge and wisdom, and not for material things or money (not an easy task I assure you) will you be enriched. If we can’t – but try – that is why we need his mercy. Read the book of Daniel for more about that.
Now our morals and values have degraded in America. Marriage and Religion are both declining. Down to the ground. So of course this is just the current situation, hopefully, it will improve in the near future.
I did find it interesting to see Number 4 on the list is Prince Siddhartha Buddha aka The Enlightened One.
My own option is anyone who seeks god will reach him, with true love, no matter what religion you are. In time – you will find him.
In a dream I had there was every church in the world all in a circle – with a beautiful lake in the middle with white sand all around. The Almighty was on a throne in clouds above it where you couldn’t see it sorta like starring directly at the sun, you just couldn’t quite make out what was there, except it hurts your eyes.
Then, all the churches and temples had specks of light floating up to the sky, maybe energy or holy spirit?
Just my opinion, my dreams, that I share with you all. I didn’t know much about the Buddha – but reading about him showed me how fascinating his teachings were.
The Christ and Buddha really did change the world. Here are some of the fundamentals of the teachings that I discovered about Prince Buddha to inspire you.
* The Four Noble Truths: That suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.
* The Noble Eightfold Path: Right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
* Love. The Buddha stressed the importance of calming the mind and seeking the peace that each individual has within. With this inner peace, we can react to awkward situations with love, compassion and generosity.
Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.
– The Dhammapada
* Power of the Mind. The Buddha taught it is our own mind which creates our own suffering, but also we can use this power to create happiness.
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much
as your own unguarded thoughts.”
– The Buddha
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
– Lord Buddha
The Eightfold plan is something I was unaware of. We are looking into this… I believe all cultures have something to offer to a reasonable mind.
While we are still talking about great people – the Dalai Lama comes to mind. Here is someone who is Number 65 on their list. Dalai Lama (1938 – ) Spiritual and political leader of Tibetans. SOURCE = 100 People Who Changed The World
Also fair to mention – Number 28 on their list is Konrad Adenauer (1876 – 1967) –German Chancellor post WWII.
Not our list but I understand.
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
― Albert Einstein
This year his theory of gravitational waves were detected therefore proving Einstein’s theory.
He figured it out in 1916, and 100 years later – we verified he was right.
Why should we care about gravitation waves? What about energy? There are many other discoveries just around the corner. We have just touched the surface on the transformation of energy.
We know the world has two geographic poles, the polar N and S. That is earth’s magnetic field at play. Imagine a massive magnet bar inside of the Earth, and you will get an idea what Earth’s magnetic field is shaped like.
Now earth does NOT have a giant bar magnet inside it – but it does have a field made by rotating swirling motion of molten iron around Earth’s outer core.
So we have the North Pole and the South Pole. The world also has two magnetic poles: the North Magnetic Pole and the South Magnetic Pole. The magnetic poles are near, but not exactly in the same places as the geographic poles. So two different things, a geographic pole and a magnetic pole.
The needle in a compass points towards a magnetic pole. The compass needle points pretty much due North unless your in the Southern Hemisphere – it points South.
However, if you are near either pole, the compass really becomes useless. It just points to the magnetic pole, NOT the TRUE geographic pole.
Our magnetic field is also tilted a little bit. So on an angle of about 11°, it is no guess that the magnetic poles and the geographic poles are not in the same place. I will note the magnetic poles actually move around. The spinning motions of the our planet’s magnetic field, the swirling motions, are changing all the time.
The magnetic field is actually changing, therefore the magnetic poles move. In the 1800s the poles moved an estimated 5.6 miles per year. For some reason, after 1970, they started moving faster. Recently they are moving around 25 miles per year.
The Northern and Southern Lights happen near the magnetic poles because of the charged particles (protons and electrons).
While our magnetic fields and energy are fluctuating – our Universe continues to expand. Our world is constantly moving, vibrating, and traveling in circular patterns.
A proven fact is all forms of matter contains an underlying energy of vibration. In fact, everything in the universe is vibrating – from the atom, the molecule, even the seed or a rock. Vibration exists in every living thing. Energy. It never dies. The constant rate of vibration determines the energy form. Slow vibration manifests as a rock, fast vibration is the wind, and very vast high vibrations register as sound or music. Here is the kicker – thoughts and feelings make our atoms vibrate – so they are also energy vibrations.
Even our nervous system consists of tiny ion pumps that maintain an imbalance flux of the inside and outside of the nerve cells. Changing patterns inside our body when a nerve cell fires, energy is allowed to suddenly flow through the cell membrane. With every breath – your heart is beating to love, and a myriad of oxygen and nutrients flow to the nerve cells in the body to pump ions.
We also contain forms of chemical energy like fats and sugars. When our central nervous system creates electrical energy – we lose an equal amount of chemical energy. So, rather than being energy, life is all about this moving energy – transforming it – from one form to another.
Just like magnets – positive attracts positive – and our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions produce vibrating energy, our atoms, which in turn desire other like energies.
Negative energy is also magnetized to other also negative vibrations. We must then, instead of reacting to all the energy around us – we must create it from the energy within, and focus on your attention to what you want to attract.
Higher vibrations consume and transform lower ones. Therefore, we have the power to change the conditions in our lives by learning how to utilize our thoughts and emotions (our energy).
When you give to a charity, or give up your time – using your energy positively, it will be converted and returned to you. Maybe not right away – but the energy will be sent out and transformed – and come back you.
As we all know – for every action is an equal and opposite reaction.
If we give, we will receive. Our energy will be transformed and converted. In my experience, nothing is closer to the truth.
Learn, Live, and Love!
Happy Valentine’s Day 2016!
Today, on Febuary 14th, 2016 – let’s continued be inspired. To learn how to give more, to love greater, and to believe in the power of Virtue.
On Valentine’s day we see all the red flowers, cards, and a cycle of expectations and material things. While this is good in it’s own way, it isn’t the point and certainly not the only way to show love.
Love is beyond those pink ribbons, chocolate boxes, and post cards. While I give them myself, due to an expectation, we shouldn’t be required to.
Give flowers every month, chocolates every week. Give love everyday. Why not?
Why do we even have Valentine’s Day?
You can Thank Saint Valentine.
Saint Valentine was a Roman Priest during the reign of Emperor Claudias, who had persecuted members of the church at that particular time.
Claudias had enacted a law that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers – because married soldiers might be afraid to die if they had wives or families to go back to.
The legend claims that soldiers were sparse at the time so this was a big inconvenience to Emperor Claudias. Valentine also refused to sacrifice to the pagan roman gods, as Christ never commanded this.
Valentine lived in very harsh and critical times, and he had the courage to go against this confinement edict.
The church established that marriage was very sacred and believed that it was to be encouraged. This immediately presented a problem to the church about what to do.
The idea of encouraging people to marry, under God, was what Valentine was all about. And he secretly married them despite the edict law.
Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second.
One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind.
Valentine performed a miracle through God and Christ when he prayed with the daughter, and healed the young girl of blindness and sickness.
Because of this miracle, with such astonishing effect, the roman judge Asterius himself became a Christian as the result.
In the year of 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation.
The last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter, and then he signed it, “from your Valentine.”
Valentine was killed because he did the right thing, he believed in marriage, love, and that men have the right under god to be married and united.
Valentine has come to be known as the patron Saint of Lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage, it requires a priest to secure your vows, under God.
To this day, White friars Street Church is one church that house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage, and memory of this Christian Saint.
The Number 28 Inc. proudly supports Mr. Donald J. Trump to be our next president of the United States of America and lead the free world.
Currently he holds the #1 lead at twenty eight percent.
We endorse him and wish him luck tomorrow at the Iowa Caucus 2016 event on February 1st, 2016.
Our country has done great things, putting a man on the moon just touches the surface on the freedoms and social conquests for humanity that the USA has established.
I fear what the world would become without the USA. However corruption, politics, greed, and gluttony has destroyed a once mighty nation. Our forefathers are rolling in their graves.
We NEED to Make America Great Again.
I believe in his pledge, his vision, and trust him to get the job done correctly and honorably.
We here at thenumber28 salute you, Mr. Trump. Godspeed.
Currently Donald J. Trump has surged past Ted Cruz in Iowa, while Hillary Clinton is holding a three-point lead over Bernie Sanders, according to the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll before the Iowa caucuses.
Trump leads Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 5 points.
Trump captures the support of 28 percent of likely caucus-goers, compared to 23 percent for Cruz, 15 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and 10 percent for former neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
On the Democratic, the data shows Clinton up over Sanders 45 to 42 percent, with just three percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
I believe in America, I believe in Mr. Trump.
In God We Trust. Go Trump !!
I have been on a course to renew my A+ Certification. Its easy for me, but hard finding the time to go through all the pretests when I work over 9 hours a day.
The 28th is a day where we are inspired, we are challenged to push for more right when the next month is going to take over. We want to expand our common interests, and capture the best in ourselves before it is too late.
The 28 is a second chance. A re-birth. A symbol of hope and dreams.
May you all reach higher, become smarter, and become all your maker wants you to be. Today will bring out the most challenge, and the best of your humanity.
God Bless this Day!
He teaches logic and ethics in all their branches, the virtues of all herbs and precious stones, can make a man witty, eloquent, invisible (invincible according to some authors), and live long, and can discover treasures and recover lost things.
He is depicted as a strong man.
The Thirty-first Spirit is Foras. He is a Mighty President, and appeareth in the Form of a Strong Man in Human Shape. He can give the understanding to Men how they may know the Virtues of all Herbs and Precious Stones.
He teaches the Arts of Logic and Ethics in all their parts. If desired he maketh men invisible, and to live long, and to be eloquent. He can discover Treasures and recover things Lost. He ruleth over 29 Legions of Spirits, and his Seal is this, which wear thou, etc.
— S. L. MacGregor Mathers (1904)
Whoa? WOW! This totally blew my mind!
I do believe in good vs evil – this is scary!
We might do a post on who this S. L. MacGregor Mathers is!
BTW – I am taking another cisco class – so I will have time to upload what we are doing in class! Yay!
Come back for Cisco stuff and just good ol’ team 28 news!
Wow this guy Ramsey McNabb is insane! This was interesting.
Usually, when someone is called a ‘person of principle’ it is meant as a compliment. For the most part, we take that phrase as applying to the ethical elite: those who lead highly moral lives, and never, or at least rarely, fail to follow their moral principles. A person of principle means someone who faithfully follows their principle or set of principles rather than abandoning them when convenient. If faced with a seemingly difficult decision in life, he or she will refer to his or her guiding set of principles and then merely deduce the correct action from it. If on rare occasions such principled people do not behave according to their principles, they would consider such actions to be moral mistakes on their part.
A Christian would certainly strive to be a person of principle. Such a person would live his or her life according to the moral guidelines set out in the Bible, especially for instance the Ten Commandments. Suppose Norbert, a Christian, really wants to get his son a wristwatch from the local department store, but cannot afford to pay for it. He is quite certain that he could steal the watch without being caught. To resolve his inner dispute, all he has to do is refer to his set of guiding principles, and he will recall that “Thou shalt not steal” applies. Norbert, being a man of principle, leaves the store disappointed, without the watch, but also without having violated his principle, and therefore without having acted immorally.
A committed utilitarian is also a person of principle. Suppose Amina is walking down the street, on her way to tutor a boy she knows so that he can pass his upcoming biology test. Suddenly she sees two children stumble into a crevasse left by last week’s earthquake. No one else is around, and it would probably take quite some time for her either to save the children herself, or call for help and wait for it to arrive. She is faced with a dilemma. She can go do her tutoring, and ignore the accident she just witnessed; or she can help the children and miss her tutoring commitment. Being a committed utilitarian, and therefore a person of principle, all she needs to do is consult her guiding principle: “Do whatever will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.” That solves her problem, because saving the two trapped and wounded girls helps the people who are most in need, and it also helps the greater number of people.
A person who lives her life by Kant’s ethical theory would also be a person of principle. Suppose that Terra, a Kantian, finds a fifty-dollar bill on a football field, and she pockets it, because after looking carefully, she does not see anyone else around. Lucky for her, because she could sure use the money to buy her mom that ceramic pit bull terrier for Christmas. However, ten minutes later, Biff, the quarterback of the football team, comes over to the field and seems to be scouring the ground, as if he’s looking for something he lost. Terra quickly concludes that the money is probably his. Being a person of principle she consults Kant’s categorical imperative, which is her highest guiding principle: “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will to become a universal law.” She figures on that basis that anyone who finds money should be able to keep it if they don’t know to whom it belongs. But the case has changed, and she couldn’t possibly will that everyone should always keep the property of others just because they’ve briefly misplaced it. She returns the money to Biff, who promptly uses it to buy a ceramic football player for his father.
These are people of principle. They have beliefs and they are committed to living their lives according to those principles. They seem to be highly moral people who make excellent ethical choices. But watch where their principles take them…
Norbert the Christian is invited to go flying with his pilot friend Erica. They fly up north for about an hour, but then the engine gives out and Erica crash-lands the plane in a farmer’s field. Erica is trapped in the cockpit and begs for water. Norbert leaves her and runs to the nearby farmhouse. He knocks on the door but there is no answer. He notices a “NO TRESPASSING” sign. He also notices a hose attached to a tap on the side of the house. He could get water for Erica, but that would be stealing, since he has not been given permission by the owner. Norbert, being a person of principle, will not steal, no matter the case, so he fails to provide Erica with her much-needed water.
When our utilitarian, Amina, grows older, she becomes a doctor. A patient, Mr. Wiggles, comes to see her because he has sliced his finger badly. It’s only hanging on by a flap of skin. Mr. Wiggles would like Amina to repair his hand; but she has other ideas. She has four severely ill patients, who all need urgent transplants to survive their illnesses. The first needs a heart transplant; the second needs two new lungs; the third a bone marrow transplant; and the fourth needs a new liver. When she checks his medical files, Amina notices that Mr. Wiggles is a perfect match for all these patients. Amina sedates and slaughters him (against his will), and uses his organs to save the other patients. She manages to keep the entire procedure a secret from the public, and from everyone involved. She has brought about the greatest good for the greatest number of people. She has sacrificed one life, but saved four.
Our Kantian, Terra, sees a young girl run past frantically. The girl scurries underneath a nearby parked Honda Civic and hides. Moments later, a notorious escaped murderer comes onto the scene and inquires into the whereabouts of the girl. Terra thinks about Kant’s categorical imperative, and realizing that she could not universalize the maxim of her action if she were to lie, she decides to tell the truth, and thereafter the young girl is attacked and killed.
There is an exception to every rule, they say, and maybe they’re right, especially in ethics. Maybe being a person of principle isn’t such a good idea after all…
Dealing With The Exception
The exception is perhaps the greatest obstacle for any moral theory to deal with. You adopt a supposedly ideal moral system which should tell you what to do to act morally in any possible case: all you have to do is deduce the proper action from your principle or set of principles, then follow it. No problem. You’ll be doing the right thing, and acting without sin. But then you run into that odd, unexpected situation where following your rulebook doesn’t seem so neat and tidy. This new case is special, unique, and unanticipated by your ethical system. In fact, it just feels wrong to follow the rules here in this instance. Do you go with your rulebook, or your current intuition?
There are many who would step in and try to defend principled (rulebook style) ethics. They have three obvious defenses:
(1) Simply deny that apparent problems create exceptions.
(2) Hold the view that principles can be rewritten so that the apparent exceptions are no longer exceptions.
(3) Argue that each apparent exceptional case is really a case of conflicting principles, where two or more principles both apply, but one is overruled by another of greater priority.
The first defence holds that there are no exceptional cases. This means that when our current intuition clashes with the principle on which we base our moral system, we should follow our principle, no matter how wrong it might feel.
While this response avoids the problem of the exception, it pays a price that is far too high, often leading us to sacrifice the well-being of innocent people in service of a principle. This is highly counterintuitive and difficult to stomach. It also requires that we have one single overarching principle which defines our entire ethical system, since a plurality of principles would lead to situations where the principles conflict. But the notion that everything that matters morally can be summed up into one action-guiding principle is extremely questionable.
The second defence holds that when faced with an exceptional case, we should rewrite our principles so that the apparent exception is no longer an exception. So in Terra’s situation, where she must choose between lying and allowing an innocent person to be attacked, she might adjust her “do not lie” principle so that it becomes “do not lie unless you must do so to protect innocent people.” While this approach sounds perfectly reasonable, it completely undermines the authority of Terra’s moral principles. After all, if she can overrule and amend her principles whenever she sees fit, it is really Terra who is doing the moral work, and not her principles. Furthermore, as soon as Terra admits that her principles are open to adjustment, she has no assured principled method of determining in any new case whether it is time to follow her principle as it was, or whether it is time to rewrite it yet again.
The third approach would rank different principles in such a way that even though each principle matters, some matter more than others. So, for example, lying might always be a moral minus, but allowing an innocent person to be attacked could be a greater moral minus. Hence, lying, though itself wrong, is morally required in Terra’s case.
This might be the most plausible of the three defences of principles, but there are also drawbacks to taking this route. To know which principle wins out in cases where principles conflict, you would either have to rank all the principles on a hierarchy, or else leave it up to an individual to decide priority on a case-by-case basis. Ranking all moral principles would be a troublesome task, to say the least; but leaving it to be decided on a case-by-case basis seems to minimize the moral authority of principles and the guidance that they can provide, leaving a lot to individual judgement. Further, if there is a strict hierarchy, there will be a top deciding principle, which leads to the same problems as with the first defence.
The above three defenses all deserve substantial consideration – certainly more than can be devoted in this article – but in the end I believe that there is a fourth option, and that the fourth one is the best. It’s a theory which is steadily gaining momentum and strength in philosophical circles, even though it flies in the face of much of the history of moral philosophy.
Moral philosophy for the most part has historically been an attempt to find the right principles by which we should live our lives. Whether it is a set of divinely inspired commandments, Mill’s principle of utility, Kant’s categorical imperative, or some other principle(s), determining the proper course of action in any given situation has been thought to require little more than deducing from the right set of universal principles, and moral philosophy has, for the most part, been a search for that perfect set of principles. But I believe that moral judgement is not a matter of applying some overarching universal moral principles. In my view, it is quite the opposite. I propose instead that the moral knowledge we have is founded on particular cases, and that the principles we have are mere generalizations from those cases. Thus, our fourth option when faced with exceptional moral cases is: Allow our particular moral judgements to simply override our principles, thereby invalidating those principles.
This approach lands me among those who propose a theory known as moral particularism. The moral particularist holds that the traditional approach to ethical theory is not the best. Rather than deducing the right action from some principle or set of principles, the particularist holds that moral judgement can get along just fine without any dependence on principles.
Imagine that you see a young girl crash her bicycle. She is knocked unconscious, and lying on a set of railway tracks only a dozen steps or so from you. In the distance, you see a train approaching, although it’s still thirty seconds from reaching the girl. What goes through your mind? Do you do a quick mental survey of your moral principles and attempt to apply them to the situation so that you can deduce what the right thing to do might be? Do you compare your two options – saving her and watching her die – and then apply the categorical imperative or the principle of utility to see which action your principle recommends? Or does it occur to you immediately that you should help her, without any application of principles? The moral particularist thinks that you do not need to apply a moral principle to conclude that you should help her. For the particularist, moral knowledge starts in clear-cut cases like this. If you know anything at all with regard to morality, you certainly know you ought to help the girl. You know you should help her even if you do not know any greater universal principles like the categorical imperative or the principle of utility.
W.H. Gass makes a similar point about clear cases: “When we try to explain why they are instances of good or bad, of right or wrong, we sound comic, as anyone does who gives elaborate reasons for the obvious, especially when these reasons are so shamefaced before reality, so miserably beside the point.” (W.H. Gass, ‘The Case of the Obliging Stranger’, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 66, No.2, 1957, p.196.) If the particularist is pressed to explain why you should help the young girl on the railway tracks, then rather than appealing to some overarching impersonal principle, the particularist will reply with particular reasons, for example: “The girl will die if you do nothing,” or “Because she’s about to get crushed,” or “Her family will be devastated,” or “Wouldn’t you want to be saved if you were in her shoes?”
So the particularist has a different interpretation of the relationship between particular cases and moral principles. Exceptional cases do not trouble particularists, since principles are mere generalizations from cases anyway. For the particularists, principles are, at best, helpful moral crutches. We can fall back on them when we are unable to properly examine the details of a specific case, or when our judgement is impaired or untrustworthy, or when we do not have enough information to fully understand what makes a particular case unique. But it should be made clear that for particularists, moral principles are tools that exist only to serve and help us, and they should be ignored or modified when they don’t. On the contrary, for universalists (believers in universal principles), our moral competence depends on how well we serve universal principles. Yet there is something strange about the notion that morality is ultimately a matter of applying impersonal moral principles to particular cases – morality becomes a matter of calculation rather than care. M.U. Walker makes a similar point: “Even as the theories tell us how to live they defeat or defy motives of attachment to particular people that give us reasons to live or allow us to live well.” (M.U. Walker, Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics, Routledge, 1998, pp.30-31.)
If you are not yet convinced, imagine that someone asks you to justify the commonly-accepted principle that murder is wrong. How would you do it? If you are inclined to respond by giving examples of how terrible murders can be, then you are agreeing with the particularists, since you would be using particular cases to justify principles, and thereby treating principles as derivative. Yet justifying moral principles without appealing to specific cases seems almost impossible. As R.W. Krutzen writes, “One could not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of innocent persons is wrong’ if one did not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of this innocent person is wrong’.” (R.W. Krutzen, ‘In Defence of Common Moral Sense’ Dialogue 38, 1999, p.259.)
Other Arguments For Particularism
Jonathan Dancy, author of Ethics Without Principles, is most likely the leading proponent of moral particularism. He argues for what he calls reasons holism, which holds that a certain factor can constitute a reason in favour of doing an action in one situation, while constituting a reason against doing that same action in another situation. For example, the fact that “a lot of people will be there” is sometimes a good reason to avoid a place; but it is also sometimes a good reason to go to that place. If you want peace and quiet, it will be a reason against, but if you want to be involved in the festivities, it will be a reason for. Dancy claims that this sort of holism is generally accepted outside of the realm of morality, but is not at all popular in the realm of morality, where many philosophers assume that a moral factor must make the same sort of difference wherever it occurs. Dancy challenges that assumption, and argues that there is no clear distinction between moral reasons and other reasons. Reasons holism works just as well in morality, he thinks. For example, the fact that an action will cause inconvenience to someone is usually a reason not to do it. It would be wrong, for example, to trip up an elderly man who is taking his Sunday stroll to the neighbourhood church. However, if a child-molesting kidnapper is running down the street with a child in his arms, the tripping-up action’s status as inconvenience-causing is a reason in favour of doing it! According to Dancy, if reasons do not function the same way in all cases, then universal moral principles cannot be the foundation of moral thought.
Other particularists rely on Wittgenstein to strengthen their position. Following Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblances, they argue that it is possible to acquire a concept through experience even if there is no ‘essence’ to the concept, or any clear definition of the concept. Wittgenstein argues, for example, that there is no essential definition available for the concept of games. Some games involve running, but not all games. Most games involve competition, but not all do, because many games are played individually. Also, there are some things that involve running and competition that are not games. So it is thought by Wittgenstein that games share similarities, as members of families do, but that there is no one key ingredient which defines the essence of games. Nevertheless, we regularly use the concept and language of ‘games’, and we do so with little difficulty. Some moral particularists want to say that moral concepts, like right and wrong, are similar to such concepts, in the sense that they have no single essence, but they can be used and understood anyway.
There is certainly much more to be said about moral particularism, both for it and against it, and this discussion has barely scratched the surface. I don’t expect that every reader will immediately agree that moral principles are unnecessary. That would be unrealistic, since moral philosophy itself is (still) often seen as the search for the right set of universal principles. I do, however, hope I have cast doubt on the universalist position, and have offered particularism as a theoretical competitor. We should at least not just assume that moral thought is a top-down affair, in which proper moral action is deduced from higher moral principles. We should at least acknowledge and consider the possibility that it might be the other way around – that moral thought is a bottom-up affair, in which the building blocks of moral knowledge are the clear particular moral cases, and that moral principles are inductive derivations from those cases. There are many important ongoing battles which characterize what philosophy is all about, for example empiricism vs. rationalism, freedom vs. determinism, and Cartesian dualism vs. eliminative materialism. I suggest that the moral particularism vs. moral universalism debate should take its rightful place as one of philosophy’s greatest battles.
Just heard someone got shot in the leg defending his new big screen by the local thieves guild.
Went to FRYS – the entire parkinglot was packed – that is like a football field full of cars –
In other news – I have a new job coming! Already been promised it – just needing to complete
this last test for my licensing…
Learning a bunch – my loyal fans I love you all – and god bless you!
The number 29 – or 30th on my site – is getting more love today – but we will win the fight! ( wtf – why is the date a day forward – hmm – mental/web note FIX IT! )