What are the ethical issues worth addressing?
The value which, for the most part, we all share is that of human life, and thus some of the most important ethical issues relate to this, such as the Ethics of War, and the Gordian Knot that is abortion. We will certainly come to address both these issues – but not yet.
So these issues notwithstanding, what are the ethical concerns that matter to you?
Before throwing this open, an important yet somewhat arbitrary distinction must be made:
- Let us consider something as a political issue if its resolution requires the involvement of political or legislative machinery, such as councils and governments. For instance, national health care is a political issue, as is censorship, drug prohibition, and military redeployment.
- Conversely, let us consider something as an ethical issue if its central concern is the behaviour of the individual. This can in fact include political elements – for instance, whether or not to write letters of protest to the government or engage in acts of civil disobedience are ethical issues which fringe upon the political, while how one drives one’s car, or acquires one’s media, or spends one’s money can be seen as ethical matters, even though it is possible for the political to infringe upon these areas.
As a direct comparison: conserving the environment is a political issue, but minimising personal impact on the environment is an ethical issue, at least by the criteria above.
We doubtless cannot fully separate these two related fields, but I hope to avoid political partisanship for the time being.
So, caveats aside, which ethical issues are important to you? It doesn’t matter if these are trivial annoyances you happen to feel strongly about, or Earth-shattering crises of unimaginable import – all that matters is that you care about how people behave in respect to them.
Comments to this post have been closed; if you have anything you wish to add, please use the sequel post, here. Please share the ethical issues you care about in the comments there. Feel free to debate with other players, but remember to play friendly!