September 16 - Ethics and Absolutism

So I know the title sounds like I'm going to give a lecture on Absolutism Ethical structures. But really the point of this post is to discuss my personal ethical structure. I'm just going to admit it here: I'm an absolutist. I believe there are hard ethical rules that define right and wrong. I recognize that these ethical structures tend to fall apart under scrutiny, but so do all ethical structures. That said, you need to keep the list of wrong activities short. Recognizing that the world isn't black and white and most situations you'll find yourself in will not be clear cut reduces the amount of logical fallacies in an ethical structure. So my list of hard ethical "rights" and "wrongs" is very short.

1) Murder is always wrong (Suicide and Euthanasia aren't murder)

2) Respect other people's body autonomy

3) Cannibalism is always wrong

4) Incest is always wrong.

5) Always do the most good for the most people

An astute observer, might say "But, isn't doing the most good for the most people the definition of a "Utilitarian" ethical structure and that's a classic consequential structure, not an absolutist structure. And to that I say, get outta here. No, I'm just kidding. But yes, this is my ethical structure that I use in my decisions. The first items are my absolutes, and if the ethical question doesn't appear in that list, then I default to a consequential structure for the remainder of my decisions.