Alright, time to really start creating something. I’ve spent enough time doing a light observation of the current situation so I might as well try to create my own.
This new form of ethics, since I feel it deals with real life, not extremes, is going to be somewhat different from most that you know, hopefully. At least I consider it different since it takes two ideas and blends them together into something to help describe how the world works and then become normative out of it in a way.
My proposal is a combination of virtue ethics and the ethics of care (yes feminists, I’m taking this idea, hopefully I keep it correct enough for you because I do think there is something important in this idea).
It is a slightly different direction though; care ethics (CE) is not going to be absorbed by virtue ethics (VE), it is going to go the other way around. CE is going to be the place out of which we get VE.
The firs thing, why do I not take utilitarianism (util) into account or deontology (deo) or one of those other ethical systems that float around in philosophy classes? They are pretty absurd if you stop and consider it, for util all value is based on utility. Usually this utility is focused on the largest amount of happiness/well-being/goodness or whatever for the largest number of people. Deo on the other hand basically argues that the person must be trying to be moral by following some certain rule, no matter the outcomes, when that person was attempting to be entirely moral/ethical their action was correct. So where did these values come from? Utility just seems to get pulled out of nowhere, I mean I could simply argue that justice is more valuable. Deo is just replacing God’s commandments with reason’s commandments. In my opinion both of these are only useful as tools for coming to a decision, not actually a way to live a moral life. These rules are for computers or for the virtuous person to have in mind when at a dilemma but not THE way of ethical/moral-ness. No one would be happy trying to follow these rules out to a T. That’s just a short response to make sure there is a basic understanding of why I don’t even consider those seriously.
One thing that CE definitely gets right is that we are born into caring relationships: I see no possible way for this to be argued without being entirely absurd, find an infant, just born, who will be able to survive without the caring relationship of at least a foster care-taker of some sort if not the actual parent and then I will have to adjust my understanding, I won’t be holding my breath though.
So, starting from the idea that we are born into caring relationships. This idea of caring is also usually described as a practice along with being other things. Practices take work and thought in order to improve one’s own practice and those around them. So, at first, being just an infant you really probably aren’t too worried about being virtuous in the relationship, you’ve got bigger problems to attend to, such as your hunger. But, children grow up.