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“What are the Effects of Your Actions on Others?”

Video Tuesday

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/11751277]

“Biking around town with Randy “The Ethicist” Cohen” via StreetFilms

This StreetFilms film was shown at last week’s Third Coast Bike Festival movie night and it seems very appropriate after last night’s commission meeting about bicycle and car conflicts. As would be predictable in northern Michigan, a lot of the commissioner discussion was on law and order; how to enforce the rules. The ethicist has a different spin on that topic. The pull-quote most apropos:

You can’t buy your convenience at the expense of someone else’s safety. This is not a law and order position; it’s a consequentialist argument. What are the effects of your actions on others?”

  1. Lauren
    August 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Sure we need to enforce the rules, but is the city ready to put law enforcement in every neighborhood at every sensitive intersection on a full-time basis? Of course not! We basically rely on the individual to police himself and right now many drivers regard everyone in their way with hostility. How do we change this self-centered driving culture? The police can’t be everywhere at once to enforce the rules.

  2. kriosconsulting
    August 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Well said Lauren. And that’s why I like Randy Cohen’s message so much. It’s about personal responsibility and the impact our individual actions have on others. Without getting too weird about it, this notion should be considered patriotic. It’s the bedrock of this republic. The idea of freedom simply doesn’t work without personal responsibility. It’s all tied together; character, conscience, integrity, and the willingness to take action. Laws and rules are the last resort that provide a framework within which we operate. They are not the center of society, they represent the edges.

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