The main question posed for this section is, "are you responsible for your fellow human being?" In Biblical terms "Am I my brothers keeper?" (Genesis 4.1-9) In chapter one, we explored three ethical theories. (Aristotle, Kant and Levinas) Levinas claimed that we acknowledge the face of the other and in that recognition, we are in service for the other. Levinas would say that we are our brothers keeper and that we are responsible for their well being. In this way, we are relational beings.
Our relationships and interactions with others define our moral and ethical stance. We can never escape our interconnectedness with others. Our actions are always influencing others.
In popular culture, this concept is contradictary to Levinas' claim. Our culture treasures independence and self reliance. We have established a system that rewards individual success. It is relational in so far as individauls are used as a means to achieve a goal. This concept has also been present throughout time. The Greek story of Narcissus highlights our egotistical ways. We are self absorbed.
Hence the search for the good is relational and involves others. As a result, individuals have to be aware of their influence of others. More importantly, you are a self for and through others.
“Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.