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----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Plato" <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: August 25, 2003 09:49 PM
Subject: Re: interview and ethics
In order for somebody (or company) to be "ethical" there
> has to be a code of conduct for them to follow. Violation of that code is
Not really. There are generally accepted principles that are universal. People
who need some organization to tell them what is right are in big trouble.
> Unethical behavior is something that violates an established agreement or
> of ethics.
Ethics are not limited to professional societies. There are miminum
society-wide principles that are generally accepted notions of what is right
and what is wrong in human behavior toward other human beings.
> Furthermore, having a strong sense of right and wrong does not qualify a
> as fit to judge. Every situation is different, and everybody has a different
> set of right and wrong. This is why codes of ethics and laws were created.
> provide something that isn't dependent upon personal interpretation.
It is ALWAYS wrong to say you will do something and then not do it. It is just
as ethically wrong to do that as it is to tell an interviewer you have an
offer that you do not have.
> So, while some TECHWR-L members might choose to label behaviors as ethical
> unethical, the fact is, they are in no better position to judge than you or
It is true that if a person would lie to a prospective employer, he or she has
a skewered sense of right and wrong and thus probably tells herself or himself
that ethics are not for him but for "people in organizations."
> And the actual definition of "unethical" does mean to violate some code of
> ethics that an organization agreed to.
That may be one of the places where ethics apper, but ethics are not limited
to an organization's definitions of what is appropriate in the practice of a
profession. If people don't know that moral principles generally accepted by
society are ethics and don't act accordingly, it is no wonder that they make
up stories to tell prospective employers.
Since employers do not agree to ethical
> codes that say "we'll call you back regardless the outcome" you cannot
> rightfully (or reasonably) label such behavior as unethical.
It is unethical to treat another human being in a way that you would not want
to be treated yourself. This is kindergarten stuff, folks. ; )
> Furthermore, morals and ethics are not the same. Morals are principles that
> guide our sense of right and wrong, while ethics are a formalized set of
> or codes.
Again, ethics are not limited to formalized sets of principles. They include
generally accepted principles.
Hence, morals tend to be more personal, derived from a socially
> constructed set of rules, whereas ethics are an externally established code,
> which people agree to uphold.
That is one definition, but certainly not the only one.