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One Life Course Week Three: Ethics

Central London Humanists

30th April 2021 - 2 min read

During session three of the One Life Course held on Thursday, April 29, 2021, we dealt with Ethics, looking at decision making, ethics, and morality from a Humanist perspective. We enjoyed having such engaging and interesting discussions in the breakout rooms.

When discussing which common ethical positions we have evolved and why, some participants suggested that our modern electronic communications lead to wider education, knowledge, understanding and empathy. However, there are possible drawbacks due to the uncertainty of the effect of social media and the risk of international war. Most participants agreed that when basic needs are met, people become more empathetic and kind.

There was a very deep discussion about the ethics of reciprocity, the Golden Rule: treat others as you’d like to be treated. Some participants felt like humans are very different from each other in hopes, expectations, and reactions. Maybe Mill’s ‘harm principle’ is a little more acceptable as a guide. Again, a focus on empathy would be best: “how would others feel?” should guide and justify behaviour.

We are already halfway through the course and we are very grateful for our volunteer facilitators who are running the breakout rooms efficiently and making everyone feel welcomed. One participant said: “I felt very included in the conversations and the facilitators were extremely supportive which made me feel welcomed and valued.”

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