Sunday, March 8, 2009

Absolute and relative standards

A regular debate that I have had with a few people in the recent past is... one must be honest always and should refrain from any acts that will encourage people to grow more evil. Because if you let evil grow once, it will always grow into a much bigger demon, if not curtailed early.

Two situations:
1) You are caught by a cop for jumping the signal (intentionally or unintentionally).... the cop demands a bribe instead of paying the fine. You accept to pay the fine but not the bribe. He confiscates the license tells you to come to his the police station the next day and collect the license along with the receipt. (He has not carried his receipt book)... well he too is at fault for not being fully equipped while on duty... but you have to actually go the the PS twice before he hands back the license and the receipt for the money you paid...

2) You have pitched for a contract in a company tender. You have the option of either doing your best, with your best quote or actually trying to find out how you stand vis-a-vis other quotes and ensure you get the contract... you choose the former option, now you are waiting for the results...

In both the case the arguments are that we should be truthful at all points stands, and most people in normal circumstances would agree that they would stick to the honest option...

Now take the same situation in which you have to rush a person to the hospital in your car and you have break the signal, will the above logic hold true... or if your winning the contract would decide the fate of the company and the 100 employees who are about to loose their jobs if we don't get the contract...

I know who friend who believes firmly in the same... incidentally he is also the person who claims his entire phone bill from the company, while the company policy clearly states that personal calls need to be removed from the bill before claiming the bill. His logic is that I was promised to be paid the entire bill... but later when the company realized that a lot more people are claiming bills over and above what they should have, they set limits to which a person could claim, based on his seniority.

I believe that there are no absolute standards that can be set. While some people believe that to be true, like the entire universe, everything is relative and one needs to take a decision from the point of vies of where he stands...

In the process each person will have to base his decision on the threshold that he sets for himself...

1 comment:

jerry said...

My View:
Absolute moral standards exist. The human conscience has an imprint of such standards. 2 things:
1. There is a difference between believing in absolutes and in following them. Is it possible that the person you talked abt could KNEW it was morally wrong to claim the full phone bill but STILL DOES IT, all the while congnisant that his act was worng?
Does that change the moral standard? Or does it simply mean that the person went AGAINST the moral standard?

2. If a human continues to go against his/her conscience repeatedly then the line between right n wrong has been seen to be lost over a period of time.