Boston: The Ethical Gap

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I spent eight years of my life in the Boston area. I lived in Newton Centre. I worked in the downtown. I’ve been to the marathon. I love this city, sometimes called the “Athens of America” for the great universities, the vibrant cultural traditions, the history. I did an internship in one of the hospitals there. I take what happened there personally.
But when I saw the images of what happened this week I realized the existence of a great ethical gulf that exists between those who take life indiscriminately and those who rush toward a bombing scene to save others. The moral gap between these two philosophies is so great that I cannot find any common ground. One philosophy seeks to kill or maim others, while the other seeks to save them. One views the destruction of human beings as a guiding philosophy of terror; the other saving life as its guiding principle.
One hopes that in the long view of things, that philosophy which seeks to save and repair life is stronger than the view which seeks to destroy life. Sometimes it doesn’t always feel this way, but the hope remains nonetheless.
When I watched the crowds in Boston cheer for fire and police officers, I knew people saw the vast moral differences between those who rush in to save others and those who set bombs to kill anyone in the way. A wise teacher once advised us to judge people by their fruits, the results of their philosophies. Let us hope those who save others remain our mentors.

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Filed under John C. Morgan, Living and dying, Philosophy and Ethics, wisdom

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