ethics

I’m not the sort of person who says “you must not have sex before marriage” or “you must read only uplifting literature;” I’m not even the sort of person who sees those kinds of things as desirable. I’m the sort of person who says “you must not kill the man, let him live instead,” and “you must spare his family, they’re innocent.” I don’t even see the value of ordering those with moral luck and good habits to be perfectionistic. I would rather see them use their positions to protect the innocent from those without moral luck and good habits; after all, there is no shortage of innocent people in danger. Put simply, it’s a matter of prioritization. Preventing murders is more important than reading uplifting literature. If you are unlikely to commit murder yourself, it’s a better use of time and resources to improve your own ability to serve NGOs which reduce the need for violence on the streets than to avoid reading the wrong books. Of course, it may for one reason or another become necessary toward this end for you to read uplifting literature. But it probably will not be necessary (or even possible) for you to cultivate every positive trait in order to do it. If dedicating resources to developing positive traits which you do not need prevents you from having the necessary resources to accomplish what you do need, you are guilty of wrongdoing despite doing only good. Therefore my earlier statement “it is always beneficial to do some good thing” was somewhat wrong. It would have been more accurate to say: “the right choice is always a good, and is never an evil. But not all goods are right choices at all times.”

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2 comments
  1. You make an interesting, but in my opinion, a confused statement. Beyond that, I have no comment.

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    • Well, I guess I have no comment about your lack of comment. 🙂

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