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ETHICS and NATURE
You’ve certainly heard the saying: Nature Bats Last. It’s a fact—no matter what man does, nature has the last word. Here’s another truism:
FACT: Nature Doesn’t Lie. Nature is exactly what it is, no more, no less—truth. And truth is exactly what it is—no more, no less than perfection. We don’t define perfection because we can’t achieve it. It remains beyond us. Further, we have stipulated truth as being free of lies (i.e., untruths are not truth. Duh…).
But that’s as far as we can go. Truth can’t be perfectly defined because truth is an a priori cause—a First Principle–that can’t be defined by its effect[s]. i.e., truth is a given. Everything requires truth to even be (exist) in the first place. (This means that truth must have preceded even the Universe, which couldn’t exist without it). www.extremeethics.org/?p=974
But the concept (of truth) has to be articulated to some degree so that we can deal with it—after all, that’s why man invented words. The following definition (not original) is based on perfection (another First Principle): a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle; being in conformity with reality, transcending even what may be perceived. In other words, although something may be true, we may not comprehend it. This is important. As an example: consider the Universe. It’s real, but we don’t fully comprehend it. It’s literally beyond us.
That said, we can finally deal with words themselves.
Words are artifacts, manufactured by man to communicate. But words are what we make them; therefore we are the source of lies. Lies are born when we try to create truth in our own image–when in fact we have an agenda. Truth has no agenda. Nature does not have an agenda, and truth does not have an agenda.
What is, is true: The Universe; Earth; Mankind. What we say or do is imperfect, questionable. (For more on this GoTo http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=1087 )
The message here is: When you detect an agenda, question it. So, to summarize…
FACT: Truth has no agenda.
And a bonus fact or two:
FACT: Knowledge requires truth. You can’t know something that isn’t true. Truth is the benchmark of fact, and we don’t have all the facts. Anyone can play games with words—words are artifacts. We create them. We do NOT create truth. It precedes us. Truth precedes everything. http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=594 http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=847
FACT: We cannot control Earth any more than we can control Nature or the Universe. What we can control is ourselves. Begin with TRUTH and begin right (and for that matter good).
Be honest, first with yourself, then with others. It will get you everywhere.
ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS of PC
Racial profiling? You decide… (the following statements, many of them courtesy of Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal (July 16, 2013), are true and can be corroborated by even the most cursory of research.
This from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior in 1961: “…Negroes are 10% of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes…We’ve got to face that…We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too…There are things that we must do for ourselves.”
Dr. King’s statement makes a divisive reference to ‘white world’ and ‘black world,’ thereby providing a perfect segue into the following (ethical, if not politically-correct) statements based on race:
Blacks still represent only 13% of the national population, yet in the thirty years between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. About 90% of black murder victims are killed by blacks—the homicide rate claiming black victims currently is seven times that of whites—nearly one teenager per day in Chicago.
The black arrest rate for most offenses (robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes) is two to three times their representation in the population. Moreover, these crimes are preponderantly in the North, not the South, and notably SINCE the ‘age of segregation.’ Why? Perhaps the fact that 72% of black children are born to and brought up by unwed mothers has something to do with it…
Black crime and incarceration spiked in the ‘70s and ‘80s in northern cities such as Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of our most poorly-run and violent cities today are run by blacks. (Detroit appears to hold the record—currently $18Billion in debt and bankrupt). Even the District of Columbia elected a convicted criminal (Marion Barry) as mayor. Political Correctness found a self-confessed murderer (OJ Simpson) ‘not guilty’.
And about our country: Roughly 90% of blacks voted for Barack Obama, who appointed many controversial blacks (including the AG) and would “honor Trayvon Martin.” We also have: the debatable Tony Perez, apologists(?) Ben Jealous (NAACP), Al Sharpton (MSNBC), Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam), Jesse Jackson (at large), Representatives Charlie Rangel (NY) and John Lewis (GA), actor Marion Wayans and the national media who compete to incite hatred of America generally and white America specifically. Divisive, yes. Racially motivated? You decide…
The facts are that the “culture of violence” continues to be propagated in the urban areas mentioned above (and others) by those mentioned above. Urban blacks continue to commit a highly disproportionate number of crimes, and sweeping this fact under the rug of Political Correctness will not help Dr. King’s cause or our nation generally.
Does it appear that blacks have seriously tried to follow Dr. King’s advice, even in the face of admonitions by the likes of Walter E Williams, John McWhorter, Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell (all are black and see the problem for what it is—irresponsibility and decline of the black family)? You decide, but quoting again the Reverend King: “There are things that we must do for ourselves.” Amen.
Wake up, America! Stop Political Correctness! (It’s unethical…and it’s killing us.)
“Any fool can tell you what you want to hear. It takes guts to speak the truth.” SJ Lewis
(Ethics courtesy of ExtremeEthics.org)
ETHICS, EDUCATION, and MORALITY
The critical goal of education is, or should be, developing the individual to his maximum possible stature—to actualize his potential, his own identity and idiosyncratic values, and not just teaching him skills. And this means every person, not just the elite. It’s not happening.
In order to accomplish this goal, individuals must be allowed some degree of free choice in addition to the basics (“3 Rs”). This means a necessary function of education is to discover and nurture the idiosyncratic characteristics of individuals.
Education can’t be values-free. In addition to teaching skills it must include the opportunity and means to form individual values. Spiritual and ethical values have a place in education; these are not dependent on any church or religion (nor do they in any violate the Constitutional separation of church and state).
A moral society requires ethical people, people with knowledge of truth, justice and virtue. Is our society promulgating these higher values? Is it asking too much of education to at least cease suppressing them. www.extremeethics.org/ethics-in-education
Education is not doing its job, and until it does, we will continue to flounder in a sea of immorality and live in the political morass of today.
The cure begins with the ethical individual. GoTo www.extremeethics.org for more information. You may be interested in the following blogs as well:
ETHICS and RISK MANAGEMENT
Risk management is like walking a tightrope. You can play it safe by walking the low rope. Or you can walk the high rope with more risk of damage but a chance at bigger gains. Nobody ever said that walking a tightrope, or making decisions, was easy.
Risk is real, and taking risk is a fact of life. But taking foolish risks is, in a word, senseless.
An awful lot of risk is being sold by an awful lot of ethicists(?) these days. Some of them, at very prestigious institutes of higher learning, are teaching their students that it’s OK to lie. And/or cheat. Don’t believe it? Check out www.extremeethics.org/business-ethics. An example from an issue of the Harvard Business Review: “There is no compelling economic reason to tell the truth or keep one’s word” (note the keyword—economic. Money is what it’s all about today). I’m not making this up. So goes the state of “business ethics” these days. www.extremeethics.org/ethics-in-education
A lot of money is being made by a lot of unethical people (including “ethics consultants”), but being unethical is courting disaster. Why take foolish risks when you don’t have to? Lying, misleading and shading the truth are unethical, not to mention foolish risks. You can do a lot of positive risk management simply by being honest. While there still may be risk, you’ll sleep better.
One of the time-tested tools available for anyone’s use is, of all things, truth. Truth is the basis of ethics and being ethical will never hurt you in the long run. It can also help immeasurably in the short run.
And not only will honesty and integrity always stand you in good stead in managing risk, it also will pay dividends in your personal STRESS management. Someone once correctly noted that by telling the truth you don’t have to remember what you said, thereby freeing your mind for better things. Not only that, but you take fear out of the picture—fear of getting caught, fear of punishment. A free mind is free of stress as well.
Any meaningful relationship is built on trust. http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=1014 But how can anyone trust someone who lies to him, or worse? If truth is the benchmark, trust follows. It’s that simple. Honesty leads to being ethical, and being ethical goes a long way toward reducing stress and managing risk.
Try it. You’ll like it.
ETHICS IS: The sum of all fundamentals affecting right conduct in every case at all times. (more at www.extremeethics.org/what-is-ethics).
Ethics, a universal personal attribute, defines what is right, good and true. It requires nothing other than yourself to approve or apply. It’s an integral part of you that applies to the whole of humanity—in fact to Earth and the entire Universe—not just to you or any particular group.
Ethics, founded in truth, a First Principle, is also right and good. And this is where the whole of humanity comes in because while truth is a given, good and right are not; therefore, the term right conduct requires clarification.
But first, to put ethics in perspective, it is first necessary to define its foundation, TRUTH. But therein lies a problem: Fundamentals (like truth) cannot be perfectly defined. They must remain at least in part concepts—ideas, perceptions, theories, awareness— principles. Why? Because they are the source, not the product, of definition. What follows is so basic that it may be far too simple to explain; however, it’s my best shot currently:
TRUTH, a First Principle, is a given. Everything requires it simply in order to be. Even lies require truth just to be what they are. But philosophy (the pursuit of truth) and its offspring ethics (derivative from truth) cannot be used to perfectly define truth, because a result cannot define its source (an effect can’t define its cause). However, we need a definition that satisfies our idea of the concept in order to proceed—after all, that’s what words are for. Here is a definition (not original) of truth based on perfection (another First Principle): a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle; being in conformity with reality, transcending even what may be perceived. I hope that this will suffice.
Truth is a given that applies universally to both the individual and the whole. Good and right apply to the whole of humanity. What is ethical is good (and right) for the whole—the entirety of humanity, even the entire Universe. And this is what ethics is all about.
BUT WHAT IS TRUE?
There are subtle (but very real) differences between true and truth. True, an adjective, deals with statements made. Truth, a noun, does not—it merely is. It’s an absolute. “He should not be driving so fast” may be true but it’s debatable. Truth is indisputable, an ideal or “fundamental reality transcending what may be perceived.” It’s a given, a First Principle. Like the Universe, TRUTH SIMPLY IS.
Givens are what is; besides the Universe itself (a singularity the origin of which remains undefined), they include LIFE (your own being an example, a gift not requested and, in fact, undeserved); PERFECTION (we know what it is even if it can’t be achieved); and of course TRUTH (necessary to define and articulate WHAT IS) among them. You can’t deny WHAT IS even if you want to because IT IS, anyway. You WILL accept what is, like it or not.
Since you are ethical, BE ETHICAL!!
You were born with all the parts to live a life perfectly complementing the Universe. You had to be, because you are an integral part of that Universe. You were born of humanity and are thus responsible both to and for it and Earth, your environment that gave you life. This means that you were born ethical, just like everyone else; it’s a universal personal attribute—a given. Givens are all so basic that we can freely ignore them, but they’re always there.
So what happened to our ethics? And truth itself?
Other people. Coping. Competing. Life as it is—going along to get along. We’ve become comfortable with denying the very idea of truth. We even avoid the use of the word lie, replacing it with any number of excuses to cover up the general lack of honesty in our society. We embrace political correctness, finding other words to avoid the possibility of making someone uncomfortable by stating the facts as they are. Both truth and ethics have suffered study, debate and dispute and in the process, have become misunderstood empty formal abstractions.
“Any fool can tell you what you want to hear. It takes guts to speak the truth.” SJ Lewis
But givens (First Principles) are universal and remain consistent over time—they don’t evolve or change. What was ethical/true then is ethical/true now and will be ethical/true in the future.
We are born into this world with all that’s needed to live right—it’s all there. The wickedness, depravity, iniquity, immorality and evil of the world are all manufactured by those who would deny their selfs to gain temporary advantage over others and avoid their responsibility to the whole. You may even be one of them, but you don’t have to be. You can choose to return to your self and live right (which is really what ethics is all about). It’s that simple. All you have to do is be who you really are. Return to the basics. The rest will take care of itself. But it’s up to you to ‘get it.’ Got it? If not, peruse the rest of this site. That’s what it’s here for.
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