When you read many of the articles on this website, you could accuse me of being too negative – focusing on all that is unethical. And I agree I have been pointing out unethical behaviour – with the objective of exposing it and hoping people will change.

GOOD NEWS

However, despite all the modern-day examples of what we could call unethical behaviour, the ethical development of  us humans has come a long way over the centuries. Just imagine in Roman days people were fed to the animals as a public spectator sport.  Women were forced to have sex with animals, and men and women were forced to fight to the death. In the middle ages people were tortured in the most horrendous ways in the name of religion. People were killed as a sacrifice to the gods for one or other reason

More recently, we have banned slavery, bear-baiting, dog fights, cock fights and bare-knuckle fighting.  Even in wars we have rules banning certain kinds of weapons and rules  protecting civilians and prisoners. We are striving to stop discrimination on the basis of skin colour. Women have been recognized as deserving the same dignity as men and we strive to prevent child labour. Even when someone has committed the worst crime opssible – deliberately taking another’s life, we no longer kill them in return.

We have gone so far ethically as to ensure:

  • cruelty to animals is punished
  • farm animals are kept in decent conditions,
  • prisoners, those who have wronged others and society, are treated with decency (even to the extent of having a vote)
  • protection of the purity or our air and water for future generations
  • that insulting people in public about their race or religion is regarded as a crime
  • homosexuals are treated with the same dignity as anyone else

Some even regard eating animals as unethical and won’t do it.

Even though some might think that our ethical development has gone too far in some instances and even though some groups of humans may fall back into unethical ways of the past (witness beheading and crucifixions in the news), one cannot deny how ethical we have become. However, human existence does not permit standing still. For me, it is part of the human condition to keep striving for perfection – even thought it keeps receding from us. Who know, maybe in a 100 years we will have banned boxing and belittling people on TV.

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