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.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ethical Measuring Sticks

Sometimes it is handy to have a 'measuring stick' to sort out complex decisions. We can look at the words that are used as an Ethical Measuring Stick.

There is usually no lack of words that promote Personal Values because self-interest in supporting the 'home team' is always part of the picture. What's confusing is trying to sort out conflicting Values if one only looks at the self-interested viewpoints that promote unilateral solutions (the classic 'butting heads' scenario). Instead, one should also look for words that promote Public Ethics and fair solutions.

So next time you see an article or viewpoint, count the number of words that appeal to Public Ethics, such as Fair, Civil, Principle, Multilateral, Due Process, Arbitrate, Regulate, Equality. To the extent these terms are used, the viewpoint is more supportive of Ethics.

Whether you personally choose to support Public Ethics as a fair way to arbitrate the outcome, regardless of your home team values, is a decision each individual has to make, but at least ask the question and know the Ethical options as well as the Values options.


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