Reinventing Ethics – NYTimes.com

An interesting review of some of the ethical issues of today, and how our original morals and ethics, conceived in small communities, later expanded to a more impersonal world, along with comparable challenges in professional ethics, make the case for a broader discussion of some of the more thorny issues of our time.

How to set up such discussions, how to ensure balance and representativeness, and how to engage in a civil discourse given the wide diversity of views, is of course the challenge. Quote:

The problem with a belief in the immutability of morality is the same as the problem with a belief that the American Constitution contains the answers to all legal disputes. Like the Ten Commandments (or the code of Hammurabi or the Analects of Confucius), the Constitution is a remarkable document for its time. But it’s absurd to believe that the text magically contains the answers to complex modern issues: the definition of what it means to be alive, or how the commerce clause or the right to bear arms amendment should be interpreted; or whether a corporation is a person. By the same token, while we can draw inspiration from the classical texts and teachings of neighborly morality, we cannot expect that dilemmas of professional life will be settled by recourse to these sources. But we need not tackle these alone. If we can draw on wise people across the age spectrum, and enable virtual as well as face-to-face discussion, we are most likely to arrive at an ethical landscape adequate for our time.

Reinventing Ethics – NYTimes.com.

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One thought on “Reinventing Ethics – NYTimes.com

  1. I guess the problem is comparing religious texts with secular ones. As a catholic,I know that the the bible is not a secular text written as a result of perusing other texts or as a result of research done by a group of individuals. It has been written under divine inspiration. The element of faith, or the connection to the divine is needed to interpret and understand the bible. If a non believer just reads it, of course it is going to be no different from the constitution or any other volume of text. We are called to have a relationship with Godm who is our Father, and instruction is given to us through this book. Personally, in various points in my life, I have read the bible after prayer and deep longing to connect with Godm and I’ve always been directed to specific sections in the bible that provide me with the solution, comfort,direction or guidance I need at that point.

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