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 15, 2009

Torture is Terrorism - Both Lack Basic Ethics

Torture represents a withdrawl to the pre-Enlightenment model of rule by unilaterally justified brutality, just as surely as that pre-Enlightenment model applies to Terrorism. Both assert the ultimate primacy of personal and group values, above civil interests and public ethics. This is the hallmark of bullies from schoolyard to throne.

Post-Enlightenment civil democracies (as opposed to 'clubhouse democracies' that benefit those within the group while ostracizing those not in the group) uphold the primacy of Public Ethics - fairness, rule of law, and multilateral arbitration including escalation of force where necessary - above personal and group values. This is the foundation of civilizations that accomodate more than one viewpoint, race, and religion, and the definition of personal and civic maturity.

Good citizens support Public Ethics in bad times as well as good, and accept dependence on multilateral - not unilateral - institutions and enforcement that define the circumstances of personal freedom, and the personal risks that accrue when not allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner by using a personal weapon whenever self-justified, or enabling others to do so as illustrated by the blatantly values-centric and unethically premised TV series, '24'.


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