But even if those axioms are due to change or be "updated", you still need them, from a practical point of view. And perhaps you don't want to change the rules too often, otherwise people begin to lose trust in them, because they think "hey, the rules will change tomorrow anyway, so why bother following them?".Straha wrote: Of course, even the idea of an 'axiom' as it's being discussed in this thread is obsolete in the modern post-structuralist ethical world. While I endorse certain axiomatic ideas as a matter of practicality, it needs to be understood that these come second to a larger ethical mindset that must always be inherently critical and questioning towards the validity of any axiom.
Which leads to an interesting idea: If you have a very complicated, utilitarian ethical system, why not use a deontological "approximation" of it for practial matters. That way you have a set of rules which can easily be understood and applied and you have also a foundation for these rules - namely the "complicated utilitarian system" from which they were derived.
While it is certainly not a bad idea to be aware of the limits of reason, what other mental tool do we have to derive ethical systems?(Also, while the moral imperatives I'm describing can perhaps be loosely understood as deontological in nature, any Kantian would sneer at the comparison. Deontological thinking takes at its root the idea that reason can be used to understand/universalize all ethics, whereas the sort of ethics I'm describing takes root either outside that enlightenment tradition, or in the anti-enlightenment tradition of the late-19th and 20th century that recognizes reason as being limited and seeks to account for those limits in ethical theorizing.)