Tuesday, 31 July 2012


A long time ago Aristotle wrote about Ethics, I have this little book next to me. Aristotle was a vigorous polemicist and a rational philosopher. He lived between 384 and 322 BC in Greece. The success of Aristotle can be measured by the enormous impact of his book Ethics on Western moral philosophy. He converts ethics from a theory to a practical science. He first composed it simply as notes for lectures he gave.

'Our task is to become good men, or to achieve the highest human good. That good is happiness'.

Individual can behave in an ethical manner, this is true of each person to chose to do good, to be moral.
Professionals like medical doctors are guided by ethical concerns for their patients. 'Do no harm' This of course can apply to many other professions or human behaviour. However nowadays many corporations and government bodies love to issue mission statements on codes of conduct, codes of ethics for their employees. It is good to present this mirage of concern to the general public to reassure the naive and the easily deceived. We should remember that governments are essentially political entities driven by the pursuit of control and power and the public good is a distant third, based on the re-election prospects of the politicians or the sale prospects of products marketed by corporations. Spin which is so much part of our political discourse nowadays is easily confused with ethical speech.

Political correctness is also often confused with ethics, appear to do good without ever doing it. Saying out loud what no one actually thinks or believes quietly. We have in the workplace people charged with promoting ethical behaviour which is associated with correct, officially sanctioned attitudes and pre-fabricated responses to any and all situations. In other words you are told what to think. It appears that we are in fact returning to fascist values of the mid twentieth century, confusing them with modern advanced thought and what passes for modern ethical behaviour.  We have forgotten the lessons of the past and are too willing to accept what is thrown at us as long as it satisfies instant gratification or excitement which masquerades for happiness.

So what happened to ethics in our every day life, it has been replaced by instant profit and reward, greed is justified as success and blissful ignorance is the new normal.

                                    Mourning Athena, goddess of Wisdom

1 comment:

  1. I hope I keep up high ethical standards at all time
    even with bourbon.