Most have heard of the Golden Rule, even if they don’t know that is what it’s called.
It takes the form of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Also, “What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself.”
Bernard Gert’s 10 Moral Rules are below:
(1) Do not kill.
(2) Do not cause pain.
(3) Do not disable.
(4) Do not deprive of freedom.
(5) Do not deprive of pleasure.
(6) Do not deceive.
(7) Do not cheat.
(8) Keep your promise.
(9) Obey the law.
(10) Do your duty.
But there are problems with blindly following the moral rules above, which is why Gert himself states that they aren’t absolutes. What if the law says to kill a person? Do we then decide to rank the values? Well, the first one says do not kill, so maybe it supercedes the rest? But we kill plants and animals to survive. I kill a bug when it invades my home. I don’t practice martial arts to cause pain or disable others, but to protect and better myself.
The premise of not harming another is great until you realize that sometimes you have to hurt someone to prevent a worse hurt later. A good example of this comes with dating. Once you know you aren’t into someone else, you need to find a nice way to let them down. It will probably hurt them, but deceiving them will hurt them more. Also, these moral rules apply to oneself. Don’t cause yourself pain or deprive yourself of freedom and pleasure because someone cares for you and you can’t reciprocate.
I think it’s harder to do one’s duty in today’s world as work and home life are harder to keep separate, so doing duty at one can result in sacrificing in the other.
I refuse to blindly follow a law that doesn’t make sense. That’s how people like Adolf Hitler rise to power.
Personally, I’ve always preferred to look at things from a deeper, ethical perspective. In university, we used a model to delve deeper called STEEPLE. It has you write down as much as you know in each category, which are Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental, Political, Legal, and Ethical. Then you debate the topic. What I find STEEPLE does is it forces one to look beyond themselves and their own experiences. Especially in a large group setting. You start to see why an issue isn’t so simple and gain perspective on the ripple effect caused by seemingly simple changes.
Well, my gurgling tummy says I better go eat lunch.