Sunshiny Profile picture
29 Apr, 23 tweets, 4 min read
I find it interesting that most people seek simple universal ethical rules that define right and wrong.

Killing is bad. Stealing is bad. Lying is bad.

Simple. So all examples of these behaviours are wrong behaviour.
Except life isn’t simple. It’s complex. So simple universal rules don’t adequately define right and wrong.

War is sometimes required and that involves killing to protect others.

Who hasn’t rationalized copying copyrighted material without permission? It’s stealing.
And who wouldn’t lie to protect someone’s feelings. Candor is not always appropriate.
Navigating ethical decisions is complex and requires more than universal platitudes to shape behaviour. Because life is not simple. So simple rules are general guides, not actually rigid rules.
My husband tells me I too easily bend the rules to suit my objectives. I tell him he’s too married to rules for my liking. Both of us are highly ethical people. Neither of us commit crimes or use ethics to gain advantage over others.
But we still have very different views of ethics. He believes they’re simple. I don’t.

Funny thing, both of us are right.
In most situations, simple guidelines are sufficient.

Where difficulty emerges is when complexity rears its head.

Complex situations require attentive navigation to determine the most ethical choice.

Commonly known as being between a rock and a hard place.
When the most ethical choice isn’t obvious, you’re in a complex situation.

And navigating complexity can be quite intimidating and humbling.

That’s why my husband avoids it as often as he can. Most people do. Most people don’t like complexity.
When you teach a child about morals and ethics, you start off using simple universal constructs. Violence is wrong, helping others is right.

Simple. Easy to process and understand.

But that’s not real life. Real life throws curve balls and obscures effect. It’s complex.
We teach children the fundamentals of ethical behaviour. But few prepare children for complex situations.

And that is the source of much conflict. Applying simple rules to complexity. It doesn’t work.

However, some people insist that it must.
Which is why I’m forever curious how people process complexity.

There are no universal morals. But there are universal guidelines. Killing, stealing and lying are wrong in most situations.

However, there is always an exception to every rule.
Someone trying to kill me drastically alters my ethics about killing.

It’s hard to rationalize stealing, but my kids Halloween candy and provides adequate rationale every year.
And I quite easily lied to my children when I had to put our dog down because she was very sick. They think she went to live with another family.

Complexity requires a foundation of ethical beliefs, but requires flexibility for complex situations.
So when we discuss what’s ethical in politics, complexity is ALWAYS at play. In a pluralist society we can expect complexity is always present.

So how do we navigate complexity using simple rules? We use the “rules” as guides, not as rigidly applied absolutes.
Those who use ethical values as rigid absolutes are intimidated by complexity. They want to eliminate all complexity to make life easy and simple. Which is why it’s interesting that so many progressives fall into this category.
In the past I had wrongly assumed that it was just the political right that had difficulty with complexity. But it seems the left is experiencing difficulty as well. That’s what happens when polarization is imposed on an electorate.

You’re asked to pick sides.
Life and it’s complexity is being reduced to simple platitudes and rigid interpretations of ethical choices.

One slip up or mistake and you’re forever labelled unethical. Choosing to recognize an issue as complex can get one permanently banned as a tribal member.
If you’re applying simple rules to ethical dilemmas, you’re part of what’s wrong with politics in modern society. Life and it’s problems are not simple. There are no simple solutions and there are no ethically simple choices. Life is NOT black or white.
If you see your ethical choices from a binary perspective, you’re being radicalized and you’re falling into extremism.

Recognizing there is a multitude of perspectives to consider and ponder in every ethical choice is progressive and open minded.
Navigating through complexity is progressive and requires critical thinking.

Simple rules remove the need to think about your choices. It makes you an easy target to manipulate and tell you smears based on conjecture and here-say.

It’s a sign you aren’t using empathy.
Empathy requires you to examine complexity and analyze the facts from another’s perspective.

Polarization removes empathy. And without empathy we are merely political pawns repeating simple platitudes.

Complexity is the essence of human existence and individual experience.
And as progressives, it’s what drives us to embrace diversity, plurality and face conflict.

Homogeneity is simple existence.

Navigating complexity is thriving.

I don’t want to merely exist. I want to thrive and for others to thrive as well. So embrace complexity.
It’s messy, requires much more investment in critical thinking, it comes with conflict, but it sure makes life more interesting.

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More from @sunnshiiny

1 May
I’m on a blocking party. Grabbing a coffee and having fun sending trolls and bots to the dustbin.

Nothing like a swarm of hateful cons to demonstrate a coordinated disinformation campaign is afoot.

Told ya they’re panicking.
Along with panicked bullying to intimidate dissent and clarity, the presence of disinformation is as thick as mud.

User generated content is not being regulated. That would be an infringement of freedom.

Instead, owners of the media (the platforms) are to be held accountable.
Just like radio and television are regulated by the owners of the corporations who access their respective public utilities.

That way it’s safe to let children watch TreeHouse channel because consumers know the programming will be appropriate for the age range of viewers.
Read 27 tweets
30 Apr
The far right is panicking.

Bill C-10 is meant to reduce disinformation. Not censor legitimate opinion.

It’s also aimed at broadcasters, not independent individuals.…
But it is funny to watch them panick. ImageImageImageImage
Here is a summary of the bill.…

Go Libs Go!

Yeah Guilbeault! ImageImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets
30 Apr
I’m happy that some readers are sifting through past threads.

This one is quite apt considering Chief Adam Allen’s revelations regarding Ft. Mac state of emergency.

I’m puzzled by the public’s reaction. Initial shock and then immediately into passive obedience.
The incremental moves towards callous disregard has caused the public to numb to the abject cruelty and negligent policy of UCP.

It’s stunning to me but predictable.

If you’ve ever wondered how Nazi’s committed the Holocaust with nary a complaint from the public, this is how.
Desensitization to violence is a process, but it isn’t difficult to create.

Shock is common when we witness uncharacteristic violence.

Violence is supposed to be rare & typically is, in a stable democracy.

Incrementalist violence is referred to as the frog in a boiling pot.
Read 24 tweets
29 Apr
If you ever need proof Kenney and UCP don’t care about the science, observe.

Lockdowns are the only tool we have to eliminate covid.

Kenney is advocating we not try. Just “learn to live with it.”

Where have we heard that before?
So who do we listen to? The physicians who tell us to lockdown?

Or the physicians who tell us to live with it?

There are over 500,000 dead people in the US that clearly make this an easy decision.
Read 15 tweets
28 Apr
Maybe people don’t understand what’s happening?

The steep fee limits Kananaskis to those with the means to pay it.

If you look at the UCP environmental conservation plan, preservation of parks and nature is promised.
But conservation is also to be balanced with economic growth and stewardship.

Kenney used coded Dominionist Christian language to communicate his plans in his 2018 policy platform.

But unless you can interpret his coded language, it just sounds like word salad.
UCP may seem like they’re speaking to the entire public, but their communication is specifically aimed at Dominionist Christians & loyal followers of far right ideology.

Knowing this when reading the lead in reveals they claim “moral obligation” to steward the environment.
Read 16 tweets
27 Apr
It’s curious to me that some people work so hard to convince themselves that all is well in Canadian federal and provincial politics.

There is a point that scepticism becomes delusion. We crossed that point a long time ago. No reasonable person can conclude politics is normal.
Gone are the norms for decorum and political process. Swept away by constant bloviating, obstructionism, open disrespect, disinformation and personal smears.

While politics has always been fraught with conflict, generally reality wasn’t debated or created through discourse.
Democracy is a tricky concept to define. A few believe it’s limited to free and fair voting. Voting makes up a tangible part of democracy, but overall, democracy is a belief system. So it’s abstract in nature and difficult to fit into a narrow universal definition.
Read 26 tweets

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