Ethics is only secondarily formal course of study

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Reference no: EM132280079

Seven Theses on Ethics

1. Ethics is only secondarily a formal course of study, or a branch of philosophy; primarily, it is a fundamental part of our species’ internal make-up. It is part of what makes us ‘tick’.

Ethics is always about ‘us’, never just about ‘me’, or ‘I’. Ethics is always public, or interpersonal, never private (although we make feel or experience it within ourselves). Ethics is the name we use to talk about behaviors that preserve, or that damage, the community on which we depend. Ethics is all about the preservation of the community, for the community is what makes our own preservation possible!

2. Because of its central position in human nature, “ethics” or “morality” is another name for pretty much everything we find really interesting.

3. Sympathy—our feeling for others, or fellow feeling—is the main affective mode of ethics, insofar as we’re approaching ethics intuitively, as something we feel.

4. One of the most widely-practiced and well-known examples of sympathy is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The ‘Rule’ is more broadly applicable, however, when formulated in the negative mode: Don’t do unto to others as you would not have them do unto you.

5. Ethical action requires circumstances that make choice possible; it is not always possible to pursue an ethically sound course of action, or to do so immediately.

6. Because ethics is a quasi-organic part of human nature, there is no ‘ethics of this’ or ‘ethics of that’…no ‘business ethics’ or ‘legal ethics’ or ‘medical ethics’; there is only one ethics, one morality.

7. Basing one’s action on ethical considerations is not something that the modern bureaucratized corporate environment necessarily encourages. If you consider the emergence of the modern corporation, which goes back to around 1890 or so, against the larger time-scale our own evolution, you can easily see that the latter development, the modern corporation, is only a tiny moment compared to the larger context of our evolution. Because it is so comparatively young,

Reference no: EM132280079

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