14 June 2019

On Ethics and Moral Dilemmas

So for various reasons, I have been thinking about ethical questions lately. Part of the reason is my work, and another part of the reason is a book I am reading (of which a review will be written soon). In any case, I find myself thinking about ethics questions quite often nowadays.

See, the thing is, I mostly deal with compliance when it comes to my work. I change things, or make other people change things, so that what they are doing is in alignment with the law. In my work environment, I do this on a daily basis. Ethics however, is beyond compliance. Compliance is about following what the law says. Laws on the other hand are written in order to prevent what people think are wrong. But what people think are right and wrong can change over time, and is also culture specific. Figuring out what is right and what is wrong is the domain of ethics.

I know that I am simplifying things here tremendously, after all, I do not have proper ethics training. But nevertheless, this topic is one where I think I need to slowly chip in and deconstruct and operationalise.

Come to think of it, this is a more daunting task, rather than opting to say, take the ready-made views of a certain "holy book" as face value and use that as a guiding beacon of what your ethical views are. Sure, one can take the Bible or the Qur'an and use these scriptures to figure out what is right and what is wrong, but I think that is more a cop-out answer so to speak. I think I would opt for examining what I really personally believe, and figure out whether I personally could defend my views, rather than use a set of written texts that are already out of date, so to speak.


  1. These ethical dilemmas drive me crazy because that's often when you realize the world is made of shades of grey. I wouldn't have been able to be a judge, nothing is absolute to me.

    1. Zhu,

      I love how you described it, the world is indeed made of various shades of grey, and sometimes, these shades change!