Monday, April 15

Black holes just won’t reveal their secrets.

Following on from my last post I decided to again revisit the material but under a different heading. That is to encapsulate the previous fruitful discussions kindly provided by Tom and expand upon the topic.    
The recent sighting of a black hole, some 50 billion light years from the earth, brought back memories of first reading the late Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time ’.  For Hawking, together with Roger Penrose, were the pioneers in proving the existence of black holes beyond doubt, by observations of the surrounding activity which validated what Einstein had first reluctantly concluded, as a corollary to his general theory of relativity. 
At the time when I first read his best seller, I couldn’t understand many of the concepts, but on a second and third attempt some of it began to sink in as inevitably things do if you give the subject sufficient patient thought and/or research. Once I got the hang of his first publication I read the remaining books and hence have entertained an interest in our marvellous cosmos ever since. So that Hubbard’s pictures stretching back into the early universe we’re a fascination to me, just as were the pictures beamed back from Voyager.  But what a thrill it would have been for Hawking, if he was alive today, to see these remarkable images of a black hole!
Amongst other things, what Hawking was able to do was to explain in graphic detail, just how dramatically Einstein’s general theory of relativity disproved the previous notion that the universe operated like a giant clockwise movement, more or less principally a product of Newtonian science. Rather, Einstein talked about curved Space -Time, an amalgam of 3 dimensions of space and time combined to make up a continuum. 
The inevitable result is the formulation of singularities, the consequence of stars, over immense periods of time, becoming unimaginably heavier and dense, to emerge as white and brown dwarfs, to the heavier Neutron Stars. A Neutron star about 20 km in diameter would have the mass of about 1.4 times our Sun. This means that a neutron star is so dense that on Earth, one teaspoonful would weigh a billion tons!
Given sufficient initial stellar material, stars will eventually shrink to where their size is zero and their density is infinite, when you have a so called singularity. 
At the heart of every black hole is a singularity where it is believed nothing can escape. That is what we see today with the event horizon as matter is drawn inward into the invisible centre. Einstein reluctantly concluded that nothing can escape from a black hole where the laws of science break down. 
Big Bang theory. 
This is accepted in cosmology despite the fact that it does not provide an authoritative answer, but remains a hypothesis, as to the origin of the universe. In a nutshell its logic flows from observations the universe has always been expanding, so that it must have arisen from a corresponding explosive finite beginning. We have the evidence in the left over cosmic radiation effects today in the form of cosmic microwaves. The clear inference for those who followed Einstein was the Universe had a definite beginning.  This idea was first put forward by George Lemaitre in 1927, who called it ‘the hypothesis of the primeval atom’. As a catholic priest the idea of a definite beginning ideally allowed him to link science to theological implications. But interestingly enough Einstein saw this idea as an anathema to his general theory of relativity and his idea of a continuum. But the idea of Lemaitre grew in favour so that its name (big bang) was coined from a radio broadcast in 1949 when Hubble made reference to Lemaitre’s ideas and called it the BBT, so the name has remained ever since. 
For Einstein was uneasy concerning the conclusions that arose from his work and invested the idea of a cosmological constant which has turned out to be almost correct but for the wrong reason. The discovery of the ubiquitous dark matter gravity waves made up the difference in lieu of his cosmological constant.
We have made tremendous strides in technology and engineering feats that has underpinned space exploration since those heady days. But in terms of Einstein’s contribution very little is new or was not previously predicted by him. The mystery remains.   

Friday, April 12

Black holes are our universes multiverses

Maybe there is a viable alternative to the
“space-time singularities" Einstein predicted about black holes, that nothing can ever escape from a black hole. Rather,
the theory goes, that finally matter is emitted from a black hole via the so called “worm holes” to form new galaxies. Professor Brian Cox likes this theory which is aptly named the multiverses; 
implying the universe(s) comprises a continuum of final black hole events (Big Bangs ) which ultimately lead to the formation of new starts and galaxies. So we might say the universe (s) continuously re-births in the form of new stars and galaxies. There is no beginning or end but only a continuum.  

With this in mind I made up this poem

Our space is a continuum
Of space and time within that space
Of particles to waves in space
Of waves to particles in that space

Our space is a continuum
Our food for life within that space
Our food for thoughts in that space
Our lights reflection in that space

Our space is a continuum
Of dualities of time and space
Of single times to multiverse
Of universe to multiverse

Our space is a continuum
Its energy is our quantum state
Energy from dyeing stars
Recreate our new life state 

Tuesday, April 9

Psalm 42-43 As the Deer

I have been member of our local church choirs for over 27 years and I never tire of singing liturgical music, especially the Psalms.
Psalms can be sung as a hymn or as a responsorial Psalm which is how they were first intended; the verse/chorus is repeatedly sung by the congregation after the choir sings the verses.
The Psalms have several authors; with many attributable to King David. Most people are familiar with The Lord is my Shepherd which is prefaced simply as a Psalm of David. Whether it was actually written by King David is problematic as scholars recognize many of the events described within these Psalms attributed to him happened many centuries later.

What I find interesting about the collections of 150 Psalms is the extent of the full range of emotions and drama that are cleverly interwoven to describe celebrated past events and hopeful aspirations of a community; of a rich theology. 

They reflect the poetic nature of the Hebrew Bible which in turn is indicative of the popularity of poetry in Israel and its surrounding regions at the time. According to the Jerusalem Bible’s introduction to the Psalms they fit into three categories, Hymns, Entreaty (for use in public and temple court) and thanksgiving.

This Psalm would fit under the heading of an "Entreaty" and is simply headed: For the Choirmaster ~ of the sons of Korah (which is a reference to the sons of Korah who were musicians at that time of the original composition.)

Selection of texts

My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

Just as a deer longs for running streams, God, I long for you.

For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?

A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, “Will I ever make it— arrive and drink in God’s presence?” I’m on a diet of tears— tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, “Where is this God of yours?”

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.

I long for the True God who lives. When can I stand before Him and feel His comfort?

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

My soul thirsted to God, the quick well/(the) well of life (My soul thirsted for God, the living well/the well of life); when shall I come, and appear before the face of God?

My soul thirsted for God, for the living God, When do I enter and see the face of God?
Extracts from what we sing

As the deer longs for running streams,
so I long, so I long, so I long for you.
A-thirst my soul for you the God who is my life!
When shall I see, when shall I see,
see the face of God?
As the deer longs for running streams,
so I long, so I long, so I long for you.
Continually the foe delights in taunting me:
“Where is God, where is your God?”
Where, O where, are you?

As the deer longs for running streams,
so I long, so I long, so I long for you.
Then I shall go unto the altar of my God.
Praising you, O my joy and gladness,
I shall praise your name.

As the deer longs for running streams,
so I long, so I long, so I long for you.

Thursday, April 4


Occasionally a singer ‘owns’ a song as it seems no one else can bring that unique powerful vocal interpretation into play; an emotional strength aptly befitting the words. I think this is true of Debra Byrne but you can judge that for yourself by listening to her version. Debra is a singers singer.  
Debra in my view is streets ahead of her contemporaries whose qualities and vocalizations may be superior at times but are no match to her talent  evident in this recording..

Tuesday, April 2

GOD’S chance creation
It’s always the random events that catch us by surprise, yet our world is far more fragile I fear than we realize. This would have been far more apparent to our distant ancestors prior to agriculture, which made possible more permanent settlements. For then we roamed the earth as hunters and gather’s, adapting to an ever-changing environment, to be more in tune with the elements and nature. What most don't realise is we have some evolutionary evidence suggesting we came very close to extinction.

The idea of permanency is understandable given the time frames of existence known to us in science today.  We now live in the age of the human. This has led, I suggest, to a degree of arrogance. For our part in its original creation and more particularly our evolution as the dominant species is somewhat a matter of chance or a mystery. I rather think our adaption may be more of a matter of chance than anything else, so that from a very small base we have grown exponentially. That we form an integral part of this continuous creation means we can now, more than ever before, be a positive or negative factor – to enrichment or to stuff it up. The need for new thinking becomes rather obvious. The fundamentalist idea we leave it all, in good faith  to GOD, is a recipe to ruin.    
That we live in a world that represents an evolved chance creation, is explained by Astrophysics Jesuit George Coyne.
Prior to his retirement George Coyne was previously Director of the Vatican Observatory since 1978, an observatory which is one of the oldest in the world with roots to astronomical observations commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII as part of his reform of the calendar in 1582. In one of his articles he rebuts the idea that random evolution is incompatible with belief in a creator God.

He explains the interactivity between chance, necessity and fertility in our universe and how what is random is also bound together through the process of fertility. What is meant by this fertility?

Coyne’s article explains the birth and death of stars and the combination of chemicals and molecules that ultimately form our life as we are creations from that star dust. The universe is not GOD and it cannot exist independently of God. Neither pantheism nor naturalism is true. A theologian already poses the concept of GOD’s continuous creation with which to explore the implications of modern science for religious belief. GOD is working with the universe, the universe has a certain vitality of its own like a child does, and it has the ability to respond to words of endearment and encouragement. His conclusion is: God lets the world be what it will be in its continuous evolution, He is not continually intervening but rather allows, participates; loves. Is such thinking adequate to preserve the special character attributed by religious thought to the emergence not only of life but also of spirit, while avoiding a crude creationism?

Only a protracted dialogue will tell. But we should not close off the dialogue and darken the already murky waters by fearing GOD will be abandoned if we embrace the best of modern science.

I like the idea we have responsibility to nourish “Mother Earth’ as espoused by our aborigines. I also think it has a degree of commonality in thinking to Cohen’s idea of the universe as a whole, it has a certain vitality of its own that requires a type of spiritual encouragement.

Thursday, March 28

The GOD of the Believing Scientist.

If we are to take modern science seriously, the idea of an omniscient and omnipresence GOD that the ancients talked about no longer holds water. Rather, if we are to believe in GOD, the universe could be viewed as something entirely separate to GOD, to respond as analogous to a parent providing encouragement to a child. But of course that doesn't always end well, but can it not all be taken up as in a continuous creation. I don't think the world and the Universe can do anything but to continue to evolve.  This all sounds very clumsy,but how else can one explain it ?  

Cosmological and biological evolution reveal a GOD who made a universe that has within it through evolution a certain dynamism and thus participates in the very creativity of GOD.  
If they respect the results of modern science, religious
believers must move away from the notion of a dictator GOD , a Newtonian GOD, who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly? Perhaps GOD  should be seen more as a parent. Scripture is very rich in this thought. It presents, indeed anthropomorphically, a GOD who gets angry, who disciplines, a GOD who nurtures the universe. Theologians already possess the concept of GOD ’s continuous creation. I think to explore modern science with this notion of continuous creation would be a very enriching experience for theologians and
religious believers. GOD is working with the universe. The universe has a certain vitality of its own like a child does. You discipline a child but you try to preserve and enrich the individual character of the child and its own passion for Life. A parent must allow the child to grow into adulthood, to come to make its own choices, to go on its own way in life. In such wisdom does GOD deal with the universe ? These are very weak images, but how else do we talk about GOD. We can only come to know GOD by analogy. The universe as we know it today through Science is one way to derive analogical knowledge of GOD. For those who believe modern science does say something to us about GOD , it provides a challenge , an enriching challenge, to traditional beliefs about GOD. 
© World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

The Greatest Showman - From Now On (Lyric Video) HD

Open Door Choir is learning this song with it's great lyrics and a tune that grows on you in time.The harmonies seem to work well. 
Be patient as it starts out slowly.      

Tuesday, March 19


Whenever I hear our national anthem, I cringe over the words but not the tune. 

Time I think to shake off the shackles of an outdated narrative and usher in far more appropriate words. How about ‘I am Australian’ as above, composed by Bruce Woodley of the Seekers and Dobe Newton of the Bush Wackers.

Sunday, February 24

Life can be the great experience but experience is the great teacher.

One might say that life is the great experience but experience predominantly is what shapes our beliefs. But how many people really believe this and how important are our beliefs?

The basis of philosophy and the world’s great wisdom streams is predicated on what is believed to be the truth and how this is translates into living a meaningful life. 

That is in terms of the guiding principles on how to live and informs that sense of self. That sense of self that allows us to feel reasonably satisfied with our existence, given the emotions will give high and lower points as a natural interpretation to how we feel about our life in general. 

But, the hand of fate seems to cast its mysterious shadow over us just as things appear to be going well. Inevitably, what is unexpected arises effortlessly to our consternation, to shatter the beliefs previously held. 

Like it or not most will change their beliefs in the light of such earth shattering experiences. They may not be earth shattering to others, but that’s not the point, it’s how they are viewed in the mind of the individual. Acknowledging that event can be a watershed moment, to enable one to move on with a fresh outlook of what is believed and a renewed sense of self.

I think its part of the business of being human. It’s what seems to be the basis that overcome the trials and tribulations of tumultuous climatic events that most likely might have shattered the beliefs of those ancient tribespeople. Instead they most likely adopted different beliefs that allowed them to cope and even prosper. Its most likely a part of our primordial soup from whence life first evolved, but that's another subject.   

Sure, some might pride themselves in saying they have remained true to what they believed, but in my opinion that can be the result of not wanting to face up to reality. 

Religion and philosophy should never be afraid of an evolution in thinking that means our beliefs will change during our life. The man who holds fast to the teachings and beliefs of his youth notwithstanding life’s experience, in my view, denies what it is to be human. The stoics have a point to make, but not to take it to an extreme. Others are free to disagree, but I feel it is our experiences that shape our beliefs. That is not to say we don’t start out with evolving beliefs, that stand us in good stead, but they will change given our momentous life experiences. 

Everything in moderation was Aristotle's call to embrace a virtuous life, to leave room for modifications and renewal along life’s long and winding road. 

Friday, February 22

The Quest for a moral compass

This paper begins in the home of western philosophy, in ancient Greece and thereafter I trace the evolution of ethics into modernity, with a minor excursion into Chinese traditions.   
In conclusion I summarise the normative, virtue based, duty bound and consequential ethical categories.  Finally as a practical exercise a contemporary issue is offered for discussion.    

What I hope to demonstrate is that Ethics is an important part of philosophy indicative as a moral compass as to what constitutes a more meaningful existence.

Ethics inherent in Homers polytheism   

Professor Hubert Dreyfus provides an insightful overview into the ancient Greek ideas – to discuss Homer’s epic poems, The Iliad and the Odyssey.

Here we see ethical behaviours bestowing honour and glory at the behest of the immortal GODs.  

According to Dreyfus, Homer’s phenomenology of the body incorporates the idea our various moods keep us continually in tune with ourselves and give rise to a meaningful life; a reflection of, or as arising from the various GODs, so that there is sacred nature to our existence.  That is our consciousness depends upon personalities at a higher level than our own, emanating from the GODS. 

The Greek Gods he portrayed were in the image of humanity with the same foibles except they were immensely powerful and eternal. A meaningful existence was assured because the GODS send us emotional signals. Dreyfus suggests Homers ideas are closer to our natural mode of existence than the autonomy and self-determination of the enlightenment. Homers idea is we are respectful in our engagement of others and objects according to that mood upon which he attaches a link to the GODS.

Aeschylus and divine justice

Athens was the first known democracy at the time when Aeschylus grew up. Athenian democracy wasrecovering from its prior tyrannical ruler and coming to grips with a more meaningful existence. Against that backdrop of deliverance his plays covered the whole spectrum of human interactions. The plots involved the hand of fate and the consequential effect on communities in relation to the new GODS.    
Zeus, as the chief GOD maintained order, with lesser GODs believed to despise man’s greatness; so the idea took root of a sense of impiety, a false pride which consumed individuals in what we might think of today as hubris. The unjust were not always punished in their lifetime so that legacy became part of heredity guilt and vengeance.

The plays also talk about reconciliation and divine justice administered in the Athenian courts of justice, with help from the GODS.  

Chinese Ethics
At around same time in China, sages such as Confucius (552-479BC), and others were making a mark on society that continues to this day.  
According to Hans Kung (Kung Hans & Ching Julia, Christianity and Chinse Religions) in ancient China there was no separation of church and state. Their religious mix represents principally a wisdom stream with influences from Confucius, set alongside the prophetic streams talked about in the Old Testament, the Semites from Abraham and the mystical stream arising from the Buddha. China was influenced from outside cultures as far back as the 10th century BC by virtue of trade following the ancient Silk Road.   

Chinese ethical thought in Confucianism concerns principally how one is to live a meaningful life: determining the optimum balance between families versus strangers. It is essentially a practical religious approach so that its ethics don’t engage in the moral dilemma talked about in the west. Instead it is concerned with what is good or bad as in the self and how that relates to the non- physical world. Hence, the application of ethics requires the use of imagination within the confines of the defining principles.

The early entry of Buddhist thinking met with stiff opposition until such time as modifications were made to ensure it was not in conflict with the other religions. It was brought to China by Buddhist monks from India around 150 CE and was eventually assimilated into their culture after adapting to Daoism. Daoism posits existence in accord with the flow of Nature — the Dao or the Way. Buddhism and Daoism were able to reconcile their ideas as Daoists expanded on the cosmos so that Buddhists incorporated such expansionary ideas into their tradition.
Pure Land Buddhism and Chan (Zen) Buddhism are the two prominent strains today.

Confucianism and liberal democracy

In modern day terms Confucian ethics and liberal democratic values found their way into discussions in the late 19th and 20th century.

The cultural evolution under Mau brought a halt to this movement and a suppression of the ancient religious practices and belief as China became an atheist state. However, in modernity, it has moved away from these extremes and terror to work towards a more democratic society paradoxically within the confines of a communist state.    
But there remains a tension between what represents a good and meaningful life individually versus the Confucian ideal of social harmony and allegiance to the state.
Joseph Chan (2014) in Confucian Perfectionism -A Political Philosophy for Modern Times talks about – Confucianism has been troubled by a serious gap between its political ideals and the reality of societal circumstances. Contemporary Confucians must develop a viable method of governance that can retain the spirit of the Confucian ideal while tackling problems arising from non-ideal modern situations. The best way to meet this challenge, is to adopt liberal democratic institutions that are shaped by the Confucian conception of the good rather than the liberal conception of the right.

Confucian Perfectionism examines and reconstructs both Confucian political thought and liberal democratic institutions, blending them to form a new Confucian political philosophy. That is to decouple liberal democratic institutions from their popular liberal philosophical foundations in fundamental moral rights, such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and individual sovereignty. Instead, grounds them on Confucian principles and redefines their roles and functions, thus mixing Confucianism with liberal democratic institutions in a way that strengthens both. Then  explore the implications of this new yet traditional political philosophy for fundamental issues in modern politics, including authority, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice.

Secular ethics arising from Buddhism.

Turning now to another matter, which is attracting some interest in the contemplative philosophical world, is the attempt to apply ethics to ancient contemplative practices to engage a much wider secular audience.     

What has been observed is contemplative practices are almost always tied to a fairly straightforward ethical framework. But the way that this is expressed is not always acceptable to those working in hospitals, schools, psychotherapeutic institutions and so forth in different cultures.  
Hence what is required is a statement of principles that remains faithful to the ethical framework. That is, a philosophical project aimed at forming a statement of guiding principles expressed in normative ethics.
Implicit in such a statement would be a reference to the Buddhist principle of the truth seeker, committed to scientific principles,   whose objectives are to alleviate suffering, to be desirous of happiness, of good outcomes, to be supportive of individuals in their shared aspirations, to realise these values, to show compassion in the rendering of services and so on.

In other words a universal ethically based set of values that translates Buddhist thinking into ethics but remains sufficiently broad to be generally acceptable across different cultures. The present Dalai Lama of Tibet, leads the way in this approach.
Returning to our western heritage we have the Ethics of Plato and his eudemonistic conception of ethics. Eudaimonia concerns the highest aim of moral conduct and the virtues required to attain it. Plato’s conceptual basis for happiness is not clear and he treats it in different ways- maybe because his ideas evolved during his life. His dialogues make reference to Socrates (469/470-399BC) who was his teacher.  

For Plato the soul must remain aloof and be separate to the pleasures of the body to obtain higher knowledge. In the same manner the individual must be subordinate to the community for the common good.

Plato thought moral values were absolute truths which spirit-like abstract entities. In that sense moral values were thought to be spiritual objects, which was refuted by Aristotle.   

The legacy of Aristotle
His philosophy was the cornerstone of philosophy over the ensuing seven centuries, influencing Plotinus and Porphyry. 

Thereafter his philosophy shaped the Byzantine Philosophy.
Ethics in Byzantium was not a formal discipline, but various responses to problems posed in relation to everyday life. It covered the full spectrum of ethical views on virtues and vices, evil and passions, the Good, and how to observe the commandments and so on.

In the Arabic world his influence was such that it became known as The First Teacher. Subsequently such commentaries re-emerged in the Latin West in the twelfth century.
Thomas Aquinas sought a reconciliation of Aristotle’s philosophy with Christian ideas and so Aquinas became the home of theological and philosophical underpinnings for Christianity that remains in many respects to continue to be its bedrock even today.

Today, philosophers regard him as the reliable sage for virtue ethics. 
But possibly the more influential was Saint Augustine (354–430)

His authority was far reaching and his authority supplanted that of Aristotle’s, to be invoked on both sides of the Reformation.  His ideas on the problem of evil and on free remain a reference point today.

According to Augustine the existence of goodness must allow evil to exist, which is solely the fault of humans. He also influenced John Calvin, who supported Augustine's view and argued in turn that corrupted humans required God's grace to give moral guidance. Politically his theory of the stringent conditions to be satisfied to justify a war are still invoked today.
But medieval philosophers continued to talk about moral principles as "eternal laws" which were classified as spirit-like objects.

Moving into the more modern era

Following the enlightenment and more rational thinking in the 17th century Samuel Clarke changed that definition as spirit-like relationships. What also took root was the idea GOD has willed the physical world into existence, just as was willed human life, so too are all the moral values willed into existence.
Sitting on the other side of the fence the sceptics denied values can be classified as spirit-like objects, to posit the idea moral values are purely human inventions.

Friedrich Nietzsche argued one creates his or her morality to mark the distinction from what he regarded as the slave-like value system of the masses.
Emotion and Reason- David Hume

Another important aspect to moral psychology concerns the role of reasoning as applied to moral actions.

David Hume argued the case all our moral assessments must involve our emotions, and not our reason. He conceded reason might be of service in providing the context, but "reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions."
However in modernity most rationally-minded philosophers have opposed these emotive theories of ethics.
Simone de Bouvier

I will turn now to her work to talk about existentialist ethics in the context of individual freedoms and the tensions that involves with wider societal freedoms.  This tension must inevitably lead to a responsibility, which in turn leads to an ambiguity as one seeks to incorporate the notions of values to freedoms within existentialist philosophy.
2. Ethics
a. Pyrrhus ET Cinemas

Although a lifelong partner to Sartre, she approached the philosophical question of ethical responsibility long before Sartre gave it more serious consideration. Her first work was Pyrrhus ET Cinemas in 1944.  
The story begins between Pyrrhus, who is an ancient king of Epirus, and his trusted advisor Cinemas. But on every occasion Pyrrhus makes known his intention to conquer many lands.   Cinemas asks him what he intends to do afterwards. Pyrrhus says that he will rest once he has achieved all of his plans. Cinemas retorts, "Why not rest right away"?

The philosophy was written in consultation with Sartre’s ‘Being and Nothingness’. It was in accord with his idea of freedom in an objective world in relation to the conflict between being-for-itself and being-in-itself. But notice in Beauvoir's analysis we have the implied ethical consideration of other free subjects in the world.
Hence, she poses the question the external world can be seen as a destructive reality, so it is up to individuals to establish an ethical link which manifests itself via ethical action. That human bond aims to mutually express the freedom of the individual, but at the same time to encourage the freedom of fellow human beings. However, she also asserts it may not always be passive because to remain a pacifist in every respect, regardless of the impingement on the freedom of others, is in effect bad faith.

The Ethics of Ambiguity
The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947) is a continuum of the theme expressed in Pyrrhus.  Although Beauvoir adopts mostly Satrean philosophical ideas, such as there is no predetermined human essence or value, she presents the idea our human freedom is in a parallel with the need for that freedom of others for it to be properly actualized.

In the end she suggests in order for us to live ethically we are to assume the ambiguity as a given, to accept the paradox, and that involves the proposition as ‘bad faith’. In agonizing over different perspectives she gets around the contradiction by concluding all we can do to live authentically at the crossroads of freedom and facticity.

In summary her work suggests all we can do is to take responsibility for our decisions in the light of information known and in exercising our freedom in parallel to the freedom of others, which are not to be compromised.    

Finally I will briefly summarise the theories that loosely categorize ethics into broad categories.
There are 6 principal categories: normative, evolutionary, virtue, duty, consequential and applied. Applied refers to those issues which require application to the prior mentioned in responding to a thorny issue. 
The categorisation is useful in helping explain ethics but is also somewhat arbitrary.

Normative Ethics

As previously outlined normative ethics invoke the golden rule or guiding principles that are generally agreed Hence one decides something is simply right or wrong by invoking the Golden Rule.

However, inevitably what I desire may be different to someone else so that such a single rule can be highly subjective.

In Confucius ethics we have the negative of the golden rule - what you don't want yourself, don't do to others.”

Evolutionary ethics favour the idea of fairness as it applies to the community to take precedence over individualism. From a biological perspective position there doesn’t seem to be any reason to favour self-interest over altruism. Certainty there is no evidence to support the selfish gene theories and those exposing only survival of the fittest that dominated discussions in the late sixties and seventies.    
Virtue ethics have surfaced in modernity as a credible source of reference, spearheaded by such philosophers as Alasdair Macintyre who has been a staunch defender of Aristolean virtues, contending they all emerge from within social traditions.
As outlined previously morality consists of following precise rules of conduct, such as "don't kill," or "don't steal."

However virtue ethics places less emphasis on the rules and more on cultivating good character habits so that habitually these become part of who you are as in your good character.  
Plato talked principally about the four key virtues- wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. Others mentioned were fortitude, generosity, self-respect, good temper, and sincerity.

In addition to ensuring good character, virtue ethics talks about avoiding the vices in the first place by reverting to the virtues.

Hence Plato emphasised the importance of moral education so that a virtuous character be instilled in the young so they might subsequently lead a virtuous life.
Aristotle advanced the argument further by linking acquired good habits to controlling the emotions and declaring how we respond to live a virtuous life. 
Duty ethics cover almost all aspects of life to those who favour this approach. For most of us we don’t have to think about a duty to family and to the various organisations and institutions integral to our existence. To some extent there is an overlap to virtue ethics as what is determinant as a duty, has to be linked to what virtue makes such a duty valid. A duty approach provides meaning in the sense of pride as derives in selfless duty to serve others. The idea of duty could also include a duty to look after our own body.  They are sometimes called no consequence ethics because the duty does not have to have a consequence. In the metaphysical realm one might say one has a duty to a higher being or a higher self.
Consequentialism, as the name suggests attempts to trace the result of decisions so that they become ethical only as far as they result in good outcomes. An example is the utilitarian philosophical school. The problem with consequentialism is you can’t always determine outcomes, unless the matter is rather obvious. The idea of attempting to evaluate all possible consequences has, of course, considerable merit 

Finally, as you may have gathered, in practice one might consider aspects from a number of the categories which is references as

Applied ethics,
For the purposes of a discussion and taking into consideration the idea of applied ethics what would be our approach to this issue:

A young girl (18) with dual citizenship, say Syrian and Australian, left and joined ISIS. Did not participate in the horrendous murders, but fell in love with an ISIS bloke and had a baby with him.

Now she wants to come back to Australia.
Do we cancel her citizenship?  Knowing that she most likely will be killed at some time in Syria. She of course made the decision to leave and join the murderous ISIS.
Do we let her in, and take her to court?  How will we ever find the truth? She may even start taking up contact here with other ISIS sympathisers’

Do we show mercy, as she was young, and didn’t know the consequences?

The Government, of course, would have laws etc. etc., but what is the ethical question?


Many of the ideas of how to live and find meaning of the ancient wisdom streams are increasingly finding relevance to modern day thinking, to give impetus to the next generation to forge more meaningful and superior outcomes. 

The task of the philosopher is to continue to ask questions and advance those wisdom streams as far as they remain relevant to the new age we inhabit, that is the age of the humans. 

This will require a different way of thinking that will be contingent on a more empathetic approach to other cultures as we increasingly form a part of a global village. 
There is a need to develop universal secular ethical standards that provide us with a moral compass to live a meaningful life, but to leave the door open to imagination. Descriptive principles requiring imagination can lead the way to better outcomes, for you cannot legislate morality. One will inevitably fall off the ethical tightrope at times, so in humility one must in any system, leave room to consult the moral compass, to steer her back on track without fear or favour.  
Ultimately it was cleverness and adaptability that ensured our survival, just as it will be the case in the future.