So you claim you are ethical?

A favourite argument of people against you if you talk of ethics is this –

“Are you or can you be ethical all the times?”

“No, I am not and probably I can not be so all the time.”

“Then, why preach?”

Ha! Anyway, I have no interest in preaching so long as the effects are confined to the person concerned only, but when it goes beyond that, comes to me, to people around me, to the society, it becomes difficult to restrain.

But will somebody tell me this? I might have to attend the PPTs meant for second year student and pretend to be a second year student because I can not afford to pay a fine of 250 bucks. Does that mean I must abandon all the ethical practices in my life? (See the previous post for reference.)

“Fine, that was issue of the system, but does that mean you have no weaknesses and you are always ethical, when it’s in your hand?” No, I have my weaknesses and even when there is no pressure from the system, I am likely to go wrong. But why should even that mean that I abandon all ethical practices, or that I stop striving for being ethical, or that I do not acknowledge the importance of ethics? There is absolutely no reason.

One does not come to the world completely filled up with all the knowledge, even after having come to the world circumstances are not always conducive to have all the ethics imbibed in a person. I, like any other human being, have developed in the company of others, their thoughts and weaknesses have affected me, and then there are inherent weaknesses in me as a human being. WIth all this, probably I shall never be perfectly ethical. Probably many a times there will be dilemmas and I would not even know what is ethical, probably at times I would be unethical without knowing that I am being so, probably I would be helpless at other times. Still, shall I stop striving? There is no reason for doing so.

Presently I have some money in my hand; I can afford to pay fine for a few PPTs (see the previous post). So, I am missing them. If I didn’t have this money, I would have to attend them. Probably, if too many of them come up I shall not find it possible to pay so much of fine and will have to go back to start attending them (not that I shall run out of money, but at some point of time my courage of spending all the money on fines for PPTs might just run out and hence it would be a weakness of mine). But I will try anyway. And come think of it. I hadn’t even realized the ethical aspects of it till I attended one! Still, does it all mean its futile to think of ethics? Not to me.

And how does it affect the system if I sit back and pay the fine. It doesn’t, it really doesn’t. And one reason it doesn’t is that I do not have enough time in my hand to drive my point. Its a stay of meager 20 months. Someone might say, its a defeatist attitude. No, its just the way of working. My way of getting things done is to gain the right standing first, and then use it to talk you mind. People will listen then. I can not start off by talking. Certainly can not go around shouting, “Oh! You are hurting my sentiments with respect to ethics.” Not sufficiently aggressive? Sure! But works for me pretty well. I can not use it in a short span of time and I will have to live with it. But the least I can do is to preserve my personal integrity even in the short span of time, so long as it is possible. I am trying, that’s all…

And finally the favourite argument from pseudo-liberals – “What are ethics anyway? Who decides them? Why should I bother?” True, but all I have to say about being liberal is this (and I have said it at some other place) – “Being liberal does not mean having no moral values; it means having your own moral values and not somebody else’s.” Can’t we responsible citizens of a civilized society decide this much for ourselves? And fortunately, some wise ancestors have given us a simple rule. Ask this, “Would you like so and so thing being done to yourself?”


One thought on “So you claim you are ethical?

  1. Since I am removing the Haloscan Comments, I am copy-pasting the comments I got on this post here.

    The Gillette people knew that there were PGP1s in their audience (and so did Infy+Progeon; PPT audiences include PGP1+PGP2).

    The logic for having PGP1s is this:

    1. It gives them exposure to the companies coming to campus for final placements and helps them decide their target companies in advance.

    2. The company itself is not averse because it knows that most PGP2s have already made their decision…it is the PGP1s that can be influenced.

    This is the fundamental basis though sometimes it is deliberately overlooked for convenience.

    Most people have a very strong sense of ethics (though definitions may vary)…making assumptions without clarifying or making objections known(at least to the relevant people) sometimes leads to a false sense of high moral ground.
    Ayan Bhattacharya | Email | 01.24.05 – 7:42 pm | #

    I would have liked to shift your comment to the previous post. Since they came one after another, I ended up taking the same example is this one. This post talks of much more than what was there in previous one. So, even if I have been mistaken in my example, this post stands where it is (false sense of ethics or whatever!). This one is not confined to IIML/B-Schools either.

    Coming to the last one, at least the last ppt I attended (Wockhardt) I didn’t get this feeling. Why did they rush to compensation etc. when only pgp-1s had to leave for the MIS class? Or is it presumed that the only way to affect even the decisions of PGP-1s in their second year is to tell them about the compensation and benefits etc. right now? These might not even remain the same for next year!
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 01.24.05 – 9:59 pm | #

    I had asked from some seniors in the very beginning the rationale behind making pgp-1s attend the PPTs and the only answer I got was, “PGP2s can not go around attending all of them!” I didn’t ask placecom; that might be my mistake, but then only placecom knows?

    Anyway, enough of defending… If I am mistaken, I am sorry. I am not convinced though.
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 01.24.05 – 10:00 pm | #

    BTW, if indeed companies know about it, then I have no interest in keep paying 250 bucks! I will give it another try…
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 01.24.05 – 11:06 pm | #

    Gravatar I did read the previous post…

    I’m not justifying the system, the hollowness of it all haunts me day in and day out but the point is this:

    Pure reasoning can only lay bare various alternatives; then the decision is the subjective part justified by ethics, morals, religion, value system, relationships or whatever else and every sane individual will justify his/her decision on the basis of one or more of these subjective measures.

    The point is that one either needs to first prove that the variables in contention are frame independent and thus absolute (and epistemology hasn’t yet succeeded in this regard)
    argue the contentious variables in the given frame of reference.

    On changing the frame of reference, the “variable” variables will appear different and more often than not wrong.
    Ayan Bhattacharya | Email | 01.24.05 – 11:39 pm | #

    Gravatar The actual principle is as was mentioned earlier (though there are n different versions from

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