— or the lack thereof — is a hot topic in the media these days.
are in trouble for insider trading, corporate malfeasance, etc.
You can generally pick up a news periodical and read about how someone
has violated some rules or standards or laws.
has been debated for centuries so it is not surprising that the
debate continues today. What perhaps is surprising is that basic
ethical problems keep reoccurring.
"ethics" is derived from the ancient Greek word "ethos," meaning
moral character. The first use of the term is credited to Aristotle.
definition of ethics is dealing with what is good and bad, right
and wrong, with moral duty and obligation or a set of moral principles
or values. Ethics is often referred to as moral philosophy. The
words "ethics" and "morals" are often used interchangeably. Ethics
is a term for a standard that establishes what is good or bad, both
for the individual and for society. It is the study of voluntary
human actions in respect to their being right or wrong, good or
humanity's special traits is our ability for reflective analysis
of our voluntary actions. Generally we have moral principles that
guide our actions.
and religious convictions often overlap. The major religions along
with the ancient Greeks gave us the virtues of prudence, temperance,
courage, justice, love, mercy, self-sacrifice, kindliness, non-violence,
etc. The Ten Commandments are an example of the role religious beliefs
have had in shaping public and private morality (i.e., establishing
ethical standards and codes to live by).
us have or will eventually encounter an ethical dilemma in the workplace
or in private life. Some situations are clear-cut and others fall
into the gray zone (between right and wrong or good and bad). The
"code that you live by" guides you through many issues. That code
is most likely a combination of your parents' attitudes, religious
beliefs and life experience. For those situations that fall into
the gray zone, you may also want to have a trusted group of friends
("your kitchen cabinet") to bounce ideas off.
words, don't trust your gut reaction in every situation.
some questions you can ask yourself to guide you in ethical situations:
Is it legal?
How would you feel if your actions were reported on the front
page of a newspaper?
Do your actions get the "raised eyebrow" response from your
friends or co-workers?
Can you sleep comfortably with your actions?
How does your conscience react?
appropriate quote from Harvey MacKay goes something like "conscience
is like a baby; it has to go to sleep before you do.")
What would a child think if they were on your shoulder observing
Do you want your friends or relatives to know about something
Do your actions hurt another person?
How would you feel if someone did the same thing to you (the
Golden Rule test)?
ethics are the codes by which professions set standards for conduct
and actions of members. A fundamental aspect of a professional society
is to have a code of conduct or ethics — codes that you must adhere
to and practice.
that does not have a code of conduct or ethics is probably not in
the true sense a "professional" society or organization. They may
be simply a scientific organization.
Code of Ethics has general principles of conduct for its members
and standards for the relations of members to other members, the
public, employers, clients and to the AAPG. The Code is an important
guide for your work actions.
As a member
of the AAPG, you have agreed to follow the Code.
Bylaws also has provisions to deal with members who have violated
the Code. If you haven't read the Code recently, please do so. It
can easily be reviewed online at the AAPG Web site (www.aapg.org).
was quoted as saying, "The fact that man knows right from wrong
proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but
the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any
creature that cannot."
about ethics, Abraham Lincoln quoted an older gentleman: "When I
do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion."
to do good things.
have good ethics, nothing else matters. If you don't have good ethics,
nothing else matters.