ETHICS and MORALITY
Ethics is one of several fields of philosophy, the thinking rationally and critically about fundamental questions. A basic tool of philosophy is, famously, logic—the process of right reasoning.
Maybe the most basic philosophical question of all is: why is there anything? This question is best answered by another: Who knows? which is enough to put philosophy on the shelf, a position often exacerbated by philosophers themselves—especially those with an agenda. Philosophers love arguing with other philosophers, scaring off others who might make sense of it all. The next few paragraphs illustrate why. Stay with me here…
Philosophy incorporates three laws of thought, to wit: 1) Nothing can be and not be at the same time; 2) Something either is or is not; and 3) A thing is what it is (such as words, which simply describe what is). The alert reader will recognize these as saying pretty much the same thing in different ways and illustrate the validity of absolutes (there are absolutes—get used to it).
Another factoid: Fundamental principles cannot be proved to be true; these are the principles by which other claims may be proved true. If you’ve been paying attention to past blogs, you’ll recognize this as describing First Principles. These are the anchors for our thinking and are themselves anchored in what I consider to be the first of first principles, TRUTH. Without truth, there can be no knowledge, and therefore nothing at all.
You are urged not to take too much issue with the foregoing, or you will be among whom Aristotle famously described as the wrongheaded who refuse to realize that some things cannot be proved (if this were not true, then nothing could be proved).
Are we having fun yet?
Well, for respite we can always fall back upon science, the favored daughter of philosophy. Science, like its parent, has to do with our origins, reality and the physical universe generally. Science provides a safe haven for those who must put things in the context of what’s solid, those who like to observe and experiment.
But science is really no more solid than philosophy because it too is founded upon speculation. Science is based on a few postulates that are assumed, NOT PROVEN. The problem is that even many scientists do not acknowledge that…
Which brings us to that other daughter of philosophy, spiritualty (the term ‘religion’ is too opinionated and limiting). This offspring deals with the spiritual world rather than the physical world of science. It too has to do with our origins, ultimate reality as well as such intangibles as the meaning of life, human nature, good and evil, immortality (and morality), right and wrong, and, taDA!, ethics.
Ethics is not a child of religion, as many of ‘The Enlightened’ would have you believe. It’s an integral part of the substance of philosophy, the parent. As such it supersedes even science, which often does not recognize religion as a function of spirituality. There IS spirituality, just as there is the physical world. This is fact, but as a First Principle can’t be proven any more than the EM (electromagnetic) Field or gravity can be proven (but we know exist) by science. It may even provide the answer to the question “why is there anything?” Don’t sell it short. That science can’t prove it means nothing because science itself is an offspring, and an effect can’t prove its cause (see paragraph 4, above, any number of past blogs, and the book (To Tell The Truth…).
Ethics is founded in TRUTH, the first of first principles and, as such may be classified as a given. Morality is applied truth, or honesty. Are you honest with yourself? Now THAT’s extreme…
…and what ExtremeEthics is all about: saving the world, one truth at a time.