Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ethics & Roots

I didn't really grow up with religion playing any part in my life at all. My parents really only provided ethical guidance when it was obvious that I screwed up. Although I screwed up quite often, I didn't often get caught. :-)

Although my parents didn't often provide direct moral guidance, they did somehow sneak in some guilt trip into my personality. I'm still trying to figure out how they managed that one. For years it was the personality trait of the said guilt trip which would guide me. For the most part, I think it did a pretty decent job.

I graduated from high school in 2003, and promptly flew from Maine to Utah to begin college. When I entered college I also joined the Air Force ROTC here at USU.

The US Air Force has a set of three 'Core Values', "Integrity First, Service Before Self, & Excellence In All We Do". Two years of Air Force ROTC and a month of Field Training has engrained in me, above all else, "Integrity First". Due to circumstances mostly out of my control, I am no longer in ROTC. But the training instilled in me a sense of integrity.

Going back in time a little now, I began dating someone back in Maine. We moved to Utah together, and dated here for a while more. Overall, we for a few years. When we broke up, I didn't take it very well. I conducted myself in a very poor manner, and lost a lot of self-respect over how I behaved.

Between an obnoxious guilt trip personality, ROTC, a poor breakup, most of my actions revolve around whether I think something’s ethical and whether I be able to respect myself or not.

I think that my perception about whether an action is ethical or not tends to be very virtue-based (Kant), but occasionally utilitarianism. For example, I generally consider lies unethical, but there are always the bizarre exceptions to the rule.

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