Survival is About Ethics

March 23, 2015

in Ethics

Ethics is the reasoning process we use to determine the right choices to make in actions we take in our lives. In determining “rightness” the most simple and primal directing code we have is to survive. Without survival, other considerations become irrelevant. This begins with survival of self and expands outward in concentric circles to consider others, groups of others and beyond. Once survival seems assured, the attention of ethical reasoning can turn from taking actions to survive, to taking actions to sustain the state of surviving and eventually to taking actions that can enhance the state of survival or life in general.

In our ethical analysis of decisions, we balance these factors together and consider both the level (survive, sustain, enhance) of our considerations and the scope (self, others, groups…) of our considerations. We may decide that the survival of a group outweighs enhancement of self. We may decide that following a moral code (condensed from ethical experience) or spiritual advice outweighs our own survival. We may have to balance an action that sustains a small group against an action that enhances a large group, when neither group has their survival threatened. The moral codes, spiritual concepts, laws and cultural background that influence our decisions may vary greatly from one viewpoint to another. But in all cases, the reasoning of ethical analysis is focused on what is best for the most and it begins with survival. Ethics is about survival, how to survive, how to sustain our survival and how to enhance our survival.

That means studying survival and preparing for survival is about ethics. And it means we need to consider how best to sustain and enhance our survival, not just to prepare for worst case scenarios, but also to consider how to prepare for best case scenarios. Optimum survival is the goal.

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Negative Events versus Positive Events

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