Sunday, August 16, 2009

How Ethical Are We ??

"How ethical are you?" I've been asked this question by quite a few people since time immemorial. In fact many people have even advised me things like "It’s ok to do something Illegal but doing something Unethical is totally unacceptable". Kind of weird but believed by many.

Long long ago during my schooling and early college life, I believed smoking and drinking are totally wrong and unethical. I did rather say, that was something I was made to believe so that I would abstain from it. Anyways I no longer hold that perspective. Not because I have taken to smoking or drinking but just because over the years my entire outlook at things and people have undergone a sea change. There was a huge list of things I believed were an unethical way of life but thankfully most of those myths have been busted over the years.

However there are still a few things in my unethical practices list. For example what if we are caught in a situation where in we have to tell a lie for someone's good? Most of us would tell the lie. So does the fine print of being honest read we need to forsake humanity for the ultimate truth??

Bhagvad Gita says “Don't cheat others, don't lie, don't steal, don't hurt others, don't drink, don't take drugs, don't eat meat, and don’t buy leather”... refers to Unethical Behavior. In the recent times I would like to add watching pirated movies, using pirated software etc also to the list. Apart from this I also feel like adding free-riding (i.e. you just relax and let others do the task. No matter however talented you are, the pressures are so high that you free ride in one place or the other regularly)

Well I don't steal, drink, take drugs or buy leather. However there have been times when I have lied like I said earlier. I have never cheated or hurt anyone intentionally. I do watch a lot of pirated movies, download songs online, use pirated software etc etc. I have also free ridden a lot of times be it at work or college or school or even home. So does all this make me partially unethical or totally unethical?? (Well I did break a few codes but I also do follow a few codes u see.)

I don’t think so ... Personally I believe that the values of an individual undergo many changes as he/she progresses through the various stages in life. However there are some core values that remain more or less same over the ages. Well It sure is difficult to enumerate those core values. In my case the core values are being true to oneself, respect for all individuals, love for humanity, peace in the world, equality of the sexes, freedom of speech, right to education and so on because I have, I do and I will always feel the same for these.

1 comment:

  1. While i concur with your point of view in your well written and thought piece about ethics,I would like to point out that nowhere in the bhagvata does it say that "Don't cheat others, don't lie, don't steal, don't hurt others, don't drink, don't take drugs, don't eat meat, and don’t buy leather". Infact bhagvata are the words that the divine lord spoke encouraging arjuna to hurt people because that was his KARMA(Not the western interpretation.I just finished watching the 4th season of "My Name is Earl"). Minus the citation from the Gita you get an A-. If you can alter the citation to quote the Bible"thou shall not eat any animal that does not chew cud or doesnt have a spilt hoof", you might get an A+.