Our vote, their values


Now that the federal elections are three more years behind, Australians can sigh of relief. Choosing the next prime minister is one of the most important decisions that citizens of our country can make. And, like any other decision, selecting one option always excludes selecting the other option. That is, either “… or.”

When it comes to making other kinds of choices, for example, we are about how we live our lives, end our lives, or express our identity. Consider choosing from the perspective of claiming more and more individual rights. And we argue that the rights we want to exercise when making that particular choice must not only be respected by others, but also confirmed by law.

But making a choice is not as easy as we think.It’s not always about We.. That’s because all the choices we make affect others in most cases.

In a world that has become more complex due to advances in medicine, science and technology, we need to pay particular attention when choosing what we think is right and good.

And the choice can be difficult. One of the problems many people faced during the campaign was that the “either / or” option had little appeal to them. This happened because campaigns were often done not only about policy but also about personality. Indeed, in many cases policies actually lag behind personality.

The thorns were frequently exchanged for the character of the main candidate, not for the economy, living expenses, and affordability of housing.It wasn’t a matter of what each leader did conduct Given access to the lever of force; it was a question of how they make us felt Regardless of the policy they had to offer.

Epoch Times Photo
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) and Labor Party leader Anthony Albanige at the second Prime Minister’s debate prior to the federal elections at Nine Studios in Sydney, Australia, on May 8, 2022. (AAP image / pool, Alex Ellinghausen)

This shift in focus from emotional, likable, and trustworthy policies to personality suggests that our society is increasingly empathizing with empathy and emotions, and the ability to show compassion in relationships with others. I am.

Emphasizing empathy and emotions can also mean changing the way we make ethical choices. Discussions about ethics and morals often turn into “zero-sum” games. In this game, anyone who claims to be right about something dismisses them as completely wrong. However, ethics are rarely so clear.Our way felt When it comes to ethical issues, it can be more important than us think about it.

People continue to take different perspectives, even when discussing difficult topics with very strong emotions and opinions, such as abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia. What they feel and what they think about the problem can change over time depending on the situation. The question is forever. However, our own explanation is only partial.

Let’s accept that this means that ethics is likely to be much more “ambiguous” than we thought. Our own principles and values ​​are not static, but they can change as we change throughout our lives.

One of the scholars who emphasized this evolution of values ​​is the bioethicist Margaret Somerville. He talks about a “value package” that explains the fact that people can have a combination of progressive and conservative values.

“It’s important to keep in mind these infinitely variable combinations of values, because you may agree with one value and disagree with another,” Somerville said. Mr. says. “The agreement can bring a valuable experience of belonging to the same moral universe as those with whom we are at odds with other values.”

Awareness of the growing polarization in our society tends to increase only in campaigns where political parties showcase their products to gain the support of voters. Of course, open and lively exchange of ideas is one of the hallmarks of liberal democracy, and we must proudly defend it.

But we also need to remember that we share a moral universe with those we disagree with. After all, few certainly deny the importance of promoting human dignity and prosperity. This is a goal often referred to as the “common good,” and even if there are disagreements about how to achieve it, we can almost certainly agree.

Polarization only makes the already complex business of doing ethics difficult, as we tend to ignore what we have in common as humans.

Of course, sticking to values ​​and principles is important. But admitting an ambiguous edge to what we want to think of as a sharp line of moral reasoning helps to bring greater compassion and empathy to our relationships with those we disagree with.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Peter Culti


Peter Kurti is an Associate Professor at Notre Dame University in Australia and has written extensively on religious, liberty and civil society issues.

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