The Character Of Being In Agreement With The Standards Of Right Conduct

Ethics has many dimensions. Soon, I will give my own political definition of ethics as individual “good behavior,” but as a “correct relationship” between those who share political responsibility. But before moving forward in my own definition, I would like to take a step back and take note of another political definition related to utilitarianism: the philosophical doctrine linked to important political reforms in the nineteenth century, which contains a difficult alternative to my own approach to ethics and public order. This influential ethical doctrine also concerns public power relations, but not those that many contemporary democrats would adopt. Contemporary democratic governance never quite lives up to Sidgwick`s high expectations of secret ethics. Instead, we favor the ruling elites of ambitious ethical regimes, developed by those in the political executive at the center of government, in order to regulate the activities of those in the entire political landscape. These ethical regimes are exceptional features of contemporary public policy. Nothing as bold as Sidgwick`s secret ethics seems to inspire the ethical regimes that regulate contemporary political systems. But one can see a form of ethical fervor in the ambition that heads of government have to take responsibility for regulating official ethics, where ethical behavior indeed means acting reactively to implement government policy. My point is that a fruitful discussion of ethics and public order can begin by separating ethics from morality in order to reduce the weight of value that ethics is supposed to carry.

The development of agreed norms of public order will be much more difficult if the task is tackled in the sense of an agreed morality that influences the content of public order compared to my proposed approach to an agreed ethics that influences our roles in the organization and management of public order processes. My difference is between morality as a world of deep substance and ethics as a flatter world of process. Of course, we inhabit both worlds, but I propose that ethics mark the agreed social space that we share when we play the role we have assigned in the public policy process; and morality marks the personal space of individual conscience that I share with my faith community, regardless of its size or size. Ethics is therefore a matter of obligations or duties that we accept because we accept the agreed standards. Almost always, doing the right thing is accepting our role in a relationship: doing what we owe to others as part of a common agreement. Of course, there are limits. Much depends on our bargaining power in such relationships: “Accepting our share” could include many forms of acceptance that reflect unequal power relations, such as for example. B the acceptance of our part as an instrument of comfort for the leaders. . . .

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