Monday, October 26, 2015

Normatively unethical

How will people remember me? How will the people I moved away from remember me? What do people I've lost contact with think of me? Do they? For some reason, it's important for me to know.

It is often said that you should not care about what other people think of you. But I don't think that is true. It's fine and all that you shouldn't base your perception of your own value as a person on the opinions of others. Humans are judgemental, and you need to be able to be proud of yourself without receiving praise or acknowledgement from others. Not everyone knows you, they might be wrong, or simply have a false image of you.

But you should definitely care about what the people who matter to you and those who know you think. Not necessarily about what any one individual will say about you, but the general perception people have of your personality. No one is perfect. If someone has a problem with you, maybe you need to take a step back and think about if, or how, you wronged them. Maybe you didn't, or maybe it's illegitimate critique, but simply considering the possibility can lead to a positive change. Other people will help us improve. People who never hear any legitimate critique, or will not listen to it, will not grow, or develop, as individuals. We will take things to heart, to polish our personalities and become better individuals. The opinions of others are stepping stones, tools we need in order to move forward.

We need to be critical of others, we need to think about the behaviour of others and the ethics behind their actions. And we must take that criticism, and apply it to ourselves. When we do something immoral, it often happens without thought. We might not even realize that what we're doing is wrong. That is why every wrong we see in others we must search for in ourselves. It leads us to both consider what is moral and immoral, and turn an analytical eye upon our own behaviour. Every once in a while, take a moment and think, am I not committing the same mistakes as them? Because we are. We do. We all commit the same mistakes, over and over, and judge each other for the same wrongdoings, over and over. We do it in different ways, but the sins are the same.


  1. Jag läser din blogg nu!!November 5, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Vilken etik följer du då du talar om ett misstag ekvivalent med en synd? (två sista meningarna) Menar du den egna moralen?
    Hurdan är denna ideala människobild som vi bör försöka uppnå genom konstruktiv kritik? Har du hens nummer? ;)

    1. The mistakes are in the wrongdoings, and the wrongdoings are sinful. It's a slight romanticization, to my secular mind sin and mistakes only exist as subjective concepts. It doesn't matter what ethical standards I had in mind when I wrote this, the point is really for everyone else to reflect upon what they think is true and proper.

      I do not know what the ideal person is like. But I know that everyone should strive to be the best they know and can. Judging the behaviour of others is a good tool in creating your own personal conception of what is right and what is wrong, what is proper or immoral behaviour. I guess in a way it is a variation of the Golden rule, but it's more about avoiding destructive behaviour than a Karma way of thinking, which is how I would interpret the Golden rule. Anyway, I believe actively avoiding doing bad things is a way more effective way of maintaining moral behaviour than simply trying to act well.

      This is designed more as merely a thought-provoking blog than a place for me to preach. I believe it is more important that people think for themselves than that they borrow my values. Of course, I write with the precondition of belief that everyone will arrive at the same conclusions as I, given they think hard and well enough ;)

    2. Så du menar den egna moralen. (Tänker envist fortsätta på svenska)
      "Of course, I write with the precondition of belief that everyone will arrive at the same conclusions as I, given they think hard and well enough" - är inte detta rentav en motsägelse till hela blogginlägget, då du antar att du har rätt men ändå påstår att människor bör utveckla? Att argumentera är hälsosamt, man bör känna till att ens åsikter inte nödvändigtvis är "rätt" eller i alla fall inte de enda "rätta".
      Fina bilder hörruu!

    3. I admire your rebellious unwillingness to conform, however out of place it may be on this strictly English blog of mine.

      No, you're wrong. Choosing a side is the first thing you need to do to effectively stimulate a good debate or discussion. I need to stand by what I believe right now to be true (taking the risk that it may not in fact be true), because if I do not, there will be no argument, and neither I nor anyone else will be any wiser.

      As you say, a good debate sharpens the mind. The purpose of a blog as opposed to a diary is to bring an inner monologue into a public arena, where anyone can comment or discuss it. Discussion is exactly what I'm looking for.



Feel free to speak your mind!

It's also always more fun if you leave some way for us to identify you.