Ethics & Morality

Ethics & Morality


Philosophical Books: Three Down-to-Earth Ones

philosophical books June 17th, 2017

Philosophical books often don’t win many prizes. They can be difficult, abstruse, antiquated, or just plain boring. Most of us realize the power and the merit of reading in the field of philosophy, but are wary of picking up a Nietzsche book. Now, I do recommend the readable and fairly wide-ranging book Philosophy for Dummies, by public philosopher extraordinaire, Tom Morris, Ph.D. However, that is only going to take you so far because it is necessarily wide in its breadth. It’s a good “Cliff’s Notes” version of the field of philosophy, but it isn’t as deep in the area of applied philosophy as you are probably needing. That is where Values of the Wise comes in. Read on for more insight into three wonderful, philosophical books that you can really sink your teeth into and get a lot out of. 

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Engaging in Socratic Dialogue

Socratic dialogue June 15th, 2017

There is something called Socratic dialogue. Essentially, two individuals engage in a conversation – a dialectic, as it is known – and they try to figure out the nature of the question and try to formulate an answer that is logical, rational, true, and correct. It’s not easy, but it is probably better to have a knowledgeable person work in concert with you if you are trying to figure out truth. This takes wisdom, obviously. Though it is not quite ready to be “an app,” there is something about the Socratic method that can be learned and useful to an individual even sans interlocutor, if you will. Thus, I will share with you my notes on what Socratic dialogue is all about. May it lead you one step closer to wisdom!

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Books on Values: Building a Life of Value

one of the best books on values June 3rd, 2017

Values of the Wise has three wonderful, insightful books on values that range from $8 to $20. They primarily use quotations to evoke wisdom and inspiration. They are organized by value: in other words, the chapter on Truth & Justice features an introductory essay, eighteen pages of some of the best and most unique quotations on the subjects, and then a closing essay. The book is very accessible because you can flip to any page and start reading; there is no need to start at the beginning and read it like a novel. One doesn’t wear all of one’s jewelry (or clothes) every single day, and the same is true for the wisdom present in this book that Diane Zehr, Pastor of Florence Christian Church in Florence, KY describes with the following words:

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Kindness Quotes: Be Nice to People!

Kindness quotes are helpful May 26th, 2017

Kindness quotes are important because they urge us to remember what really matters, show concern for others besides just ourselves, and stay focused on “the right thing to do.” Here is an article about why being nice is important, and below are some of the best inspirational kindness quotes I have found over the years. Keep them in mind – and in your heart. Whether you are religious or not, be good to others. You won’t regret it. “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again” (attributed to Steven Grellet, though possibly a Quaker proverb).

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Wise Words About Life: The Wisdom Archive

wise words about life May 23rd, 2017

This is the page you need to see if you are searching for wise words about life! The Wisdom Archive is home to 25,000 great quotations on values & wisdom! I have collected these apt examples of values over a 13-year period. I have spent much money, energy, and time digitizing the collection and making it searchable based on keyword, subject, author name, author gender, value, and author ethnic background. No quotes about “fun” or “dogs” or “cooking” here! Indeed, these are the best quotes, the ultimate in wise words about life when it comes to values, wisdom, and ethics. How much does the Wisdom Archive cost? Nothing! Are there a bunch of ads that cheapen the site and the user experience? Negative!

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Supply-Side Economics: Unwise and Unkind

Economics for the rich May 22nd, 2017

Supply-side economics is on display in the latest budgetary proposals by the Trump Administration. The approach to governance he is showing is highly questionable, both from a wisdom perspective, and from an economic justice point of view. As Erik Wasson writes in his Bloomberg article, “Trump to Pitch Deep Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs and Medicaid:” “President Donald Trump plans to propose $1.7 trillion in cuts to a category of spending that includes major social and entitlement programs for lower-income Americans, as part of an effort to balance the budget within a decade.” He also notes that ‘This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schemer said.” What could the populist-sounding candidate-turned-president have in mind? What is the justification? Is it wise, and is it just?

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Social Justice: The Case of African Americans

Social justice May 17th, 2017

Social justice is a very significant matter for America. Today I had a friend I disagreed with about whether it is even real, and then happened to watch an innovative and compelling show called American Race, hosted by provocateur and thinker, Charles Barkley. There are many considerations when it comes to the interesting and significant topic of social justice: what is it? Is it real? How does it relate to race, institutionalized racism, class, capitalism, poverty, and class issues? What are America’s racial problems now, what are the true facts about our history, and can we make greater social progress going forward?

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Making Moral Decisions: Ethical Theories

woman making moral decisions May 13th, 2017

What is moral philosophy? How does one go about making moral decisions? How do you handle ethical dilemmas? What can philosophy do to help us live better? Morality (and its parent, moral philosophy) is one of the most interesting and least-known subjects. I read an informative and worthy textbook, Analyzing Moral Issues, a while back, and its fruits are as sweet today as ever. In this blog, I wanted to answer the above questions, and to summarize ethical theories (a.k.a. moral theories). What’s in it for you? The more you know about moral philosophy and theory, the better able you will be to think critically, deal with moral dilemmas, and live a life that would be considered “good.” This is really what making moral decisions is all about. Consider this a primer on deciding what is right and wrong.

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Einstein Quotes: Words of Wisdom Indeed!

Einstein quotes are remarkable words of wisdom May 5th, 2017

Albert Einstein not only has one of the most recognizable mugs of any person alive or dead, he worked extremely hard and intelligently throughout his long life. A genius in physics, he also was a committed peace activist and socialist. Almost everyone remembers him fondly, and though that is perhaps a bit unwarranted, in general he was an affable, productive, dedicated, ingenious, creative, kind, magnanimous individual. He was also very quotable! Many of his quotes were about values.

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Media Ethics & and Role in Society (V&E 15)

media ethics is critical April 26th, 2017

The media play[s] an extremely important role in our society, and in this blog, Jason interviews two experts on media ethics. The overall goal is determining what the function of the media is and what ethical standards the media ought to be upholding. As the critical “Fourth Estate,” it has been remiss in prior decades (centuries?) in its duty, due in no small part to political influences and the awesome power of money. Interviewees are Dan Hallin, Ph.D., Professor of Communication at UC-San Diego. Fred Brown also joins Jason; he is the co-chairperson of the ethics committee of the Society for Professional Journalists (www.spj.org) and before that, he was at The Denver Post. It’s an engaging discussion.

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