Sunday, January 29, 2006

Life reflections

While learning in class and reading I have seen chunks of my belief in a couple of the different ethics philosophies.

As a young person, I began to be aware of others around me and that they had beliefs and feeling as well as myself. I was taught by the example of my parents that my negative actions could cause distress to others and that was not a good thing. The golden rule is a good description of my beliefs, so I think that Kant's categorical imperative is where I have fit the most throughout my life.

As an example, at a family gathering I apparently made a joking comment about my brother that really bothered his wife. I do not even remember what I said, as I thought that it was inconsequential. My sister in law, on the other hand, was deeply offended. I apologized profusely (even though many other family members thought no apology was due) because the other person’s feelings were of most importance to me. This action may also fit with some of the other ethical philosophies (can't remember them all!).

Over the years, I have developed beliefs that align somewhat with some of the other philosophies. I can identify with Gilligan’s theories about men and women: men care about justice and women care about caring. For several years while my children were young, my wife was experiencing some health problems that kept her from some of the normal family interaction. As a result I took on the role of the nurturer and the mother was the enforcer - a role reversal according to Gilligans theory. Now the children are adults and have life challenges of their own. I am now all about justice, while their mother does the caring and nurturing. So as life changes, so does our beliefs.

On a larger scale than just myself, I believe that Mills utilitarianism has the most benefit to society.I made an interesting (but not an easy) read of Ann Raynd's Atlas Shrugged. I can't agree with the beliefs of egoism, of which Raynd's objectivism is a type of, but she presented it as capitalism in such a way that you could see much societal benefit.

Enough rambling for now...

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