Changes of an Ethical Nature

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Some will notice that I have removed a few posting from the blog.  I hesitated before doing so – after all, generally changing a blog ex post facto is considered poor form.  Proper practice is to either add an “update” to the end of the post or strikethrough elements which are either no longer relevant or have been shown to be {ahem} less than truthful.  But, in this case, I had compelling reasons.  I realized (belatedly, alas) that my audience has changed since my blogging heyday.  I have lots of new people checking out this blog as opposed to a few dedicated readers.  These new people (welcome!) know and care little about my background, character or foibles.  When they read postings that presume these shortcuts they will get the wrong impression. That seems both unfair to me, the author, and off-putting to the reader. Hence the changes.

But, I hesitate due to that pesky convention of not deleting blog posts, even given extraordinary situations.  But I realized: I’m a Moral Agent – I can make ethical decisions and, using the tools recently acquired from my Ethics class, I decided to test the idea against the different schools of Meta-ethical judgment.

Meta-ethical School Main Proponent May I delete the postings?
Hedonism Epicurus Sure! Do what makes you feel good.
Utilitarianism Mills Yes, since deleting the old blog posts will benefit the greater number of people
Kantian Kant Tough to say. Arbitrarily changing posts would fail the universality test. However, allowing misleading posts to persist would also violate a Categorical Imperative.
External Impostion Hobbes Yes, I have the power to change it and resist consequences then I can make the changes
Will to Power Nietzsche Yes, my will to do good is compelling this course of action.
Ethical Communism Marx Yes, because it is an effort to bring about the workers paradise. (Think about that, Comrade!)
Ethical Egoism Rand Yes, because I need to do it to stay true to my self
Existential Ethics De Beauvoir Yes, because unlike the deleted posts the replacements will contain my authentic voice
Situational Ethics Fletcher Yes, because my love of man compels the change
Reality Ethics A whole bunch of guys (including most pre-Marx Christian types) Maybe not, depending,  Why not keep the old posts and ask forgiveness or add rather than take away?

So, from the objective perspective, as a Reality Ethics type it doesn’t look good. Ah, but I will plead my case from subjective perspective. I am accountable and aware of deleting the posts as the task requires some technical knowledge.  What I am thinking is that this step will actually clarify and give a better understanding of the author (me!) and greater context in a way not to flatter but to elucidate.  This is coming from two directions: a desire to be understood and my fetish for precision in language.  The lesson learned is not to be so swift to post something just to post “something” and, more generally, to realize that being in a new environment means discarding many of the personality short cuts I have acquired from living in the same place for nearly my entire life.  Therefore, from the subjective perspective of reality ethics it would indeed be ethical to delete/change the posts.

Finally, if one measures the change by impact or outcome, my site stats say that only one person has visited the pages in question.  So, to that person I say “sorry”.

P.S.            While irrelevant from an ethics standpoint, the fact that one of the best posts on NOT deleting/changing blog posts is now a dead link doesn’t hurt.  Also, the posts I deleted also exist in Flicker: here and here.


Open Mouth….

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From a writing perspective I have been most uncharacteristically quiet going on nearly 18 months. There are multiple reasons for this hiatus but the best and most recent excuse is the replacement of my Aortic Heart Valve. I have been on a slow but certain path to recovery as my strength and stamina painstaking return via a regimen of exercise and diet. During this time I’ve been following social media of people world famous in Columbus as well as those from Back East and abroad.

At long last, I felt well enough to contribute to the online discussion. So, did I talk about how grateful I am for every day I have on the earth and how lucky I feel to be married to such a wonderful woman as my wife?

Um, no

OK, did I speak of the holiday season? About how enjoyable the holidays are now that we split them between bucolic, old-school Ohio and New York where we see families and I need to be reminded that I’m not a character in an MGM movie?


How about an easy one. About our Christmas tree this year is the second best I’ve ever had (after 2008) and how it miraculously went from an askew shrubbery to a wondrous decoration simply by my wife and I decorating it together with ornaments reflecting our lives together (with the help of two golden retrievers).


My first post during this renaissance was a full-on, both-barrels screed savaging a nice and well intentioned post on “Late Bloomers”. The sentiment was above reproach: that age should not be seen as an impediment to achievement. To illustrate some noteworthy (some would say notorious) “late bloomers” were cited – this is what prompted my bilious response.

I am neither a follower of the “great man” (or whatever the politically correct term is) theory of history neither am I an adherent to “forces of history“. But when individuals are elevated to a height without regard to their frailty it sets off alarm bells. “Great man” describes not only a historical approach but a political philosophy: a malicious philosophy which has caused great damage here and tragedy abroad. Who knows, perhaps I *was* listening after all in Sunday School when the point being driven home was that there was only one flawless character and even He wasn’t above losing his temper or making a mistake.

But, dust having been blown off the composition section of my brain, I am now ready to start writing again and “save others the trouble”.

Identify the ham

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Identify the ham
Originally uploaded by tlillis4

A fun picture taken at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Judy and I went to see “An Ideal Husband”.

“To love oneself is to begin a lifelong romance”

As I was saying…

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As I was saying…

I’ve been fooling around with different hosting sites: Blogspot, TypePad, iWeb on my Me site before settling on WordPress.  Mainly because WordPress has good integration tools with the iPhone and handles pictures well (I’m very visual, you know).  Plus my friend, “Mr. Levittown”, has offered to offload it to my personal hosting site when I’m ready.  So that’s why I’m on WordPress.

I can’t say why I started blogging again but I do know when I stopped: June 15, 2007.  The reason was my younger brother.  We were at a Formula One race and I was keeping a running commentary on our actions so he, naturally, started asking in his laconic way “is this going into the blog”?  He never in a million years wanted to discourage my writing: quite the contrary. In my mind, questions like “should I blog this” this began to be followed by “what’s the point of writing it” which followed with “what’s the point of living” it.  That way madness lies: analysis paralysis.   There were other postings after that but they were half-hearted and uncoordinated by even my jazz-like standards.  The best blogs have an element of stream of consciousness to them. Curious I should be so afflicted when famously I prattle on oblivious in other contexts (particularly at family gatherings).

Right now I know hardly anybody, if anybody, is reading this so if I’m shouting down an empty lift shaft who’s to care what I’m saying.  Any if they are reading, well, that’s their own fault.  I can be writer; I can be editor.  Call it a personal weakness but it seems I can’t do both.

What I can do is grumble with good humour about matters meaningful and trivia.  Oh, and assure my mother that I am eating properly.

Enjoy (or Not!) ☺

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