ETHICAL ISSUES: ETHICAL GUIDELINES
How are you fixed for ethics? Integrity, principle, probity, honesty: concepts that often are overlooked, taken for granted or disregarded in today’s hectic world. ‘Business ethics’ simply isn’t; It deals with values and morals—the way we think things are—and tends to be arbitrary. The real ETHICS we’re talking about is more fundamental and powerful than either business or even legal ethics. This, the REAL ethics, represents THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE.
Ethics. What is it? Well, it’s not the plural of ethic nor is it difficult to define. You may think of ethics as truth, and of morality as applied truth, better known as honesty.
Can you see how this differs from business ‘ethics?’ Ethics is not debatable. It doesn’t vary with the situation. Nor does it vary with the law. The law is a product of society and can be changed in accordance with society’s wishes. Ethics isn’t even a product. It’s a given, a foundation of humanity (humanity is by nature ethical).
Like truth, ethics either is or isn’t. The way things should be is honest–surely we can agree on that. Truth doesn’t change. The law changes according to the needs of society. Truth can’t.
Can we achieve ethical parity? Of course we can, but first we have to stop kidding ourselves that things are the way they ought to be and that they can’t be much better because ‘that’s just the way it is.’ We start by being honest with ourselves and then move on to being honest with others and asking honesty from them.
Truth is perfect, the ultimate benchmark. Be honest and chances are excellent that you will at the same time be ethical and moral. Starting with truth, we all start at the same place. Knowing where a person is coming from makes it easier to deal with that person, easier to trust. And trust is the basis of any real relationship.
And relationships are the key to better living. Start with truth, build trust and live right. No one can do better, and there’s really no other acceptable alternative.
(This is from an article appearing  in Consulting Today, the publication of The Consultants Bureau. It’s still current.)
MANKIND – CREATION or EVOLUTION?
Are Creation and Evolution mutually exclusive? I vote NO.
It’s been my purpose for the past several years to try to justify the physical world with the metaphysical (science with the spiritual). Science being a child of philosophy, I believe that both are on parallel tracks that will link again when we finally know the truth. It’s my goal to fuse the two approaches insofar as possible while realizing that full spiritual understanding is out of my (or anyone else’s) range. That said:
The Universe had to have a beginning, a cause (every effect has a cause). Everything that is has to have a beginning.
Creation says that there is a creator; Evolution says that it all developed after some initial event—say, the Big Bang.
But when? 13.7 Billion years ago, yes, but when was that? Because of the non-existence of time before the Big Bang (our very concept of time requires matter in motion, so time in our terms could not have existed before matter), that singularity cannot include time and therefore must be by (our) definition ageless, dateless, timeless and continuous. How to resolve this? Creation says: an underlying potentiality or an eternal Creator.
It may come as a surprise that this suggestion of some eternal singularity (and its undeniably spiritual overtones) is supported by the very science that often seems bent upon proving otherwise. However, we may postulate with some certainty that whatever preceded the universe not only still pervades everything in it, but also is continuous within it, existing in an unbroken continuum within and between quarks, solar systems, constellations and galaxies. It was, is, and will be, at least until the end (if there is one) of the entire system that contains it. (This could be the end of time as we know it.) Disbelieving or not accepting this potency doesn’t change it; if the Big Bang makes any sense at all, so also does the idea that we must be given of it and whatever preceded it. Whatever that is may possibly be best described by the philosophical term dynamis (of which energy is its actualization). For additional support, go to www.extremeethics.org/?p=727
Religion chooses God as its dynamis. But what/who is God? The issue to be clarified seems to be the God of the Bible as described in Genesis, a God that created Man in His(?) image, which much of religious philosophy identifies as a personage. Let’s explore this situation:
Genesis 1:26 says “And God said, let us make Man in our image, after our likeness; and let them (mankind?) have dominion over…all the earth…” (But what is “our image”? Who are the “we” implied by “our”?) Read on for additional confusion…
The fact is that Man, wishing to ‘put a face’ on God, visualizes (has created) Him in his (man’s) own image! Since we read that God has created man, and man appears as he does, then God must resemble Man—reverse logic, as it were. But is this the case?
I say no. I submit that God in whatever form is first a spiritual entity, a dynamis rather than a person as we know it—not a bearded man on a cloud. The Creator is everywhere, in everything, at the same time. The Creator does not have a physical ‘image’, but a spiritual one impossible for Man to visualize. I submit that God can be only imaged as Spirit or Soul.
If this is so, then “the breath of life” making Man a “living soul” (Genesis 2:7) could be the ‘image’ of God transferred to Man—Man is in God’s image via his spiritual soul, not his physical being. Otherwise, what would be the meaning of “male and female created he them” (Gen. 2:27)? God would have to ‘resemble’ woman as well. And think about it: What does God need with gonads? Is there a goddess (unmentioned) somewhere in the wings? Are they the ‘we’ referred-to? I don’t know. Do you?
And who’s to say? The translations representing the Word of God infallibly guiding the hand(s) of the writer(s) are less than clear. How are these seeming inconsistencies to be resolved? Are they translational problems? I don’t know. Do you? http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=727
If the Big Bang (some 13.7 billion years ago) can be described as other than something from nothing (a thing created), or if I’ve missed something, I will reconsider my position, but for the present I am open to considering such a creation that seems not to conflict with science.
Does this justify science with spirituality? Of course not, but it certainly points in that direction. For more, see http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=620 and for even more go to http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=801
The major factor in Earth’s changing climate is not coal, nor mankind, nor carbon dioxide, or anything other than Earth’s water.
THE HYDROSPHERE: EARTH’S WATER
The hydrosphere includes all of Earth’s water in all its forms (vapor, liquid and ice) in all its locations. We don’t know its source (it is entirely possible that it is a product of earth itself), but we do know that the amount of water in earth’s system remains constant—it does not increase or decrease. Further, the interchange between its forms being virtually instantaneous and automatically varying according to temperatures within the system provides the rapid spontaneous balance necessary for earth’s adaptability to changing conditions. There is constant feedback between the oceans (and the rest of the hydrosphere) and the atmosphere.
Oceans cover some 70-percent of Earth (about 130 million of Earth’s area of 197 Million square miles). The average depth of the oceans is about 2.4 MILES; this translates to some 343,548,500,000,000,000,000 gallons of water that are always moving by convection, pressure, evaporation, gravity and the Coriolis effect (due to Earth’s rotation). This massive (and active) heat sink has great impact on temperature, the atmosphere and therefore the biosphere as well. There is constant exchange of energy between the oceans (and the rest of the hydrosphere) and the atmosphere, that helps maintain Earth’s life-sustaining balance.
Ocean currents are instrumental in controlling Earth’s climate; in fact, they are a major mechanism of climate change. There are 17 major currents affecting the globe, among them the Gulf Stream, Kuroshio, Equatorial, Humboldt, Labrador and Australian Currents. Some are warm, others cool, but all move vast amounts of seawater over vast areas of Earth in all three dimensions,, necessarily affecting climate and temperatures. www.sciencedaily.com/articles/o/ocean_current.html They also affect the atmosphere.
Atmospheric gases are produced by biological reactions of Earth’s water, soils and rocks, and are maintained in spite of changes in earth processes. Atmospheric conditions are kept in a narrow range by the life they support. Air is 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, just under 1% Argon and traces of other gases, and 0.04% Carbon Dioxide. CO2 is critical to maintaining atmospheric temperatures and maintaining the Oxygen level. More carbon dioxide? Nature provides more plants to process it. Parenthetically, ocean salinity remains about the 3.4% necessary for life to exist in spite of natural phenomena that would seem to alter this number. This is partly a function of organic processes; remember: organisms naturally improve their environment in order to survive.
There is a system at work here, and we have no idea of how it works, nor have we any control of it. We are pawns of nature, not the controlling pieces.
There are any number of posts on this website that deal with this issue. You may wish to explore the subject further. Or you may not…
ETHICS, GOD and the CONSTITUTION
The claim that the United States is a secular nation is simply a straw man argument. Our Constitution was written by God-fearing people—the evidence for which is simply overwhelming—who were not at all timid about expounding their reliance on a Supreme Being by any name in their actions. Some were Deists (belief in a superior power–God in any guise), most were members of established orthodox churches in the colonies. It is accurate to say that the Judeo-Christian worldview was the foundation on which the founders built our Republic. It was written into the Declaration of Independence. All of them cited a Supreme Being in their admonitions for our budding nation. Our founders, to a man, were in essential agreement.
“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.” –John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776.
And this from James Madison, ‘The Father of Our Constitution’: “We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.” Is this not the essential Christian worldview?
You want legal precedent? A Supreme Court ruling (1892) that “this is a Christian nation,” was followed again in 1931 with “we are a Christian people.” Indisputable.
[Well, what about Muslims? Our President recently (July, 2014) thanked Muslim-Americans for their many “achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” This statement is untrue at its core; no Muslim had anything to do with “building the…fabric of our nation,” and Islam does anything but strengthen the core of any democracy—the entire culture is specifically undemocratic.]
However, our Founders would have welcomed Allah into the American fabric in their mission to guarantee freedom of religion; they were not specifically Judeo-Christian in that mission. But they would not have tolerated Islamic Shariah law because of its conflict with their vision of a republican government, a government that was not to interfere with religion.
The founders did not want freedom from religion, they wanted freedom of religion. What they were vehement about was that government was not to interfere in religion. To a man they all stipulated that God (by any name) was part and parcel of our founding and did not feel the need to expound incessantly on the subject. This is clear in the Declaration, the Constitution, the Federalist (and Anti-Federalist) Papers, and in countless documents from the Magna Carta through and beyond the Mayflower Compact.
Those who claim that our nation does not have God (by any name) in our initial makeup are wrong, so why suffer the argument? Some may wish to consider a ‘living Constitution,’ but they may not alter the events leading up to its writing (recorded history) and inherent in it. If they wish to change the Constitution to ‘make it more relevant,’ the mechanism is there—built in by the writers: amendment. Go at it, I say, but don’t allow God-denying people to lead the charge because, (and this is important)—they are not qualified to do so because they refuse to accept the initial premise. Only those who understand the thoughts and words of our founders (even if they do not agree with them) are qualified to interpret what they meant. God’s being currently out of vogue does not alter history. We are not a secular nation because God is in its DNA.
Nor may the courts remove God from the mix. Jefferson worried that the courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law an oligarchy—the rule of few over many.
The body that is charged with interpreting it (our Supreme Court) cannot interpret and rule on a Constitution that it doesn’t accept in its entirety. It’s impossible, clearly unconstitutional.
Interpretation requires understanding the bases and meaning of the words themselves, not to mention the intent. The Constitution was written for the God-fearing nation clearly evident in the writings of the founders. All of them.
So. Why would words such as “In God We Trust” be eliminated from government documents? Does eliminating them eliminate the presence of God in the very foundations of our nation? Does eliminating “under God” from the Pledge nullify God? Does pretending that God was not a factor in our founding take God out of the equation? Does trying to prove that God does not exist (an impossible task) change the facts? No to all. Pretending that our nation was not founded on a Judeo-Christian worldview does not make it so.
What’s presented here is not anti-Jewish, or anti-Muslim, or anti-anything. It is simply a fact that cannot be changed, and trying to change it is simply anti-American and unethical. This does not suggest that Christians are superior to anyone else, or that anyone else has fewer rights than Christians. It is simply historic fact—the way it is. History cannot be changed, even by amendment. There’s no denying that what happened, happened, for whatever reason. History is immutable. Live with it. Amen.
THE HOAX OF GLOBAL WARMING
This comes from one of our original blogs. It’s still current.
I’ve been a geologist for more than half a century (and an engineer as well for about 8 years during that time). Geology being the science of the earth naturally includes the environment (which includes Earth). Typically, we geologists begin our investigations by observing and documenting current conditions, then working backward to determine how they got that way. We do this using, among other tools, the method of multiple working hypotheses devised by T.C. Chamberlin, an American geologist who died before my time; it has found its way into other forensic sciences. Essentially, it involves looking at current conditions and investigating simultaneously, without prejudice, every conceivable path that might have led to the current situation. This method will necessarily include chasing down dead ends and correcting wrong turns, but it has the advantage of identifying false and misleading information and enhancing the credibility of the conclusion. It is, if anything, a thorough and exhaustive approach. And it’s the key to evaluating climate change.
My own geology education began in 1950 and has been augmented in many ways since that time. Being the definitive earth science, geology includes hydrology, meteorology, climatology, oceanography, even cosmology, any science that adds to knowledge about the earth and conditions thereon. In other words, it’s not just ‘rocks.’ It goes back to the Big Bang and proceeds from there. And it’s the key to evaluating climate change.
Geologists necessarily investigate past earth environments using various techniques including drilling & coring, geophysics, glaciology, fossils, stratigraphy, mineralogy, structural science, and anything else (including tree rings) that might provide clues to historical climate change, among other things. In other words, we are uniquely qualified to determine what happened when, during the earth’s long history. It’s what we do. And we know about climate change.
When I began my education, plate tectonics, ‘continental drift,’ mid-ocean ridges and other massive, literally earth-shaking, features were only ideas (no kidding). In other words, I go ‘way back. Now, plate tectonics can be observed in real-time. When I began my geology education, geophysics was a ‘science abornin’. Now, precise geophysical methods are used regularly and with confidence to investigate and measure accurately otherwise-unobservable earth conditions. And I’m proud to have been involved directly in its development and use.
I have grown up with, and contributed to, contemporary earth science. I have kept current with post-graduate courses in rock mechanics, hydrology, engineering geology, soils engineering, remote sensing, seismology, geophysical methods, even statistical methods and computer modeling, few of which were available in my undergraduate years. I have done this so as to keep up with the ever-developing earth sciences. I’ve written professional papers and articles, and I continue to study my chosen science even as I grow unable to follow it all.
I bore you with these details only to point out that I know something about the subject. Really. I am, in fact, an expert, and I lay my expertise on the line. Regarding ethics, I am dedicated to the truth.
I can say, without reservation, that ‘global warming’ as promulgated by those who have no idea what they’re talking about is a hoax. Climate change is real, and will always be with us. It’s what nature does, without our help. You can read all about it at any number of blogs on this website and, if you will investigate the facts you will necessarily come to the same conclusion. I guarantee it, because it’s the truth.
The ‘global warming’ scare is political, not scientific, and it’s just that–a scare–with no basis in fact. You can believe it or not, but there’s no reason to panic. So relax and enjoy our world. Take care of it, of course, but remember that we are guests, not hosts, on this planet, and there’s no way we can supplant nature. It has complete control over us, and that you can take to the bank. Get used to it.