Thursday, June 4, 2020

Three Levels of Ethics

A fully rational, fully objective, and fully integrated system of ethics is not possible for human beings. We lead our life at three levels, and each of these levels inspires our overall system of ethics—the three levels are: the level of the individual, the level of the society, and the level of the traditions. The system of ethics that we practice at the level of the individual inspires us to be selfish, discard every constraint, and be free to pursue our desires and choices. But all individuals, howsoever independent minded they might be, are part of society, and they must pay attention to the system of ethics that operates at the social level. The social ethicists argue that what is good for the individual is good for the collective—they note that a man’s life revolves around collectives such as family, friend and professional circles, city, state, and nation, and they preach that a man must avoid causing harm to his collectives. The third level of ethics, the ethics of tradition, is founded on ideological thinking: a religious person will believe in the idea that the body is a vessel for carrying the soul which is godlike or part of god, and we have the ethical responsibility of not doing anything that might pollute and degrade our soul, but an atheist will find his ideological ethics from resources such as marxism, libertarianism, existentialism, and liberalism.

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