Part Five

Modes of Conduct

Section 1


Chapter 1

The place of this discussion

I had originally planned to treat the modes of relating, dealing with the various ways in which we interact with each other (as "independent" persons and as cooperative members of society), before going on to discuss the modes of conduct. But I found that as I started to do so, it was impossible to talk about how we do relate to each other as human beings without talking about human conduct, or whether these ways of relating were consistent or not (morally right or wrong).

So, while logically it might seem at first blush better to describe the various facets of our reality before we get into questions of how to act consistently with these facets, in practice this won't work when the "facets" are in fact interactions we have with one another. Hence, this part on human conduct will precede the part on interrelations. I plan three basic sections here: First, the general principles of ethics; secondly, the applications of those principles to one's own individual life (questions such as whether it is wrong to sterilize oneself irrespective of its effect on others); and then thirdly a brief look at religion's place in human life. The other applications of ethics will then come up as the different ways we have of relating with each other are discussed.