Five Easy Principles?

It’s not enough to know what to do. Understanding why is important, too, so the Ethics Guy explores the deceptively simple guidelines that govern behavior

Over the past four weeks, this column has looked at some ethical questions that arise in professional and personal life, such as the ethics of New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s O.K. to lie to help the company, and collecting for kids at the office. By now, you might be wondering, “On what are you basing your analyses, Ethics Guy?” After all, it would be easy for anyone to shoot from the hip and say what he or she feels is the right thing to do when presented with an ethical dilemma.

As a professional ethicist, however, my responsibility is not merely to explain what we ought to do, but, perhaps more importantly, to say why we ought to do it. My ethical obligation to you is to provide good reasons for how we ought and ought not to act.

For the next several columns, I will present an account of the five fundamental ethical principles that are the foundation of right conduct in any arena of your life. They are:


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About the Author

Dr. Bruce Weinstein is the public speaker and corporate consultant known as The Ethics Guy. His new book, Is It Still Cheating If I Don’t Get Caught?, (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press) shows teens how to solve the ethical dilemmas they face. For more information, visit TheEthicsGuy.com. To read Bruce’s complete biography, click here.
 

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