Category Archives: Ethics

Life is unfair

This scale is an attempt to diagram a framework I posted to Facebook. Lately, I’ve been hearing more and more people declaring that “Life is unfair.” I actually grew up hearing that. I’m starting to believe this statement is the essence … Continue reading

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Going first

Being morally responsible means going first. Trying first. Opening first. Listening first. Repenting first. Giving first. Disarming first. Showing goodwill first. Seeking forgiveness first. Acting first. We can speculate on how others will respond — whether they will or won’t reciprocate, cooperate, collaborate, exploit or humiliate … Continue reading

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The varieties of othering experience

Othering occurs in a variety of forms which can look highly dissimilar or even opposite. There’s a complacent incurious othering: Those others are not really part of my life. I don’t know them, they’re not my problem, I don’t know how to … Continue reading

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Mutuality

It is important to distinguish between feeling as though you are member of a community because you share its values and beliefs, and actually becoming a member of that community by mutually acknowledging shared values and beliefs with fellow members. This is true of communities … Continue reading

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Moral types

Some people listen carefully to others, learning from them how they perceive, think and act, and try to hear beneath it who this person is, what kind of life they live, what kind of world they inhabit, what might interest … Continue reading

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Meta-xenophobia

A xenophobe is averse to alien being. The degree of aversion is proportional to the alienness of the alien. Two xenophobes from different tribes will go to war over their differing loyalties, beliefs and customs. But at least they share xenophobia (and those tacit fundamental faiths … Continue reading

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“God Is Not Dead”

A church in my neighborhood put a flyer in my mailbox inviting me to a screening of “God Is Not Dead.” I decided to go and see it and to meet the people at the church. The film was interesting, … Continue reading

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Just

Nobody wants the world to be unjust. But different people regard justice very differently. Whose vision of justice prevails? The objectively true one, right? — the one your opponent has been arguing for ages, but you will not accept because of your self-interest and lack … Continue reading

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Postenlightenment harmony

Tillich (from The Courage to Be): The whole [Enlightenment] period believed in the principle of “harmony” — harmony being the law of the universe according to which the activities of the individual, however individualistically conceived and performed, lead “behind the … Continue reading

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Symmetrical egalitarianism

Can egalitarianism be disrespectful? In some social contexts strict egalitarianism is the very embodiment of respect. An example of such a context is a gathering of equal peers deliberating on a shared problem. Each is understood by the others to … Continue reading

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Pop ideology how-to guide

Here is how to build a popular ideology: Do rock-solid factual investigation. Satisfy the requirements of the critical mind. Present the facts of the investigation in compelling stories that win over the heart, too. Adhere to the facts. Encourage the … Continue reading

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A newish political framework

(Updated November 25, 2015) No word is more loaded and distorted than the word “liberal”. No word is more crucial, especially right now: deprived of language, the very concept of liberalism is slipping away, its quiet reasonableness drowned out by … Continue reading

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The responsible party

Who did it? That person. What is kind of person is he? That kind of person. Who else is that kind of person?  They are. And because they are what he is, they share responsibility for what he did. But they say they … Continue reading

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Universal Design Praxis

I find the term Design Thinking inadequate. First, the term Design Thinking belongs to IDEO. As far as I know, they made the term up, they use it for marketing and it remains closely associated with them. It is uncomfortably … Continue reading

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Gorging ouroboros

Every philosophy is a philosophy of some kind of life. For too many generations philosophers have philosophized about philosophizing to philosophers philosophizing about philosophizing. This has turned philosophy into something exasperatingly inapplicable to anything important to anyone except a professional … Continue reading

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Human [second] nature

If someday we finally persuade ourselves that free will, souls and individual purposes were inventions, that they are sustained only by our linguistic and pedagogical habits, that they can easily be dis-instituted and explained into non-existence — I hope the … Continue reading

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Individuality

My liberalism insists (that is, posits passionately) that every human being ought to be taken as an individual, as opposed to an example of a category of person. With respect to policy I consider this ideal a binding law worthy … Continue reading

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Douche Theory 2×2 Model (R)

I plan to use this diagram to help me explain different approaches to design strategy. Human-centered design helps Douche organizations become Keepers.  

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Split loyalties

A persistent thought from the last several months: The best loyalties are dual, with a  foreground that is individual, particular and positive, and a background that is transcendent, universal and negative. The foreground is inspirational, but the background requires faith. … Continue reading

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