Explain what the metaphor of the mountain means
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Readings and questions
[a] Explain what the metaphor of the mountain means.
[b] Does the author think human nature is basically “good” (cooperative and constructive) or “bad” (uncooperative and irrationally destructive)? Do you agree?
[c] In ethical terms, what are some of the forces that can destroy a beautiful soul or character?
[d] Given the date and source of this reading, what can we conclude about the possibility that some core values are broadly shared among people in diverse cultures? How could such “core values” arise?
“I do not deny that many appear to have succeeded in a material way by cutting corners and manipulating associates, both in their professional and in their personal lives. But material success is possible in this world and far more satisfying when it comes without exploiting others. The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.”
“I cannot speak for others whose psyches I may not be able to comprehend, but, in my working life, I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealings and strict adherence to the view that for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well. Human relations–be they personal or professional–should not be zero sum games.”
“And beyond the personal sense of satisfaction, having a reputation for fair dealing is a profoundly practical virtue. We call it 'good will' in business and add it to our balance sheets.”
Do you think Greenspan is being realistic or naive about the possibility of “business ethics?” Please explain your answer.
3. Please read and think about this quotation:
“The mind is fickle and flighty, it flies after fancies and whatever it likes; it is difficult indeed to restrain. But it is a great good to control the mind; a mind self-controlled is a source of great joy.”
—Buddha's Teachings (Penguin Classics, p. 8).
4. Please read Book One of theMeditations of Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. Then write a concise statement of gratitude (400 words or less) identifying the ethical and intellectual debts you owe to family members, teachers, or friends. Fictitious names are permitted, but the statement of gratitude should be genuine.
5. What is the thesis of Joshua Wolf Shenk's article about Abraham Lincoln? Identify and discuss three of Lincoln's coping strategies (skills, habits, or ways of thinking) that helped him use depression to achieve worthy ends.
6. Please see the film Shattered Glass (Lionsgate, 2004). You should be able to find the film online here or on DVD. The DVD cost is $6. Netflix instant viewing (among other options) offers the film as well. Most college library film collections have it too. Please contact your tutor immediately if you have any difficulty finding the film.
[a] Although the film is not explicit on this point, what seems to bedriving Stephen Glass? As best as you can tell, what are his life goals and aspirations? Did he truly “know himself,” including his own strengths and weaknesses?
[b] Again, we can only hypothesize, but–before his downfall– how do you think Glass would assess his own intelligence? Is it likely he saw himself as smarter than his colleagues and editors?
[c] Identify and discuss at least two strategies for deception Glass used. Why did they ultimately fail?
[d] Did Glass leave what Alan Greenspan called “a trail of casualties” in his wake? Who/what was hurt/damaged by his deception?
[e] What advice would you give to editors about how to avoid hiring someone like Stephen Glass? What kind of pre-employment screening do you recommend?
7. Please read this decision by the Iowa Supreme Court in an attorney discipline case. Answer these four questions:
[a] Isn’t plagiarism a “victimless crime?” Why should judges care if attorneys submit plagiarized legal briefs or motions? Please explain your answer.
[b] Attorney Peter Cannon were punished by the court and by the attorney disciplinary board. Do you think these punishments (taken as a whole) were too lenient, too severe, or about right? Please explain your answer.
[c] The Iowa Supreme Court referred to another case involving attorney plagiarism (Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics & Conduct v. Lane). In that case, the punishment for attorney Lane (suspension of his license to practice) was more severe than the punishment imposed on attorney Cannon. What distinction did the court make between these two cases? Do you agree with the court’s reasoning?
[d] The state of Florida requires “personal appearances before the [disciplinary] board forpublic reprimands for disciplined lawyers” [italics added]. Do you think this kind of public shaming is too harsh? Please explain your answer.
8. Please review the assigned excerpts from An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps by Terrence Des Pres. Kindly respond to this question:
“Does Terrence Des Pres think the human moral sense is an idealistic illusion or an evolutionary survival strategy?”
Please explain your answer, agreeing or disagreeing with Des Pres' analysis. Cite at least one of the numbered paragraphs for support.
9. Psychoanalyst and anthropologist Michael Maccoby wrote a book titled “The Gamesman.” The title “Gamesman” was chosen to fit a personality who engages in a perpetual, no-holds-barred fight “to get to the top.”
Based on his research, Maccoby described the typical “gamesman” toward the end life:
“An old and tiring gamesman is a pathetic figure, especially after he has lost a few contests, and with them, his confidence. Once his youth, vigor, and even the thrill of winning are lost, he becomes depressed and goalless, questioning the purpose of his life. No longer energized by the . . . struggle and unable to dedicate himself to something he believes in beyond himself . . . he finds himself starkly alone. His attitude has kept him from deep friendship and intimacy. Nor has he sufficiently developed abilities that would strengthen the self, so that he might gain satisfaction from understanding (science) or creating (invention, art).”
Question: What values and habits are you developing now to help you avoid this kind of outcome in your life? Please explain.
AFFIRMATION: Please read the AIS academic integrity guidance. Review your answers with care. Then, just below answer 9, please type this statement:
“I do honest work. The words and ideas in these answers are mine, unless I am using and properly identifying a quotation from one of the assigned readings.”
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