Originally Posted by Orionjoel
Wheather ethics is included in a conversation about Abundance, is almost irrelevant. If you have a feeling to want abundance, be abundant, if not don't.
Absolutely, indeed that was one of my points - only I'm saying that if you learn about the consequences of your actions more, it might change your position on this. If you still want to be abundant, go for it.
But thinking about ethics and pursueing a wholly ethical abundance is problematic. Due to the lack of control you have beyond your own actions. So if pursueing abundance, ethics need only be considered to the extent you can control.
I agree with you on this one.
Workers living on a dollar a day is not just a result of our consumersim, but also a result of their government officals allowing this to happen.
But that's out of our control, so we shouldn't consider it, right?
Nah just kidding, I agree with you. I had a conversation with Cado in the London Riots thread about this. There is a bit of a contradiction in my position, because I don't think normal folk like you and me have the power to change this situation, yet I'm also saying don't pursue abundance.
But it's a matter of degree, and of living in line with your values. I'm saying determine what your values honestly are, and live in line with them.
Another example would be, say someone was ethically opposed to the meat industry, but didn't think they could stop it, and thought "Sod it, I won't be a vegetarian then." But loads of people convert to vegetarianism only after they learn about the conditions in slaugherhouses etc.
Another point on being abundant, why would you just look at how much of the tax revenue you generate goes to military? What about the portion that goes to schools, to provide shildren with education, the portion that goes to maintaining a safer society with police and firefighters or road maintenance. What about the additional spending abundance allows, where you can spend more travelling, you can offer a larger tip for excellent service, you can spend more on cultural things such as theatre, art, music, and the likes.
That's true, absolutely you should look at the whole thing. The military thing was just making a point - maybe if you realise you've paid for a stinger missile or two over the last few years, is that worth the same as a school or road maintenance. I know, an extreme example, but a valid one? You decide...
I'm sorry you're feeling guilty, you're right that this is one big paradox and you can feel binded sometimes.
If you feel guilty, I think that's an indication that you're not in line with your values. You don't want to do any harm, but you also want acceptance and to please other people. You have to find some way of staying sane while you explore topics like this.
What Orion said about most of this being out of your control is a good start - I really believe it is (others disagree). If you didn't want to do any harm at all, like orion says you'd have to leave modern society and start hippy commune, or live in the mountains or something!
Probably not an option, but you can make some steps, choosing where you spend your money, looking into which companies don't use sweatshops for instance, who you bank with, getting stuff second hand, is a good start.