Just wanted to share a thought that I garnered from my Public Administration reading and professor centering on ethics. Having gone to law school and minored in philosophy in ugrad, I am familiar with many of the concepts in this chapter. Still, I believe this is applicable to everyone and all aspects of life, especially when put so simply: You Fall The Way You Lean.
Ethics is a tricky area, just ask anyone who has taken the MPRE (test for lawyers on ethics and professional responsibility). People like to talk about it in this amorphous, philosophical way, and that has its place, but he basic problem is one of physics, not metaphysics. If I balance my pencil on end, and tilt it slightly to the left, which way will it fall? To the left. And if I tilt it to the right, it’ll fall to the right. That’s basically how your ethical decisions work.
Every day you make little ethical decisions–about how to treat coworkers or employees, about how to drive in traffic, about how hard to work, about what to include in your reports–and these little decisions shape who you are and how you think. These decisions aggregate and gather so that one day, when you are confronted with an obvious, fully labeled ethical dilemma, the outcome is already determined. You will fall the way you have been leaning. That’s why the most important thing about ethics is to know yours. Continue reading