Truth. Ethics. Morality.
If one is paying even passing attention to what is occurring in the world at large, it seems indisputable that we are facing a dilemma. Who would have thought there would be such divisive and vitriolic diatribes regarding what constitutes truth, ethics and morality?
It seems like we are facing so many challenges. Adding a crisis of truth, ethics and morality seems to be the final straw that makes everything impossible to handle. When many are wondering where they will sleep, how they will eat or where they will go, to wonder and worry about a few lies and cheats seems to go further down on the importance scale.
However, if we turned what seems logical upside down, maybe we’re addressing the issues out of order. If we concerned ourselves with truth, ethics and morality first, maybe we could solve, at least partially, the other issues that plague us.
I guess we all want truth to match our particular reality. Humans seem adept at looking for the shortest route between two points, even if it means trampling down a few laws, norms or generally accepted practices. When we opt for easy, or a win at any cost rationale, the next step is to justify the means to achieve the ends.
Truth, ethics and morality then become fungible. We have a front row seat to watch how lies and truth are so mangled that we then start to question our own understanding of the words.
When one with arguably the most power in the world states openly that “it’s unfair that we aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” even though there is a pesky hindrance called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, one begins to wonder.
The clear line of right-wrong suddenly is blurred. Some who are predisposed to move the goal posts for personal advantage feel more emboldened to take more chances. Hey, if “A” can do it, why can’t “I?”
We’re seeing the fallout of cheating in professional sports. As fans of various sports, do we want the outcome of a game to be achieved by cheating, as long as no one gets caught? Major league baseball is in the crosshairs of a situation where everything a team achieved is now questioned because their cheating came to light.
So, are we upset at the cheating; or are we upset they got caught? Many were involved; a few got punished. Where does truth, ethics, morality fit here?
Our country is seeing one of the gravest political situations that is, in fact, expressly addressed in the short document called the Constitution. Our forefathers intuited the possibility that governance by the people could have inherent unintended consequences.
Sadly, with all the punditry we are faced with 24/7, the hand wringing seems to be not so much the assault on truth, ethics and morality; it seems to be focused on how we can justify the acceptance of breaking the law, assaulting the truth, and sending ethics and morality to the dung heap.
If our new watchword(s) are “so what” to existing laws and norms, which try to capture the essence of truth, ethics and morality, what will become of us?