Today I had a long day. I am starting to see the notion previous school psych students mentioned about living in the clinic. As the pressure to ensure client hours builds its momentum, I am having a harder time managing my down/study time. Its nice in the sense that I feel much busier than before, but it is also ladened with anxiety as deadlines approach with an ominous beat. Doom, doom, doom.
This might come as a shock, but I am largely in love with Karen O. Frontliner for my favorite band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen creates music that I just want to listen to. I feel emotionally attached to songs, often feeling the energy/excitement of an exciting guitar riff of Date with the Night, or the desperate plea from the synthetic cry off Zero. I have discovered two things which I find a noteworthy. The first is her EP, self titled debut, which has tracks which are not found on any of their other LPs. That explains my confusion as to how I managed to buy all their albums and still have random spillage without albums from previous downloads (except that stupid idea that Déjà vu was a UK only release). The next is that Karen O was largely behind the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are. After sampling the tracks, I can tell I am in love even more so with her style. Largely a departure from their latest effort, Its Blitz, it has an upbeat, yet desperate attentive calling that I just can’t stop feeling. What was really neat is how she collaborated not just with her bandmates, Brian Chase (drummer) and Nick Zinner (guitar), but also with members of The Dead Weather, Racounters among others. What is really amazing here too, is that Jack White, infamous for guitaring/vocaling the White Stripes is behind the two latter bands. Ok, so Jack White might not have had anything to do with the soundtrack, but I am still pretty cooled out on all the star power connected to the music. Awesome.
I’m starting to understand the perspective of virtue ethics, which never seemed to make sense, just like how relationship ethics still doesn’t jive with me. The one point I didn’t understand was why deontology and teleology show what is ethical, but virtue ethics show how to be ethical. I had a hard time separating the two concepts of how and what. From what I can understand now, the rightness and wrongness in virtue ethics is the intentions, which outweigh the consequences or adherence to rules.
Taking it from there, we can use the criticisms of consequentialism and non-consequentialism to explain virtue ethics. Teleology is noted for being limited in defining what is “good”, in order to provide the greatest good for the greatest number. How does one determine this? Virtue ethics state that this is determined by judging the character, rather than the action itself. How do the intentions of the action portray the individual? You can choose good, based on how you want your character to be depicted as, hence providing an avenue for defining “good”. Deontology is noted for not defining what standards are absolute and universal. Again, virtue ethics show a way of finding these rules, by showing how one would want their character portrayed. Thus the statement now makes sense, that while deontology and teleology tell us what is ethical, virtue ethics tell us how to be ethical.
This then leads to virtue ethics biggest limitation, with its aspirational nature. Without minimal boundaries, as in what is the minimal character one should portray, it is severely limited in a practical sense within a profession. Regardless of its limitations, I think I could see myself applying this in my own ethical nature. Although I think of consequences, I am not necessarily considering the greatest good spread over the greatest number. Nor am I one to particularly adhere to rules. This came up in conversation with Joey and Jia over the weekend, over my current struggle with determining which rules I am following, how I will adhere to them, and to what extent I should be with my rigidity. I think a large part is that I am basing my own rules on my own interpretation of religious and ethical values, and it will be critical in the next few years as I do my own soul searching to maintain an objective viewpoint on my maturing stance.
Tirade aside on my lack of rule based or adherence to rule based non-consequentialist notions, I believe to a large extent that I am strongly based on a virtue ethical standpoint. Certainly I often think of the intentions of an action, well before I consider what standards were followed, or what were the results. It is often my own downfall, as I all too often tie my own emotions up with my analysis of a situation, limiting a multiple objective standpoint. At the very least, I am content with determining a basis of my reasoning, and I look forward to coaxing its maturation over the next few years.