LIES and LYING: CALLING A SPADE A SPADE
When a close friend or relative lies to you, chances are you’ll call him a liar. But when a politician lies to you, you accept it as a matter of course because “they all do it.” When have you seen politicians (from top to bottom) called liars when they’ve blatantly lied? Rarely? Ever? If they were called liars in print or on TV, there’d be less of it.
Blame it on political correctness, or possibly “hurting their feelings,” or some other liberal (sorry, but it’s true) excuse. Being direct has a way of making a point that lasts longer than the time to say it.
Politicians, from the top down, LIE to get elected (if you need proof of this, you’re living in some other universe). Ergo, lying is acceptable in politics, where it’s become de rigueur. THEN HOW CAN WE EXPECT ETHICS IN POLITICS?
When a murderer is caught red-handed, gun in hand, victim at feet, he is called a “suspect.” Terrorists are called “insurgents” or some other term that softens the blow to keep from hurting (someone’s) feelings. Racist ‘whites’ are called racist, but racist ‘blacks’ seldom (never?) are. Again, if you need examples, you’re out-of-touch.
It may be that there’s such a fear of being sued in our litigious society that we’re afraid to tell the truth and call a liar a liar. If that’s the case, and telling the truth becomes a no-no, we’re really on the road to ruin. And if that’s the case, law is overpowering morality. Well, that’s the case. “The rule of law is the most significant issue facing our civilization…, an insidious deterioration of the principles on which this republic is built.” (Robert Bartley, Editor, The Wall Street Journal [9/19/00])
One example of the law’s abuse of the truth can be found in the JUNK SCIENCE practiced in the courtroom by academic prostitutes and pillars of the community alike. “Expert witnesses” slant the truth or outright LIE in the interests of their employers (private industry and government alike). This happens in EPA and other government hearings (personal experience), class-action suits, cases involving autos, big tobacco and big pharma, you name it. THEN HOW CAN WE EXPECT ETHICS IN THE LAW?
I’ve cited examples in Business Ethics and Ethics In Education earlier, where these terms have been often demonstrated to be oxymoronic. A lack of ethics in our society has become so rampant that LYING (a violation of truth) HAS BECOME A WAY OF LIFE, and truth is a (the) linchpin of life itself.
This massive problem can’t be solved by the courts, where many of them begin, nor can it be solved by consensus (groups are, in fact, part of the problem in many cases). It can only be approached in the same manner as counting a flock of geese—ONE GOOSE AT A TIME. But you have to want to. I do.
It comes down to you and me. There’s no collective mind that can do this for us. Approached in this way the problem becomes solvable, one goose at a time. Sure. It’ll take a while, but ACKNOWLEDGING the problem is step one; recognize it and we’re on our way. Nevertheless the burden is on you and me. I’ve accepted it as the RIGHT, GOOD and TRUE thing to do, and ExtremeEthics is dedicated to it. Come on along. One person can change the world. It’s been done before.