Ethical Discourse and Public Policy
This chapter provides some suggestions about how to navigate among conflicting norms in the complex and complicated world of public policy making. The discussion that follows is based on three assumptions. The first assumption is that the five benchmarks will often conflict with one another. There may be times when these norms are mutually reinforcing and complementary. The second assumption is that one particular norm does not always trump another. None of the benchmarks always takes precedence over all of the others, nor do any of them always yield to the others. The third assumption is a more generalized form of the second. One of these benchmarks does not always override another, but in many individual cases one of them does not completely annul another in that specific instance. This collection of raw data is necessary. But developing an understanding of a current scene requires much more than that. It distinguish important information from unimportant information.