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Linking Politics with Ethics

Ethics is about Personal Choice

Ethical choices are made when a person acts willingly on an inner obligation in a social setting.

Ethical choice is a matter for each person (or their conscience) alone—choice by choice i.e. I must choose for myself alone in accord with what I personally judge is right &/or good. Review the summary of ethical options.

Ethical choices depend on holding on inner sense of obligation. Being responsible for ethical choices we make or avoid making is a profound expression of human freedom. Paradoxically, it also reflects human bondage in that we must function within the ethical dimension for better or worse.

«Following orders» is not a defence—but,Closed interestingly, doing what everyone else is doing may be, because that is a conventionalist injunction.

Politics is about a Group Choice

All in a group, even one as large as a society, are responsible in some sense for choices affecting the whole group in terms of what is right &/or good for it both as a whole and for every member.

Government is a matter for each society alone—choice by choice—and political factors shape those choices. Of course, individuals must make choices in government on behalf of society. Nevertheless politics unavoidably:

«The people» (i.e. society-as-a-whole) must be held responsible for the choices that are made or not made—regardless of whether they agree, or whether it is practical for them to agree or to object, or whether they disconnect themselves politically.

The Link is Obvious: «What is Right and Good»

In determining what is right and good for a complex group like a society, it is evident that some people have defined roles or responsibilities that are directly about political choice.

Probably most of us are non-political most of the time. Unless personally affected, we view time given to politics as interfering with everyday life. For the rest we make a living, pursue interests, handle families, and enjoy leisure activities. (As governments become increasingly intrusive, such a position becomes less tenable.)

Those who are politicians take a different view. They want to be involved in the decisions that affect the whole of society.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 24-Feb-2014

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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