Thursday, February 18, 2010
Ethics...what are those?
We had a very intriguing discussion on Tuesday about business ethics and the dilemma of what to do when something shady is about to go down. We were asked if Silas did the right thing and I don't think there is a right answer to such a question. But, the question carries more weight then just right or wrong, to me this story (and situation/question) shows us that the dilemma presented proves the legitimacy of the piece of literature. With that said, I want to extend what I said in class. Dr. Campbell asked us what we would do and I answered with something along the lines of "i would do whats best for me." But after I said this and thought about it for a while I realized what Silas was asked to do was much more complicated then we realize. When it comes to business there seem to be no rules or better yet the only rule is survival of the fittest. In todays world of Bernie Madoff and insider trading it truly is survival of the fittest. Today, Silas would have sold his place and not even have thought twice about hurting someone. The purity of human nature is much to tainted today to do anything different. This poses the question of what is and isn't ethical? If Silas is looking out for his family first how can we say that making an unethical choice is really unethical, it seems pretty ethical to me to put your family ahead of everything else. Does this excuse Madoff from stealing literally billions of dollars, no. But it does shed some light on how fuzzy and in most cases non-existant ethics really are. Especially in todays corrupt world of me first, you second. Silas Lapham is arguably a microcosm of what todays world is really like. Maybe even foreshadowing the world to come. Well, here it is and its pretty shady.