Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ethics and Politics

While I have a strong interest in ethics, I don't have much interest in politics. Unfortunately for me, the two subjects go hand in hand. Ethics is the study of what people ought to do, and politics is the foundation of public policy. Political forces create incentive systems which encourage people to behave ethically (or unethically). If we want to live in a more ethical world, a world in which goodness is rewarded and badness is punished, then politics is a strong tool to that end.

I had hoped to not become interested in politics. I don't want, or feel qualified, to tell others what to do. Plus, many of the people who care deeply about politics come off sounding somewhat crooked or unhinged. Yet, while politics is often used for one's personal gain, I think that it's a tool that I should learn to use as well, not for my own benefit (except in a karmic sort of way), but for the benefit of society. I have a vague idea of how the world ought to be. I have a sense of justice and a sense of right and wrong. I should use that to help me support laws that are just and right and to oppose laws that are unjust and wrong. I don't want to get into politics, but I feel an ethical responsibility to encourage others to be good, or at least to remove some of the incentives that encourage people to do evil.

I believe that I have a moral responsibility to get political. I still don't want to, but I think it's the right thing to do.

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