Bad Smell vs Good Smell: Can the Smell of a Decision Determine Its Ethics
In life, most of us can smell and make some
interpretation of the source and significance
of the smell. The odor may often be the
first sign of something bad such as an un-
expected fire or something good such as
a favorite pie baking in the oven.
Can we carry the analogy of smell to the interpretation of our initial casual observations or by hearing the explanations by others for the basis of their decisions or actions and then go on to develop a firm conclusion as to whether what was decided or what was done was ethical? Can one "smell" the good and the bad of a decision? And with that smell can we accept that smell as a basis for a conclusion? Can we accept the smell as the basis for whether or not to further investigate the decisions or actions? A "bad smell" requires a thorough investigation of the facts, whereas a "good smell" is evidence enough of a "good". I would argue that it takes more than the presenting odor to establish any final conclusion. Whether a smell is good or bad, I think is in the nose and mind of the beholder and it takes an analysis of as much of the facts as available to reach a reasonable conclusion about the ethics. I bring this topic up because I think it is very easy and I think it often occurs that we "rush to judgment" about someone's behavior or someones decisions or actions. Criticism or ethical conclusions without all the facts is unwarranted. Or, perhaps..our lives are too busy with not enough time or interst to develop the facts and it is just easier to go by our noses. What do you think? ..Maurice.
Graphics: I photographed the images of the artwork of Francis Xaver Messerschmitt found in the 2009 Auction Catalog of Koller Auktionen, Zurich Switzerland.