One growing area of study in experimental ethics is the effect of what are often called climates. It started with noticing that beggers outside of a bakery are more likely to receive charity than those near a sewer.

Is it better to give charity, or better to ignore in hope that he learns the lesson that he should quit begging and God helps those who help themselves?

But it has expanded into realizing that many cultures have an ethical environment. To read scripture, moralizing and philosophy it helps to appreciate that there are huge differences in different times and places as to what is important ethically and what is not.

Is a person always the same person or is transformation a real force (e.g. is the model of Nephi or Mormon more significant to you than the model of Alma and Alma the Younger)?

Often conflicts between groups in the Church consist of vast differences in what we consider important. Does the first and greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God mean that you should obey God? Does it mean that you should “do your duty”?

Or is it a means to self knowledge and enlightenment?

Those differences can often be observed as spectrums of competing virtues. It also helps to look at yourself.

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What do you think? How does your answer to these questions affect how you interact at Church?