WHAT IS ETHICS?
To be ethical is to Intrinsically- value (to I-value) oneself and others. How can we tell when someone is I-valuing something? They focus; give it some of their attention, and come to identify with it. If they I-value a person they get involved with that person. They see qualities in the person that others, who aren't so close, don't see. To illustrate, it is the way many of us felt about our mother when we small children. That is an example of Intrinsic valuation.
Another example may be how a czarina, a Russian princess or queen, felt about her jewelry. Or how we relate to the Mona Lisa or to an original Van Gogh today. Whatever we regard as very special, as a priceless treasure, whatever we value as life itself (unless we are depressed and suicidal) is an application of I-value.
When people identify and bond with the following they become Intrinsic values: Liberty, Freedom, Integrity, Beauty, Truth, Goodness, Authenticity, Creativity, and so forth. Those are often I-valued. When someone Intrinsically values something they see, they may call it "a beauty" or speak of it as "beautiful." When a person I-values a sound, he or she will call it "music."
When I-valuing a person one may speak of that person as "a friend", or as "a partner" or perhaps as "beloved", or one may fall back on poetry, or pet names, or some private, intimate expression that only the two of them understand. Other concepts, which when identified with become I-value applications, are Love, Community, Spirituality, Veracity, Reality, Sharing, Happiness, Ecstasy, Joy, Intuition and Insight.
ARE THERE ETHICAL FALLACIES?
We previously explained that Ethics arises when we I-value persons. This is true by definition. False logic results in a fallacy. Faulty thinking in the field of ethics will be known as ethical fallacy. Now that Ethics has been defined, I shall present two Ethical Fallacies, expressed by Dr. William Kelleher, an ethicist and a political scientist, in the following quote. They are The Instrumental Fallacy and the Ideological Fallacy.
The Instrumental Fallacy
To use a person solely as a means to achieve some end entails a negative regard for that person. Using reduces a person to the value of a thing, an instrument. No matter how highly prized, a thing is always potential trash. Every new car will some day be junk. But a person, so long as he or she is a self-conscious, thinking, feeling human being ought never be regarded as useless trash." The formula depicting this situation is E > I, obviously a fallacy, since science has established that I > E.
When persons are I-valued they are receiving positive regard, and Ethics - by definition - tells us that individuals always deserve to be viewed in this light; it tells us that all persons always deserve positive regard. "The Ideological Fallacy: This is the false assumption that ideas are more important than persons are.
This is the way Dr. Kelleher explains it.
In contrast, Dr. Kelleher has proposed two value axioms. The first is Instrumental Enhancement. What does this mean?Whenever the idea of "gender," or of "race," or "rank" - all intellectual constructs, or conceptions - which have no actual physical existence - are used to separate members of the human community, and to enable some to claim superiority over others, this is a violation of Ethics. Why? Because it indicates a failure to I-value persons. To hold any of those "isms": racism, sexism, or rankism, is to commit The Ideological Fallacy. In symbols this situation is S > I, again, a fallacy.
Comments? Questions?Instrumental Enhancement
"Providing a service to people that helps to improve the quality of their lives" would be an Instrumental Enhancement. He offers several examples: Public education when it values a student as a unique, intelligent, creative person with potential for growth and development; Sending someone who needs it - a person who has been convicted of a crime, or a drug addict -- into rehab is another example of Instrumental Enhancement; Medical treatment, including surgery, is meant to enhance the quality of life and provide a benefit. The second value axiom applied to Ethics is what we shall designate as:
This is an idea that tends to encourage giving positive regard to people. The idea of Human Rights - such as the right to an opportunity to earn a living; or the right to be free from the fear of detention just for expressing political views - the human rights concept is an Ideological Enhancement.