What is good? LO13132

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
06 Apr 97 21:52:39 EDT

Replying to LO13105 --

Thomas Benjamin asks an interesting question which we have discussed
before, "what is good?" it's always a difficult question it seems, even
the most obvious examples can be questioned from one perspective or
another. Some time a go, we discussed 'self-evident truths' on this
forum, taking the expression from Jefferson's Declaration of
Independence". We could not identify any self-evident truths, even though
he could some 220 years ago.

In a discussion 'evaluating values' in a book by Kouzes and Posner, there
is a statement that the true test of moral legitimacy is grounded in
having a choice among 'real' alternatives. One way to identify a moral
leader and guard against the other kind is to observe if they engage in
learning about the needs of their constituents. If they would rather tell
than listen, then they are not likely to be moral leaders.

Well, this has some appeal, in that it establishes a link between morality
and learning, and I personally like that.

On the other hand, the greatest leaders tend to arise -- I suspect there
are systemic causes -- from the crucible of extreme dissension. Gandhi,
Mao, Churchill, Jefferson, Lincoln, DeGaulle, Hitler, Mussolini, and so
forth. In all cases, the constituents might feel listened to, but the
non-constituents may not feel listened to. So, while this prescription is
appealing, it does not appear to stand the test of real-life experience.

Whether a leader is morally legitimate or not, he or she is still a
leader. Even learners can be immoral, and especially leaders are able to
achieve this. It still appears that the only test is the personal one.
Does this person meet _my_ standards?

Any other thoughts on how to recognize a morally legitimate leader?

--- forwarded message ---

Sb: What is good? LO13105

The conversation on this list between Winfred Dressler and Chau Ngayen has
an interesting query. What is goodness? Unless it is defined, it is
meaningless, even a criminal may be good. etc.

--- end of message ---


Rol Fessenden 76234.3636@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>