Ethics are dissolvent.
Ethics are a danger for the perfect community.
When a society is perfect, that is, when it satisfices with justice all the needs of its’ members, and at the same time it is a fair and supportive actor in the global community, all the intentions of questioning it to change it must be eliminated.
For all other communities, Ethics are an opportunity to progress.
Normally the words “moral” and “ethical” are used as synonyms.
Beware. It is a serious mistake.
I know Philosophy is not in good shape right now. I am scared of this mistake.
Moral education has nothing to do with education in Ethics.
Morality are the prejudices we accept. These are the ways of doing, the ways of conducting ourselves that we accept, and as that are the normal ones, we believe are the best.
Morality is what we are sure is the best we should do.
Custom is a very strong social force. Machiavelli advises the conquerors that in order to maintain their authority safely and firmly, the best thing they should do is respect the customs of the society they submit.
In the same sense, the Florentine warns that if anyone invades a nation, they will be easily repelled by the defeated ruler, for the community will not respect the new ruler. Because it is new. Strange.
And since custom is such an efficient cohesion force, it is loved by the rulers, who actively care to maintain it.
Morality then relies on the force of authority, legal or social.
And government also relies on the morals of its society.
Moral is a force.
And for that morality becomes an element for obedience.
Morality is our normal way of doing things. It is the pompous security attitude.
Ethics in contrast, is the inquisition about what we know.
That is why it is dangerous. Directly or indirectly, Ethics is a way of questioning authority. Sometimes seeks to criticize, in others, no.
To do Ethics is to investigate if what we do to live together really works. Does slavery improve social cohesion? Does respecting the politically correctness make us fairer? Does banning alcohol help us to be sober? Are banning drugs the best way to eliminate addictions?
The rulers know the answers. Then they impose the conduct.
When those answers do not work then they be questioned. But then the normality of the Moral is a huge obstacle. To do something else is called immoral. Is to disobey.
Is precisely in these moments that the value of Moral is clear for all.
Did Henry Ford do ethics?
What a weird thing to ask!
But that idea, that “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”, makes me thing that the car maker does indeed do Ethics.
Henry Ford puts something new in the world. Something strange.
When the Fordians, men and women propose machines, processes or games to society to do things differently, they change the community.
But do they criticize society?
I don’t think so. In any case, they dissolve what is done. They dissolve what we see as normal. Like if the Fordians came from the future.
The Fordian way of acting is prior to Ethics.
That are not Ethics, but are part of the process that in our psyche can build it. Attitudes that may be like the psychological springs of Philosophy.
There are others to.
It is normal to believe that what works will continue to work. And as that is believed, everything is arranged for it. The processes are repeated. The young people are trained. We all rest in security.
When things stop working, the crisis is terrible.
The opposite attitude is to monitor or doubt that things will work. That attitude is taken by good managers, or by men who know from experience that things can go wrong.
So, they start by checking what is done.
That attitude can grow and moves until it seeks to do things differently, otherwise safely, at least more efficient.
Acting a role is another way to be moral, to feel safe.
Instead, getting out of the role, playing to have another one that one is expected to have, is another way that brings us closer to Ethics.
This attitude is strange. Children naturally play to have accepted roles in society. But they don’t play strange roles.
We encourage ethical attitude. When in a game, we move children or adults to put on other shoes. Beggar or king. Of woman or foreigner. Like the game in which someone acts the religion of the foreigner in front of them.
Finally, the other attitude is what we have when we realize how strange our children are.
When one is a father, we discover how similar children are to oneself, or to the wife, or to the family.
But we also discover the strange attitudes or gestures that children have.
By having children, one remembers all the occasions when one wanted to rebel against parents.
As we pass through the streets in the city of our life, we also realize how different the world is in which our parents raised us, from the current world in which we raise our children.
And we realize that our children are the men that we don’t know.
We discover that children are strangers loved.
So, we are patient and open to their eccentricity.
So, for love of our children we open the door to the Future.
All these attitudes accompany us in our psyche. Just as that natural disgust accompanies us for certain flavours that our body knows are poisonous. Or as the natural pleasure for other flavours that we know suits us, such as the bitter taste of coffee or the acidity of citrus, or the heat of chilli.
Our neighbours certainly thank us when we lend them another horse.
But when we have children, a doubt overwhelms us.
Will these horses be the best? Will these horses be enough?
Then, we know that we may need something else. Something else that we don’t know.
And this is how a car manufacturer can do Ethics.