The Ethical part of Ethics

Could this post be about ethics? Well, yes. In philosophy ethics are a giant umbrella of ideas. Medical ethics, personal ethics, ethical treatment of animals, and many many more. What I would like to focus on is how we use ethics and if they really mean anything at all. The ethics of ethics…

So do ethics hold any bearing on our decision making, or really should they hold any bearing on our decision making. This is a question we can only answer when we have made up our mind on a couple key questions. The debate is probably over if you do not believe ethics are a human creation. If you believe full heartedly in an all powerful Being then the will of god should take precedence of ethical belief.  God’s “will” is always ethical, no matter what. That means you really take ethics out of the equation. As long as what you do is in God’s “will” it is always correct.

Now, if we throw out the all powerful being then we can truly look into ethics. There are so many different kinds of ethical belief systems. Pragmatic ethics, Utopian ethics, Kantian ethics, etc. Being that there are so many ethical systems how do we know which one to follow, or should we follow any at all? In this question we can see why I titled this post the ethical part of ethics. With so many choices why should we believe any ethical system?

Ethics is a way we live our lives. It is how we make decisions that affect our lives as well as other’s lives. The argument I would like to make is that we should not base our life on any ethical system. The reasoning behind this statement is the fact that ethics are a belief system made up by man. There are so many different ethical beliefs how can we put our life behind any of them? Men have tried to create systems to base our society off of for the best possible outcome. What we have seen from the past is that most all encompassing ethical systems fail because we cannot have an answer for every logical question. In Utopian ethics we see that the wellness of the masses is much better than the wellness of one person.  One big problem with this system is that we take away the rights of the individual.  In Kantian ethics Kant tried to fix some of the major issues with Utopian ethics but still failed. So how do we make decisions without an ethical system?

Well, we do have somewhat of a system of ethics. It is based off of society. Our decisions are made based on what the masses do. In fact in the US the supreme court actually makes almost every decision based on what our society thinks is right and wrong. Only in extraordinary cases does the supreme court rule against society. These are times of cultural change.  Our system of decisions is always changing so can we say that our ethical system is ever ethical?

I do not think we can. 150 years ago it was OK to enslave blacks, to buy and sell another person for a white person’s personal gain. How is that ethical? Well by todays standards it is not, but in the past in most cultures this was quite alright. So how can ethics ever be ethical if they are always changing? They cant, right?

Ethics are a funny thing. Really they are a dream thought up by man. Something man can use to make decisions, but not only to make the decisions but to prove that the decisions they make are correct, backed up by facts and solid ideas. In truth, the decisions man makes will always be unethical. This is quite a statement. Every decision I make can be considered unethical. How is that possible? It is possible because there are an infinite amount of ethical belief systems. Because time is infinite there will always be a different ethical system and in any one of those ethical systems I could be wrong based on the system. I am always unethical no matter what.

So then the only truth I can know is that any ethical system is, in reality, unethical. This point is easily seen by looking into our past. Many decisions we made believing we were in the right, by todays standards are unbelievably wrong. They are wrong in every respect we can think of. So then how do we make decisions? How do we know what to do, what is right and what is wrong?

This is a question we cannot answer. Today society makes our decisions for us. Whatever the masses believe is what we believe is correct. If you disobey society they throw you in prison.  Different societies have different beliefs, and different beliefs, as we see in history, start wars. There is no way to get around the fact that people will always believe different things. A vary unsettling fact, that there is no correct underling right answer. Maybe this is why people argue for an all powerful being. To bring order to chaos.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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