An Ethical World

Clearly we consider ethical behavior in our day to day lives, but when we look at the actual doing of ethics, it appear that humans are particularly disinclined. It seems like we have both this desire to do “good,” but some pretty potentially hard-wired responses that incline to doing goods exact opposite. The question could be; are humans naturally immoral beings?   This question has been asked over the course of human history. Some philosophers, Thomas Hobbes at the forefront, believed humans, by their nature, are immoral. He believed that in a State of Nature, human life is “nasty, brutish and short.” Without society, without a construct of some kind outlining specifics types of behaviors (think laws both civic and religious) humans would devolve into a kind of chaos. The book, Lord of The Flies is based on this idea. The strong dominate the weak, and take resources for themselves.   Others, Jean Jacques Rousseau for instance, believes that humans, in a state of nature, are caring, moral and loving creatures. He called it the Law of the Heart. That it’s civilization (what we call civilization) is what corrupts us. If a human were raised without human contact, imagine by wolves or something, and this unsocialized being saw a baby bird limping around, we imagine that empathy would natural spring up in this human. They wouldn’t need to be taught “laws” about caring for others; caring for others is a natural aspect of all human experience. Society interferes with our natural instinct of empathy.   Certainly, we have sociopaths who don’t feel empathy, but they are a very small subset of the population. In the Zimbardo video, you looked at the Stanley Milgrim shock experiment. Psychologists at first thought only 1% of the population would go all the way to 450 volts to represent this segment. However, if you recall, almost every single person went all the way when there was an authority figure there to “take responsibility.” This suggest that other people, society, interfere with our natural inclination to care.   So who knows really? This essay is difficult because it does ask you to engage with a kind of unprovable topic. The essay is asking you to engage with some aspect of Ethics and Morals and how that interplays with society.   Here are some concepts we have been discussing. ·      Group Think ·      Herd Mentality ·      Bystander Effect ·      Double Think ·      Lucifer Effect ·      Autonomy/Heteronomy

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