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<Peter Torres>
posted
Esthetics
I find a lot of confusion between "morals", "ethics"' and "esthetics". I have noticed that "morality" usually applies to religious type beliefs. "Ethics" usually applies to business. "Esthetics" is not generally mentioned. Esthetics is the realm of personal taste, no matter what the subject.
I believe that many of the arguments and disagreements here and elsewhere, revolve around esthetics. I believe that many moral and ethical claims are better represented in the vehicle of esthetics.
For that matter, I believe that, science notwithstanding, moral and ethical beliefs and systems, are based on the esthetic beliefs of groups of individuals. I do not believe in any greater or lesser right or wrong. Peter
 
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<Scott Cullen>
posted
Reply to post by Peter Torres , on November 27, 1999 at 00:09:58:

Peter I think it is even more fragmented and confusing than that.

There is also something called 'natural law' which I think represents those things which are immutably right or wrong. I would guess closely linked to morals. Just who has the inate or 'received' knowledge - or asserts they do - of these things is another isue.... is it really natural or is it based on a belief system or system(s)?

Businesses often espouse ethics to act as a constraint or balance on "survival of the fittest" or laissez-faire tactics. (But I think ethics apply to non-business life as well.) There is a real confusion, I think, between ETHICS in a business trade or profession (guiding principles, competence, truth, fairness, etc.) and STANDARDS OF PRACTICE. Some sub-standard or even non-standard practices may well be unethical. Others as you say may simply be unesthetic: Mrs. Jones is 92 on a fixed income, you tell her the tree should really be removed at 3x the cost, that topping or severe heading back will lead to eventual decline and death of the tree. She tells you she has a terminal disease, she has left the proerty to the library next door and they will take the tree down anyway to build the new wing and she will sleep more peacefully if the tree is topped. She knows she's going to die soon, she just doesn't want it to be from a branch coming through the roof. You do the job she wants. Were you unethical? Seems to me you were honest and open and explore the alternatives. Was the practice sub-standard? Maybe. Did it really qualify as a staged removal? Maybe. Even if it was sub-standard pruning was a dispensation in order? Maybe. But will you get phone calls in the middle of the night asking how you could do something so unethical to the tree? Will the next call say that you were unethical because you participated in the ultimate removal of the tree..... the library should not have a new wing if it will unethically remove a tree... let the kids read under the tree for gosh sakes, they won't melt in the rain and a little snow is good for them and they make books from waterproof (non-tree) materials now anyway you know!

Those last two complaints represent somebody's ethical (maybe esthetical) beliefs and they are entiteld to them. They are even entitled to call you unethical I suppose as long as they footnote "In my view." That may be very different from a judgement that you were unethical in society's general view, or under the specific code of your trade or professional association.

I think I've pointed out before two quite opposed ethical viewpoints that seem to appear in some of these discussions. One leans toward "save all trees at all costs, move the highway, move the city, limit population growth by any means (we'll fight with the right to lifers in another forum) and by the way we still want to be tree experts but it's unethical to prune or fertilze or cable it just ain't natural so since we still need to make a living you'll have to pay us for hanging around and telling you all how to behave." The other side says something like "gotta go out and drill holes in trees again today and eliminate all these hazards, they really ought to clear a five mile swath around any human activity to eliminate those tree hazards, that's what the right tree in the right place really means you know."

Both sides feel they have the moral or ethical or responsible high ground. Both well trained, lots of degrees and licenses and certifications maybe some gray hair too. The uncertifed, misrepresenting, poor quality work no insurance guys will be shot on site by either of these groups. As for the 95% of practicing trades and professions in the middle, well they have just not seen the light yet, poor souls. Mistakenly thinking they are ethical simply becasue they follow that self-serving code of ethics of their organization.

Yes Peter, whether you call it esthetics or not, I think you're right. There are conflicting belief systems on many sides of the generally accepted norms.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Scott Cullen, on November 27, 1999 at 00:09:58:

After re-reading my post I want to be clear that I painted rather absurd extremes to point out that there are conflicting views and that the "norm" may vary from all of them. I did not mean to suggest that views outside the "norm" might not be reasonable and well supported. We only grow and improve (society, professional practice, whatever) through the introduction of new ideas. But unless or until those ideas are incorporated into a general belief systems the it may be unreasonable to hold them out as the "ethical" standard.
 
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<allana>
posted
Reply to post by Peter Torres , on November 27, 1999 at 00:09:58:

I have a lic. in Esthetics in 2 states. Plus I am a Spa designer.It is definately about the individuals taste, and hoe they see it.
 
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<allana>
posted
Reply to post by Peter Torres , on November 27, 1999 at 00:09:58:

I have a lic. in Esthetics in 2 states. Plus I am a Spa designer.It is definately about the individuals taste, and how THEY see it.
 
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