Ethical Guidebook

A discussion of the difference between our personal values and our public ethics, how mature citizens can support both, and why our love for public ethics must trump our love for personal and group values when they conflict in the public space. Ethics offers a guidebook for evaluating public issues and finding multilateral solutions to endless cycles of values centric conflicts and unilateral violence.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beyond Good Behavior

Values are fine, but personal values must be trumped with personal love for public ethics whenever the two conflict...and it goes much deeper than just 'good behavior'.

Simply defining the solution to conflicts as 'good behavior' opens the door to ambiguities that can be easily twisted into calls for enforcement of values based moral creeds, rather than public ethics based civil rules of fair play - and these are very, very different animals indeed.

Public ethics, rules of fair play, and unbiased arbitration of differences and escallation of force are the very definition of 'civil' in all its variations from personal acts of 'mere' civility to accepting and understanding mature civilian roles as voter, dues payer, and juror - the hallmarks of civilization itself.

Values based behavior cannot sustain a civil society, no matter what the 'moral creed', or how good the intentions, or how broad common ground. These are nice sounding appeals, but dead end solutions. We don't need a creed, we don't have to like each other, and we don't have to have common values. All that is required for a civil society, is acceptance that we love both our personal values and public ethics, and that public ethics trumps.


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