Ethical systems are conceived in order to protect the majority of people. In doing this, the prescribed conventions of the ethical sphere often marginalize and ignore the needs of some people. And while the ethics are often changed according to social attitudes, I wonder how actively we engage in the ethical. When I hold a person responsible for an action or act according to social convention, I am not actively thinking about what I am doing. The ethical simply provides the framework that orients the way in which I function in society. It is almost an unconscious engagement in which I am a participant but rarely evaluate or question my participation.
I wonder how changes in the ethical sphere take place. The first thing that comes to mind is the civil rights movement, where a group of marginalized people recognized an ethical problem and actively worked to remedy that problem. But how do we go about changing social attitudes? How do we change the broad and thoughtless ways in which we interact with one another? Are we compromising our singularity and the singularity of others by participating in the ethical at all?
While certain aspects of our ethical lives are conferred upon silently without evaluation, it does not seem to be essential or necessary. Perhaps if we embrace our singularity (by this, I do not mean to say that we all should try and be the Underground Man and reject the ethical for the sake of expressing our freedom) we can have more truthful and holistic conception of humanity. Engaging in this practice is hard, really hard. How am I supposed to interact with another person without first fitting that person into a series of prescribed categories that seem appropriate?
Maybe we can't completely reject the ethical (and I do not think we should), but I think that we may be able to change our attitudes and consequently reorient the ethical to those attitudes by embracing our singularity.