Ethics and Morals

Are you doing the right thing? When those two dudes show up on your shoulder, do you side with the winged fellow or do you pay more attention to the guy with the pitchfork? In our ongoing efforts to succeed and find the paths of least existence, we may be tempted to cast our morals aside, but is it worth it to sacrifice your ethics?

This is the topic for today’s What’s Up Wednesdays speedlink, taking a quick tour of the blogosphere to see what our fellow bloggers have to say on the subject. As always, if you want to be featured in a future speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric, be sure to follow me on Twitter and stay tuned for my call-out on Tuesday evenings.

Ray Ebersole takes a moment to discuss the ethics of government spending on education. Ideally, you want the funding to go to the districts that need it the most, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Ray asks if the stimulus money is going to the right people. Some districts are literally swimming in money, while others that are already struggling are facing cutbacks.

Rebecca Bollwitt tells us about a couple of seemingly noble deeds, as it sounds like we’re getting ice cream for a good cause. Proceeds from every tub of Ben & Jerry’s go to ABC Canada and Dairy Queen has Miracle Treat Day for the Children’s Miracle Network, but you’ve got to wonder if these companies are motivated by increased profits and good public relations. Is it ethical to encourage additional sales based solely on the charitable portion of your products?

Jeff Kee happens to live in Yaletown, so he was right next to the Critical Mass demonstration in Downtown Vancouver. This is when a huge congregation of cyclists gather to clog up traffic; they’re trying to raise awareness of their green form of transportation, trying to convince drivers to abandon their cars for bicycles. Jeff, on the other hand, feels that Critical Mass is an ignorant mass. He feels they are being selfish and overly self-righteous.

Thursday Bram hits something that’s a little closer to home for me. We all want to turn a profit, but in the interest of ethical freelancing, would you turn down a client? If the client wants to write something that is against your political or religious views (and is willing to pay handsomely for it), would you do it? If you know that the client is less than ethical in his business practices, would you still work with him?

Foximus demonstrates a simple concept that really can result in a win-win situation. Did you know that reducing your carbon footprint saves money? You don’t necessarily have to be motivated by saving the planet, because you can save your wallet in the process too. From more fuel-efficient cars to better designed homes, we can all do our parts, even if there is no moral element to the decision.