Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Ethical Quandary

Living life is a series of choices. This is what everybody struggles with every day. It is the essence of every story. The choices we make shape who we are and reveal our understanding, limited as it is, of Truth. There are basically three approaches to choices.

Logic. We consider our understanding of reality and make the decision that makes sense to us.

Emotion. We do what feels good. We avoid what feels bad. We don’t always make sense but we base our choices on our ever changing moods, which in turn affects our moods and has us chasing our tails.

Ethics. We attempt to do what is right and avoid what is wrong.

Our culture has long since decided that right and wrong are things that no one can know, and we don’t trust any sort of outside voice on the matter. That leaves us with the first two options. As an example you have some people saying that violence—or the ability to do harm—is an effective deterrent to violence. “Fight the threat of harm with the display of a similar ability.” And you have just as many people saying that violence is ugly and not nice, so no one should entertain the thought of it. The world will be better if we all just get along. Logic vs. emotion.

Words like “right” and “wrong” may even be used in our arguments about choice, but no one can truly hold an advantage in the struggle because everyone’s position is based upon a limited perspective or a nebulous emotion.

The true ethical approach would be to appeal to an outside, unbiased, accurate perspective. That is a possible solution, but since humanity’s decision to place ourselves in the judgment seat it requires an initial step of humility that few grasp. That initial step is also dependant on outside help to be achieved.

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