Posted by: eileenandrory | August 3, 2009

Ethics, what are they?

So i promised it was coming, and yet now i feel a little apprehensive.

After all what are ethics? I’ve always understood them to be “Doing what’s right”.

But what does that mean? Are Ethics culture dependent?

I know that there are university papers on the subject, and of course the great philosophers wrestled with the subject. But what does it mean to you and me?

I am no expert but doing the right thing should be pretty easy, whether you believe in the bible or not the 10 commandments lay it out fairly clearly:

1) though shalt not steal

2) though shalt not kill

and a bunch of others that i can’t remember.

I admit that there are somtimes problems in the application, is it ok to keep the money if the shop assistant gives you too much change? Or i lied to save your feelings.

But is is ok for politicians (who are on a good wage as it is) to claim subsidies that their constituents aren’t able to claim?

If your party campaigned on reducing government expenditure whilst claiming 90% of your personal travel, would you be acting in an ethical manner?

Is it ok for developed nations to tell newly industrialised nations that they can’t burn all that carbon, when all they are tryign to do is get to the same place as the developed nations.

So it is clear we have some gray areas, and it is clear that there is no single answer, so how do we tackle it?

I look forward to your thoughts.



  1. I think it’s greed. It’s when people believe they deserve more money than other people, and have the power to actually get that sum.

    I can’t believe a politician can claim to be entitled to money for housing assistance and travel subsidies and a salary of a over a hundred thousand a year after tax, when a teacher working fifteen hours a day, five days a week (sometimes six), 48 weeks a year, can earn 40k before tax, and that’s all.

    I know politicians are said to have no conscience, but come on!

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