Normative ethics – a new focus.

This blog has served me as an outlet for that which comes into my head. It is as if each time I post I were cutting a potato, dabbing it into paint and then pressing it onto the page. With each slice there is something different communicated, by means of the paint, of the constitution of the potato. Only, this potato grows with each day that I am alive.

This is acceptable. It is a reflection of the health of the soil and quality of nutrients which I, a potato?, grow.

Suffice to say (as per the title), I should like to give this blog a slightly more narrow focus: normative ethics. I will still write of other things – really anything – but as this is something that I am interested in, it will tend toward a bias in its favour.


What do I mean by a focus on ethics? I mean a focus on issues, events, states of mind, choices which weigh on the individual or the collective with regard to the concept of ‘good or right’ and to what ‘ought to be’.

There is trouble with the world and with persons within it. We can all see this (the economy, perpetual war, lack of respect for authority, etc.) and I believe that it is our seeing the trouble that our minds are being stirred to thoughts of what ought to be the case. War, we ought not be killing and it is wrong for others to hurt us. The economy, we ought to model one which is sustainable for peace and long-term prosperity for as many people as possible (and we ought to ensure that human productivity/potential is not limited by these efforts), and authority is a tool, and if we cannot learn to respect it both in use and observance, then we are lost and at the foot at a great deal of trouble.

I will not get into a topic today. Though, I will talk of the idea of duty. Duty to observe the rules that one places within one’s self. The fence within rather than the fence from without. I believe we can create the best possible world if we can foster the fence within, restrictions which we observe as being good and true within us. For, if we insist on putting up fences all around the world, this capacity to limit ones self with reason will atrophy and it will die. In this case these fences ought to be very high, as their stopping power exists not in right or wrong, but in the length by which they physically impede or stop the body. This, I believe, is a common action/response today. I say this with respect to a great many institutions and states and contemporary mores. And I worry, because I don’t believe this is the right way to go about producing effective citizenry. I believe it even to be dangerous, but perhaps I will go further into that another day.

– J

About Ossington

I often think but seldom share these thoughts. And if the product of my thinking is to affect anything but my own sense of satisfaction, then surely it must be shared. Here you may try to know what I believe to know.
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