For all things philosophical.
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What are ethical values? On no basis is it a species of animal out there that can be examined and described. Therefore it is not a human being that can be dissected as a material body. It would be a mistake to simply take our own existing prejudices and build on them. The starting point is the whole gamut of human [and other] behaviour and interaction, and that also of communities and their behaviour. This provides us with a chaos of activities, and motives deriving from our internal mental world. At that point we, as often rational beings, find it necessary to classify all that activity in order to manage it. We then take a term such as ethics with its generalised root or customary meaning. We can employ this against other convenient terms to define the boundaries between one sort of behaviour and another. There is at least one other term that is important and that is culture. We might even get tediously particular and use the term politics. Before long, the danger is, that we have so finely particularised and narrowed meanings to suit prevailing prejudice, that we will have lost the whole picture. In fine, it is better to describe ethics as distinct from culture, as to do with behaviour that appears to cause damage or otherwise as against innocuous behaviour as culture. We then take such words as there are available for this description and determine how they relate together and if any pattern emerges. In short, it may be contended, there are antonyms which describe a presence or absence, or which suggest simple motives as against social conditions. On the basis that anything simple is logically opposed to something compound. Therefore we will find a number of sets of key values that bring some clarity to the subject. We may take the term Freedom as a simple value or motive, that merely suggests the absence of its antonym as a social condition, which last we tend to call authoritarianism or even tyranny. If tyranny is a social condition, then it is described or suggested by at least two simple values. These in their turn have their antonyms as forms of society. A simple web of values would be triangular as a start. The implication of this is that Freedom is not a particular form of society, and merely provides us with a question as to what positive society we espouse, as against tyranny.
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