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?”