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, July 13, 2006

When Barak Obama says "Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason.", he asks us to make the leap from values to ethics when we make public - not private or group - decisions. The key words are 'universal' and 'argument' and 'reason', which are hallmarks of ethics (but often not of specific values). There is no dilemma here, if you first understand that ethics and values not only may conflict, they must often conflict in a democracy, and when they conflict, public ethics must trump private values.


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