Ethics Lost

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ethics and morality that exist in our world today, or not.

We’ve been through Bill Clinton having oral sex in the White House, the Jean Chretien’s Liberal Adscam, Stephen Harper’s Conservativea circumventing the election rules, Martha Stewart’s inside trading, the head of Canada Post forced to retire because of outrageous expense reports, Brian Mulroney making deals with criminal people while in office, Worldcom’s accounting fiasco and the resulting aftermath, and so on and so on.

And now the Toronto Catholic School Board trustees, living high off the hog while they operate the school board on a deficit. Expenses such as car allowances, cell phones they’re allowed to keep, Dominican Republic vacations, extravagant dinners, and gold plated benefits. Even lingerie was expenses – now how does that relate to education?

Recently, Ryerson University wanted to expel a student who put together a study group on Facebook to solve an engineering problem they were supposed to work on individually. The school called it cheating. HELLO!?!?

Why are we surprised when we catch our children cheating or even wandering into grey areas? They see the news, they know what’s happening. It’s become the business style du jour. Grab what you can before they kick you out – if they catch you!

Call me naive, but I expect more from our government than having them act like pigs at the trough. I expect more from major corporations than having them think up more creative ways to screw us. And I really expect more from a group that puts a religious name on themselves. They’re greedy, selfish, pigs, marauding as pious Christians, which makes me sick.

I’m more sympathetic in situations where someone steals (call it what it is) because they are in financial need, but these are people who are already rich – looking to get richer. The people who end up paying are the poor and the working class.

How long are we going to take it? The only way to approach this situation is to start charging people AND SENDING THEM TO JAIL!! At least our children will then realize that it’s wrong. We need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. Let’s throw out the corrupt politicians, and charge them for their misdeeds, or at least for breach of public trust. The laws were created for all of us, but authorities seem to leave the rich alone while they harass the rest of us.

Have we become such a complacent society that we will just keep taking this? The one thing I really hate about getting older and wiser is that I don’t like what I’m learning – what I’m seeing and hearing. I’m becoming disillusioned.

Am I the only one that feels this way?


  1. paul Avatar

    I think that politics, money, power and ethics have always been interesting bedfellows. I’m not convinced that there is a measurable trend in an obvious direction.

    I am more certain that the ‘disillusion’ comes not so much from being older and more cynical, but from becoming wiser and more experienced. We see more truthfully. A younger person might learn that there is no Easter Bunny. An older person might learn that Sir John A Macdonald had a drinking problem and that companies might not tell their customers everything that they should.

    We experience wrestling with our own difficult moral issues. Who has not kept money when they were undercharged or stretched the truth to qualify for a job or government benefit? Would you tell a lie to save a life? Should Catholics be held to a higher standard? Why? Can many of us say with certainty that they have achieved the standard that they would apply to others? Let he who is without sin throw the first stone?

    The growing thinking away from absolutes including perceptions of an absolute God, means that we each have to define our own God(s), and our own moralities. Can there be a line if the line can be moved? Would we realy want to go back to the ‘good old days’ of clear absolutes applied to sinners and heretics through torture and death?

    The world is not black and white. Knowing this is not being old and cynical, but wiser for seeing the truth rather than the illusion.

  2. Suzette Avatar

    I don’t want to return to the so-called good old days, but I’d like to see ethics reminiscent of those days. Do you Sir John A. MacDonald was siphoning off funds to give his friends?

    And, while some people may not speak up when undercharged, there’s quite a gulf between that and committing fraud on a grand scale.

    Has it just become easier to try and get away with type of behaviour, or have we become desensitized to the greed and perfidy?

  3. paul Avatar

    Go after them by all means. Which rules or laws did they break? What are the repercussions?

    I’m just not disillusioned by it or convinced that it is anything new.

    And i don’t think including personal items on an expense account is massive fraud, nor that different from things most people have done themselves.

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