Bioethics Discussion Blog: Truisms in Ethics And “Why Do Psychics Have To Ask You For Your Name?”

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Truisms in Ethics And “Why Do Psychics Have To Ask You For Your Name?”

There are many things in life, we might call truisms, that we take for granted, seem so self-evident that we don’t pay attention or try to find out more about them or find another explanation. And when you hear about them, you may ask yourself “why didn’t I think about that before?” Wikipedia defines truism as “In philosophy, a sentence which asserts incomplete truth conditions for a proposition may be regarded as a truism. An example of such a sentence would be: ‘Under appropriate conditions, the sun rises.’ Without contextual support — a statement of what those appropriate conditions are — the sentence is true but uncontestable.” In other words, “there is more to that statement than that!” I think that ethicists are often faced with truisms and the job is to find another explanation. For example, some may say that “the act of a physician turning off life-support is simply killing the patient”. On the other hand (see about “on the other hand” below), maybe removing the life support, at the request of the patient, is simply allowing the patient to die from his or her underlying fatal illness. However, in the context of a relative intent on financial gain, the relative pulling the plug on the ventilator might represent killing. What do you think?


Hans Engel, M.D. has sent me an amusing list of statements which I think may contain within them truisms. Can you find them? ..Maurice..

1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

2. A day without sunshine is like....night.

3. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

4. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

5. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

6. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

7. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

8. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

9. How many of you believe in psycho kinesis?...Raise my hand.

10. OK...so what's the speed of dark?

11. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

12. Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

13. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges.

14. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

15. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

16. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

17. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what
happened.

18. Just remember---if the world didn't suck, we would all fall
off.

19. Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people
appear bright until you hear them speak.

20. Life isn't like a box of chocolates....it's more like a jar of
jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.




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3 Comments:

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 6:45:00 PM, Anonymous Moof said...

Dr. Bernstein ... those are great! There are a few there I'd never seen before.

I think most of them contain some sort of "truism," and that's the reason they capture the imagination, and make us smile.

A new one for me -- and one which I consider quite true and humorous -- is #20 ... I hope that you and Dr. Engel don't mind, but I'm going to borrow that one ... ;o)

 
At Sunday, February 04, 2007 9:18:00 AM, Blogger DJ2112 said...

Using Toll Roads is like throwing money out the window.

 
At Sunday, February 04, 2007 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Thanks DJ2112 for that one! ..Maurice.

 

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