Competing, cooperating and morality LO18227

Simon Buckingham (
Sun, 31 May 1998 10:52:20 +0100

Replying to LO18205 --

Richard Holloway listed six principles:
> Principle of Honesty (do not deceive)
> Principle of Harm (do not harm others)
> Principle of Fidelity (keep promises and act faithfully)
> Principle of Autonomy (permit and encourage others to act rationally)
> Principle of Confidentiality (keep information in proper circles)
> Principle of Lawfulness (do not violate the law)

This list caught my attention and stimulated a few thoughts:

Honesty and Fidelity are two sides of the same coin- fidelity is just
partnership honesty, whereas honesty can incorporate being honest to self.

Harming others is not wrong if they deserve it- it depends on the
circumstances- it is for example not wrong to harm Suharto of Indonesia
given that he has harmed so many others.

Autonomy is a bit like independence- a highly desirable goal. But acting
rationally is not always the optimal behavioral mode- there is nothing
wong with acting irrationally as long as it is a conscious decision.
Sometimes I act irrationally deliberately to stimulate alternative
thoughts in nmy clients and get them thinking "out of the box".

Confidentiality is important.

Lawfulness. Again, there is nothing wrong with violating laws if the laws
are stupid. There are many laws that have proven to be unenforceable
because they have been ignored by so many. Just because it is an official
law from institutions does not make it right.

As such, I have a few problems with this list- I did not see the original
post and cannot say what it was intended to achieve. Eveything depends on
the circumstances- meeting these principles is sometimes good and
sometimes bad- there is just some element of adventure and mischieveness
missing from the list.

As someone once rightly said: "May I behave with honesty, act with courage
and achieve humility".

regards sincerely simon buckingham, unorganization: towards a world
without force

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