In my experience, I have found ethics to be a topic that is raised almost exclusively when there is a dilemma or problem. This makes sense as the situation provides urgency. All situations call for us to bring forth our values, beliefs, worldviews and experiences. When the stakes are high, this is even more acute. We face ethical dilemmas all the time, and often they may not even be dramatic enough to register as ethical dilemmas. We therefore don’t approach them as such. I would say that any decision that involves or impacts the life of ourselves, others, animals or the planet has an ethical dimension. In human terms this can be as basic as giving someone a voice (or not) through to making decisions that affect their futures.
I don’t deny the importance of dilemma-based ethics, or using problems as a way of exploring and learning about ethics. In many senses, how we respond in difficult times can be a litmus test for how we think, feel and act ethically in other parts of our lives. My intention is for this blog to explore more systemic, cultural, spiritual and psychological dimensions of ethics and doing good. I am interested in what motivates us to ‘do good’ in the first place, and how we build an ethical life. I can’t help but wonder if we become more conscious of these processes and how we wish to live, that our experience of dilemmas and problems would shift dramatically anyway.