Is there a difference between matters of conscience and things you shouldn’t do? If there is something that would just get you in trouble but you don’t believe it’s wrong, how do you decide what to do?
The blog, Adventures in Science and Ethics, is one of the ScienceBlogs that I follow. (I love her “Friday Sprog Blogging” about her kids and the discussions about being a woman and having a family in Academia.)
There’s a conversation on morality and cheating:
A reasonable ethical decision is one that you can defend — to others, not just to yourself. You can give reasons why, of the choices available, this was the right way to go.
A course of action that you are taking pains to hide — one which you would not want to have to defend to others — is a red flag, ethically speaking.
Being able to justify a course of action to others is a more stringent requirement than being able to justify it to yourself. Folks who see themselves as living up to a high moral standard ought to keep that in mind and make sure their deeds can meet this requirement.
I was raised on the Bible, being taught to respect the authorities and to understand that a sin is a sin is a sin. However, I have a sense of “that’s not fair” when I think of putting highway speed limits on the same plane as hurting someone else or even cheating on a test.