The Professor’s Name Book Reviews Example
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Stephen Carter Questions
Stephen Carter in chapter 1 of his book writes that ”the rest of what we think matters very little if we lack essential integrity”. How does he define integrity? What does he think is the opposite of integrity? What are the elements of Integrity according to Carter?
Integrity, according to Stephen Carter is a really good thing everybody talks about and everybody strives to and need more of it in all institutions and aspects of life but nobody knows what to do about it and how. Integrity as a term requires three steps: discerning what is right and what is wrong; acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong.
As for elements of integrity, Stephen Carter notes that first of all one cannot have integrity without also displaying a measure of honest. Another important element is discernment and of course a desire of its implementation in almost all issues of people’s lives. The next element is undoubtedly people’s ideology concerning what is good and bad for them.
And Stephen Carter gives the corruption, the getting away with things we know to be wrong, as the opposite of integrity.
In chapter 1 of his book, Integrity, Stephen Carter tells about one of his colleagues at the Yale Law School answering the football player problem “You don’t know if he was breaking the rules until you know what the rules are about following the rules.” Is this helpful or a lawyerly dodge of an important issue? What does Carter think? What do you think?
Carter absolutely agrees with this phrase. Because all depends on what our rules about when we follow and break the rules are. And, in my opinion, despite the fact that I am actually consider myself as addicted by this book, this thought is absolutely right and may be applied for explaining many other controversial issues.
In chapter 2 of his book, Integrity, Stephen Carter discusses the Greek play, Antigone. What is this play about and how is it relevant to our discussion of criminal justice ethics?
In play Antigone, Sophocles reveals the conflict of the society of his time – the conflict between patrimonial conventions and state laws. Moreover, this conflict is everlasting and of course takes place in criminal justice ethics as well. Because as we all know, the main idea of criminal justice is the fact that the decision made in court is absolutely right, and a convicted in case of deemed guilty gets relevant punishment. And here, supposing that the convicted is in prison through taking actions which he couldn’t avoid because of his principles or obligations. So who is right in this situation? Many people now can’t find the answer to this question.
In chapter 7 of his book, Integrity, Stephen Carter discusses what he calls the “expedient lie”. What does he mean by this and what are a couple of the examples that he gives for this? In your view what are the implications for the criminal justice system of such “expedient lies”?
Stephen Carter sets that one of the most common ways we fail to live with integrity involves the expedient lie, the one that greases the wheels and avoids problems. Expedient lie involves us in the abyss of lies. The one lie is a link but with others, it creates the chain of lies bounding people to live in daily skepticism. How can people seek for general truth in media or from politicians without even trying firstly to liquidate expedient lies inside themselves? The main problem is that people do not even consider expedient lie as a lie or something they must not use.
Whether it is the "expedient lie" on the witness stand, the football player who artfully hides the dropped pass, or the political "spin," a lack of integrity has slowly become "built into" American institutions and behavior. The same concerns the criminal justice system.
1. Evaluating actions made by sailors in Chapter 2, we cannot condemn them unequivocally. Of course, in terms of professional conduct their behavior was wrong and absurd, but all of us want to live, and in such situations questions of morality and proper behavior disappear. Everything boils down to survive. Getting in situations that threaten life, a person forgets all values, instincts for self-preservation appear. I believe that we should not punish sailors, although their actions deny the standards of ethics and code of behavior. Let’s agree you actually wondered about your own actions in such a situation.
2. The basic idea of Chapter 5 is to conceal lie still means lie. The experience of Bill Clinton and many other politicians and businessmen has no evidence of hidden large-scale manipulation of people. Talking about politics, it should be noted that sometimes hiding the truth has more negative effects than its speaking. In terms of professional ethics, Bill Clinton behaved correctly, talking nothing about incidents from his life. Each of us was in certain situations, about which we do not like to speak. Therefore, I believe that the past life, unless it contained something criminal, should not influence future position in the society.
1. All of us are people and an instinct of self-preservation is inherent for us. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. So, being in a hopeless situation, we save ourselves rather than someone else. This is understandable and there is no moral dilemma. Having relatives, friends to whom we treat with respect and love, we are responsible for them and their lives. In my opinion, in desperate situations the rules of professional ethics do not apply. The human nature is so arranged, that if we have to choose, we will save people more closed to us rather than others. But, as usual, there are some exceptions. In case of the “Afghan goatherd” story, some people, like militaries, are taught to safe others by sacrificing themselves. So, as a rule, we do not tend to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of strangers, but there are exceptions.
2. Determining the connection between Martin Casey’s story and the views of Aristotle, we can claim that the character of the issue concerning the permission to use a golf cart during tournaments was classic in its nature and related to the fairness and professional ethics. During the trials there was a problem to define the essence of golf as a game. Since golf has no objet except amusement, we cannot identify “game’s rules” as essential ones. In terms of professional ethics, only motivation and desire are important and there is no place for uniformity of the rules for all. And we have to consider such issues as honor, justice and recognition of people needed. So, if any similar issues arise, first of all we should think of ethics and justice, as Aristotle pointed.
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