Blog #48: My Ethics

Integrity is very important to me. I’d rather fail a test honorably than cheat and do well. I don’t see the point in doing things dishonestly. Life’s too short to be ingenuine and take the lazy way out of everything.

I try to respect others the best I can. I try to be empathetic and listen with an open mind. Taking other people’s perspectives into account is very important and allows us to become better more rounded people. I don’t like to belittle people or make them feel as if their situations are less important than mine.

I don’t see the point in being honest about every single little thing; in the sense that I don’t think it’s always necessary to say what you are thinking. For instance, if you think your classmate’s outfit is ugly, there’s no reason to tell them and ruin their day. I think people’s feelings are very important and I try to avoid hurting people as much as possible. This is a very slippery slope, however. Sometimes people need to hear the truth even if it hurts their feelings. I usually have trouble figuring out if it’s necessary to tell people things, especially when they ask for my opinion.

One big ethical thing in my life that people don’t usually agree with is that I think it is unethical to consume animal products. I value the lives of animals as well as humans. I don’t necessarily value the lives of cows, pigs, and chickens over a human life, but I don’t see the point in saying one animal is more valuable than another. For example, I don’t see why people kill pigs but not dogs or cats for food. I don’t think it’s ethical for humans to treat animals badly then kill them for food or to take a cow’s milk for their calf and have it with our cereal. I think that if humans as a species have the option to chose what they eat, then why chose meat? Liking meat isn’t a good enough reason to put animals in harms way.

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  1. Excellent post. You cover how you conduct your own life, how you treat others and wish to be treated and how you choose your actions to limit the negative impacts on animals. You sound at times Kantian, at times a relativist. How would you know when someone needed to hear the truth, even if it was hurtful? What is your compass in these delicate matters?
    mr. s

    1. The thing is Mr. Summers, I don’t always know when people need to hear the truth. I often find myself dancing around people’s feelings because I for one don’t like to have my feelings hurt. However, this sort of sensitivity often leaves me avoiding the truth (sorry Frankfurt). The better I know somebody though, the better equipped I feel in deciding whether or not to tell them the truth. For example, if I have a friend who does what they want regardless of input from others, sometimes I just keep quiet. Another friend, however, may need a reality check and may want me to be truthful, even if it hurts their feelings. I think it’s a person to person thing. I’m still working on what to do in these situations.

  2. Sounds like you have a good grasp of who, based on your prior knowledge and your intuition, would like you to give your honest opinion and who doesn’t really want to hear it. The new question I have is; do you ask for the same feedback from others? Do you have a friend who can push back on what you say and challenge you?

    1. I do have some friends who push me and force me to face the truth even when I don’t want to. Sometimes though, they can tell me the truth in a nonconstructive manner, which really only benefits their ego. Also, as much as I hate to admit it, I hate being wrong, but I guess nobody really likes the feeling. It can be hard for me to hear feedback from others when I disagree with what they are saying, but I am working on being more open-minded.

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