Once again, we bring you a post which is part of Joseph's FLVS Journalism class requirements. This post pertains to the question, "What does it mean to be ethical?"
Being ethical, as described by the Webster’s New International Dictionary is anything, “Of or relating to moral action, motive, or character.” That, understandably, is hard to understand unless we define what morals are. Morals, as defined by the same dictionary are “Characterized by practical excellence, or springing from, or pertaining to, man’s natural sense of what is right and proper.”
An ethical and morally upright person will make the right choices. What the “right choice” is, however, is impossible to define apart from the Bible. God’s word defines sin as “lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). God’s word is the absolute authority which is “the law”. Thus, an ethical and morally upright person will follow the laws of the Bible.
In the case of the situation described in the lesson—where I observe a friend of mine sharing personal information with a stranger online— any decision made would be handled with care. As a Christian, I would handle this situation prayerfully, and I would seek the advice of my parents before making a decision. However, the steps I might take could be the following.
I would first approach my friend, and tell him that their choice to share personal information was a dangerous one and must be resolved. I would then suggest that they approach their parents regarding how to resolve the issue. If they are defiant, I would come back with another friend who could provide more insight on why it is important to talk to our parents. If this approach did not change their opinion—I would go to my parents and explain the situation. They would be able to carefully handle the situation in an appropriate manner.
The harder a decision may seem, the more important it is to successfully resolve that said issue. Insight from parents is almost always the best choice, when something may be hard to determine. For adults, parents—or respected older men and women can provide insight on life issues.
Ethics apply to everywhere in our lives. In Journalism, acting ethically can be harder than most may think. The temptation to print sensational news, pull from other stories, and act dishonestly is constantly a factor in the workplace. Doing the right thing—obeying the Bible—may be hard, but is always beneficial.
The Holy Bible
Webster’s New International Dictionary