Changing Another Person LO19965

William J. Hobler, Jr (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 11:45:03 -0500

Replying to LO19944 --

Dear change agents, and we all are

I have been listening to this thread with interest and amazement. It
appears clear to me that we have an obligation to change other people.
The questions that seem pertinent to me apply to the morality and ethics
of the ends and the means of change.

May I posit that all progress of civilization is effected through changing
people. Whether the community of a family engages in potty training a two
year old or the community of nations is attempting to convince dictators
that ethnic cleansing is not allowed, the community is engaged in changing
people. I think that At would agree that Apartied would not have ended
without people changing.

The question of morality and ethics can be applied to whether the ends are
accepted by the community with enough fervor to convince the child or the
dictator to change. In some societies potty training is not a question,
with no toilets who cares? Likewise in some communities removing ethnic
groups is an accepted goal, is it not true of Israel with respect to the
Palestinians. (I use this example to allow opinions on both sides of the

The means of changing people are subject to the same value judgements.
Families bribe children to conform to health standards of the community,
for many this is acceptable (moral and ethical). Bribing a dictator may
not be acceptable to the community. A similar argument may be made for
punishment. Should the world community attack Yugoslavia or Iraq to
punish unacceptable behavior?

The questions of ethics and morality are questions that are answered from
the culture of the community. When you or I join a community, be it a
family, a business or a country we become subject to and responsible for
the culture of that community. Should we disagree with the ends or means
saught and employed by that community we are obligated to either advocate
for change or to seek another more compatable community.

In all of this we ae going to be required to change. Even should we be
successful in changing people in the community we too will be changed.
Again the questions of ethics and morality apply to the means and ends


Bill Hobler


"William J. Hobler, Jr" <>

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