Ethics & Morality Archives – Values of the Wise

Ethics & Morality


Politics: Interview w/ Arianna Huffington (V&E6)

politics October 15th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times past. The topic of chapter six is “Morality Applied to Politics.” My two impressive partners in dialogue are noted author and thought leader Arianna Huffington and progressive economics, politics, and philosophy expert, David Callahan, Ph.D. Discussed are progressive politics, morality in politics, government, ethics, and responsive government.

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Moral Dilemmas: The Case of the Unabomber

moral dilemmas October 14th, 2017

Ted Kaczynski, as you probably know, was “the Unabomber.” His proficiency with creating bombs delivered through the mail was gruesome; many died from shrapnel and concussion opening a bomb, and they were absolutely innocent of any reasonable charge. His mentality was like something you would see in a high-ranking member of the Nazi party. He was extremely intelligent but had the morality of a sociopath. Quite a dangerous creature he was. Here is the story of his brother, David, who faced a moral dilemma about whether or not to turn his brother, the murderer, in. The topic of moral dilemmas is a most interesting and evocative one, so strap in.

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Greed: Wall Street’s Financial Fraud

greed October 11th, 2017

This blog is about skepticism toward America’s financial services sector: Wall Street, big banks, hedge funds, etc., as well as the lobbyists, politicians, and professors who collude and conspire with the industry’s many bad actors. I’m talking about capitalism and power run amok. Greed. I just watched Inside Job,  by remarkable filmmaker Charles Ferguson. America has such a complex financial and political landscape, I want to criticize, but it is hard to know where to begin. I will crack my knuckles and give you what I’ve got.

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Caring, Empathy, Love, Moral Development (V&E5)

moral development October 10th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times-past. The topic from chapter five is “Relationships and Social Policy That Foster Moral Development and Caring.” My two impressive partners in dialogue are psychotherapist and author Marianne Preger-Simon, Ed.D. and noted philosopher and professor, Nel Noddings, Ph.D. Concepts we try to elucidate in our engaging conversation include moral development, care, caring, love, maturation, socio-emotional development, nurturance, empathy, morality, character, and responsibility.

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Contrary Notions: Michael Parenti Quotes

Michael Parenti quotes October 5th, 2017

The following are Michael Parenti quotes which I took from his wonderful book, Contrary Notions. It is expensive, but so is organic produce and beef from free-range cattle. And that is how I think of Michael Parenti: the cream of the crop. An independent scholar, he is an inspiration to me. His writings are clear, compelling, and careful. He is a liberal luminary, and I’m proud to present to you a sampling of Michael Parenti quotes from Contrary Notions and other sources as well.

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Values and Virtues in the Form of Quotations

values and virtues September 24th, 2017

You can really benefit from really thinking about the following examples of values and virtues in the form of quotations from many great minds. It is applied philosophy in a very accessible form. VOW has nearly 27,000 quotes, proverbs, poetry, and lyrics relevant to values and virtues such as knowledge, education, peace, liberty, wisdom, ingenuity, lightheartedness, responsibility, and justice – for free. Here are examples and glimpses into what these values and virtues are about.

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Taxation: Good, Bad, or Ugly?

taxation September 20th, 2017

In a class I am participating in (taking), a fellow student asked a question about taxation. Here is a glimpse at that conversation, followed by some thoughts by people who have some wise or insightful point to add. In the end, my view will culminate in: No one likes paying taxes, but it’s basically rent. Unless you’re a saint or a true Christian, routing our collective funds through a good and responsive government – comprised of citizens – is the best way to affect social betterment. It’s in the spirit of this, by mega-capitalist, Warren Buffett: “I was lucky enough to be born into a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing—and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.”

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Virtue Ethics: Doing the Right Thing

virtue ethics September 17th, 2017

Virtue ethics is one of the top four or five ethical theories. Ethical theories are ways of organizing information in regard to right and wrong. Typically in science, theories can be shown in just one or two experiments or studies to be “false.” However, when it comes to ethics, it’s a bit more nuanced. The other major theories go by names such as utilitarianism, deontology (duty-based ethics), and religious ethics. Other contenders for the Top 10 include ethical subjectivism, religious ethics, casuistry, and authority-based ethics. Virtue ethics is one of my favorites for sure, and I will share some thoughts and perspectives about it in this blog. In the end, hopefully, the readers gain some appreciation for it, see how it is different from competing ethical theories, and recognize how to “use it” in real life (making ethical decisions, facing moral dilemmas, etc).  

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Buddhist Wisdom: Meditation, Awareness, Stillness

Buddhist wisdom September 17th, 2017

When it comes to wisdom, the Buddhists occupy a unique position. One thinks of monks and other practitioners of a very devout kind of Buddhism as up there with Indian sages, old men with Fu-Manchu mustaches, Gandalf, and assorted grandparents as being quintessential purveyors of wisdom. Meditation, mindfulness, stillness, open-mindedness, self-discipine, awareness, ethics, and insight are the stock-in-trade of Buddhist monks. The Dalai Lama is always reliable to have a mature, enlightened, very ethical perspective on any question posed to him. This blog is about finding wisdom in Buddhist principles.

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Virtues: Society’s Guiding Light

love is best among virtues September 10th, 2017

Since time immemorial, values, virtues, and societal norms (and mores, folkways, etc.) have been part and parcel of the fabric of every civilization. Not only is interesting to think of the ways in which different cultures differ from each other and how societies can spin out of control, it is exciting to think of the ways in which certain virtues hold up beautifully over time. For example, every society has more or less valued the virtue of truth: honesty, fair dealing, justified belief, etc. A society which prized chicanery, deceit, and unscrupulous behavior would not long last. Trust and law are the glue that hold a people together, and thus, the virtue of truth is written into the sacred texts, myths, laws, and norms of a society. Read on to see which virtues are tried and true, and ideally gain some inspiration for honoring them. 

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