Moral intuitionINTRODUCTIONEveryday, we people are faced with different decisions to make.
These are decisions that regards career, action towards family members, friends and even in their relationship with God. Basically, people are always in constant dilemma on how they will live their lives. Their actions are their lives in general. What they manifest are their lives.
Actions mirror who they are and what they are. People are always in search everyday of the right actions. This search is constantly present and a life long act of people.People always think on how they will manifest their lives.
Actions are always responses to something. People are confronted with different circumstances. Actions are the way people react to own desires and situations. People are always in the center of deciding what to do.
They are always in the center because there are two poles of actions. One pole is to manifest badness and the other is to manifest goodness. The two poles are completely opposite and man is put in the middle thinking what to embody.There are many criteria for an act to be right.
There are many ethical theories and standards made available by different thinkers and even ordinary people. Some of the criteria for an action were adapted by the society. It is embedded in their culture and tradition. Some criteria for the rightness and wrongness of actions were even put and translated into laws.
These are the laws that people follow everyday.Laws are the criteria that society uses to check and restrain people from doing bad things. Bad things are seen as actions that may inflict harm to other people and the society in general. As a product of reason, people made laws to protect themselves.
People, in a deliberate act of protecting themselves, they form conventions and made social contracts to attain such goal. It is in the state of nature of people that they desire for protection and security. People always would want to protect themselves from harm.In this paper we will dwell on two cases of moral dilemma and try to find out what act must be appropriate to such situations.
When the doctor is on drugs I. The doctor is caught in between his moral duties, as a doctor, and as friend. As A doctor, he ought to serve the best interest of his profession, that is, to render health and medical services to the patient, vis-à-vis, to uphold and save life of the patients. As a friend, he ought to protect the interest and profession of his co-physician-cum-personal friend so as not to embarrassed to the medical society and denigrated by society, and be devastated in his life and his profession.
The doctor ought to be careful with his action to produce the greatest good possible. This is inline with the theory of George Edward Moore on intuitive apprehension.The proper course of action depends upon a condition that such action must yield or produce the most consequential benefit. While his paradigm is basically that which beneficial generally to humanity, the major consideration is still laid on the basis of practicality.
There is therefore a duty to assess which of the two courses of action will lead to greater good consequences and lesser prejudices or damages. In which case, the doctor must try to quantify or measure the attending circumstances that affect and would affect his choice of action.The goodness of an action cannot just be determined by analyzing the intrinsic value of a thing. This means that one in making the choice of action, one does not have to focus on the very action and determine whether it good or just under the premises.
There is no ample time to think about it as for G. E. Moore, one will just lead to an open-ended question which simply ends to nothing but to series of questions, without achieving the end of capturing and determining the complete and concrete meaning of the term. Goodness must be taken simply, without any further reflection and analysis.
One simply has to appeal or resort to his/her intuition as guidance for action. Intuition may be one’s immediate sense of goodness, a kind of inner voice that is free from any degree of reflection. One is just directed to act something because at that instance that course of action produces the most amount of goodness under the premises.II.
The issues involved in the instant case arise out of the doctor’s multifarious concerns as a medical professional, as a physician and as a friend. One course pf action will simply lead to the sacrifice and prejudice of another. The doctor is in the dilemma whether to report the matter to the proper authorities (impaired physician committee, state medical society, or the state licensing board), or to just let his physician-friend to continue with his condition and behavior.Corollary to the issues rose above, a question may be raised as the substance or basis of your allegation.
Your knowledge and evidence of proof must justify your choice of action. Hence, whether the allegations is substantially if not absolutely, supported and corroborated by facts and sufficient evidence may as well be taken into consideration in determining the proper course of action to make.III. The friendship of Doctor A with his irritated fellow physician cannot just be simply disregarded by reporting him to disciplining authorities and putting into compromise his profession and your relationship.
One may not be justified in simply aiming or intending the good for his fellow by reporting the latter to the proper disciplining authorities for his own reformation and redemption. The benefits of the public in having him disciplined may not be commensurate to the devastation of the career and life of one’s friend. Surely, Dr. A will end up in deep sorrows about the plight of his dear friend.
It may importantly be noted that the allegation based on the established facts is still premature and wanting in substance. What Dr. A had in mind are mere hearsay which under the ruled observed by the judiciary are inadequate and insufficient to support a conclusion. Unless the fact and proof is absolute and incontrovertible, the Dr.
A must afford to his friend that presumption of innocence which is granted by no less than the Supreme Law of the Land. While hearsay has no direct relation to truth, the same must make Dr. A to be uncomfortable about what is going on and proceed into further inquiry understanding the whole situation of his physician friend.On the separate view, the interest of the public, and of the patient, as well as of the medical profession is at stake in case Dr.
A would not make any action. One Life of the patient would be at peril in case the physician-friend will simply be allowed by Dr. A to continue with his negligence. Every act of the physician is so crucial that highest degree of care must only deserve every patient he attends.
As to prevent any possible malpractice and damage to life and health of patients, it may be taken as duty to report one’s friend for the welfare and benefit of the public.IV. The proper course of action as to promote the most benefit is to talk to the physician friend about the adverse ramification of his action to the health and safety of the patients. In case he will stubbornly refuse, the matter should be reported to the proper disciplining authority for further investigations.
Medical profession is one required to observe extra-ordinary care and diligence, and reposed with utmost degree of trust and confidence by the public. One can simply sense serious damage and distrust will be imputed to the medical profession generally even if only one bears the stain for it.The love and care to one’s friend is not necessarily broken despite Dr. A has broken the confidence reposed upon him.
The contumacy of the physician friend simply requires him to be disciplined being unfit to the profession. Hence, Dr. A is just doing the best for his friend in reporting him to the proper disciplining body. In which case, the aim of having the most benefit arising from the chosen course of action is attained by such course of action.
V. Documentation1. Principia Ethica. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1903; Revised edition with “Preface to the second edition” and other papers, ed.
T. Baldwin, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1993 (page references in this entry are to the revised edition).2. Ethics.
London : Williams and Norgate, 1912.3. “The Conception of Intrinsic Value.” In G.
E. Moore, Philosophical Studies (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1922); reprinted in Revised edition of Principia Ethica. Case 2: Nurturing a Defective Newborn I. The parents as well as the medical profession is faced with an issue whether to sustain and continue the life and survival of the defectively born infant.
To sustain the life of the newly born entail great suffering and pain not only on the part of the parents, but of the infant as well. Emotional, financial, as well as moralaspects should be duly and carefully considered in thinking of the possible course of action.Using egoistic, altruistic or idealistic hedonism on the basis solely of pleasure, utility and benefits is not obtaining in the case at bar. Under such consideration, the newly-born will simply and immediately be terminated as the newborn cannot bring even a pinch of pleasure and usefulness.
The value of life intrinsically is disregarded when sustaining the same inures no benefit even at the first instance. Morality on the basis greatest utility, or purely based on practical consideration, cannot simply disregard the intrinsic value of life, now reposed upon the hopeless newborn. The diminution on the value of life poses seriousperil upon society’s perspective or view upon life per se which may also be the same approach or perspective when applied to other cases.The course of action shall be based upon the theory of Kant’s Categorical Imperative.
The categorical imperative would be that which represented an action as necessary of itself without reference to another end, i.e., as objectively necessary . The maxim which every rational being should follow is that: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
” That is, each individual agent regards itself as determining, by its decision to act in a certain way, that everyone (including itself) will always act according to the same general rule in the future . This expression of the moral law, Kant maintained, provides a concrete, practical way for evaluating particular human actions of several distinct varieties.Life itself must be valued no matter what it is. That must be the universal precept the every one must promote and recognize – categorical imperative.
Any form of killing cannot simply be justified. The life itself of the defective newborn must therefore be recognized as its right like that of a fully grown individual. The right to life must be respected and upheld by all so as life itself situates itself as the highest and most sacred entity in society. A society that respects any form of life is society of with dignity and respect, not only to the life of others, but to his very own as well that requires nurturing and development.
There is therefore a departure from G.E Moore’s intuitive apprehension theory. The immediate sense of goodness may not be that ostensible under the premises the the situation puts you to the midst of pain, sorrow and pity. An appeal to the one’s first impression of utility for the greatest number would not spontaneously arise under the premises but your heart grapples with the pain borne by the innocent child.
Surely, the plight of the poor innocent newborn provides nil consequential benefits to it relatives and parents. But not all things should be ruled out on the basis of purely practical consideration and consequential as adverse effect may still result in adhering and subscribing to such mentality.II. The moral problem basically delves with the issue as to which is weightier in value, life or utility.
The parents as well as the doctor in choosing for utilitarian benefit may not hesitate to kill the child when they see that the defect would offer no further hope for the newborn. The parents and the baby would not have suffered that much pain and agony in sacrificing the mere life of the newborn. In choosing so, there is but an adverse effect to one’s perspective about life. Life could meaningless if it entails so much agony and expense.
The value of life per se is basically the core issue as there is the need to determine whether to pursue it regardless of the cost.More that the issue of the life of the newborn, the case also involves the issue on the value of life per se. Must life be valued solely o the basis of financial loss and emotional distress. If this is so, then life would be the same as any other ordinary things that could easily be compared with other tangible things.
Moral norms on the basis of consequential benefits may not apply in each and every case but a departure therefore must reasonably and appropriately be made.III. The utilitarian perspective would simply appeal to greater benefits coupled with lesser degree of pain if the newborn will be terminated. Obviously, the tries to escape to those which could simply prolong and further the suffering of the persons involved.
Sustaining the life of the baby would not provide any beneficial results and should the earlier be truncated.Putting an end to the life of a useless life of a child may create a stigma to the perspective of the society regarding itself. Life itself may be viewed by society with diminution. Life may be quantified by means of its financial value or through the use of cost-benefit analysis where the cost is that which is principally considered.
In this case, anybody’s life is at threat when the loss on tangible value could be greater than life itself.IV. ConclusionLife must be viewed with paramount consideration regardless of cost. The possibility of any life must be conformed.
There must be no diminution as to the value of life. Neither shall it be compared with financial cost that may be incurred. Life should be sustained because it is rationally obligatory for all persons to view and value life at the utmost, equally among others. In the instant case, the parents should not be deprived of their right to see their child and share the agony of their poor baby, to the extent only as not to disturb and to intrude to the medical processes that the doctors are doing.
The doctor must do their means to provide for a possibility of life as they have sworn to do so upon entry to the medical profession. The life support system and medication available in the hospital must be given the defective newborn just to show how society value life even that of the poor, hopeless newborn. Who knows, it might survive.Pain and suffering are undeniably human emotions which proceeds from one’s approach on the value of life.
They are the more spontaneous reactions of a human being prior than any spontaneous idea of goodness in the utilitarian sense. Intuitive apprehension is simply misplaced in this situation. It is but the categorical imperative of valuing life at its fullest that should be followed. Life is valuable without qualification, and that should be the same in the case of all, the defective newborn included.
 Abbot, Thomas K., “Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative”. Dale Larson, 02 Dec. 2006.
http://ghc.ctc.edu/HUMANITIES/DLARSON/kant.htm Kemerling Garth, “Kant: the moral order”, Philosophy Page, 27 October, 2001, http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/5i.htm
Moral Lessons By Medieval Writers
Medieval writers, among them Giovanni Boccacio, Geoffrey Chaucer and Dante Aligheri, are notable for the moral tone of their works. Not surprisingly given that the great educator of their time was the Church. In any event Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, Boccacio’s “Decameron”, and Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” are made no less entertaining for their erudition.
In fact, the author’s often challenge the bounds of decency, their frame stories asserting a humanistic opposition to their moral lessons which the Church would wholeheartedly approve. However, their ultimate purpose seems in keeping with the Church’s teachings.Only consider Boccacio’s “Decameron” which consists of several tales told by mismatched travelers seeking sanctuary from the Black Plague. The travelers, arguably nostalgic for their temporarily suspended social norms and status, quite humanly tell bawdy stories, though infusing them with unstated behavioral admonitions.
In the first and tenth stories of the second day Boccacio’s characters remind one another of two pertinent morals (1) all are subject to the capriciousness of fortune and (2) opposition to nature results in misfortune. Martellino, Marchese and Stecchi are three friends subjected to the whims of fate in the first story. Martellino, particularly, begins a prankster, pretending a host of physical ailments which become all to real when the townspeople collect into an attacking mob upon discovering his ill-use of a recently dead town saint. Martellino, faking the reception of a miracle, needs and fortunately receives one from the town’s ruling noble.
The old cuckold, Messer Ricciardo di Chinzia, of the tenth story is not as fortunate. His young wife, Bartolomea, finds the younger Paganino more sexually capable and exciting than her husband and leaves him for Paganino.The above rebellion against nature and its subsequent punishment appears in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”, particularly The Miller’s Tale. The young wife of an old carpenter, the Miller’s protagonist, finds the young scholar, boarding in her home, more appealing than her husband.
They successfully cuckold the old carpenter in his very presence, much to his disgrace and the amusement of Chaucer’s readers. Also worth noting is that Chaucer’s work repeats the tale of fortune’s capriciousness as found in Boccacio’s “Decameron.” The Man of Law’s Tale recounts the seemingly good fortune of the beautiful Custance who through court intrigue loses favor with her husband, goes on an extensive journey of hardship, in her exile from court, and yet finds joy and love again.However, while Boccacio and Chaucer admonish with comic flair, Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” defies any such description.
For example, defying nature is punishable by torture in the seventh circle of hell. Dante describes such defiance as violence against nature. Here he describes the crime of what he terms “sodomites” whose punishment it is to run in circles upon the fire that rains down upon the burning sand which make up this realm of hell. Still, the most important moral Dante imparts in his work is that human reason has its limitations.
Neither Dante nor his guide Virgil are able to descend past the sixth circle of hell without Christ’s intervention, their way barred by fallen angels, the furies, and the acknowledgment that human faculty cannot compete with pure evil.Dante represents the at least superficial intent of “The Divine Comedy”, “The Decameron” and “The Canterbury Tales”: to point out moral ineptitude in each writer’s society and the human soul’s accounting for such misdeeds. While Boccacio and Chaucer illustrate the increasingly humanistic perspective that came with the Renaissance, the latent moralizing of each clearly follows the tradition of what is arguably Dante’s sermonizing. Despite his ability to understand his world, his circumstances, to the point of transcendence, man must still seek an intercessor to achieve the neo-platonic state of perfect being.
And by choosing an ultimately admonishing tone, Boccacio and Chaucer seem in agreement with Dante that humanism only brings man so far before requiring divine intervention. That is to say the further man ventures from god toward’s humanism, a Lucifer-like hubris, the ninth level of hell, the greater the emphasis on his need for moral instruction and God’s saving grace. This finally is the point of Boccacio, Chaucer, and Dante, though they all make the lesson entertaining. Please note that I do not know precisely which books you used so fill in the pertinent information below.
ReferencesAligheri, Dante. (Publication Year). The Divine Comedy (Editor’s name, Ed. Or Translator’s name, Trans.
). City of Publication: Publishing Company.Boccacio, Giovanni. (Publication Year).
The Decameron (Editor’s name, Ed. Or Translator’s name, Trans.). City of Publication: Publishing Company.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. (Publication Year). The Canterbury Tales (Editor’s name, Ed. Or Translator’s name, Trans.
). City of Publication: Publishing Company.
Morality Policy Making
The central claim of a growing and aggressive research field of morality policy is that there is a class of value- or morality-based policies that can be distinguished from non-morality policies, and that “these distinguishing characteristics can be used to explain and predict political behavior in morality policy arenas” (Tatalovich & Daynes 7). The central classification of morality policy research is rather simpler: It needs only to be able to distinguish a morality from a non-morality policy. Its classification need is thus un-dimensional rather than multidimensional.
The core theoretical premise is that something is a morality policy or it is not. This difference is enough to provide systematic insights into political behavior in the morality policy arena.The complexity inherent in sorting policies even into just two categories is considerable. This complexity is made apparent by the major classification approaches currently used in this field.
All are direct intellectual descendants of the original Lowi framework and highlight the problems of subjective classification. Tatalovich and Daynes define morality policies as those that involve non-economic values, are “politicized by single-issue interest groups, and are cases in which the federal judiciary becomes the primary decision maker” (Tatalovich & Daynes 12). Meier and Mooney define morality policies as those dealing with first principles (i.e. , fundamental beliefs of right and wrong), high salience, and low information costs (Meier 16).
These characteristics combine to produce politics with low barriers to participation and situations in which groups compete to control the coercive powers of the government to force their value systems on others. Lowi argues that morality policies are created by a political interaction that can apply to any of the categories in his original typology (questions of typology will be discussed later). Lowi maintains that “what separates morality politics from ‘mainstream’ politics in policy categories is the distribution of preferences.
Mainstream politics are characterized by a bell-shaped curve of preferences in which the political process can negotiate something close to the mean and adopt it as policy Morality politics invert the bell curve so that preferences are concentrated in the tails, and politics becomes radicalized due to the lack of common ground” (Lowi 21).Each classification approach is useful, but none provides a universal guideline for deciding what is and what is not a morality policy. The subjective element of classification is shown by the relationship of each approach to the original Lowi framework. The Tatolovich and Daynes approach classifies morality policy as a particular type of regulatory policy (their term is social regulatory policy rather than morality policy).
The Meier/Mooney approach classifies morality policy as a form of redistributive policy, though the redistribution of values rather than more tangible resources. These two classification schemes thus begin from separate cells in the original framework. Lowi expands morality policy to all four cells. The differing identifying characteristics associated with each approach do little to clarify things (Bachrach 632-34).
Virtually any policy will fit at least some of these criteria. Although the varying classification schemes have produced broad agreements on some morality policy classifications (abortion rights, for example), others remain very much in the eye of the beholder (Bachrach 34). Universal health care can be (and has been) portrayed as an economic issue. By the Tatalovich and Daynes criteria, it can be excluded as a morality policy.
Yet issues of fundamental rights are often involved into health care reform policies, so depending on specifics, it might meet the Meier/Mooney criteria. Is universal health care a morality policy? A regulatory policy? A redistributive policy? All three? Currently, there are no objective means to resolve such questions.Despite these problems, the basic classification challenge for morality policy is still a simplified version of the larger question for typologies generally: How can one objectively distinguish between a morality and a non-morality policy? The taxonomic approach to this question is to explore whether there is any empirical basis to such categories; “the primary obstacle to undertaking this challenge is the persuasive arguments of previous research that policies are separated by perceived rather than by objective differences” (Morgan, D. & Meier 144-48).
Surveys, of course, have been widely used to gather and analyze perceptual data. Though no standardized ‘morality policy’ survey instrument exists, this does not mean one cannot be created. As a basic starting point, it seems reasonable to make use of the raw materials offered by previous scholarship — “that is, a survey instrument based on the conceptual classification approaches” (Carson 9). “These have repeatedly been demonstrated to be useful in conceptually organizing research, and it is relatively simple to give them an actual empirical dimension by using them as the basis for a survey instrument.
If these can be used to measure perceptions of policy and these in turn used to detect general patterns that systematically reflect morality and non-morality policy characteristics, they may provide the basis for general empirical classification scheme–that is, taxonomy” (Navarro 139-143).Whereas constructing a survey instrument is a surmountable obstacle, doing so provides little direction as to what or who it should be measuring, and this issue is central to achieving an empirical classification system. “The status of a particular issue as a morality policy is determined and bounded by the active groups in particular policy subsystems at particular points in time” (this approach is virtually universal, for example, in the studies included in Tatalovich & Daynes 12, and in Mooney 28-32). Scholars, in other words, use the social constructions of a group or set of groups actively involved in a policy arena to determine what constitutes a morality policy.
Yet operationalizing morality politics in this fashion essentially eliminates any general classification scheme by definition because in virtually any political conflict factions can be found who view it in value-based terms. “Virtually any regulatory or redistributive policy deals with a clash of values between individual liberty and the government’s interests in constraining this liberty in the name of the common interest” (thus, in Lowi’s scheme the likelihood of government coercion is high for both policy types) (Lowi 32-35).
Generally, there will be little difficulty in finding some group attaching moral social constructions to issues surrounding such value conflicts, and a researcher can thus classify just about every ‘redistributive’ or ‘regulatory’ policy as a morality policy. This puts morality politics research squarely into the ‘postdictive trap’ identified by Greenberg and cuts it off from the general theoretical promise inherent in its Lowian roots.
The theory reveals itself to be a heuristic—“useful for reducing complexity and ordering systematic research but unlikely to yield any results outside of the particular case and time under study” (Greenberg 34).In order to transcend this problem and move towards a taxonomic classification system that empirically sorts policy issues into morality or non-morality categories, it is critical to identify elements that “can be considered characteristics of the policy rather than of the individual” (Nelson 23).
These elements have to be general characteristics, that is, at a minimum “a set of mental constructions widely shared across a social community that serve to define the political environment and boundaries of policy arenas and are not dependent upon a particular group or set of elites in a particular policy subsystem” (Bachrach 645). As the 40-year history of the policy typology literature repeatedly demonstrates, this is a tall order and may well be an ‘impossible’ obstacle.
The motivation for taking on the long odds, though, is simple: “Solve this problem and Lowi’s initial objective of beginning the search for a general theory of politics is realistically resurrected” (Bachrach 646-47).That resurrection is not the purpose here, merely the investigation of its possibility. With this limited objective in mind, the characteristics that supposedly distinguish morality politics do offer some hope for the project. There is considerable evidence suggesting morality policies are defined by more than the groups active in a given policy subsystem.
Low information costs and high saliency mean policy subsystems involving morality issues are going to be “highly permeable because outsiders are easily mobilized by an appeal to first principles, or zero sum, us-against-them terms” (Baumgartner ; Jones 47). This means experts, elites, or a single group will have a limited ability to single-handedly control what is and is not framed as a morality policy. Lawmakers, for example, are tightly constrained by public opinion in making decisions on morality policy, especially when public opinion is divided. Mooney and Lee find the link a little weaker when public opinion is more consensual, but one-sided morality policy issues (Mooney and Lee 142-145) – what Meier terms the “politics of sin”–give policymakers even less room to deviate from perceived public opinion (Meier 43-46).
On issues such as pornography or drugs, there is only “one” correct position–few policymakers champion the benefits of XXX movies or crack cocaine–and citizens publicly support such positions even when their private behavior does not (Smith 45-49). Thus, there seems sufficient existing evidence to argue that a class of value-based policies defined by general rather than particular social constructions may exist. Elites and groups may view any number of issues in morality-based terms, but scholars consistently note that “their ability to generate general patterns of morality-based political behavior beyond the behavior of the group(s) used for classification purposes is dependent on a broader acceptance of a given issue’s value status” (Schattachneider 87-91).So, a set of issues may exist that is broadly defined as morality policies by a general electorate.
If so, it should be possible to isolate and identify these policies by measuring individual perceptions with a survey that combines the approaches. This assumption does not exclude the possibility that some individuals or groups will view some issues classified as non-morality policies in morality-based terms. It means that this particular social construction is not broadly shared and that only a general view can be treated as a quality of a policy as well as property of individual perception (Mohr 39-40). And, critically, “it is these general qualities that hold the potential to empirically distinguish between morality and non-morality policies and to generate testable hypotheses about the patterns of political behavior associated with morality policy” (Rhode & Minow 191-94).
The big question, of course, is whether any such general qualities exist, and if they do, whether they can be isolated and used to generate a classification scheme using standard taxonomic methods (Smith 56). Even more specific hypothesizes are possible with a little more information about the morality policies. If they are consensus issues-an overwhelming majority favors one side–governments should respond quickly, adopting the consensus preference promptly and with little attempt to accommodate minority interests. If it is a non-consensus issue, high levels of conflict and “policy chum”-government constantly revisiting the issue but finding little in the way of satisfactory resolution–are predicted.
“Hypotheses should even get down to the level of predicting policy outcomes” (Smith 57). For example, if a consensus issue is built upon a weak correlation between publicly expressed preferences and private behavior–that is, a “sin” issue such as drugs or pornography–the issue is predicted to be highly popular but unlikely to achieve its policy objectives (Smith 58-59).Such specifics have exciting possibilities, but more to the point for present purposes is the creation of two policy categories and “the subsequent generation of comparative, empirically testable hypotheses on the theoretical expectations of how they differ, something the existing literature with its focus on specific policy arenas has rarely done” (Meier 63).
The process of creating two clear policy categories achieves this by making classification more empirical and less subjective, something that can produce some surprises. Gambling, for example, might be classified as a non-morality policy. This does not mean that in the targeted political unit no groups will view gambling in moral terms. The claim is that these groups are unable to frame the issue broadly in morality terms, and political patterns surrounding gambling policy will reflect economic concerns, accommodation and compromise among differing interests, and an important role for experts. If the claim is borne out, it lends itself to a much clearer picture of what is and is not a morality policy (Rhode & Minow 197-210).
Making these clear distinctions would make possible a more systematic empirical test of one of the central claims of morality politics research–that the distinguishing characteristics of this set of policies produces a predictable pattern of political activity. The test generated by the analysis is clear: The politics surrounding the proposals for same-sex marriage, abortion rights, universal health care, and legalized prostitution should produce behavioral patterns and perhaps even policy outcomes that are empirically distinguishable from the non-morality policies (Kingdon 97-99).
That seems to gain some traction on criticisms of Steinberger on the tendency towards “post hoc prediction,” or the tendency to pick policies on the basis of a historical record of political activity that fits with the researchers’ conception of how the typology functions (Steinberger 63-65).There is no doubt that the classification problem morality politics scholars inherited from the broader literature on policy typologies is still a significant distance from being solved, and it may well be that a universally agreed upon solution may not be possible.
Nonetheless, there is enough here to suggest that it is possible to get empirical leverage on the broader problem of policy classification. Those possibilities may be opened by future studies that address the limitations of the analysis presented here (Kingdon 103).The broad contours of policy adoption are similar for all types of public policies (Mooney & Lee 74-79), but morality policies are distinctive in certain ways. Previous research indicates that innovations that have economic impacts are affected by basic economic and population characteristics (e. g., wealth, urbanism, population size, education, and others).
In contrast, morality policies such as abortion, gambling, and PAS (right to die – assistance) are driven more by public opinion, mass media coverage, the strength of relevant interest groups, the political vulnerability of elected officials, and sometimes by ideology (Meier & Johnson 231-237; Meier & McFarlane 178-179).
The differences between these types of policies develop from the high salience of morality policies: “unlike many economic and foreign affairs issues, morality policies are relatively easy to understand, and due to fundamental differences in personal experiences and socialization they are prone to widespread disagreement on core values” (Meier 185; also mentioned Tatalovich & Daynes 234-237).
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