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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %RESPONSIBLE SHOULD ETHIC MORAL ACHIEVE CONTROL 890603 What should we do? What is ethical? What is moral? For what are we responsible? What should be in control? Humans can anticipate future conditions through understanding and prediction. This anticipation leads to expectations which are not merely anticipations, but also suggest a sense of responsibility; we expect people to do proper things. The ability to know what the future is likely to be like has led to the human desire to control the future and to expect others to control their behavior so as to be in control of future consequences. Questions of responsibility, ethics, morality, propriety and what should be done originate in the human ability to anticipate the future in terms of knowledge of previous patterns of process. Appropriate responses to such questions may properly be informed by a recognition of the powers and limitations of humans with respect to knowledge of and control over future events. Objective processes can be controlled within the range of human limitations. Humans cannot move stars around in the sky, change the past, or determine future events far beyond the limits of their finite lifetimes. Humans can not be in full control of reflexive human relationships. Attempting to be in control of that which is not within the range of human control often leads to games of mutual self deception regarding what is being attempted. People should not be encouraged to believe that they should be in control of that over which they cannot have control. Questions of responsibility, ethics, morality and propriety should not be answered in ways which lead to people playing games of mutual self deception. The freedom to be open and honest is more important than is the appearance of responsibility, ethical behavior, morality and propriety. We cannot be in control of the consequences of all our behaviors. People may respond to what we say and do in ways which we cannot control. We cannot control how people will feel about our behavior, what they will think, or what they will say. Those are consequences of our behavior which we cannot control and we should not attempt to control. It is dangerous to believe that it is our responsibility to control all the consequences of our behavior. We will do well to consider the possible consequences of possible behaviors and make choices in the light of our limited understanding of the possible consequences. Yet, our knowledge is imperfect, and we can not know all the consequences of each possible course of action. We can not perfect our control over the consequences of our behavior. We cannot chose courses of action which will lead to perfect consequences. We deceive ourselves if we think otherwise. There is no perfect set of rules, ethics, guidelines, moral principles or other injunctions which can be followed to properly decide which course of action to choose in each particular situation. How might such a set be created? In terms of a perfect theory of human consequences? In terms of a universal agreement regarding human proprieties? By knowing in detail the full Will of God. Each such possibility becomes evident as a monstrous absurdity when considered in the presence of the loving spirit of God. It is not the rules, ethics, guidelines, moral principles or other injunctions which are the key to personal and communal integrity. Rather, it is the pattern of communal behaviors which occur upon occasions of people's failures to live up to their highest aspirations and expectations. No matter how good the rules, the consequences of taking them seriously are evil if taking them seriously leads to alienation in the face of people's failures to fulfill them properly. Love focuses not upon rules, but upon the reconciliation of people who have failed to live up to their highest aspirations. Any preoccupation with any desired, intended and/or expected perfection pertaining to rules of any kind is likely to lead to alienation; rather than to personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================