Ethics and Morality

The Good Person

Some Topics

  • Values

    The term “values” is often used to claim virtue. Values mingle ambiguously with ideas, beliefs, political biases, social policies, morals, ethics, rules and laws. The term value derives from an innate tendency for humans to make selections by assessing the benefits and risks of one choice compared with another. The gradients are aligned from reward to punishment. Evaluation is the process of sorting choices along a gradient. The tendency to affiliate with others requires evaluation of the benefits of association versus the cost and the risks.

    Discrimination is an aspect of quick evaluations based on feature detection. Humans evaluate faces quickly and approach others whose faces are familiar and attractive. They shun other faces that are unfamiliar and unattractive. These innate features of brainmind form the elements of cognitive structures that become mope elaborate and more abstract as societies grow in size and complexity. Much of the elaboration is noumenal that occurs only in language. It is common for humans to claim that they are guided by superior values when their actual performance is mediocre or even reprehensible.

    Urban et al suggested that values are guiding principles of behavior. The problem is that this definition is that we cannot decide who does what to whom and cannot clarify what part of human behavior arises spontaneously and what part is determined by learning and social forces. In terms of cognitive models or structures and semantics, there is always redundancy in the terms used in different disciplines and different contexts. Often, humans use a variety terms to describe the same phenomena so that misunderstandings and confusion are normal consequences of discussions.

    Urban also suggested that political differences originate from different assumptions about how the world works: ”The conservative worldview is organized around ideas like tradition, the moral order (the belief that society is organized in a natural and rightful hierarchy), the importance of authority, and the fundamental nature of property as private… The ideal government, in the conservative view, does not interfere in the lives of upstanding citizens: each is free to pursue his own self-interest in a self-regulating system. The state intervenes only in cases of threats to the moral order, such as criminal or immoral behavior or foreign attack… The progressive worldview is organized around the engagement of citizens in self-government and progress (a counterpoint to tradition)… government is an expression of the will of the people, one that reinforces community and helps to redress inequality… progressives recognize merit but know that no great achievements occur in isolation. The overarching progressive prescription for the state is ensuring the commonwealth for the common good: hence, public education, social security, and healthcare.“

  • The Good Person: Ethics and Morality by Stephen Gislason 105 Pages. Print and eBook versions. Persona Digital Books.

    Ethics is about the interface between selfish interests and actions and the common good. Both good and bad tendencies are innate properties that have useful functions, were not invented by modern society and are not going to change until the construction of brain changes. The dialogue between good and bad in human affairs is constant, predictable and universal. When a baby is born, the family and local community begin to teach the emerging being what is going on here and now. They provide the local language, costumes, customs beliefs and the local science and technology. All adult humans have an ethical standard and a technology to teach. While the local culture has an obvious impact on the appearance and behavior of emerging adults, the constant innate features of the human mind are pervasive and persistent.

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