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July 24, 2019 / Congau

Why Be Ethical?

What if nothing is good or bad. What if there’s no difference between right or wrong. What if nothing matters…

Well, let’s suppose there’s no higher purpose to our lives, no god telling us what is right and wrong, no revealed truth in the universe. Let’s assume there’s no reason why we are here. Still, we are here, we know that for sure even if that’s the only thing we know. And once here, doesn’t it make sense to make the best of it, to make things as comfortable as possible?

If for some inexplicable reason you woke up one morning and found yourself on a remote island or in an unknown world, you would soon try to make your plight more tolerable for yourself, wouldn’t you? You would make an effort to relieve the misery of your situation and make it a little more agreeable. Whether or not that would be a good thing to do, at least it would be the natural thing to do. It would be the logical thing to do, because obviously you don’t want to suffer more than necessary.

This is our human situation. We may not know what is right, but at least it seems natural to make it comfortable where we are. That is the logical beginning of all ethics.

At the first instance it is not a question of what is good and right, but what is natural and logical given the circumstances. But good and right soon follows from it. Whenever we say something is good, it is when we think it will lead to the desired result. If you are a pianist it’s good to practice playing the piano, and if you live on earth, it’s good to practice making that situation an agreeable one.

If you don’t care about ethics, it means you don’t care about your life.

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