We have always had people of conscience. We have always had people of action. What does it take for a person of conscience to turn into one of action?
When does preserving your own integrity demand that you stand up against something you believe is wrong? Most people know that the majority of whistle blowers have their personal lives destroyed. For every person who refuses to be silent, how many others are there who quietly carry their knowledge of corporate wrongdoing, while following company policies that are morally repugnant? Should the defense that failed in Nuremberg be acceptable on Main Street USA? When is the cost of integrity too much to bear?
Suppose you work for an insurance company processing claims, and you are instructed by your boss to shred a percentage of all first-time claims? He tells you, “If they really deserve to be paid they’ll resubmit the claim.”
Suppose you are a bank employee and you are told to accept a large cash deposit without notifying the government?
Perhaps you work for a power plant and they scrub their anti-pollution equipment at night so that no one will notice they are discharging the pollutants back into the atmosphere?
What if you work for a company servicing mortgages and when a mortgagee makes an extra principal payment it is the organization’s policy to treat the money as an advance mortgage payment (which would include an interest charge)? You ask your boss and he says, “if the amount is less than two or three mortgage payments most people won’t question the interest.”
What if your company conducted phony telephone polls that asked people to comment on their reaction to a hypothetical such as, “Would your vote be affected if you knew that Sen. XYZ had a mistress?”(Paid for by the opposing party, of course, and with no basis in fact.)
But what if the stakes were greater than your job? Imagine that you are a German in the late 1930s with a government job and six children.
Members may want to share personal experiences, discuss the difference between Legality and Morality, comment on the moral conundrum posed by specific issues, or commiserate about our common human weaknesses when faced with such a dilemma. Or...
Make suggestions for topics at future meetups.