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.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Public Ethics must trump Personal Values if you support nonviolent solutions to growing resource challenges

Public ethics - including green choices individually and as a society - must trump personal values - minor differences in purely selfish terms - if you believe in reasonable, non-violent solutions to resource challenges and intergroup conflicts. The alternative - growing resource challenges and intergroup conflicts - is not cheap and it is often violent - just witness the impact of recent increases in extreme weather, and the war in Iraq. So supporting higher fuel economy standards (no cheating like SUVS) or forking over a little more for a hybrid if you can swing it, can make a pretty important difference to your life and everyone else's in this world, even if it means a little less for something else in your life.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Values and Ethics of Charity

Charitable contributions by some of the world's richest individuals has thrust an interesting question into the headlines - why do they do it? If we accept that most humans are motivated to support public ethics to some extent as well as personal values, we might assume charity to be the 'public ethics' part. However, ethics requires independent management by disinterested parties not necessarily sharing the value system of the individual making the charitable contribution. This is the ethical distinction between personal charity and public taxes.