Friday, February 03, 2017

Whose Ethics shall rule?

Art by Jay Johnson
America was founded as a Nation of Law. Law exists because we have a desire to be ethical human beings, but disagree on whoes ethics should be the standard.
The short definition of ethics is: acting in the highest sense for the goodness for all.  In school I pledged allegiance  every morning to a Country that supported "liberty and justice for all".  I still believe that is what America was founded on.
Universally all humans are held to the same ethical standards.   They have been spelled out in many philosophical writings, social mores and decrees. The most simple rule of universal ethics is: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But short term and egotistical thinking gets in the way of that simple rule. Ego says, my existence is so much more important than someone else's existence: I must take from another for my own good.  

Short term thinking agrees and says we need it right NOW.  So when humans decide they can disobey a natural law of ethics, we pass a law that says, "Do not Steal".  Unfortunately law is still not enough to keep people ethical. The ego and short term thinking will try to parse the words of the law to still have it MY way.  That's when we get legal dilemmas.

"Am I allowed to steal back something that was taken from me in the first place?"

To adjudicate such an interpretation of law we have the court system.  The problem is, the court is composed of humans who try to impose their own interpretation of their ethics on the law and we are back at square one.
Unless you are a sociopath you know deep in the center of your being what is right and what is wrong. In a perfect society we would need no laws because every one would behave to the highest standards of the "do unto others" ethics. But we don't live in a perfect society and some have lost touch with the center of their being, so laws become the imperfect spearhead for ethics.  But because of this we can have a situation which is Legal but not at all ethical. Justice is sometimes Unjust.

Justice should be blind. Justice should be ethical. Justice should know only what is the highest interpretation of the good for all humans involved and rule accordingly. So wouldn't we want to hold a Judge to the highest standard of universal ethics? Unless you are a sociopath the answer has to be yes. But that is not the case.

Congress and the President are now trying to find a Supreme Court justice.  But they are not looking for someone who is fair and will rule in favor of ethics when future lawyers try to parse the wording of a law; They are looking for a candidate who will bend the words of the law in the direction of their own personal interpretation of ethics.  They want a judge who will always rule in favor of individual ethics not the universal.  We are back to square one... whoes ethics should be the standard.

In my highest desire I would like the highest justices in the land to be fair, not political.  I want the Supreme Court justices to be independently constitutional and not "beholding" to any ideology. Unfortunately, that is not the way the political game is played. Congress will approve someone who is already in lock step with those currently in power.
Law should be the like gravity, affecting all to the same degree.  If law ultimately can be bent to benefit some and not all it is no longer law nor ethics but a dictatorial edict.
By eliminating the phrase "engaged in a great civil war" Lincoln's words are as true today as they were scores of years later.

"Our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are...(omitted) testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure." 

Lets make it the country it should be, not a country forced upon us.  
As you were,


Lauri Bartlett said...

As always, well done Jay!

P. Grecian said...

Not only a good and well-thought-out piece, but a really great graphic to go with it.