Reflections On Ethics

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When a grownup enters a system of upbringing, the first thing that he or she is concerned with are ethical questions: What’s right and what’s wrong? At the same time we know that ethics blocks the development of a person.

Answer: We are categorically against ethics. The problem is that ethics assumes an enormous quantity of various conditions that a person has to memorize and absorb, and thus create his inner “I,” imposed upon him through all possible ethical limitations, becoming “narrow-minded,” fixated, and “packaged” and seemingly interacting with those around him in a precise and correct way. Naturally, in this process he constructs his own image—a black, packed steel “suitcase.”

We are absolutely against this. This is not freedom. A person cannot live like this for long, and if he can, then he loses all sensitivity to perception, sensation, kindness, and mutual understanding. An ethically correct person could decide that somebody should be killed and could easily murder him because this corresponds to the norms accepted in his environment, which he has mastered well. In essence this is fascism, Nazism, all possible forms of utmost extremism, and so on. These forms are the opposite of anarchy.

Here we offer a middle line, a middle state between the two. That is, a person should understand the necessity of each of his ethical positions: Does it correspond to nature, is it acceptable in today’s society and in interactions with those around him? We need to arrange it so that the benefit of society is always placed above that of the individual and in addition, the entire society moves towards an ever-greater integration since this is what nature demands.

Thus, undoubtedly, an ethical framework is necessary, but one that is continuously developing and flexible, existing under self-control and the control of society, without any so-called “sacred cows.” Hence, this is not the ethics offered by the proponents of “Prussian training”: “What we will drill into you will stay with you for life.”
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #5, 12/13/11

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