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Albert Scweitzer

            Our unit on Albert Schweitzer has contained four parts. The first was the five dimensions of ethical decision-making, which is an informal view. The second was his “extensive gamet of six notes”, which correlates to the five dimensions but is more of a more formal view. The third part consists of Albert’s work, a look at his life and his thoughts. The final part is a more detailed look at his ethics from the “First Sermon on the Reverence for Life”.
             It is obvious that all people are faced with ethical decisions and assess situations using similar criteria. However, we do not all have the same views or value things such as rationalism, reason and heart equally. In Reverence for Life, Albert Schweitzer discusses what he feels are the true principles of living an ethical life, and how we each evaluate ourselves. .
             In the “Forklifter” scenario, student Bryan Springer was faced with the ethical decision of whether to dump toxic chemicals down the drain or risk losing his job by not doing so. Although we do not know the answer Bryan chose, we do know the steps that he would have taken to come to his decision. For all human beings the aspects and dimensions of ethical decision making are the same: justification of one position, considering other’s interests, choosing either a consequentialist or a non-consequentialist approach, select absolutism or relativism, and character ethics. .
             The second part of our unit on Schweitzer was his “extensive gamut of 6 notes”. They are spilt into the first and the second triad. The first triad consists of passive self-perfecting, active self-perfecting, and social ethics. The second triad contains Rationalism, Intuitionism, and Empiricism.
             As a child, Schweitzer was always aware of his compassion and respect for all living things. As a result of this he resolved to devote his life to the direct service to all humanity.