The Problem: The Case of Tracking the Terrorists
A bill has just been introduced in the Legislature, with wide bi-partisan support, that would create a database for creating a “network” of information by which to track non-documented workers and potential terrorists. The information that would be accessed includes information from driver’s licenses, and requests for government services. In addition, the legislation would require all manufacturers of software to embed a code in their product which would allow tracking of internet use as well as sales on the computer. No notice would be given to the consumer other than the general notice that the measure has become law. Please complete each section of this worksheet. Some people find that writing the answers out on another page and then “cutting and pasting” them into the worksheet lets you think through the problem better. If you only have time to do part of this worksheet, click the “save work” button at the bottom of this page. At any later time, you can then return to this worksheet and continue.
PART 1: Be Attentive: Set the Context
1. Ethical Actor The first step is to identify the ethical actor. In a sentence identify the ethical actor for this problem.
2. Stakeholders The next step is to identify the stakeholders. List the other stakeholders for this problem.
3. Assumptions In two or three bullet points, identify any assumptions you are making about the problem.
Be Intelligent: Identify the Issue and the Values in Tension
1. Issue In one sentence, identify the issue for this problem.
2. Values in Tension In three or four bullet points, identify the values in tension.
Be Reasonable: Explore the Options
1. Components of the Practice Choose three options to analyze. You will analyze multiple options to help ensure that you choose a reasonable option to implement. After brainstorming with the leadership team, you have identified four options:
1. Remain silent.
2. Lobby against the bill.
3. Lobby for the bill.
4. Provide information and let your employees choose whether or not to lobby.
In this step, identify the components of the practice as defined by the ethical agent.
Please consider four elements:
(1) standards of excellence;
(2) rules that must be followed;
(3) internal goods achieved; and
(4) external goods achieved.
2. Expectations of the Community
Now — what are the expectations of the community, the stake-holders, for a person who is excellent in this practice? Any option which does not meet the basic competencies is by definition an unethical option.
3. Core Virtues Next, considering your options, which one best meets the requirements of the core virtues: integrity, courage, justice, and civility?
4. Unity of Life Now, reflecting on the options, which one best meets the ethical actor’s requirements for unity of life? Which one best exemplifies the standards of a life as a whole.
5. Core Commitments Finally, consider which option is most consistent with the ethical actor’s core commitments. Which option has the potential to energize and transform both the ethical actor and the community?
PART 4. Be Responsible
1. Choose an Option Select one option to implement within your Division: Remain silent. Lobby against the bill. Lobby for the bill. Provide information and let your employees choose whether or not to lobby.
2. Explain Your Decision Using the guidelines for how to write a memo, write a memo to be shared with the rest of the leadership team which explains your decision
PART 5: Return to Awareness
1. Reflection for Networking Write a reflection which discusses whether or not the ethical analysis made sense. In this reflection, also indicate how you have corrected for personal bias, attended to the common good, and acted with courage.
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