Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The Ethics Thing

By tomorrow at 6 PM, I need to "prepare a 1200-1500 word paper that illustrates the development, understanding, and application of ethics in your decision-making process" (UoP rEsource page, GEN 480, Week One). It's 9:40 PM now, and I haven't started it, so my blogging tonight will be short.  I hope. Somehow I have to overcome the intertia and sleepiness to start the paper.  Once I do that, I should be okay.

The main reason I'm getting such a late start tonight is that I was at work until almost 7 PM, finally getting the TRAMS interface problem straightened out in a 1 3/4 hour phone call with the only TRAMS interface expert I hadn't already dealt with at least once. The computers were buggy and didn't do what they were supposed to do, but we prevailed in the end.  The key was to type obscure coding (something like ~D0~AD~***EOM*** and so on) into a box I'd never seen before, and reboot a bunch of times.  I got all but eight of my invoices (we'll get the rest tomorrow), and went home.  Then John and I had to shop for dinner.

While still eating I went online, because, you know.  But one major reason was that my other assignment for tomorrow night was to complete an online Ethics Awareness Inventory and print the results.  First I had to reinstall this stupid buggy browser for the second time this week, and then I was finally able to do the test.  And whaddaya know!  This may be the first personality test I've ever taken that I fully agree with.  It's a copyrighted academic and organizational tool, not a Quizilla free-for-all, so I won't just paste it all in here; but I will give you the first paragraph of what it says:


You tend to base your ethical perspective on an individual’s duty or obligation to do what is morally right - principles that represent what rational persons ought morally to do. You believe that ethical conduct appeals to “conscience.” In judging whether a person’s actions are ethical, you look to the intent behind his/her actions, rather than focusing on results. In other words, to be considered ethical, we must choose how we act and what rules we are willing to follow. From your perspective, ethical principles must be: (a) appropriate under any circumstances (universalizable); (b) respectful of human dignity; and (c) committed to promoting individual freedom and autonomy. Human beings must never be treated simply as “means” to the accomplishment of some defined “end.” The end does not justify the means. This category is most closely aligned in philosophy with a deontological theory (Immanuel Kant and John Rawls).

(c) 2003, The Williams Institute for Ethics and Management, Tempe, AZ

Yeah, me and Kant are best buds, talking about deontological theory all day long between rounds of the Philosophers' Drinking Song. Well, okay, not so much, but the individual freedom and mutual respect thing is very much me. It goes on to say that this perspective can be very frustrating and an impediment to advancement within an organization, which emphasizes the good of the group.  Yes, and that's why I have no plans to go work for some multinational and make pots of money.

Enough.  I have a paper to write.  More on all this later.


P.S. This is not to imply that I always live up to these ideals.  We all know I'm often blogging at times when I'm certain I ought to be doing something else!


ryanagi said...

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable.

Raising a pint to your ethics efforts...time for a rootbeer break over here in NJ.

deabvt said...

Better Kant than Hume!!