I'm happy that Common Sense Ethics has been receiving more attention despite my hiatus as the domain has matured. The blog also received a Leibster Award in 2014, from Deborah Shelby, who is unfortunately no longer blogging herself, so I can't link to her website. Just for fun, however, I've answered some Leibster questions:
1. Why did you start Common Sense Ethics?
I started the blog because I'm genuinely concerned about a lot of the distressing behaviors and issues that we see in our society. I'm interested in discussing ethical and psychological issues that may be at the root of moral problems. I also enjoy presenting solutions that have helped me to build my own character and made me a happier person my own life. I hope that this blog will help others.
2. What do you think the most pressing contemporary ethical problems are?
War, violence, authoritarianism and abortion.
3. What one ethical concept could instantly improve society?
Voluntarism, or the idea that all human interaction should be consensual between adult individuals and that any action that isn't consensual should be avoided. This idea is based on the Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative. You shouldn't take actions that would harm others or actions that they do not consent to.
4. Are there universal moral principles that apply to everyone?
Yes I think there are. I think we don't always have perfect knowledge of every moral truth however.
5. Is knowledge an intrinsic good?
Not in and of itself, no. Correctly acted upon moral knowledge is an intrinsic good. According to Aristotle, the point of ethics is to become good. What is the point of moral understanding if you don't apply it? To know and not to do is not to know.
6. Is acting morally necessary for happiness?
Absolutely. The Stoics thought that a virtuous life is a happy life. Immoral actions create all kinds of practical and interpersonal problems, not to mention psychological baggage.
7. Should we act morally only because it is to the overall advantage to society?
We should act morally but not only because of societal benefit. Doing good for its own sake is just as important.
8. Who are your favorite ethicists?
Kant, Marcus Aurelius and all of the Stoic philosophers.
9. What would you consider to be the most important aspect of a person’s character?
10. Are there any character flaws that you have that you would like to correct?
I tend to raise my voice at people on occasion and I can be dictatorial. I've tried to be more tactful and considerate in speaking to others. I definitely have become more patient in recent years but I can always become even more patient.
11. What is your favorite post that you have written?
What Everyone Needs to Know About Violence and Self Defense