Category Archives: Ethics

Channeling La Rochefoucauld

Being offended offends less than giving offense. This can be seen as a kind desire to not cause others pain, or it can be seen as a narcissistic desire to be viewed as blameless. * Long version: A morally undeveloped boor who … Continue reading

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Yet another attempt at Levinas

Whenever I try to read Levinas I have two reactions: first, an immediate relief in reading someone who shares my understanding; but second, a lingering anxiety that pervades and darkens every moment and detail of my life. I have had … Continue reading

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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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