Ethical Lens

1 January 2017

During the Ethical Lens Inventory exercise that I did, I learned that I do not really have a personal preferred ethical lens. I see the gifts and the weaknesses of each lens and I am able to move fluidly among them to adapt the right tools to each situation to assure the best outcome. I am able to use my reasoning skills to determine my duties, as well as the universal rules and the systems that will assure fairness and justice for everyone. I also listen to my intuition to determine the greatest good for each individual, as well as the virtues that will best serve the community.

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I have either a mature ability to use the right tools in a given situation or a paralyzed belief that everyone has a valid point. Although each of us has preferred lens, some who are ethically mature and able to use the tools of all the lenses, adapting them as appropriate in a given situation, test in the center of the grid. Others who test in the center of the grid actually have underdeveloped ethical skills. Those without skills tend to be paralyzed by their ability to see all sides and are too desperate to please everyone.

I personally think I do more of the being desperate to please everyone than the not being able to see all sides of the situation. I was able to get this information from the exercise I did at: http://www. ethicsgame. com/Exec/Eli/EthicalLensResults. aspx? R=1 My Core Values are: Autonomy, Equality, Rationality and Sensibility. I value autonomy and equality equally and I value rationality and sensibility equally. My Classic Values are: Temperance, Prudence, Justice and Fortitude. I am able to manifest all four classic virtues depending on what the circumstances require.

My Key Phrase is: “I make ethical choices for myself and others. ” I am able to see myself and others clearly, therefore I do not make assumptions about why people act the way they do or how things should be done. My Definition of Ethical Behavior is: Doing the Right Thing. I tend to hold this high standard for myself but I do not judge others who fall short, so long as their intentions were honorable. My Tools for Analyzing Problems are: Reason, Experience, Authority and Tradition. I am comfortable using all available tools to analyze a problem.

These can include critical thinking skills, reference to experts, my own past experience and the traditions of the community. My Gift to the community is balance among all four lenses, because I can see the benefits of each of the lenses and I can use the tools of all of them. The mature expression of this position has no blind spot. I am able to see both the strengths and the weaknesses of each lens and to harmonize the four core values of autonomy, equality, rationality and sensibility.

Discernment comes with ethical maturity and provides direction in specific situations. My Risk is: Inaction. I run the risk of seeing everything and deciding nothing if I am not self-aware. As one who sees the legitimacy of everyone’s point of view, I am particularly prone to delay or outright inaction. My Temptation is: Superiority. Believing that my balanced vantage point gives me a superior ability to resolve ethical dilemmas, I may convince myself that I have all the answers and do not need any input from others. My Vice is: Insistence on Agreement.

By insisting that everyone validate all points of view as I do before moving forward, I become tyrannical and may actually provoke dissenters into sabotaging the process as the only way they feel they can maintain the integrity of their different viewpoint. My Crisis is: Confusion. Unless I develop the practice of mindfulness and reflection, at some point I will become confused and find that I have lost my moral compass. The downside of being able to see everyone else’s perspective is that I can lose track of my own. My Seeing Clearly is: Listen to my heart; use my head; act with confidence.

To see more clearly, I need to first consider the nature of the problem. Then I need to use both my head and my heart to discern which course of action will best manifest interdependence. Once I have assessed the ramifications of the various options, I will need to act with confidence and courage. Although there may be more than one way to resolve a problem, some actually are better than others. I think I could use my personal ethics to determine a course of action by knowing how I feel about the situation along with all the circumstances involving the situation.

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