To be or not to be?…So what was the question? Ethics 101

My Ethics 101

To be or not to be?… So what was the question? 

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...
Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just saw a post –  A news agency’s new policy on Ethics.  At first I thought it was a pretty good post to include on this page.  After a while of reading this new-found policy  I thought it was pretty good, but something kept nagging at the back of my mine.  So I stopped to think for a bit and my train of thought led to  “what is new about this?”  “Ethics have been around since before Aristotle, so why the new policy.  Have ethics changed or evolved for a journalist?  Seems to me we saw an article last week about the ethics of some Journalist in Pakistan and I hope it turned enough stomachs green that we never have to read about something like that ever again.  But we will, nothing has changed, not yet, but I have faith one day it will.

..nothing has changed. But I have faith one day mankind’s ethics will rule.

As I continued to look for articles to place on the Applied Ethics in Business  page,  I came to realize when I started this particular journey I never explained why I was doing it.  What motivated me to curate this and the other three pages I curate?

What motivated me to curate Applied Ethics in Business and the other three topics I curate on the pages?

I thought now might be a good time to do that. To explain why it is I chose this topic. When I started this journey almost a month ago now,  it was because I truly believed, and still do, that all things being equal:

A business with defined Ethical Policies revolving around:

  • consumer ethical guidance and
  • employee  ethical standards would
  • instill confidence in the consumers and
  • statistically create happier employees

In using my very keen skill of deductive reasoning, I believe in the more sales and happier employee’s on a number of levels give you a greater profit. At the same time committing to your local community can only make you stronger in the community. Stronger in the community equates to more consumer knowledge of your business and again, creates a larger profit.  I think my logic is stable.  It might be sitting on the ledge, but it’s sitting there and not falling off, so it’s stable.

What is falling off a ledge?  The underlying axiom for why I started this journey.

I initially started this journey with a relatively solid theory.  I would either prove it right or prove it wrong and  in either case I would still have answers and isn’t that what we all seek anyway? “Right or wrong does it really matter? What matters most to me is having an answer that is concrete.  It doesn’t need  to be black or white, but it does need to have some serious density to it.

Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and A...
Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle would become highly revered in the medieval Islamic world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Work hard, play hard, and never mix the two.

This would be a good time to give you the reason I curate the Applied Ethics pages.  You see,  as an American,  I’m also from a  Tarheel Family I was raised with what we called very strict rules, and even harder work ethics. I’ve always taken a great deal of pride in both of the values represented here.  Strict Rules.  Hard Work.  A good person works hard, plays harder and never mixes the two.

Those were not only my motto’s as I got older, but also my life-style too.   I always worked hard and anyone who knows me at all,  knows how hard I work.  Yet as I’m thinking through how  I came to learn about work ethics the memory escapes me.  I don’t think there was ever a time I didn’t know about work ethics.  No one lesson taught me what ethics were.  No-one gave me a list of  rules I should follow with the words Work Ethics as the title. What are ethics?  What defines ethical principles? How are they defined? Can we have Ethics without Morals?   How about Morals without Ethics?   Do we need to have one before we can have another?  So as I’m pondering these questions and searching for the answers I will share my journey in hopes of influencing you, the reader, toward formally Applying Ethics in you business.