SARGE: What’s Moral And What’s Ethical
Moral – adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between
right and wrong; ethical
2. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom.
moral (word history)
mid- 14th century. pertaining to “character or temperament” , from the Latin; “moralis” “proper behavior of a person in society”, “pertaining to manners” coined by Cicero
1. that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends. Dictionary.com
In light of the political soap opera being acted out in Washington and the overly dramatic references to the nation being driven over a “fiscal cliff”, I figured it was time to do a definition comparison and look at it all in light of the language mangling accomplished.
To ascribe the concepts of moral or ethical behavior to politicians is as easy saying a Cobra is a beautiful animal while forgetting his purpose in life is to kill and eat. His actions may serve a benefit in the diminishment of vermin but the snake is still self-involved and survivalist. It kills to eat, it kills to survive. It strikes when threatened. It strikes to distract.
So it is with politicians. The very people responsible for this dilemma are constantly, consistently and continually ramming the concept of America’s impending fiscal insolvency down our throats so we forget they’re the ones responsible for the mess in the first place. They’re like inept jugglers throwing words and concepts into the air. They’re not really good at what they do, but they keep us worrying about whether they’ll drop the balls or not.
Have no fear. They’ll solve the problem at the last minute and appear heroic as always. This is especially true when you consider the Democrats are better liars than Republicans. The active program is that they’re all liars with different strategies of how to misuse YOUR money.
The problem is located in the definition ofmoral in the second definitive: “founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than legalities, enactment or custom”.
This is where moral and ethical deviate: morality is stronger and based on the foundational belief systems of the individuals. Most politicians seem to lack this sense of “morality” because they define and act on “ethics” they write and define for their self-service. Truth develops a certain malleability or suppleness allowing them to remove themselves from the strictness of truth and work with the plasticity of “political speak”.
The difference between morals and ethics is slim but measureable. Morals are constituent elements of a person’s personal character. Ethics are directed to standards of behavior and thought concerning the code of performance within a specific group the person belongs in or is associated with. In other words the ethics of a group is defined by the group. The morals are directives closely adhered to as behaviors defined as right by a higher power: god, parent, family etc. It’s here the terms overlap and become confused. The group becomes the higher power.
The foxes construct the henhouse. People have struggled with this minute differential between the two theories for centuries. Politicians believe themselves apart from the electorate placed them in positions of legislative power. Because they sit in cloisters far from the sight of those they allegedly serve they get to do things their way. They have nobody delivering personal consequences for the politicians’ actions, there’s no need to act from a basis of societal morals. Congressional ethics override personal morals for the greater good of the Congress.
That’s why we have a problem in America; the development of personal ethics derived from individuals bonding to become societies unto themselves. They answer to no deity. They follow a set, venal hierarchy. They bend their knee and bow their heads to no higher power outside that hierarchy. They’re dysfunctional, creating problems to appear wizened and omnipotent as they solve what THEY created in the first place.
And the hits just keep rolling in folks.
Thanks for listening.