Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My roots: a journey

My ethical roots seem somewhat complex because my parents used different methods as I grew older. As a young child everything seemed fairly simple. There were Kantian rules set in my house, and my mom enforced them strictly. There were certain things that were not allowed under any circumstances, and with seven brothers and sisters, someone always knew if someone else was breaking one of those rules.

This stage didn't last long. My parents believe in teaching people to think for themselves. As I grew older, I found out that the world is more complex than I thought. By the time I was about 12, my parents were telling me that they had done their job, and it was time for me to make my own decisions. Then they would always add that I shouldn't complain to them if I made the wrong choice.

As I've learned to think for myself, I can see many different ethical philosophies within my own. Because of my upbringing, there is still a little bit of Kant in me, but that way of thinking has been pushed back. I like to think things through and consider all possible choices and outcomes. I tend to make decisions based on caring for others, and I tend to look at each individual instead of what's best for the group as a whole. In the end, I think my meshing of philosophies most reflects Ross and duty-based ethics. There are certain duties, but they are conditional. Each situation has to be evaluated in order for me to determine the best choice and the most important duty.

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