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Justifying the variable values of our ethics

Updated on December 23, 2012
You do not necessarily must believe in God to have good morals
You do not necessarily must believe in God to have good morals

A reply to my Indian princess Country Woman

In places where prostitution is banned is a result of an ethical issue that corresponds to the ethic code of that particular society. However, if ethic is described as the rule or standards governing the conduct of individuals, than who set these rule of standards?

If individuals set these rule of standards then by definition these rule of standards hold variable values which can be manipulated to comfort individuals.

This logic states that if individuals set rules of standards, then what is ethically right to one group of individuals may be unethical to another, I agree. But is there a standard definition for morality?

Yes there is – because not all morality hold variable values, murder is an immoral act in all societies, except in cases of self defense but some Christians would argue otherwise. It may be true that what’s immoral to me may be morally right to another. It’s the same principle I use to determine that perfection has variable values in the sense that it’s not consistent with all views.

However, I think we shouldn’t place judgment on others who have committed an immoral act until we know exactly what that act is. Of–course the judgment we place on others is a reflection of our moral principles. Although our moral principles may not be consistent with all views, the truth holds some level of logic makes it valuable to us. But unfortunately, values are set by members of our society who are imperfect beings. Therefore, when we accept those values we are also accepting their imperfection.

Although some murders may be justifiable doesn’t make it right. Taking someone life if it’s not self defense is always wrong, even in some cases of war. It’s wrong under the humanitarian principle which is understood by humanity that killing another human beings is wrong. Nevertheless, acts that are considered immoral in some societies are not always true in all situations; it will depend on the values of those judging it.

For example in cases of infidelity some would dispute that infidelity is wrong under all cases, where others would disagree. Infidelity is often characterized as a cheating husband regardless of the condition set forth by the couples. Those individuals who are outside the relationship sees it as cheating, meanwhile couples set rules in their relationships to balance their marriage.

Another example, is a fourteen years old girl in a village of Africa who got circumcised because her parents thinks that this procedure would prevent her from having sex early. This condition is obviously morally wrong in American culture, but to the Africans in that village the family did not do anything wrong.

In fact this action is viewed as a respectable act. It is because of these examples that as imperfect beings, I believe that we shouldn't use our judgment to justify others who have committed an act that is not consistent with all views. Cultures are universal, but there are not always unifiable, and for that, there will always be moral acts that are viewed as pervasive to other cultures.

Written by Marcus Oscarsson for Global Post which was published: September 19, 2009 09:09 ET – “The reasons given for female circumcision are traditional, cultural and religious? It is believed to encourage cleanliness, to control promiscuity, enhance the males’ sexual pleasure, preserve virginity and protect against unwanted pregnancies,” said Timnit Embaye of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kenya.

They exist what is described as immoral consistency where the action that is viewed as immoral is consistent with all views. As an example – raping a woman is morally wrong even in cases of war, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s in India, Iraq or Japan, no one can justify rape if the evidence for rape is not there to prove it. This moral construct is what is described as immoral consistency where the act that is being judge cannot be proven right under no circumstances.

Perhaps my argument is not valid in the sense that someone can ask why should their actions be morally right? But anyone who poses that question would be addressing members of their society who have imposed these moral construct for them to follow. In which case the question “why” would have been answered by having the disobedient expose to some sort of punishment when those moral constructs are disobeyed. A counter argument may be available at this link “Kant and Kantians on “the Normative Question”

As far as prostitution, it is a matter of survival to some people, especially in a poor economy. However, those who prostitute themselves, whether it’s a man or a woman do it because they need the money to survive. Jacque Fresco “We are all prostitutes of the institution we belong to”. If you think about it when you the employee market a product for your company what you are doing really is prostituting yourself for that company.

The word Prostitute derived from a composition of two Latin words: (preposition) pro and (verb) statuere . A literal translation therefore would be: “to expose”, “to place up front”.

Now given that definition anyone with common sense will become aware that marketers, managers or supervisors are nothing more than a bunch of prostitutes (so to speak). Realistically speaking their role as managers is to generate profit for the corporation by implementing new strategies to enhance the means of production. The supervisors on the other hand are there to supervise the foot prostitutes (the workers) to make sure that the strategies are being followed up. Please do not get offended by this word, for it is just another deviation of the true meaning of the word “prostitute”.

Nevertheless, survival cannot be viewed as the only reason for all prostitutes. Some do see it as a better way to make a few bucks. The government is not against prostitution because some people see it as an immoral act; the government is against it because in the neighborhoods where it is practice citizens complain.

If you ever wondered why can prostitution be legal in one state while being illegal in another, wondered no more? It’s the same reason why Gay marriage can be legal in one state while being illegal in another. The people that comprised the society of the state where it is legal are adapt to a different moral code that gives value to gay marriage than those other societies where Gay marriage is disapproved.

If you really think about it, it is people within a given society who gives value to certain moral construct. This is why we say if individuals set rule of standards, then by definition rule of standards hold variable values which can be manipulated to comfort individuals. Evidently if this was not true then gay marriage would have been in uniform with all members of society.

I disagree withThomas Jefferson who borrowed the quote from the ItalianPhilip Mazzei who stated “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” I believe that we are born with certain rights as human beings, rights which most views as humanitarian rights but we’re not born equal beings.

To say that we are born equal beings is to assert to the conclusion that our astrological charts are irrelevant to our personality. If time can be relevant to science so can it be for men. We are affected by time in different ways for the simple fact that we are born at different time.

In addition to the previous discussion, our parents who have raised us, their lack of opportunities, our surroundings and our environment dictates our future occurrences. If Barack Obama was not brought up by educated parents who were better off than most average parents, there is no way in hell he could have been president of the United States.

Our environment, the people we know create the opportunity that our path will fallow. The education is a leeway, making the opportunity we get possible to follow through. As we should know not all of us can afford an education anymore. They use to say that the key to success is an education, but if that key is not available to all how can it be the key to success, it must then be the key to some.

We want a leader that will fight for equal access to education so that equality can rise above the surface. That way you’ll have less educated poor out of work because regardless of their education they can’t work without that opportunity.

However, they’ve been those who have managed to rise above their toxic soil. And they have done it by using an elevated thought which have allowed them to succeed in their endeavor. Since our surroundings are not always rounded it is advisable to be left guided by our third eye the subconscious mind.

The wrong environment has turned a lot of good soul towards the wrong path. I am a testimony of that fact. Those who have past through these sad periods often thought how it could have been them until they realize that God had another purpose for them. Although we seem to think that our purpose in life should bring us good fortune is not always the case. Our purpose can be the step in stone for a greater cause.

In that respect those prostitutes who cater to sex for money were not all that fortunate, some were brought up without caring parents, some never made it to high school. Others had no one in their lives to offer them directions. Had they have that chance no one knows what could have become of them?

Even people with greater potential need guidance, and since no one is born knowing it all everybody needs guidance to some extent. However, regardless of who is giving us guidance, we are guided by our environment first, before we are guided by our love ones.


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    • Coolbreezing profile imageAUTHOR

      James Dubreze 

      9 years ago from New York, New York

      Very well said Country Woman. However, there is no need to be defensive about India's economy. My comments about India's economy was based on the country's progress as a whole. In regard to everyone being unable to benefit from this progress, I doubt if that will ever happen. As far as I'm concern India is a capitalist country and under capitalism wealth is never fairly distributed. So if you find my remark a little touchy, don't worry about it ….I sprayed water but I didn't wet anyone. Its just a remarkable thing for us Americans because every time we call our banks, someone in India picks up. This wasn't so until recently ...I would say it started five years ago, could be less. It simply reminds us that globolization is here and it's here to stay.

      In reference to your values, I think you meant to say To Each is Own. I'm not sure if I would subscribed to it but I would take a light approach towards it. Anyhow, Marry Christmas to you as well …..have a good one.

      Since this reply is different from the one In your hub, I' also responded to the one in your hub.

    • countrywomen profile image


      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Coolbreezing- Well coming to this particular hub I would say good job. Now coming to the personal compliment about me being open minded thanks a lot but I would like to add that their are many Indians who are as open minded or maybe even more than me. Yes India is making good progress but still we have miles to go before everyone benefits from the economic transformation (so far only the very rich and upper middle class have benefited). India still has millions of people who are hungry, need health facilities, education and employment opportunities. As much as I would like to think India as a economic powerhouse the ground reality for millions isn't the same.

      My values are personal for me and I don't intend to judge others by my own personal values. Each to their own and live & let live is such an easy philosophy to subscribe to. Once again thanks for the mention about me. Merry Christmas.

    • Coolbreezing profile imageAUTHOR

      James Dubreze 

      9 years ago from New York, New York

      That would be fine my Indian princess, we're anxious to see what you have to say. You're a special case because it's not too often you'll fine an Indian person who is as open minded as you're are. And you being from a country that is steadily gaining economic power, makes us Americans eager to see how you rational your values.

    • countrywomen profile image


      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Coobreezing- Glad that you took my suggestion so literally..LOL

      Btw I have given a reply to some of the points raised by you and if you want I can copy paste that reply here too. I guess I can link your present hub for further discussion on the same subject in my hub.


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