Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)

by Ethica Rationalis e.V.
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Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Provide education in ethics (Ethical Literacy)
Apr 18, 2022

Providing education ethics & sustainability Q1/22

Due to the ongoing Covid situation we are still unfortunately not hosting any live events and therefore continue to focus more on other activities.

For the 1st quarter of 2022 we would like to report on 2 topics

I. the 7 digital mortal sins: an article about negative aspects of online platforms

II. 10 years of the KonTEXT reading project: the digital exhibition "EinBlick (Insights)" is online



I. The 7 digital 'mortal sins' 


The cover photo of this article has been shared on various social media platforms for some time. Even if one or the other association between a mortal sin and a corresponding online or social media platform seems too exaggerated, there is still a lot of truth in this picture.

We introduced the topic with a short "impulse contribution" on the subject of digitization before getting to the survey where users could then compare their responses with the opinion of others.

1) Impulse Contribution

Of course the title picture is not insinuating that using the online platforms mentioned would correspond to a mortal sin in its actual sense[1], but that there is a very clear indication of the possible effects of using these platforms on our mental balance. Sloth, gluttony, envy, anger, greed, lust and pride are all psychological imbalances that can harm us in one way or another if they become part of our daily thinking or even acting. But why is it that online portals and platforms in particular can so easily have such sustainably negative impacts on our psyche and cause it to become imbalanced?

Social Comparison

One reason is our tendency to compare oneself “socially” with others. On platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. it is impossible not to compare yourself to others. It's part of the "genetics" of these platforms. But if you are constantly reminded of what great pictures others are posting – from their vacation in Barbados, about their perfect body, about their amazing new job they are about to start, about their cool parachute jump, etc. that can trigger envy and/or self-doubt or even lead to a distorted self-perception (in which one feels inferior, since you're obviously not as "great"). What is overlooked is that what is presented and disclosed on these platforms is strongly filtered and all too often does not match reality at all. Everyone shows themselves there in the best light , according to their frame of thought, often exaggerating, or even outright lying.

Sensory Overload

One cannot expand one's receptivity indefinitely. The brain needs rest periods. If I'm constantly stuck in online video channels that play clip after clip, I can no longer switch off to recover. One audiovisual YouTube stimulus follows another, one Netflix video after the other is binge-watched. You get so carried away by what you see and hear, that you start to lose touch with reality, which can have an enormous impact on your performance and also on your real social contacts. A study by the University of Vienna shows: Above all, the abundance of audiovisual stimuli provided by Internet video channels can actually overwhelm the brain.

Likes, likes, likes

With every like that we receive for our posts on Twitter, Tinder, LinkedIn, XING, Facebook, Instagram, etc., our brain releases happiness hormones. Our brain can actually get addicted to likes. Who doesn't enjoy being "liked"? One danger here is that you are spending more and more time on social media and neglecting your analogue life, especially when there are fewer alternative sources, i.e. positive social contacts, for positive recognition.

Going down the Rabbit Hole

Test it yourself (or better not!): start "liking" posts on Facebook which indicate certain interests and with each such like you will be offered further posts that correspond to these obvious interests. Latest since Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen it is
no longer a secret that Social media platforms use so-called algorithms that analyze exactly what you like on their platforms – because what you like interests you and what interests you makes you linger on a certain social media sites and consume
similar posts. So you can easily develop a completely distorted image of reality, since you are only communicating with like-minded people - there are no ther opinions on a topic of interest because those all got filtered out by an algorithm. So you can
get drawn in further and further into a surreal world of conspiracy theories: the rabbit hole. It's obvious that gullible people, children and young people are particularly affected by this danger.


2) Survey 
So we asked our users how they try to maintain a healthy use of online or social media platforms?
These are the results
7%:  I avoid dealing with online or social media platforms as much as possible. So I don't even expose myself to the dangers
mentioned above. 13%: I always make myself aware of the dangers of dealing with such online or social media platforms before I use them. 13%: I am aware of the dangers of using these platforms and therefore have a certain immunity to these dangers, i.e. I don't
need any particular method for healthy use. 47%: I consciously check my usage behavior on a regular basis and adjust it if I determine in my self-analysis that I spend
too much time online or allow myself to be influenced too much by this online world. 0%: I do not see the effects mentioned in the impulse article as a threat to my mental health. A special method for healthy use
is not necessary. So I use them as I please.0% 20%: None of the answers match my opinion on any method of dealing with these platforms.


[1] Mortal sins are actually closely related to the Catholic Church, which defines mortal sins as sins that are particularly serious and through which man gives up his relationship with God of his own, conscious will


II. 10 years of the KonTEXT reading project: the digital exhibition "EinBlick (Insight)" is online

We would like to draw your attention to the digital exhibition "EinBlick (Insight)" by our partner KonTEXT. It shows works by young people who have committed crimes and gives an impressive retrospective at ten years of work in the KonTEXT reading project.



Young people aged 14 and over who have committed a crime come to KonTEXT at the referral of juvenile courts and public prosecutors. Young people have been reading books with students here for ten years. It is not just about the texts themselves, but also about reflecting on what has been read. The young people make connections to their own lives and actions. They conclude their exchange with the students with a written, artistic or musical thesis. This often results in very personal stories and images. Some of these works are now shown in the digital exhibition EinBlick (Insight). “Some of the works give an idea of the problems that can lie behind juvenile delinquency. But they also show the potential that these young people have and how important projects like KonTEXT are to promote it,” says Prof. Dr. Caroline Steindorff-Classen, Professor of Social Work, who has been leading the reading project at the Munich University of Applied Sciences since 2011.

 Creative work helps to overcome bad experiences

Alexandra Henrici, social pedagogue and art therapist, has been supporting young people as they work on their theses on a voluntary basis for many years. "Experiences with violence, abuse, loss, drug use and psychological problems as well as the consequences of escape and cultural conflicts are not uncommon," explains Henrici, "that's why it helps many of our young people if they paint, draw, write down their story or tell it as a song at the end of the reading.

8,000 juveniles, 900 students

Under the umbrella of KonTEXT, a number of further offers have also been developed that are aimed at young people in prison, such as a library in the prison where books can be borrowed. Overall, in the ten years since the project began, more than 8,000 juveniles and adolescents have come into contact with the KonTEXT project offers and more than 900 students from various universities have made the project possible through their participation.

The digital exhibition EinBlick (Insight) makes the stories of young people who have committed crimes audible and visible. It is offered by the KonTEXT Reading Project e.V. association, which raises urgently needed donations and materials for KonTEXT, and is funded by the Soziokultur e.V. fund and the Munich University of Applied Sciences.

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Organization Information

Ethica Rationalis e.V.

Location: Munich - Germany
Project Leader:
Michael Winkler
Munich, Germany
$23,669 raised of $50,000 goal
29 donations
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