So I began to think about ethics. It’s a term that I bandy about quite a bit, but rarely challenge or question. When you start to delve into ethics, you come up against definitions which suggest that it is to do with ‘right behaviour’ or ‘morality’. But some of these definitions can be circular. A good definition of ethics seems to be that it is the practice of determining ‘right behaviour’. In this case, until we add meaning to it, ‘right’ is an open ended concept. So until we determine what ‘right behaviour’ is, we don’t really know what ‘right’ is. Continue reading Some thoughts on Ethics
If we are thinking about persuading our fellow human beings about the moral value or material benefit of any mode of action or artefact, we would do well to consider this spectrum of moral behaviours.
Continue reading A spectrum of moral behaviours
It’s hard sometimes to argue a case for the existance of environmental problems with a stalwart denier. They will always have the latest sensational report trashing the integrity of the IPCC or some maverick theory of sunspots or earth wobbles to undermine the modelling and observations of a thousand scientists. And, indeed, science itself is not that good at dealing with complexity in reality. Anyway for the vast majority of us a truly informed view is beyond our reach. Sometimes, as old as I am, I realise that the vast majority of what I believe in is learned rather than first hand experience. I have to choose, to a large extent, who I believe.
Continue reading Are you Techno or are you Eco?
The origin of economics, as we currently understand it, is usually cited as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and its free market overall ethos as stemming from his notion of the ‘Invisible Hand’ guiding us in an appropriate direction through enlightened self interest. Origins are rarely so specific in actuality and we simply anchor them in our mind with some convenient time stamped event.
Continue reading Economics & compassion