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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Do the Right Thing Because it is the Right Thing

Immanuel Kant
"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."--Immanuel Kant

The above statement is Kant's famous "Categorical Imperative", a more philosophy rendering of the "Golden Rule" that Kant felt should guide all human moral decisions.  To me it basically means that whatever it is that I do in my with regard to fellow humans, I would want everyone to do to each other including myself.

Nearly always, human believe whatever they do is right, even when it hurts someone else.  The corporate executive who outsources his manufacturing to a cheaper labor market justifies his decision by saying that it is good for those who buy his product or good for those who have invested money in the company or good for the people who will now manufacture his product (even if he pays them subsistence wages). The fact that he would not wish someone to do this to him likely registers, if at all, barely in his consideration.

My challenge will be to guide my own actions this year by this imperative and to use this blog as a measure of how well I am able to do it.

We will see if I can (or Kant).

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