It appears that most ethical philosophies are problematic. Dr. Sterba of Notre Dame regards the “seemingly greater disagreement in ethics” as creating a point in which “there is little or nothing that can really be established in ethics.”
But if we look to the public arena one can find a philosophy that is quite agreeable, one in which all sides express their views, abiding by majority rule, as long as the will of the majority is constrained by certain minority rights. Of course this should sound quite familiar to most Americans. But to find greatest ethical appeal, or doing that which is best for the majority, we need to look past color, race, creed, culture, religion, sexual preference, socioeconomic status … to that of human need, for ours are all the same; it is here where the most empowered, most accurate wrong / right decisions of ethics may breed and breathe. But we need to do a few things first to, shall I say, clear the air.
It appears that in group difference (political, religious, cultural, social) there is often a sneering at, smearing of those who differ in opinion or stance. Since this world, specifically this country, is founded in difference this won’t do in creating a national ethic to greatest benefit for all. Thus, in our ethical model, it is best to be respectful of difference. For difference will never change and may continue to increase–if looking at all current indicators–and thus we will be able to treat others more equally, in a more utilitarian model to maximum benefit for all.
To see best where we need to be, let us look at all humans from an ignorant, blind perspective. Consider that none of us can see or know that difference in sexual preference, political leanings, culture, race, class … exist. So what is at the core of basic human need?
According to Tony Robbins, there are six core human needs that must be met:
Most can obtain the first four needs, but for the last two most must be made aware of human need for growth and contribution. This is good, but we need a little more clarity, detail as to basic human need.
We can also go to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to aid us:
We all need food, shelter, love, affection, and connection, acceptance and belonging.
We need to achieve, feel competent, order and beauty in our lives.
Once all the above is in place, we need to find personal fulfillment and full human potential.
Here is our ethical model. But to obtain all that humans need we must optimize the environment. Bottom line, all should be privy to being free enough to seek and satisfy these basic human needs. So lastly we must consider environment where one has the greatest physical, social, political, and economic freedoms to satisfy these needs. And we have that in place in the United States.
But what’s holding us back are narrow minds, ignorance, and conditioning that negates the individual based in sexual preference, race, color, creed, sex, class, religion, culture, political leanings. It is only in the ridding of such bias and creating the most open of minds and hearts where we will find the greatest application of moral and ethical appeal. Tolerance is the key, for how can one equally different, equally fallible ever been seen as superior, or inferior, for that matter.
May we all find and encourage such open, free, and unbiased space in our lives and those of all we meet.