A few recent posts on the "munitions factory" thread shows a glimmer of hope that not everyone on Babble belongs to CF and his cheerleader chorus, so I will attempt to start a serious discussion about personal ethics. Hopefully those who think this is an important subject will participate.
Not what you think a universal morality ought to be, not one of the officially approved moralities (of church or state or any other group of humans) but the morality that YOU live by, your own personal conviction guiding your everyday life.
If you have one that you are aware of, that you are ready to explain to each other.
It would be interesting to see how many of us have clearly identified moral principles and how these principles help us live our lives.
I guess I might as well add my own here.
I am old, my life is almost over, and I have to look back to see what it has been about.
My answer is multifold.
- Develop my potentials as much as I could
- Worship the beauty of this world I was born into
- Worship the power of the human mind to see truth
- Share as much of it as possible with my fellow travelers
- Help those who were not as fortunate as I have been.
In this life there is no room for violence, hate, political systems, ideologies, envy, greed, gluttony, power-seeking, brutality.
I look upon the world as a ONE: one planet, multiple living species, one of which is mine. I want to share and share equally, both with humans and with other life forms.
I know that it is not possible, but in my mind I live in that world and behave as if I was actually living in that world.
I am not part of any sub-groups – I am a human being living my limited life on this one Planet and trying to make the most of it.
I would never knowingly work in an environment that produces harmful things.
When I go to the store and buy food, I get something from people who worked hard to give me something I need to keep me alive, keep my body healthy and well fed.
I OWE them something in return.
What I owe them has to be equally nourishing to them, equally beneficial to them, to their children, to others.
I know, EVERYTHING can be justified on some level and has been justified, from the beginning of history. By war, by self-defense, by righting a wrong, by purifying a race, by revenge, by god, by the 'marketplace', by group-loyalty.
Justifications are dime a dozen.
Now I can get involved in the justification game – or I can just get out of the entire game and say: “I will do no harm”.
I want to be able to look into the mirror every morning and say, with clear conscience: today I am giving those people something in return -- something that doesn't need justification: food for their table, fixing their plumbing, educating their kids, music, poetry, woodcarving, telling them the truth on Forums.