Ethical vs Morals

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AN ethical or moral politician? Council elections are approaching.

Show me a politician certain of his solution and I will show you a moral politician. Show me a politician who agonises selflessly over his decisions and there is an ethical one.

Morality is about having a set of values or rules which are applied to problems. Such an approach is an effective means of dealing with everyday issues. But when you face a new problem, when our existing morals don't apply, how should we solve it? Morals are historical; they are values and rules established by others in the past. Morality is black and white.

Morals abrogate our decision making process for expediency.

For new situations, and let's face it the world is changing very quickly, if we try to apply old moralities into these new situations our decisions will often have bad outcomes. "Thou shall not kill" is a moral value but not the best solution when an armed and crazy man is shooting school children one by one.

There is a better way of making decisions in new situations; some would argue each and every situation is new or unique. This better approach is using ethics. Ethics involves understanding the situation, the options and the implications of decisions, making the best decision you can while accepting the responsibility of the outcome. Ethics involves doubt because it is your decision, now, for this situation. Ethics is uncertainty and forever searching for a better solution.

Importantly one must remove any benefits to yourself and ego from consideration.

What is ethical for one maybe unethical for another. There are no absolutes; only better or worse, never perfection. Ethics is grey.

Important to me are people, the environment, and the future. I prefer a politician who accepts there is no perfect answer but makes decisions openly and stands alongside their decision. Show me a smug politician and I will see a moral politician, confident in his own ego. Just cast a glance at the many...
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