Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Jared Dale Combista1
Ethics and Morals in the Workplace
Doctors who do abortions. Lawyers who defend the guilty. Executives who lie and cheat just to raise company revenues. Sound familiar to you? But of course—relativism within the working environment has seemingly took hold even professions which can be considered most noble. As a fresh graduate who would soon be part of the corporate environment as a “yuppie” or young urban professional, I am very much aware of that.
In the working environment, it seems as if the faith had already gone to the dogs. There are many of those who profess the Christian creed, yet they do not practice what is moral and do not abhor what is frowned upon. The level of understanding of such Christians aren’t really at par with what Christ commissioned for us to do—to live out our faith, with positive moral values, even in the workplace.
Do morals actually have a significant place in the working environment? Well, we are all aware that it has. Since the 60s, sexual harassment within offices had been condemned as something which is immoral and unethical. The concept of keeping the ecosystem up to notch had also been taken into consideration since.
While I may appear to be too idealistic, the fact is, not all professionals actually observe a rigid code of ethics when it comes to their work. Oftentimes, they get caught up between being effective and being ethical. People seem to get confused over a fine line which had been drawn between the two.
What if a doctor were to lose face when refusing to abort an infant due to his pro-life views? What of a lawyer who refuses to defend a hardened criminal due to his Christian view on justice? Can a businessman invest in a corporation which sells condoms and artificial birth control products? What if he won’t—and he loses the opportunity to make money?
Tough choices people have to make often involve altruism or ethics against self-interested behavior. I believe our human nature would most likely choose the latter, and we cannot deny that this is a fact. We aren’t saints, to say the least, who would surrender all we have for the sake of others—even at the expense of sacrificing our very wants and needs.
But think about it! Aren’t we also aware that we are sinning in the process? More importantly, aren’t doctors who abort aware that they are killing the unborn? Aren’t lawyers who speak for criminals aware that they’re defending someone who did someone else wrong, which in the process would endanger others? What about corporate greed? Might it be considered that the thing about that entails the effect of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, as the old cliché goes?
Career paths have to be infused with orthodox Christian ethics, no matter where in the world we might be.
The philosopher Ayn Rand held that the purpose of one’s life is obtaining one’s happiness by pursuing it. Rand never thought anything else mattered—not even the value of self-sacrifice. Being a staunch advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, she believed in man’s self-interested behavior, and how it can make things run.
In the social context, one cannot be sure as to say so. The mere concept alone of not claiming responsibility of what would happen to others is quite absurd to the average human being. Breaking from Christian moral values in favor of one’s self-interest would greatly have a negative effect on society.
Seemingly degrading, these Christian moral values in the corporate world are often shunned in favor of what Ayn Rand had been advocating. The pleasures and pursuits of man would make one forget his or her responsibilities to others—including God, by doing what is moral and ethical.
There are many, however, who also apply positive moral values at work. This is an affirming sign signifying that the faith has not totally gone to the dogs in the workplace. I know a lot of these people, and you’d have to admire them for keeping the creed.
Remember that it is very important to pursue sanctification, even in everyday work, where we find it hard to listen to God. This sanctification is what allows us to live out our faith even in secular communities where our beliefs can be shaken—and this includes the work environment.
And speaking as a fresh graduate, it is important to live out the faith and maintain love when finally landing a job, and when pursuing dreams in the near future. The responsibility of man regarding his faith does not only lie within a man’s religious practices, but also within where a man works, where his religion can greatly influence even those tainted by the most malignant..
Think I’m speaking crazy here? Well, perhaps I am, but one can dream…and one may always pray.