What is ethical, is often right. The definition of something that is ‘right’ is that it be most apt for the situation. So what is morally right, is what is most ‘apt’. The problem with this arrangement, is that it breaks down with the question “what is apt and from who’s perspective?”. Since perspectives differ, and one can stand to lose, or win from an outcome – what is the ‘truly’ moral thing to do?
As the Zeitgiest changes and evolves, so does what is moral and right. There are a greater number of people now, who see that discriminating homosexuality is outrageous, than say two decades ago. Eventually it will be “morally right” to treat them as normal individuals, while currently opposing their freedom happens to be “morally right” .
Ethics and morality then , seem to be absolutely relative. Is there a possible reference that people could use (other than the book), to discover absolute and timeless morality?
It makes rational sense, to link morality induced altruism to selfishness. Self preservation and self benifit. There is nothing that is absolutely right or wrong- just measures of apt-ness.
Astounding evidence that morality is relative, is the change in paradigm that accompanies development. Humans are designed to survive. ( like any other organism). We will live with our past, with the greatest errors, and justify them. Any preconceived notion about the ethical nature of an action , is bound to change after the action has been performed. We stand apart and preach righteousness, feel superior, and when we fall, we manage to justify it morally.
Ethic, has the power to make cynics or idealists of people.
People will be kind and considerate, completely giving and altruistic when it doesn’t cost them to be so. On the phone, we extend support, compassion and care, often failing when it comes to the actual act. It costs lesser to be nice on the phone (and hope that the person doesn’t need your support after all), than to actually go do something nice.
Humans are, on the face of it, animals, and are subjects of predictable, pre-constructed behaviour. If realized that all of nature has a primitive driving force of self preservation behind it, human complexity, can be deconstructed to simple acts of selfishness.