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assignment 1 - Doublethink Is it possible to consider...

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Doublethink Is it possible to consider oneself a moral being without resorting to some form of “doublethink”? According to Judith A. Boss in her book Analyzing Moral Issues , it is. She says, “Knowing how to ground discussions of moral issues in moral theory and good moral reasoning will make us less vulnerable to persuasive, but logically incorrect, thinking.” (Boss, 3) The persuasive, but logically incorrect, thinking Boss talks about is double think. According to Boss, becoming well grounded in moral philosophy and moral theories is an easy and simple way to avoid resorting to doublethink, but it is not as easy and simple as she makes it out to be. Even Boss herself, an expert in moral philosophy and theories, practices doublethink numerous times throughout her book. Also, the moral theories explained by her are very conducive to practicing doublethink. In her book, Boss oversimplifies a very complicated issue. She offers very “cookie cutter” theories and methods for being a moral person, that do not take into account how to act or think about some of the more complicated moral issues. Although Boss tries to convey the idea that becoming a moral person is easily attainable, a closer examination of the text shows it to be hard, if not impossible, to do so without practicing doublethink. Boss tries to promote being a truly moral person, without practicing doublethink, though she herself practices it throughout the text. She says, “Slavery is now considered highly immoral in the United States.” (Boss, 7) While this is true, at the same time almost all American products are produced overseas by laborers that work long grueling days for low pay, which might as well be slave labor. Because the majority of Americans do not see or know about this slave labor, they consider themselves moral beings. This is an example of doublethink because Boss and many other Americans are opposed to slavery, yet benefit from slave labor anytime they use a product from overseas.
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Another example of doublethink from Boss’ text is found in her table of stages of moral reasoning. The stage of postconventional reasoning states, “social contract or legalistic (obey useful social rules; appeal to social consensus and majority rule as long as minimal basic rights are safeguarded) Conscience and universal principles (autonomously recognize universal rules, such as justice and equality; respect for equal human rights and the dignity of each individual.)” (Boss, 15) The first part of postconventional moral reasoning says to obey
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This essay was uploaded on 10/23/2007 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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assignment 1 - Doublethink Is it possible to consider...

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