I cannot bring myself to describe the mechanics of Ethics Awareness Training in detail; it is too embarrassing. I will only say that if you were to happen upon a group of toddlers playing with colored blocks, the tableau would be closer than I can comfortably admit to that which just transpired upstairs.

The difference is that the toddlers would almost certainly be provided with more palatable snacks than the stale and slightly rancid popcorn with which we were rewarded.

What sticks most prominently in my memory, much like a bit of bland recycled popcorn lodged between two teeth, is the quote: “there are no right or wrong answers”.

I intend to apply this principle studiously to all ethical questions which come my way.

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  1. It sounds like we did more concrete things in our tenth grade ethical decision making day, were we well made actual desicions.


    You know.. in an ironic kind of way–ironic because the situation is entirely the opposite in a sense–this reminds me exactly of the scene in donnie darko when Donnie is asked to place a “posed ethical dilemma” along a “lifeline” of which the two ends are “FEAR” and “LOVE”.. and Donnie tells the teacher, who threatens to fail him if won’t just give her the answer she wants.. to, in her own words “forcibly insert the lifeline exercise in my anus!”…

    anyway.. what kind of horseshit is this..

    can’t people deal with complexity???

    I mean.. it seems when confronted with complex situations–that too many people tend to take to the extremems and either declare that everything is a black/white dichotomy and thus clear to all… or that they decide that because they don’t believe in the dichotomy, that obviosly all answers are equally valid…

    can’t they just teach people that even if there might be multiple possible solutions to certain kinds of problems (a situation that crops up remarkably often in both engineering design problems and in real world ethical dilemmas ) that there are also definitely some solutions that don’t work…

  3. That’s what you get for not being ethical.

  4. It frightens me no end that “there are no right or wrong answers” it being taught as the ‘right’ way of thinking about ethics.

  5. “there are no right or wrong answers”….

    Maybe he means that his questions are so vague and undefined that there are no right or wrong answers?

    Maybe he means that any statement could be someone’s ethical principle and since you’re supposed to be aware of ethics (not practice them yourself) you need to be ready for some real weirdos?

    Neither of these seems very *likely*, but they are sensible interpretations.

  6. Black and white

    I see everything through the lens of the Zero Agression Principle. If it harms none, then do as ye will.

    The only gray areas are where it harms none and you have a choice between non-agressive things.

    1. Re: Black and white

      What if your inaction harms someone?

    2. Re: Black and white

      There’s also the grey area where your choice is between two harmful actions.

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