19 January 2010


I am taking a business ethics class and we are talking about integrity. Of course, everyone has their opinion about ethics and integrity. In the class we are given scenarios and asked if we think the person is acting ethical or not.

Me being the type of person that i am, i like to explore the topic a little further and try to come up with a not-so-mainstream answer.

To start off with, i had to define integrity. Webster defines integrity as:1 completeness; wholeness, 2 unimpaired condition; soundness, 3 honesty, sincerity. I define integrity as doing the right thing.

I put forth the argument that a person can in fact break the law and still have integrity. Just because a person breaks the law or the rules, doesn't mean they are being unethical. Needless to say it sparked a lot of conversation. Some people just can't see the reality that is life.


Jess said...

I'll go one further: I think integrity sometimes dictates doing what is least harmful.

For example: A policeman turns a blind eye when someone defends themself from a violent criminal by attacking them and the injury causes the death of the criminal. The attacker acts only in fear for their life and their family.

The rules of law say the criminal should have justice, but the same rules allowed the violent criminal to leave a path of destruction in the wake of their activities. The attacker never broke the law and will never do so again.

Anonymous said...

An example of someone breaking the law and still having integrity?

A person who runs across a street to prevent a child from wandering into traffic - jay walking versus saving a life.

Or how about Rosa Parks? She refused to comply with the law -- in order to keep her integrity.

The other aspect of integrity is a lot different; most people only see a positive connotation to integrity.

A thief who only steals from people that can afford the loss is breaking the law, is unethical to common standards yet maintains his integrity.

Bob S. said...

That was "fumble finger" Me on the last comment

Anonymous said...

I disagree. A thief that steals from a homeless man or a millionaire is still a thief. He stole something that was not his and he did not have permission. It doesn’t matter if the millionaire can afford it or not. This is the same mentality of your president “the muslim” obama. Give to those who do not work for it because you have some to spare. Bullcrap! I worked for what I have and obama and your thief can both kiss my rear end.

And for as Rosa Parks, what a joke. Integrity? You must be joking. A person sitting down and refusing to move to where she belonged does not define integrity. She did nothing different that several others had not already done before her. The only difference is where she worked and the fact that she was a woman and that kept her from getting her ass whooped. Don’t immortalize a person that does not deserve it…it takes away from those who do. Later.