Thursday, April 28, 2005

Moral Courage

I just read a great book - Moral Courage: Taking Action when your values are put to the test by Rushworth M. Kidder. Kidder is the founder of the Institute for Global Ethics and this is his 3rd book on the topic. So he was doing ethics before it became a popular topic.

The book has a bunch of real-world case studies that show the challenges of being moral in the modern world.

It's tough to be moral today. New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote (in 93) how it was becoming more common for society to “choose not to notice behavior that would otherwise be controlled, or disapproved or even punished.”

Not to mention "groupthink" - the effect where a team, for example, makes decisions none of the individuals would have made on their own.

He is optimistic in the ability to teach moral courage and, to prove this isn't a topic just for the new millenium, quotes Aristotle: "We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”

I have a lengthier review of the book posted. It's worth your time.

No comments: