Actions and consequences

13 Oct

I’m reading the literature on ethics and professionalism. This is often highly abstract so I find the need of examples to explain it. Events of the last few days illustrate when you should speak up, and when you should shut up.

After Saturday, England football captain David Beckham was widely condemned for collecting an unnecessary booking that would lead to a suspension. For this action he was castigated as stupid.

So he spoke up and admitted that the act had been a ‘professional foul’ committed so his suspension would be served while he was out injured. Clever Beckham.

Now he’s being castigated even more widely for this admission (which ‘brings the game into disrepute’). So is it more ethical to act badly and keep quiet, or to be honest and open about your motives whatever the consequences? Can you ever be truthful while witholding incriminating information?

There’s more on this at Mark Borkowski’s blog.

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