This paper introduces a theory OF ethics, not a discussion about ethics. As such, almost no references to other sources are mentioned as this is a work of original authorship.
When most people think of ethical values they usually think of the ethical principles of fairness, justice, integrity, respect, loyalty, truth, trust, accountability, responsibility, and being transparent, authentic, and honest, for example. When I see such an abundance of ethical principles as these, it tells me that there are probably “other values” that underlie the decision-making for practicing these ethical principles. Because we know that values always underlie all decision -making, logically a set of values also underlie decisions to exercise any of the ethical principles mentioned above. What then are the values that underlie ethical decision-making? Those will be discussed in the first chapter.
The lectures given in this paper will use the following development, and then apply that development to the moral and ethical social evolution of societies.
● Seven Values
● Moral Definitions
● Ethics Statements
● Expressed Ethics
● Seven Values underlie the decisions responsible for the survival of our species;
● Moral Definitions provide a set of rules to guide human decisions and actions to prevent destructive life-altering behavior of human interaction;
● Ethics Statements tell us HOW TO fulfill the Moral Definitions.
● Expressed Ethics tell us WHAT TO DO to fulfill Ethics Statements.
● TGoEE (The Graces of Expressed Ethics) go beyond ethics to provide the élan of social interaction.
In this series of lectures, we will be learning how to apply the values behind ethical decision-making so that our communities, societies, and democratic nations survive and thrive into the centuries ahead. This ethic will eventually become a way of life because it is able to guide us through the problem solving that will be necessary to address the incredible number of social-societal problems that have never been resolved, and the new ones that will surely come along. By using these values we will be able to develop moral and ethical answers to the contemporary issues of social justice, social equity, what is fair, broaden the definition of the common good, and address the 1% - 99% wealth divide. 1
Using these values and a consistent ethic, public, private, and corporate executives and their boards will be confronted with making the transition from using the disorganized and fragmented traditional morality to the integrated and consistent innate morality and ethic that are based on the integrated set of values that each of us has embedded in our genes. Though logic has never been closely associated with the philosophical discussion of morality and ethics, the measurable characteristics of the seven values described below easily lend themselves to logical Moral Definitions and Ethics Statements to accurately guide our decisions and behaviors.
Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, (“VUCA”), situations of the future will require us as individuals and as organizations to either succumb to the same historic arc of all failed societies and civilizations, or to consciously and intentionally choose to use the values that are innate to our being to make the moral decisions for our societies to survive.
What is presented in this series of lectures confronts us with a classic “either/or” existential decision. Do we make the conscious moral choice to support the future, or the conscious immoral choice to forget our responsibilities to our children and great, great grand children. But first, we cannot make a reasoned moral choice until we understand and know more about how to use the values that have sustained our species for over 8,000 generations.
1 Raphael, Daniel 2019 Employee Capitalism, Creating Organic Economies as a Workable Solution for Wealth Inequality. (11 pages; found at the author’s Google website.)