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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Social Ethics Archives

How Do You Complain – Gracefully?

posted by hfields

So, I’m of the ethos that if you don’t like your meal, you send it back. It’s how I was raised, and I don’t have any sense of shame about that. When you pay for something, you should get your […]

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What Not To Eat On A Date (Or A Business Lunch)

posted by hfields

Today, gentle readers, I had myself the most hilarious luncheon I can recall in many a day. ‘Twas racy, ’twas raunchy… ’twas vegetarian Indian cuisine. It began innocently enough…

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I’m Still Pissed About Marriage Equality Not Passing In New York State. But Is It My Fault?

posted by hfields

Sure, I joined Facebook groups. I wrote passionately in support of it. But I’m wondering if, had I gotten more involved – joining protests, writing to my crappy, unsupportive state senators – I might have had some, perhaps miniscule, more influence on the outcome.

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Who’s Your Most Inspiring Person of 2009?

posted by hfields

Beliefnet’s got a wonderful feature this month, called Most Inspiring Person of 2009 – also known as MIPY for short. I don’t know about you, but lately, I could use some inspiration.

On Black Friday, Would You Push Other Holiday Shoppers Out Of The Way?

posted by hfields

We all know what’s just around the bend: Black Friday! Even as I write out my shopping list of Thanksgiving cooking ingredients, I know that the day after, stuffed with turkey, I’ll be eyeballing the 2009 Black Friday sales. And this year, with the recession hitting so hard, there are sure to be incredible deals for those who can lift their somnolent selves off the couch (even to get to the computer and shop online) and engage in some hardcore retail therapy.

I Support Same-Sex Marriage. Why Don’t You?

posted by hfields

I cannot imagine another ethical position to take other than supporting our fellow citizens’ right to marry. To criminalize love, to deny a portion of our society equal rights under the law, simply because of your fears, prejudices, or religious views, is despicable to me.

How To Get Out Of Jury Duty (Ethically)

posted by hfields

How is it that two days of jury duty can feel like two months in purgatory? Can sitting in a room with nothing to do but read a good book, away from the demands of one’s job, the ringing of […]

Gang Rape after Homecoming: Bystanders Snap Photos

posted by Padmini Mangunta

“I bet this is a learning incident.”  This is a quote from West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo, in regards to the gang rape that occurred on school grounds after a homecoming dance. I actually felt chilled […]

Daylight Savings Time 2009: Why Can’t We Keep It All Year Round?

posted by hfields

First off, no, it’s not today that you have to change your clocks. This year, we “Fall Back” at 2 AM on Sunday, November 1st. Secondly, I’d like to take issue with a whole society adjusting its schedule twice a year.

Rat Stuck In NYC Sidewalk Creates Quite A Moral Kerfuffle

posted by hfields

I was reading Gothamist this morning and saw what was, simultaneously, the saddest and most hilarious little ‘human’ interest piece posted last night: a rat got stuck in a crack in a New York City sidewalk and a reader snapped a photo.

Yours, Mine, And Ours: How Do We Decide How To Spend Marital Assets?

posted by hfields

Like most couples, my husband and I have limited funds. Deciding how to spend them can be a source of tension, to put it delicately. Last night, my husband and I had one of our “delicate” moments. My husband wanted to take a class at the local college. I wanted to repaint the apartment. To do either one would put off any number of other projects/pleasures we’d had in mind.

Falcon Heene: The Boy Who Cried ‘Balloon’?

posted by hfields

Questions are being raised about the Heene family. Apparently, they’re known for their showmanship, publicity seeking, and have appeared on reality shows more than once. Is Balloon Boy a hoax? Was this all a publicity stunt? Falcon Heene’s CNN comments leave one questioning.

Does Courtesy Fall By The Wayside During A Stressful Day?

posted by hfields

Short answer? For me, yes. And apparently, so does bloggery. I’d like to apologize for being light on the ethical pondering the last couple days, folks. It’s been a heckuva week at work, and I’ve been so swamped I’m literally […]

Should We Vaccinate Health Care Workers For Swine Flu Whether They Like It Or Not?

posted by hfields

Health care workers are on the front lines of the battle against H1N1 this year. So why not look at the question of whether it ought to be mandatory for them to receive swine flu vaccinations using a military metaphor?

Nice People Rock… And I Want Them To Know It!

posted by hfields

I just have to give a shout out to a woman named LuJean. I don’t know her last name, but I do know she’s the single nicest, most helpful sales lady I’ve ever run across at Macy’s.  We all know […]

My People, the People of Wal-Mart

posted by Padmini Mangunta

A few weeks ago, Hillary wrote about the website, peopleofwalmart. At the time I refrained from commenting because, well, I felt bad. I grew up in small towns around Missouri where Wal-Mart was the primary source of…everything. And while the people […]

Is There a Free Pass When People Are Just Plain Annoying?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I wish. So, I’ve been hounding my friends like crazy lately. Why? Well, lately I’ve felt fresh out of ethical dilemmas. My solution was to post a status message on Facebook and instant messenger, begging people to send any ethical […]

Judge Not… Or Not?

posted by hfields

We shouldn’t make snap decisions, right? At least, that’s the message I believe one of our commenters was trying to get across when he (or she) wrote in response to our David Letterman post, “Hero Or Creep“: Might there not […]

Karma or Racism — You Tell Me

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Yesterday was a big day for me; I moved out of New York City, my home of seven years. It was a whirlwind day–finishing up some work, packing, saying my goodbyes to good friends. Then of course there was the […]

Getting the Last Word: Petty, But So Desperately Satisfying

posted by hfields

Today in the grocery store checkout line, a regal-looking elderly woman gave me a hard time. It burned me up so much I walked out of there fuming and practically muttering to myself, rehashing the incident and thinking, boy, when […]

Not in My Backyard–but Perhaps the Woods Behind It ?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

My sense of justice vs legal ethics goes a bit askew when it comes to sex offenders. On the one hand, I believe in crime and punishment as well as rehabilitation; on the other hand, I don’t know many other […]

Earthquake, Tsunami Strike American Samoa: Will You Reach Out A Hand To Aid Those Suffering This Faraway Disaster?

posted by hfields

It’s being reported upwardsof a hundred lives may have been lost in Samoa and American Samoa, tiny South Pacific islands far, far away from most of us (assuming you’re a continental American reading this). Closer to home, floods inGeorgia recently […]

Here’s To “Justice!” Harvard Moral Philosophy Class To Appear On PBS!

posted by hfields

Fascinating news! I just read that PBS will air a series based on an edited version of a wildly popular Harvard philosophy class on ethics and morality. The class, called “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” is the brainchild […]

What-If Wednesday: When A Friend Does A Disappearing Act, Should You Seek Them Out?

posted by hfields

Ever had a friend who simply vanishes from time to time? Well, I’ve got three. Yes, three. And not just acquaintances, but dear, close friends. We’ll be gabbing on the phone, emailing, hanging out and doing girl stuff like bffs […]

Whose Life Would You Save?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I think I need to take a mental break from the race question, truly frightening schoolyard violence, health care reform, civility and the handful of other topics America is getting itself enraged over this week. So, let’s play a game.  […]

Should We Be Judged by the Bad Behavior of Our Friends?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Well, friends, I hope you’ll bear with me for some good ol’ Monday angsting. As we all know, it’s tempting to navel-gaze, but I think that my questions for you just manage to miss the self-indulgent mark (I hope?)… Some would […]

Is It Our Civic Duty To Watch President Obama’s Health Care Speech To Congress?

posted by hfields

Whether you’re for it or against it, odds are, you feel passionately about health care reform. But how many of us have even made the attempt to dive into the 1,000-odd page health care reform bill H.R. 3200 “America’s Affordable […]

The Act of Giving — Who Does It Best? Men or Women?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Three studies recently released brought a new twist to that age-old competition, man vs. woman–the question of generosity and charitable giving.The series of studies, published in the August 2009 Journal of Consumer Research, examined how men and women gave to […]

Jaycee Lee Dugard: Should We Be Nosier Neighbors?

posted by hfields

One pictures the kidnapping of young Jaycee Lee Dugard, pictures the little girl snatched from her family, and the mind simply goes blank with horror. Worse–unimaginable even–is the 18 years of slavery and sexual torture she must have endured in that […]

Remembering Ted Kennedy: Are We Doing It Right?

posted by hfields

It is seldom that we lose someone of such legendary stature as Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Though the media may try to play up every death as a Cronkite or a Mother Theresa, I honestly don’t feel the need to […]

Does Lying on Your Online Dating Profile Get an Ethical Pass?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

If there were ever an area where the little white lie came into question, it would be online dating. Oh, you’re not 6′ 2″ with abs of steel? Or petite with the body of a goddess? Whoops. And funny how […]

Can Liars Become Leaders? Disgraced Reporter Jayson Blair Is Now… A Life Coach?!?

posted by hfields

The AP is reporting disgraced ex-reporter Jayson Blair – famous for plagiarizing (and in some cases, completely fabricating) the news while a New York Times reporter back in 2003 – has a new career these days: Life Coach. Blair, who was […]

What-If Wednesday: Would You Steal Office Supplies?

posted by hfields

Studies show something like 60% of employees have stolen from the place where they work. Whether it’s something little like a box of paperclips or a Post-It pad, or something big like that awesome ergonomic chair the boss is always swiveling […]

Health Care Reform: An Ethical Issue?

posted by hfields

I’ve been hesitant to wade into any discussion of health care reform because, frankly, it feels too big for me. For a lot of Americans, I suspect. And besides, what exactly are the ethical angles to examine? Too many to […]

The Thank-You Note Attempt That Went Up in Flames — No, Really

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Please don’t call child services after you read this story. So, I’m great with saying thank-you — I’m horrendous with a thank-you note. My poor mother tried her best, but sending out thank-you notes….well, it just never took. I dislike […]

High Class Problems

posted by hfields

Ever heard the phrase, “High Class Problems”? As I understand it, it refers to those who bitch and moan about their woes, when they really have it pretty good. In other words, if you look in the dictionary, you’ll find […]

An Etiquette Roundup for the Ethical

posted by Padmini Mangunta

One of the many things I love about my friends is their unflagging enthusiasm – since I started writing for this blog, countless dinner conversations and happy hour chatter have ended with the refrain, “Hey! A new ethical dilemma perhaps??!” […]

A Dignified Opinion

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Last night I wrote a post relaying my discomfort and chagrin at what I considered to be an unethical gut reaction to the homage paid to Michael Jackson after his death. A few days earlier, Hillary referenced an article asking […]

Racism in the Workplace: What Do You Do When a Coworker Makes Off-Color Remarks?

posted by hfields

Recently, I put out a call amongst my acquaintance for their everyday ethical dilemmas. A friend brought me a great one–What do you do when someone at work is a racist? The gist of her email (which she asked me […]

The Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, Reversals and Reverse Discrimination

posted by hfields

It’s hard for someone like me, with no legal background, to understand the intricacies of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision about the New Haven, Conn. firefighters’ discrimination (or so-called  ‘reverse discrimination’) lawsuit.   Obviously, there’s more going on here than just […]

Do We Tip To BE Generous, Or To SEEM Generous?

posted by hfields

And does the intent matter? I’m settling in to do some writing at my local coffee joint, getting all prepared to talk…you know…ethics ‘n’ stuff. I make sure I buy enough (a black & white cookie and a large decaf latte) […]

Good Neighbors: Respect Privacy, or Leap In to Lend a Hand?

posted by hfields

My neighbor has OCD–a fact I just recently learned. For the longest time I believed she simply hated me, or that she thought I was a psycho, and here’s why: she wouldn’t get on the elevator with me. We’d wait […]

When Do You Tell a Friend Her Boyfriend’s a Jerk?

posted by hfields

When I say this happened to a friend and not me, I really actually mean it. My friend had a dinner party at her summer place with some old friends–two couples, plus herself and her own boyfriend. Drinks went around […]

When Does Bad Etiquette Become Immorality? On the Subway, of Course.

posted by hfields

I’m pleased to announce that Part II of our Underground Ethics “Subway Series” comes to you from our very first guest blogger: Beliefnet’s own Entertainment Editor, Dena Ross. I asked Dena to write a post for us because, well, Dena has […]

The Goode Family: Does Being Ethical Mean Being Annoying?

posted by hfields

Mike Judge’s newest animated sit-com, The Goode Family, which premiered last week on ABC, is all about the eponymous Goode family, do-gooders who are always trying to do the ‘right’ thing and be responsible. Their PC intentions lead to ridiculous scenarios […]

Dating Rules Follow-Up: When Is It OK to Stick Your Nose In?

posted by hfields

Paddy’s recent post about how to date honestly (or too honestly) got me thinking about relationships, intentions, and the perils of long-term commitment, particularly when cultural, religious, and social mores collide. Her post asks us whether ’tis better to be […]

Underground Ethics: A Subway Series. Part I: How the Emergency Gate Shames Me

posted by hfields

Welcome to Part I of our exciting new series, Underground Ethics. As the name implies, we’ll be talking about things that take place far below the day-lit realm, things dark and ugly, seamy and salacious, perhaps unholy. Yes, that’s right. […]

Controversy Over New Hugging Trend Among Teens Leads to Hug Bans in High Schools

posted by hfields

Yep, that’s right, now affection is illegal. The New York Times today reported on the new fad for hugging among teens in an article entitled For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?‘ Kids these days are embracing all over […]

The Weekend Wuss-Out–Musings On the Ethics & Responsibilities of Friendship

posted by hfields

This Memorial Day Weekend has been a long and busy one for my family. My brother’s wedding took place (yippie! Mazel Tov, guys) so I spent the last three days in a flurry of bachelorette parties, rehearsals, rehearsal dinners, and […]

Pregnant At 66…?!?

posted by hfields

I was just watching this Diane Sawyer clip (see video embedded below) on ABC News about the 66-year-old British woman, Elizabeth Adeney, now 8 months pregnant and soon to become the UK’s oldest-ever mother. She’s a successful career woman who chose […]

Keeping the Tags On That Dress–Just In Case

posted by hfields

My brother’s wedding is right around the corner, and what do you know, I’m a bridesmaid. Luckily, my fantastic sister-in-law-to-be chose a great dress for her bridesmaids (thank you!), which is very wearable and wasn’t too expensive either. Just another […]

Gotcha! Google Chat Teaches Me a Lesson

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Oh the shame! I was caught, my ugly side bared on Google chat, saved to the “Chats” history for me to re-live the disgrace for eternity. Today I fell victim to my catty side, as well as to Google chat.  […]

Oprah Apologizes to Memoirist Frey. Too Little, Too Late?

posted by hfields

I can’t believe Oprah Winfrey has apologized to author James Frey after the way she skewered him on her 2006 show for fictionalizing parts of his bestselling memoir. But that’s what Vanity Fair is reporting has happened, at least according […]

The Acupuncture Appointment From Hell–And How I Weaseled Out of Another.

posted by hfields

Today I took the coward’s way out.  Two days ago, I had an appointment with an acupuncturist–someone I hadn’t been to before. I’d been suffering from migraines, and was told the treatment might be a good holistic alternative to some […]

Sweet Revenge: Wanda Sykes vs. Rush Limbaugh

posted by Padmini Mangunta

When I first heard Wanda Sykes’ jokes about Rush Limbaugh this last weekend ( “I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight,” “I hope your kidneys […]

Swine Flu Ethics ?!?

posted by hfields

Here’s a sniffly, sneezy, gross, icky, potentially deadly (but thankfully so far mild) hot topic to talk about.  The ethics of swine flu.  Oh, excuse me, Obama administration and U.S. Pork Industry… H1N1 Influenza. Vice President Biden stirred up controversy […]

Dropping the F-Bomb–Or Not. Is it Sometimes More Ethical To Have a Dirty Mouth?

posted by hfields

I didn’t expect my first post to excite much controversy–from my friends, at least. But to my surprise, even my mother, who was in part the subject of it, had a criticism. “Nice post,” she said. “But it would have […]

Carrie Prejean–Role Model or Rogue Model?

posted by hfields

  Every day, it seems there’s another Carrie Prejean story in the news. For those who haven’t been paying attention (and I kinda wish I was one of you), she’s the Miss USA pageant contestant from California whose answer to […]

Manners or Me First? A Tale of Ethics and the Native New Yorker

posted by hfields

By way of introduction, I’d like to share a little about myself. (I’d promise not to do it again, but I undoubtedly will.) I was raised by a family who assumed I’d always instinctively understand the difference between right and […]

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Can Ethical Companies Do Business With Unethical Leaders?
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New Years Resolutions: Are We Lying to Ourselves?
I know it's become popular, but I've become suspect of using traditional goal-setting strategies and business process techniques to change personal habits and pursue a meaningful life. While I can admit that there's something invigorating--even exciting--about casting a new vision, writing that list

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Is Craigslist Who We Really Are?
Raise your hand if you're familiar with Craigslist.org.  Chances are, there's one that serves your community.  And it's extremely handy for job listings, housing, dating, selling your old crap or buying new old crap.Really, it's ingenious. But why's it also so darn discouraging?  

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