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Ethics - Where do you stand

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by buckeyebri, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri Don’t Come Around Here No More....

    Let me say I love BP and the various discussion threads that go on here. The open discussion thread forum has been awesome. I have noticed that many of the threads throughout this forum and others as have an ethical bent to them if you really stop to think about it.

    We discuss the Iraq conflict, political stances, welfare, Cosby's comments, the media, Enron, etc. Plus, we have the discussions regarding what happened with O'Brein and the basketball program and what happened with the educational side of the football program.

    As I have said in other threads, I have recently resigned my current position and am moving on. As I sit back and look at the past three years that I have worked in this position and the reasons for leaving, I can trace a majority of the reasons to what I perceive to be a lack of ethics.

    Taking this in to consideration and the discussions here on BP, I am beginning to believe that we face a crisis of ethics in this nation. I'm curious to know where you stand on the issue of ethics and their importance in your life, work, family, and core values and also your thoughts on where we stand as a nation.
     
  2. NorthShoreBuck

    NorthShoreBuck True Madness Requires Significant Intelligence

    I once read where most people do not leave the job but the management that they work for. It sounds as if you left them for just that reason?


    How do you define ethics? Is it morals, values, religious beliefs and/or character?
    I find it somewhat troubling that MBA courses now have a class in ethics.
    It is not something you learn through a class but through living and interacting with others. Core values, as you mentioned, are accumulated from a life of experiences.

    I would say an ethical decision is the one you would choose whether anyone knows it was your choice or not.

    If you are saying we are a country short on ethics I would agree but there are 280 million of us and I think the bad side of humanity garners more of the press than the good side. At least I hope it is that way.
     
  3. kinch

    kinch Wash me Staff Member

    I believe that one's view of ethics is influenced by "morals, values, religious beliefs and/or character," but that these are not in themselves ethics.

    In the most recent study I saw, atheists were least likely to commit crime, divorce, or abortion. Mormons, followed by Catholics, were next. Born again Christians were the most likely to commit the above acts. Certainly regligious standing does not constitute ethical standing - depending on your ethics. . .

    I believe mostly in utilitarianism, but not as expoused by Mill. I believe it is the belief of doing right, not the end result, that matters.
     
  4. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    Bucknola - Great comment on leaving a job because of the management. I have experienced that first hand and it is absolutely on target.

    As for ethics, it is one of those nebulous (sp?) areas where everyone has a separate viewpoint. One person may say stealing is always wrong and the guy next to him may say it is not stealing if you really need it.

    In my profession ethics are incredibly important. I had someone question them once when I did not award his firm a project. He thought he would get it because he was the local company, but he was 40% higher than a more qualified firm that did only the job I was hiring for. He decided to question my ethics instead of looking at the fact he was out of line with his proposal. Fortunately, my bosses laughed when they heard the guy's complaints.

    While at OSU we had one class session in ethics. The person who spoke was in charge of ethics for the state of Ohio. He basically said if you think it is unethical it probably is. I'm not quite sure how you would teach uniform ethics to everyone as ethics are like opinions, everyone has one.
     
  5. Bucklion

    Bucklion Throwback Staff Member

    Ethics, is, as pointed out, in the eye of the beholder. We had medical ethics at undergraduate school, and there is a myriad of situations that you could get 10 different responses from 10 different people about. I think the best thing one can do is define your core principles, and always stick to them, while realizing that each situation must be analyzed on its merits, and acted on accoringly, and sometimes slightly differently. That, and one rule I always try to live by is to take my core principles seriously, but not myself too seriously, and that seems to go a long way in being able to analyze most situations with an open, analytical mind.
     
  6. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri Don’t Come Around Here No More....

    In some ways partially true, but in many ways because of what I would consider unethical behavior in terms of people, including management, that I dealt with.

    There is a point of what is right and what is wrong, what is above board and what is below board, what is being open an honest and what is being disingenious.

    So, it is incredibly important, yet it is nebulous and undefinable? Explain that too me. I think you meant assholes not ethics in your quote, and unethical people are typically assholes...

    Just to add on to the discussion, ethics as defined by dictionary.com:

    A set of principles of right conduct.

    The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.
     
  7. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    Ethics are important in my profession, but once again, everyone defines them differently. There is even a Code of Ethics for my profession, yet I know peers who have no problem putting personal expenses on the company bill like a home pool, showing up two hours after the doors open and leaving two hours before they close, and lieing about their backgrounds. Ethics are kind of like the old adage about terrorist and freedom fighters. It depends on your personal perspective.
     
  8. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri Don’t Come Around Here No More....

    So you have a code of ethics, but yet everyone defines them differently. What does that say too you about your profession?

    I would say that they probalby interpret them differently to work to their advantage. Which to me is very questionable.
     
  9. kinch

    kinch Wash me Staff Member

    I consider an ethical act to be one intended to produce a greater amount of good than bad in the world. Of course, this may be too subjective.

    To begin:

    1. Ethical act is one that increases good.

    Argument: What about a guy, a doctor, who witnesses a car accident and runs to help. He sees a guy, bloody, with a medic-alert bracelet around his neck saying he is a hemophiliac. So the doctor gives him blood-clotting agents. It turns out the guy was driving to his son's day-camp to deliver the bracelet to his son, and put the bracelet around his neck so he wouldn't forget it. The guy clots too much, it goes to his brain, and he dies.

    The doctor wasn't acting unethically, right?

    so. . .

    2. Ethical act is one that intends to increase good.

    A psychotic man kills a random woman thinking she will spawn the next Hitler. He is wrong and psychotic.

    Was his act ethical?

    so. . .

    3. It will always be very hard to determine ethics on a non-subjective basis.

    Okay, but then what is ethical???
     
  10. gbearbuck

    gbearbuck Herbie for President

    Do the right thing and most of the time it will come back to you ten fold... do the wrong thing and things will come back at you...

    Or just do unto others as you would like others to do unto you...

    That is my general feelings on ethics... if you look in the media there are a lot of folks that looked out for #1 and that is comming back to haunt them...

    Things tend to work out... those that lie, eventually get caught...
     
  11. kinch

    kinch Wash me Staff Member

    I wish that worked for politics, where it seems that, "due unto the right people and they will do unto you" makes more sense. . .
     
  12. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    Everyone does interpret ethics differently, even with a set code. I think that is part of the entire discussion. There is no one golden rule for ethics as it is completely subjective.

    As to the three examples I gave of peers of mine, two were fired from their jobs and "publicly" censured by our professional organization, the other one has a "board" that could care less what the person does.
     
  13. daddyphatsacs

    daddyphatsacs Let the cards fall... Staff Member

    Ethics are a constant struggle in the corporate wagon that we have established. Constantly you are presented with the opportunity to "one up" your opponent by cutting a corner. Is it right? Hell no it is not. Unfortunately with the amount of pressure that we are presented with (especially mangement figures) in our jobs, we feel the obligation to win at all costs.

    Conscience has evaded us today in our country. We are living in a culture in which man has lost his feel for what is important. We have excuses for everything that corrupts us, whether it is a bad day at work, or a mean boss, we mostly look for excuses.

    Anyone that says that they are not guilty of this is full of shit, or complacent in where they stand in life. I constantly find myself looking to the heavens wondering if what I am doing is acceptable by God. I try to put myself in the shoes of the man on the other end, how would it feel to be on the receiving end? Do I fuck up.........sure I do, I think that most of us can consider some of the things that we do incorrect.

    Throughout all of these thoughts that race in my mind on a daily basis is a man who will always be a straight shooter. I will try to live my life on a level where I am not forced to choose paths when confronted at the dirty crossroads. I trust that I will always know what route too choose, hopefully it will be the right one. My parents taught me these values, I will never forget my roots.

    This track that we all call life has become de-railed by the inner force that asks us to find ways to tell ourselves that what we are doing is right. Hopefully when our day comes, no matter the wealth that we accumulate, or the accolades that we receive, we can look ourselves in the mirror and think.............Hey I gave it my all, I have no regrets.
     
  14. DEBuckeye

    DEBuckeye It ain't easy, bein' cheesy.

    I agree that we have an ethics problem in our society- the newspapers would be a lot smaller if that weren't true.

    In the corporate world, I think it's relatively easy to define ethics. There are many rules, regulations and guidelines that you are supposed to follow when conducting business, whether in relation to employees, financial matters, the environment, etc. Buckinmichigan mentioned a code of ethics that his profession follows. I am a CPA/financial analyst- we've got one as well. That makes it pretty black and white regarding your ethical behavior. Granted, that doesn't cover every situation, but it hits a lot of them.

    In other areas, like medicine for example, it's much harder to find specific direction for every situation. In those cases I think you've got to look at the act, and the motivation behind it. Did a Dr. do something because it would benefit him, or was it because he honestly wanted to help a patient? Maybe the act is beneficial to the "greater good"? Tough call....

    The problem is that (as Daddy said) no one's got a conscience anymore. There are too many high-profile people getting away with breaking the rules, which sets a very bad example for the next guy.
     
  15. AKAK

    AKAK Pistol packing, monkey drinking, no money bum. Staff Member Bookie

    Let me spin this around one time... maybe two.... I think Bri started with the contention that there is crisis of ethics in this country as well...

    But I always think its very dangerous to wax nostalgic for the good old days. We've kind of gone around the block a few times on what ethics are and aren't, but I think we can all agree that today... looking back on things... Jim Crow Laws were unethical... in some way... that not allowing women to vote was unethical... at least... from an "I'm a citizen of society, and to serve myself, I will disenfranchise others" kind of way.

    This whole... "setting a bad example thing" is just a function of America airing its dirty laundry more than in the past... If you think people are less ethical than they have been in the past... its likely because you tend to know more about it than you used to.... or it bothers you more than it used to... which to me says that we are more ethics conscious than we used to be... Look at the level to which we hold our public figures and even our sports figures... Imagine babe Ruth Today... there wouldn't be room in a whole newspaper on any given day to contain the outrage from watchdog organizations about him Boozing too much and settign a bad example for kids... or womanizing too much.... or smoking all the time... or whatever... same thing with politicians.. You may not like Bush or Kerry... but by most measures, these guys less ethicaly corrupt than their predecessors... (I mean predecessors in general, so don't go protesting that your favorite president of 'yore' was squeaky clean)

    Ironically... we want to know so much about the bad that public figures do that it creates massive competition in the media... so the irony is... that in our exhuberance to judge the ethics in others... those brining us the reports often compromise theirs... but of course this is nothing new either.

    Anyway... raise your hand if you've never made decision in your whole life that you felt you had no choice but to make that didn't make your stomach turn a little bit the wrong way... lets not be too quick to judge.
     

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