PROBLEMS WITH RULE-BASED ETHICS

  1. There can never be enough rules to cover everything we recognize as an ethical situation.
  2. Due to the complexity of life, the promulgation of rules as the entirety of the ethical dimension can encourage an “exception” or loophole mentality…ethics becomes manipulation.
  3. Rules can conflict. Do we create more rules to adjudicate conflicts among rules? What if these rules conflict?
  4. All rules need interpretation.
  5. Focusing on rules and actions makes think of ourselves in terms of what we do, and not who we are.

So do we simply forget about rules?