Ethics of Community

March 15, 2013

in Ethics

Understanding the needs of survival in an emergency scenario means thinking about water and food and energy requirements that we take for granted in normal living. Slowly, an awareness grows that without the infrastructure of civilization, we might find ourselves quite helpless. The idea dawns that a few more bottles of water and some extra canned goods on the pantry shelf would be a good thing. The next step is starting to calculate time frames of survival and wondering how much water and food is needed for several months. Eventually, there is a realization that it’s impractical to store reserves for an indefinite time period and attention begins to turn toward renewing or producing the things we need. Collecting rain and growing a garden become attractive. Foraging, trapping, hunting, and fishing may be options, depending upon the living environment.

A lot of advice has been dispensed on maintaining a low profile with friends and neighbors about our efforts to prepare for survival. Some folks claim all they need is a gun and ammo to take water and food away from those who have it. Maybe it’s a good idea to stay quiet. But at some point, there is another realization that when a frail elderly person or a young child needs help, we are likely to give it. Our ethical and moral considerations demand that we help our friends and neighbors. The same considerations also demand that we protect ourselves first, just as it makes sense for an adult to put the airplane oxygen mask on themselves first, then tend to their children.

There are things we can get done better as a community group than alone and perhaps some that can’t be done at all without a group. So we have a need to reach out to others around us and encourage them to consider thinking about survival. The more we can accomplish in that direction, the less dependent they will be, the better off we all become. Good ethics in any group must be built upon a solid foundation of ethics in the individual members of the group. Once that foundation is established, ethics be expanded outward through the group. All of this hinges on trust, which is developed along the way. Trust comes from confidence in the ethics of another based on experience. We need a protocol of balancing trust against risk in developing the ethics of communities. We normally accomplish that with intuitive, common sense application of an unspoken, undocumented protocol of trust. We need to start documenting it.

A Protocol of Trust

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