A Brief Musing On Ethics

Now, in this day and age, we seem to find plenty on anger, hostility, frustration and angst. We seem to be preoccupied by all things unethical, but it is easy to point fingers at what we see as wrong with the world around us. What becomes a bit more challenging is to examine our moral codes and bases for action. Ethics are based on arbitrary definitions, skewed perspectives and frequently poor use of language. Many of the world religions deem ethics as part of their teaching, but take one simple admonition…treat your neighbor as yourself…or perhaps even more fundamentally…love one another…

Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well, if we consider ourselves at all ethical, why are there protesters lining up to object to refugees coming across our border? Has anyone actually studied American History? We are descended from refugees and criminals. The vast majority of our earl immigrant population (yes, the vast majority of us come from elsewhere) was fleeing either religious persecution or they were sentenced to banishment for crimes. Late waves of immigration were because of economic hardships. Whatever form of ethics those who protest refugees from Central and South America coming here for a better life are based on either ignorance, fear or hate. It is my humble opinion that these emotions do inform us in the field of ethics. These “primitive” beliefs and understandings of the world around us do not rise to the level needed to inform our ethical nature. I truly believe that humans are designed to act ethically because their behavior could be replicated by others upon them and no one would want to be treated badly, unless they have confused abuse for love and neglect for caring.

These simple facts leave plenty of room for explanation, but for starters, we must understand that we live in a society sick from the hundreds of toxic chemicals in our environment. We load up our bodies with carcinogenic compounds and wonder why cancers of all types are on the rise. We threaten the welfare of others by heaping upon them derision, blame and fallacy until it is easy to cut them down where they stand or bomb them into “submission”. These are not the actions or behaviors of civilized people. These actions rely on falsified ethics. No god worth worshiping  would say: “Love one another except for the poor”, or “except for the Jews.” Nor would they desire us to contaminate the soil, air and water that we depend on for life.


About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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