Practicing Human Ethics

The lecture continues.

Humans may be more complex than other creatures on the planet, but as with any organism they have their Dao. Therefore, those who wish to engage in ethics must keep the moral and metaphysical framework in mind, study the Dao of each particular organism, and consider how to develop a harmonious society that accords with the Greater Morality.

Ethicists must consider every direction that characterises a person, from the nutritive to the deliberative. This can be done by considering one's own personal experiences and sensations, and by observing the practical actions and reports of others. The personal nature of ethics makes it both easier and more difficult than other fields; we know it as part of our human nature, but that fact brings with it a measure of bias.

When observing others it can be easier to remain neutral, for we can watch strangers from a distance and do our best to keep ourselves out of the equation. We can see how they grow and what they need to thrive, and we can record what actions they take and the external expressions of their mood.

A less neutral example of combining personal experience and observation is that of parents raising their children. They personally experience a sense of responsibility and the desire to assist their children, which is itself ethical. While this introduces some bias, it also helps the parent focus on the child, who they see struggle to grow and pursue different directions. As the process continues, the child exhibits increasingly complex behaviour and must take up various social roles.

This process reinforces the importance of cleaving to goodness, because the parent feels the weight of failure. Exercises in leadership, such as parenthood, grant the leader a real-life demonstration of how different decisions and scenarios can impact an organism. This is crucial for those who would discuss ethics, because ethical judgments and decisions come with serious consequences.

Ethicists might also look to their parents or grandparents, so they may see what happens as a human approaches the end of its life. They can learn what palliative care and social structure best supports humans as they fade. For everything with a relative beginning will terminate in a relative end; an organism has a time of accumulation, and it has a period of dissipation.

It is not possible to experience one moment indefinitely and to the exclusion of all others. The Ethicist must accept and consider both birth and death, a sort of relative beginning and end of an organism. It is not enough to ask how to create and raise the next generation, but also how and when that generation should pass away.

The guide leads you to a little display rack, before handing you one of the pamphlets.

Please, feel free to take a copy, although the material is quite dated. I need to close this section for the day and leave, but I can also show you the way to the Guesthouse if you'd like.

You grab a copy before heading outside through a side door.

Continue:

  1. Review the pamphlet...
  2. Go to the Guesthouse...