behold “the ladder of ethics” – a.k.a. an explorative conceptualisation of the steps we take (consciously or subconsciously – considered or assumed) when we deal with ethics/morals/laws/etc.
A while back, I did a post called ‘ontos|telos|ethos‘, and I’ll build on that, adding the codification of law (greek: nomos) to the scenario, hence, ontos, telos, ethos and nomos – or οντος → τελος → ηθος → νόμος.
- Laws (good or bad, subjectively or objectively formed) are based on
- ethical principles/opinions (good or bad, subjective or objective) which are based on
- goals or ‘ends’ (good or bad, subjectively or objectively formed) which are based on
- essence or nature – including what the thing is worth (good or bad, subjectively or objectively formed)
This is a strictly philosophical accounting of ‘the ethical ladder’ (as I understand it currently). One can give a scientific or empirical accounting of laws, ethics, goals and nature – but it would of course be restricted to scientific (and thus prescriptively indifferent) modes of analysis. No sorting a good law, principle, goal or nature from a bad one. Just indifferent, numerical, statistical quantities.
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P.S. – Interestingly, Christianity can be seen in terms of this ‘ladder’ with each rung being revealed through Love.
- Laws = the highest Law: Love
- ethical principle = do what is Loving
- goals or ‘end’ = to become like God who is Love
- essence or nature: all reality grounded in God who’s essence/nature is Love