How do you (as a person) decide what is ethical and what isn't?

In answer to Quora question "How do you (as a person) decide what is ethical and what isn't?"

Thank you for the A2A.

For me this is about *agape*, about finding the most skillful way to express compassionate affection for myself and everyone and everything around me. Many approaches to ethics are too small, IMO...too self-referential or anthropocentric. If we are to act ethically in all relationships then we need to appreciate that we are in relationship with everything and everyone around us - not just what or whom we choose. So the larger and more inclusive my loving kindness can be - the more it can encompass and appreciate - the more my ethics will be guided by complex interdependencies that clarify my values hierarchies.

In terms of the mechanism of decision-making, I would say introspection, meditation, humility, openness and neutrality are key. And when I can approach each situation as unique and deserving of my conscious attention, the better my chances are to apply these tools. Over time, with experience, we can develop reliable discernment.

For a more detailed discussion of the topic of operationalizing values hierarchies, I recommend this article: Functional Intelligence. If you are feeling really adventurous, I would also recommend this one: Managing Complexity with Constructive Integralism.

My 2 cents.


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