I’ve just added a new Category entitled Ethics.
It’s one that has kept being shunted to the side over and over in favor or more physical and “practical” technology Categories that always seemed to be a higher priority. I’ve ordered some DVDs of radio and vacuum tube materials from several sources to add to the ones I have already collected and while I’m waiting I thought I’d go ahead and get this one posted.
Why Ethics? What does that have to do with survival and rebuilding.
Our modern world, our industrial world and our very perception of the world from a scientific perspective is very much a product of Ethics and Morality.
I long ago posted a Morality Category and one reporter accused me of “pushing an agenda” by posting books on Morality and Ethics. I’m not sure how a reporter, who lives by his journalistic Ethics, can fail to understand that a shared Morality and Ethics is the most fundamental structure which defines a Culture or a Civilization. Without a shared concept of Right and Wrong, without a shared understanding of how those concept of Right and Wrong are applied in the world of interpersonal relations and interaction with the world around us there is no Culture or Civilization. There are simply human shaped animals that contend with one another like any other animal; each person an entirely separate entity with nothing in common with the next human shaped animal encountered.
The fact is however that Man separated himself from the animals precisely by creating moral and ethical processes that allowed him to form communities and work together to promote the interest of the group and the individual.
So what does that have to do with Survival and rebuilding?
Answer? Everything. Groups cannot exist without shared values and standards of behavior base don those values. Communities cannot function unless there is a common, shared set of values and a shared definition of how those values are applied to behavior. Call them rules, etiquette, manners, laws… They all amount to the same basic concept. WE as a group agree that these things are Good, that these things are Bad and This is how those values will be applied to our behavior (i.e. morals and ethics).
Anything short of that is anarchy. Short of an agreed upon standard of behavior you quickly encounter conflict and anger which leads to fighting and eventually warfare.
We see that happening in our world today in many places. Immigrants to a country bring their own values with them and rather than assimilate into and adopt the values of the culture into which they have moved they retain their old values which are in conflict with the moral, ethics and often the laws of their host country. You can read stories in the newspapers of most Western countries of immigrants committing acts that are grossly in violation of the moral and legal standards of the country in which they live such as honor killings, abuse and and mutilation of women and rape of minor children.
In our modern world there are people who have forgotten or perhaps never understood that one of the basic definitions of a culture is shared values and shared ethics who try to excuse such behavior by citing the benefits of “Diversity” and the equal value of all cultures.
Diversity has it’s values and I won’t argue with you that my culture is superior to anyone elses culture. The historical results of the values of each culture speak for themselves and those who study history can judge that for themselves. But when you mix and mingle cultures which have conflicting values and conflicting ethics you accomplish little but to destroy both cultures.
Ultimately in a society rebuilding itself people have to be able to meet other people and have some confidence that the actions and behavior of those other people are predictable within the limits of a shared morality and ethics. You cannot negotiate with someone else who doe snot share your values and ethics.
If another person or group does not share your morals or ethics, at least to a significant degree, then behavior that they consider acceptable could easily be what you and your group consider illegal. Without those shared values groups go to war instead of cooperate with one another.
If you believe honesty and speaking truth to be important and the individual with whom you are trading believes honesty only applies to members of his own group and that it is perfectly proper to lie to “outsiders” you won’t trade with them more than once.
Thus ultimately morals and ethics are essential to any attempt to rebuild. They are the foundations upon which all human interaction is based.
I tried to separate the books in the Morality Category and the Ethics Category to those which deal with “HOW” we decide on values and which values to choose vs how we APPLY those values to ourselves and our interactions with others and the world in general. That’s a somewhat subjective decision and you will probably find some of my choices arbitrary. I did the best I could with a complex subject. Feel free to combine or categorize them however you wish.
p.s. Someone almost immediately pointed out to me that any individual or group pushing a specific Morality or set of Ethics is being judgmental and that it’s not nice to be judgmental. All I can do is point out that that very belief, that you should not be judgmental, IS A MORAL AND ETHICAL POSITION that you are trying to convince others to share. When you tell someone else how they should behave you are promulgating your Moral and Ethical values and attempting to build a group of people who share a common set of Moral and Ethical standards… i.e. a Culture.
The problem with that particular belief is that it only attracts those who believe differently from you and see that your belief provides them with some advantage over you which benefits them in some way.
p.p.s. Someone else complained that all of this was pushing a “Christian” bias. Bad news for you bro. If you were brought up in the Western world you have an inherent, built in, inescapable Christian bias since your very perception of the world, your concepts of Science, of the laws of Nature, of the existence of Man as something different from the animal and the way you view reality are all aspects of Christian thinking. The very process of thinking and reasoning which you used to develop your complaint are processes built upon Western Civilization’s adoption of Reason as a consequence of Christian philosophy and thought.