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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Presidents' Day Observed        Monday, Febbruary 16 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster


Today's postcard is a few thoughts on ethics. I've never had a university course on ethics, so what I have to say is more intuitive than academic or professional, more akin to the dictionary definition—

1. the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation 2 a : a set of moral principles or values b : a theory or system of moral values c : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group d : a guiding philosophy.

than the definition derived from a semester's delving into all of the ramifications of this subtopic under the philosophy major. Nevertherless, my intuition tells me the dictionary definitions above are missing something. At least as the word is usually used, it pertains to "everyday life situations" more than the overarching philosophies that societies are run by. Business ethics is all about the ways you could be dishonest in business and probably profit by doing so, but why you shouldn't and, if you're smart, you won't practice.

Even more mundane ethical considerations that occurred to me in recent days:

It's more ethical to cut and paste something you want to send on to other members of your email address list than to forward them as attachments. This is because the virus applications that are being released every week on the world Internet copy addresses from everyone's email address lists, co-opt and use them as though they are the person whose identity has been thus stolen, and in the guise of someone other than the real sender, they send out emails with fake attachments which, in reality, are viruses or worms that are released into the recipient's computer if the recipient is careless enough to open the attachment. If you cut and paste, the recipient doesn't have to guess whether the "you" in their sender box is actually you, or whether an attachment is safe to open.

It's more ethical, in the company cafeteria, when you're putting food in take-out boxes, to take the boxes through the checkout opened so the checkout clerk doesn't have to take your word for it what's in the box. This seems so patently obvious that it amazes me every day to see people in the same line assuming the checkout clerk should believe them (and incidentally, in my environment, they don't question it...but that doesn't make it right, ethical).

It's unethical to leave towels that you've used in the locker room at your gym on the benches or the floor. Though of course you are as pure as the driven snow, the towels are harbingers of germs that should not have to become the concern of either other patrons of the athletic establishment or the staff members, even if they are required to wear rubber gloves in picking up the items left behind by thoughtless patrons.

It's unethical to leave a room, like a locker room, with open doors that could pose dangers to other patrons. The same would apply to drawers that patrons open and close to look at merchandise or displays.

In a simple phrase: It's unethical to be thoughtless when using spaces that are used by other human beings or companion or working animals. It's unethical to fail to stop and think and do what's right.

The Apostle James, the Lord's brother: He who knows to do right and doesn't do it, it is sin to him.

Davy Crockett: Be always sure you're right, then go ahead.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Steven Wrightisms

3 - Half the people you know are below average.

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

— Abraham Lincoln

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