Monday, October 25, 2010

But It's Not Illegal!

C’mon people. Lets drop the unethical behavior and act the way you’re expected to. Try to remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Ethics are the inner-guiding moral principles, values, and beliefs that we use to analyze or interpret situations in order to decide what’s the “right” or “appropriate” way to behave or react. Laws tell us we either CAN or CAN’T do something. If there’s no law – or a law that’s not well enough defined – we're left to use our own ethics (or lack of) to decide how to act. Problem is, TOO many people these days are unethical.

According to the annual USA Today/Gallup Poll, less than one American in four rates highly the ethical standards of business executives, attorneys, members of Congress, or stockbrokers. Bankers had it especially rough in the latest poll: their approval rating fell from 35% to 23%. Only 22% of Americans held state governors in high esteem. With two unethical candidates, I would guess that Florida is even less than that.

It’s not just business and politics. A report by the Josephson Institute showed that 64% of high school students cheat and 30% steal. WOW! Nothin like starting early.

Neither laws nor ethics are fixed principles. Both are always changing. Unfortunately, people will always try to get away with things by going around and misinterpreting laws, so continuous change will always be necessary.

People will always argue that, “it's not illegal”. Maybe not. But keep this in mind the next time you have a thought like that – not being illegal does NOT make it ethical.

1 comment:

Josephson Institute said...

Thank you for sharing our survey results!

We started posting audio of Michael's commentaries on a new youtube channel - www.youtube.com/josephsoninstitute. If you end up posting any of the videos, share the link with us via twitter at www.twitter.com/josephson0.

Thanks!

Dan