Human being is the most intricate creature in this world. Right from the time that he is a baby, he tries to do as he pleases; when asked not to do so he gets intrigued and eventually does it any ways. In such instances the child is scolded while in certain severe cases punishment ensues, which most certainly intimidates the child and prevents him from repeating such a behavior. But does the reproof eliminate the desire to do it again? Does the punishment transform the nature of that child from a brat to an angel? A rule may restrict the child but may not reform him. The criminal who is tried by law may be fined, or imprisoned or punished but all of these attempts neither ameliorate the individuals nor the society, as depicted by the recurrence of offences by the same offender as well as many others.
(Laws restrict but not eradicate wrongdoings, edited by apayapaanify1 at essayforum.com)
It is time we break loose from looking for that nameless thing we call society as the perpetrator of all ills and admit that society is made up of individuals. One by one, we make decisions for good or for ill. Those decisions have consequences. Since it is human nature to seek out those with whom we are most comfortable, in that sense the group does become a perpetrator of whatever ill it conceives and practices collectively. But responsibility still begins and ends with the individual.
(Pratt: Individual, not society, responsible for wrongdoing by Beth Pratt at lubbockonline.com)
At the individual level, the powerful self-seeking motivations are for money, power, material possessions, social standing, sex, honors, esteem and emoluments, aesthetic refinements, recreational pleasures and ego gratification. The first listed motivator of money can contribute significantly to the procuring of the other desired objects. Much of the motivation at a larger unit level, such as a corporation, is a collective expression of the motivations of the individuals involved to obtain money and other objects of their desires. Lying, cheating, stealing, defrauding, misrepresentation, concealment, breach of fiduciary obligations, bribery, blackmail, harassment, and lack of proper regard for the interests of others, have enormous potential for individuals and larger units such as corporations to obtain money. This is done, however, to the detriment of other individuals and other units in the society.
(Is U.S. Society Serious about Business Ethics? by Robert Shattuck, Jr. at spectacle.org)
Cheating, lying, conning, swindling, finagling, etc.—it’s all startlingly commonplace in today’s society. People know devious actions they commit are immoral, yet illegal and illicit transgressions are still committed by seemingly normal law abiding citizens time and time again. Whether it’s stealing, driving under the influence, beating up a bum or ingesting copious amounts of illegal drugs, people are breaking the law with frequency and ease. It’s no doubt there have always been scallywags, deprecating all over the moral fabric of society, but we are starting to notice that an astonishing amount of orderly people commit crimes without thinking twice. Why is it that while we sense the majority of humans are good natured people, who try to treat others the way they would like to be treated, almost everyone possesses the uncanny ability to flippantly ignore mandated laws and act as contemptuous as possible? It’s a complicated question and one that holds no clear answer.
(Roots of wrongdoing inside all of us by Justin Gillett at xpress.sfsu.edu) Basically, you can either believe this or believe that people are born inherently evil and destined to do crime, and that they do it for no reason at all. It’s never society's fault after all; the banker who forecloses on your house to pay off the debts he inflicted on his company, the politician who put in place laws which prevent a felon from getting a job, then expect them to survive on air when they cancel benefits; no, it is the man and the man alone who is to blame. The old 'man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family' idea; why? He’s a dirty criminal and should have got a job.
Every major company contains a good number of ethical, honest employees. When major misdeeds occur, therefore, there are often ethical employees who know about the misdeeds. Unfortunately, these employees do not always speak up. Why do otherwise honest employees hesitate to blow the whistle on corporate wrongdoing? Here are a few reasons:
1. Self-interest: Even though an employee might believe that blowing the whistle is the right thing to do, doing so almost always imposes a potential financial cost on the employee. If the scandal at issue is significant, it might cause the company to go out of business, thereby ending the employee's employment. Even if the scandal is minor, it might cost the employee his/her job and make it difficult to find work elsewhere. An employee who is supporting a family might believe that doing so is more important than blowing the whistle on a corporate scandal.
2. Fear of disbelief: In the news, we often hear about whistle blowers who have been vindicated by subsequent investigations. It is possible, though, for someone to blow the whistle and subsequently discredited. How frustrating and embarrassing would it be to publicly disclose your employer's wrongdoings only to find that the media, the courts, and your friends believe you are lying? That is a real risk for whistle blowers.
3. Diffuse responsibility: Potential whistle blowers sometimes make partial attempts at revealing corporate wrongdoing. For example, an ethical employee who knows about a potential corporate scandal might discuss his/her concerns with his supervisor, the company's ethical officer, or others within the corporation. After disclosing the problem to these parties, the employee might feel his/her ethical duties have been fulfilled, even though these parties fail to act on the information.
(What Factors Discourage Whistle Blowers from Exposing Corporate Wrongdoing? by William Tapscott, Yahoo! Contributor Network at associatedcontent.com)
Indiscipline has assumed alarming proportion in our society today that negativism is celebrated rather than abhorred to the extent that when one tries to correct wrongdoing, there is the tendency for them to be condemned than praised. Do attempt in a public transport, for instance, to challenge a reckless driver to drive responsibly and you will be shock to the marrow the sorts of insult the rest of the passengers will yell at you for committing no crime either than your quest to save lives. We are unnecessarily sympathetic and do not want to subject people to disciplinary action. Yet, we are quick to pinpoint accusing fingers at others (often political leadership) for being responsible for our woes. We are not responsible for any wrongdoing as ordinary citizens. As if we appear to forget that it is we who become or make (elect) political leaders. Are we sure we can shun all that we condemn others about if we are in their position? Shall we wait to get there before we change? Definitely not, because it would have been too late as the old adage has it: “you cannot bend a dry stick without breaking it”. Therefore, the right time to change our negative attitudes is now or never.
(S. A. Achanso, UK. at news.myjoyonline.com)
It is truly said that even a holy man cannot live in peace without satisfying his wicked neighbors. It is therefore not a question whether one wants to live in peace; the more important question is whether the wicked will tolerate it. To bring tolerance among the neighbors so that you can live in peace, they demand that you please them. It is natural with them to be jealous of things which you enjoy but which they could not hope to have. Although in theory it sounds good to preach "live and let live" and "treat thy neighbor as thyself" in actual practice it is seldom followed. One thing is clear: that anyone seeking peace, freedom and happiness, must select a suitable neighborhood.
For a society or a country to be well governed, a certain discipline and self-control become necessary. Allowing each to live as he likes is sure to lead to chaos as the interests of individuals are likely to conflict. What will follow is violence and untruth. Suffering has been the lot of mankind even after centuries of civilization and culture, and it speaks ill of the society and the world that did not benefit from these.
Have we ever thought why our civilization and culture with all their promises and traditions of religion, science, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics and what else there is - have so far failed to give a positive shape to a normal human society where everyone can live in peace, can enjoy happiness and be free? We hardly realize that this is due to the bane of permissive society which is not the product of today as some think but an evil that made inroads, though in small measure, right from the beginning of our civilization and culture. For example, the divine rights of royalty and the mighty and main of privileged class have scant respect for self-control and discipline. Their behavior pattern was governed by their attitude which held self-control in contempt and discipline as a basement.
In permissive society, exceptions become the rule and the rules remain as mere exceptions. So whatever principles, commandments, rules, etc. were formulated by religion, ethics, sociology, economics, law, etc. have remained operative only for those who respect and obey them. Others who defied the structure and authority behaved cynically. After much deliberation on the issues of right and wrong, a framework of rules, customs and commandments happens to be projected - and do we not find them uniformly good everywhere? - But these, however, fail to be imperative. Exceptions enjoyed by might by a few become an eyesore to all others and the latter in their turn take every opportunity to perpetrate the same on the sly. When the majority becomes involved in the act which is wrong socially and legally, there is very little left to be done but to look the other way. This permissiveness is the Magna Carta for the vegetative society which is self-centered and opposed to conventions, discipline, rules and commandments of any kind. Their interest lies in self-satisfaction at every opportunity and by every means possible. There is no directive except sensate pleasure though it may be temporary and consequently harmful even to them.
Members of the permissive society believe that the world is made for them and that there is none to question their acts. Neighbors mean nothing to them where their own self-interest is concerned. If they are afraid to act individually, they take recourse to forming groups and gangs and there are a very few who could challenge them. Goodness being in the minority, the lone good man concerned with his own struggle in life finds it easier to ignore permissive acts even when done in his presence. It is the misfortune of the modern age that, except for a few, almost all are involved in one way or another in supporting permissiveness in society. Living thus in glass houses of their own, none is able to throw a stone at the wicked.
(Permissiveness: Root cause of Society today by Vishwas Purohit at buzzle.com)