Ethics Continuously Created by Everyday Activities

Ethics Continuously Created by Everyday Activities

Anna Peterson when asked what the most important message is contained within her new book: Everyday Ethics and Social Change: The Education of Desire

That ethics is not disconnected from ordinary activities. This means a couple of things. First, almost nothing we do is “value neutral.” We can’t separate out the times we are acting “morally,” and the rest of our lives. Second, it means that ethics are not something constructed or articulated in the abstract and then applied, in a top-down fashion, to concrete circumstances. Rather, ethics are created in and through ordinary practices. This means we ought to think more carefully, perhaps, about the ethics we enact (or don’t) on a daily basis. In the end, I think, movements for social change seek to transform everyday life so it becomes safer, less oppressive, and more joyful for more people (and other creatures). So it makes sense that the roots of a radical ethic for social change can be found in the best parts of our everyday lives.

I have strongly professed such beliefs in my teachings on ethics. I strongly believe that the moral stance we have in place is the main factor in what we decided when the ethical dilemma arrives. It is obvious to me, that we create our ethics continuously, and the destruction of our ethical framework takes place in small daily increments. This is why traditional business ethics teaching has little effect. What the more foolish call the “real world” eats it up. The real world is the kind of person you are as opposed to the crawling maggot the world would prefer you become.

James Pilant

4 thoughts on “Ethics Continuously Created by Everyday Activities

  1. xy08

    “The real world is the kind of person you are as opposed to the crawling maggot the world would prefer you become.” — Good line.


    1. southwerk

      We have a hard road deciding how to live our lives and what is important about them. I believe that when we think and choose we are more likely to follow the moral path than not. I hope the good, the right and the true come out on top. But you really don’t get to know that is how things are working out in any one lifetime. jp


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