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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

No Kumbaya Necessary

Paul Krugman's "A Tale of Two Moralities" and Obama's Arizona speech focus on our differences in values and the tone of our conversation. Our focus should be on public ethics (or lack thereof) - our love of fair play and civility. Loving values is easy, it unites us with our born or chosen ‘home teams’ – people like us or who grew up closer to us. But it also winks at bullying and even self-justified violence against those who threaten our values – pretty much like the Middle Ages. Public ethics requires the maturity to be civil, to accommodate people who are less like us or grew up further from us. America is based on civil ethics. The freedom to enjoy different values comes from voting for civil government paid by reasonable taxes to implement laws, provide public services, arbitrate glut and shortage, and enforce justice. No kumbaya necessary, just ethical maturity.

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