Ethics for groups
The guidelines for a group should be configured in such a way that the decisions of individuals are influenced in a direction that is of benefit for the group.
When many individuals make a decision, this influences the fate of the entire group. The task of the group leaders is to channel these decisions, by suitable means, in a direction that is useful for the group.
In the case of a state, this group are the politicians, the pressure can range from social pressure, to the tax system, to prohibitions and criminal law.
In 1956 the US geologist Dr. Hubbert published his peak oil theory. Even then it had to be assumed that on a finite planet there is not an infinite supply of oil. In 1973, it had to be accepted that Dr. Hubbert's prediction for the USA was very accurate. Maximum oil production in the USA was in 1971.
This was exactly the point in time at which the US population should have been encouraged in the direction of an oil phase-out. Just 4 years after the first moon landing, all the technological potential of the USA should have been used to phase out oil, before global peak oil hits.
Ethics is the science of survival, the situation in the USA in 2011 shows where the opposite, i.e. unethicalness and illogicality, leads.
What possible futures are attainable? What impact can every individual event have on the future of mankind? The ethics diagrams with all the options for decisions and their possible consequences are terribly difficult to fill in after all! Ethics is certainly not a simple science, but involves integrating all scientific insight to ensure the best possible survival.
As soon as the technical possibilites are available, one of the most urgent tasks for ethics is to develop a worldwide forecasting system, in which the impact of every new technological option, and of every political decision can be simulated.