I’m soliciting ideas. I know I write mostly from a Christian perspective, but I have good friends from all over the spectrum, in a religious sense. I don’t want to imply that I consider those friends to be less conscientious, morally speaking, than my Christian friends. But I’m curious about the role that religion plays and then, within religion, the source for those moral compunctions?
For instance, let’s talk about the issue of the beggar on the street. What do you consider to be your responsibility for the homeless or the destitute? Now let’s ask about the hypothetical of a worker in your factory. Do you supply earplugs to prevent hearing loss? Why or why not? Do you view this as a values based decision? Why or why not?
And then, no matter what your answer to that question, what do you consider to be the basis for your own values? Would you consider it to be family upbringing, religion, school teachings, fear of punishment, etc? Since I write and think from a western, Christian perspective, I’d especially welcome ideas from people who consider themselves persons of conscience but who derive their values from different sources.
For instance, depending on your own cultural perspective (and thus expertise) how would you think your own value system differs from others (western, eastern, religious, etc?) that you are familiar one? For instance, how does a Semitic value system differ from a Christian one? How does a Confucian value system differ from a Buddhist one? How does a Buddhist value system differ from a Muslim one?
Do you view these value systems as being fundamentally similar or different, and why? I’m trying to elicit discussion not about particular values themselves or rightness or wrongness of actions, but rather what is the source of your view concerning what is right or wrong? Feel free to answer by email or by comment. I’ll share the answers later.