Stephen Carter The Rules Analysis

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Any intelligent person today will legitimately question the morality and ethics of the United States. Whereas morals refer to either an individual 's or a society 's beliefs of what is right and what is wrong, ethics refers to whether the actions of an individual or society is right or wrong. While morals and ethics have a strong connection with each other, they are not interchangeable. Those with integrity act based on their belief, whether or not that is just or unjust. While most Americans will claim that they always prioritize ethical actions based on their morals above all, the reality is society acts quite differently. There are numerous factors and influences toward this trend that deter people from voluntarily choosing to do what…show more content…
Society fills young generations with the ambition of the American dream, which guarantees that hard work alone grants success and security. When reality falls short of this ideal, people are more likely to take measures they would not normally have taken. In his chapter, "The Rules about the Rules", Stephen Carter points out that Americans "care far more about winning than about playing by the rules" (180). By focusing solely on the desired goal, moral integrity is placed secondary to success. As a result, people are willing to justify unethical means of advancing themselves if they will significantly benefit. With this in mind, Carter defines "corruption" as "getting away with things we know to be wrong" (188). Getting away with immoral acts, regardless of scale, will reinforce an individual 's unethical behavior. In effect, the morality rooted in these individuals are weakened, leading them to justify frequent or larger unethical behavior. In his article, "A Whole Lot of Cheatin ' Going On", Mark Clayton blames easy access to the internet as a contributing factor in the rise of students cheating in college (208). As more unethical opportunities to advance oneself arise, more people are going to resort to them. This is not due out of a desire of being immoral, but rather choosing the path most convenient to them. The pressure society places on success in America provokes people to abandon…show more content…
People do not hold the same moral standards toward nonhumans as they do toward other people. Therefore, unethical actions toward nonhumans are justifiable. In his essay, "Crimes against Humanity", Ward Churchill describes the conditioning of the public 's view of Native Indians as grotesque and menacing with numerous novels, leading to the eradication of Native Indians not too differently than the Jewish in Nazi Germany (540). By creating a single story of a group of people as a stereotype, their humanity is stripped away. Thus, they become nonhuman objects which are justifiable to treat unethically. In fact, Churchill points out: "...dehumanization had made it possible--or at least easier--for average Germans to later indulge in the outright liquidation of Jewish 'vermin '" (539). American culture has promoted a nearly identical agenda involving dehumanizing a minority group in order to defend the unethical treatment of them. Accordingly, people are much more willing to protect themselves over someone or something below them, because it is less personal than another person. As an illustration, Callahan captures the philosophy of lawyers who overbill their clients: " 'You 're part of a sea of lawyers, you have no contact with anyone related to the client,...[there 's] no accountability at all for it in that situation '" (132). As clients are stripped into mere case numbers, the
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