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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...   

song for theme #42: Ethical Orientation

“Ethical Man” by Stephen P. Cook

sung to the tune of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel


Share your wisdom you’re an ethical man1

Principles for living today

Help us to ask the right questions

Help us to find our way


Find a home in your head for honesty

Install it there on a throne

Learn to value the truth

Don’t be aloof

With good conscience2 you’re never alone


Respect the law or work to change it

Abide by professional code

Give it your best

Avoid conflict of interest

March for justice don’t be slowed


Apply the Greatest Good principle3

With a question to ask before you act

Perceived social benefits

All those good hits

Will they reach great numbers in fact?


‘Bout the Fraternal Charity principle

A question for the affected

If I’m in his shoes4

Would this I choose

Given consequences and what’s been neglected?


‘Bout the Universality Principle5

I’ve this question from the first

What can you say

If all acted this way

Would it be for the best or the worst?


Share your wisdom you’re an ethical man

Principles for living today

Help us to ask the right questions

Help us to find our way



1Human ethical behavior has evolved.  When people were little more than animals their behavior was dictated by self-interest in

      meeting basic needs to survive. Among pre-civilization it extended to include family and biological relatives.  As culture

      developed and survival pressures eased, ethical behavior was extended to include community, tribe, regional neighbors, ethnic

      group, and nation.  Today a few feel a sense of belongingness to the whole human species and to the planet and behave

      accordingly. (See theme #37B.)

2—Conscience involves a sense of right and wrong. H.L. Mencken has called it "the inner voice that tells us that somebody might

      be watching."  When behavior falls short of what is idealized as “right,” guilt can result.

3—Utilitarians, who judge “rightness” by benefits for the greatest number of people, apply this principle.

4— Those with great empathy can better imagine being someone else and experiencing his or her feelings.

5—A key goal for those working in the field of normative ethics is to identify universal (meaning they apply to everyone) rules (or

      norms) that should (use of this word implies value judgment!) guide human behavior.

Comment: An honesty / high ethical standards mindset arms you emotionally against guilt producing sleaze. It reduces anxiety: if you never lie, cheat, steal, don’t fear an unethical side of you being exposed —because there is none! And your social justice inspired ethical principles surround you with good karma.  

back to theme #42

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!