Regent University School of Udnergraduate Studies

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ethics Cloud

I'm always on the look-out for news stories that highlight a class that I am teaching. Well, here's the first of this semester. I am teaching Communication Ethics (online) and came across this story on the many recent ethical dilemmas that several politicians are facing.

I guess I'm trying to figure out what an "ethics cloud" is? Any ideas? Are ethics clouds good or bad? Do they have silver linings?

Why don't we hear of "good" ethics? It seems that the only press time that ethics gets is when a corporate executive embezzles money or when a politician makes an immoral decision. Strange.

Bill

3 comments:

Kyle Graham said...

It seems that an ethics cloud refers to a mass of suspicion that follows an individual. Much like the rain clouds in cartoons that seem to only follow the main characters around, ethics clouds seem to swirl about the person in question.

Politicians seem to be increasingly more prone to these clouds. Some people believe the reason politicians seem to make it in this unfortunate spotlight more than other groups of people do is because there is more corruption. Alternatively, others believe that the media and other interested parties are just getting more adept at digging up the dirt. Either way, the the silver lining in each of these clouds is that wrongdoing is exposed; however, the collection of clouds that is amassing over our country's political system has potential to become a full-blown hurricane.

Jonathan said...

Ethics; One might expect at least a certain standard of conduct. The one reoccurring line in all of these stories reported by Fox News is he/she, “has denied wrongdoing.” Therein lies the problem. The governmental habit of plausible deniability is the standard line when someone in government is accused of an ethical violation. It seems a throw back to the 1950’s cold war ploy of denying when, we, or the Soviets were caught spying, or of doing dastardly deeds. The standard line was “nothing happened” or “it was an unknown political group.” As someone who is regularly called upon to serve on the grand jury, (my neighbor has me on a list), I am amazed at some of the excuses the police report. Some excuses beyond the definition of plausible deniability, some are as simply as “that wasn’t me” when an Officer personally observes a crime, to “my girl friend did it.” It seems people do not, or are unwilling, to take responsibility for their actions. Even our beloved President seems to feel that to admit a mistake or a miscalculation is a harmful admission and beyond the dignity of his office. Where are the ones who humbly stand in the back, and in fear admit they have done wrong? Was it General Patton or was it Groucho Marx, who said, “one should never defend oneself with more than two sentences.” Well, now any defense is simply, “I deny any wrongdoing.”

Jon Powers,

Jonathan said...

Ethics; One might expect at least a certain standard of conduct. The one reoccurring line in all of these stories reported by Fox News is he/she, “has denied wrongdoing.” Therein lies the problem. The governmental habit of plausible deniability is the standard line when someone in government is accused of an ethical violation. It seems a throw back to the 1950’s cold war ploy of denying when, we, or the Soviets were caught spying, or of doing dastardly deeds. The standard line was “nothing happened” or “it was an unknown political group.” As someone who is regularly called upon to serve on the grand jury, (my neighbor has me on a list), I am amazed at some of the excuses the police report. Some excuses beyond the definition of plausible deniability, some are as simply as “that wasn’t me” when an Officer personally observes a crime, to “my girl friend did it.” It seems people do not, or are unwilling, to take responsibility for their actions. Even our beloved President seems to feel that to admit a mistake or a miscalculation is a harmful admission and beyond the dignity of his office. Where are the ones who humbly stand in the back, and in fear admit they have done wrong? Was it General Patton or was it Groucho Marx, who said, “one should never defend oneself with more than two sentences.” Well, now any defense is simply, “I deny any wrongdoing.”
Jon Powers

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