Sunday, August 27, 2006

Values in Ethics

Ethics: Moral/Immoral, Right/Wrong, Permissable/Prohibited, Virtue/Vice.

Positive or Negative. What should I do, and what shouldn't I do.

When you are poor, you have little care for ethics. If you and your family are starving, you will not care to consider whether what you are doing to provide sustenance is moral or immoral. You'll do whatever it takes to survive.

When you meet your survival needs, you consider aesthetics next. When you study aesthetics through your experiences, you gradually begin to find some things appealing, and some things repulsive. Some things good, some things bad.

When you realize that some things are good, and some things are bad, you wonder why that is the case. You search for answers in doctrine.

Doctrine guides you to act in ways to maximize the good through ethics.


Rumpus said...

Your curmudgeonly and Hobbesian view of humanity has not changed much in the last 13 years. If poor people really are beasts, as you infer, ready to tear each other apart for the scraps left by the rich why does the US, arguably the richest nation on earth, have more incarcerations per captia than any other nation? The world is filled with unethical people but their socio-economic status has little to do with their practices.

Rocketman1200 said...

Ah, Rumpus. Like any good post-modernist, your comment has more style and poetry than it has substance. The only line that's really indicative of your position is the last one, and you need to back it up with some argument. The U.S. has a high prison population because it has strong rule of law, and although people in the US have had a chance to develop their ethical value systems, there's no guarantee they're going to have the integrity to hold it up.

Rocketman1200 said...

I really don't know what I said about poor people that is terribly controversial. I'm not saying that all poor people are thiefs or murderers, although I'd wager that most thiefs are poor. Big difference. And all I'm saying by that is that their motivation for thievery is their own survival.