An app for that?

Published: October 30, 2009

By Jim Lichtman
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According to TV ads currently running for Apple, there are some 85,000 applications – apps – available for the I-Phone3GS.

Many, not all, are free.  Among those downloaded to my phone:  NY TimesWall Street JournalAssociated PressCNN, and Confucius; all, handy references that I check throughout the day or week.  However, among the tip calculators, restaurant ratings and quick reference Wikipedia programs, I couldn’t find a concise, practical app for making ethical choices.

Then I remembered something.

The first talk I gave back in 1995 was entitled, Values, Ethics and the Lone Ranger.  At some of those conferences, I would supply a handout distilling the key points from the talk.  The page also contained a list of ethical values along with a three-step decision-making model adapted from the Josephson Institute.  For purposes of this commentary, let’s call it theLone Ranger’s (TM) Code app:

The Lone Ranger is Honest, truthful, sincere, straightforward, non-deceptive.

The Lone Ranger is Fair, open-minded, committed to the equitable treatment of all.

The Lone Ranger is Caring, kind, considerate, generous and compassionate toward others.

The Lone Ranger is Respectful, civil, decent, polite, courteous, and respects others privacy.

The Lone Ranger is Loyal, reliable, trustworthy, faithful to commitments, obligations, promises and principles.

The Lone Ranger is Tolerant, accepts differences and does not judge people harshly just because they are different.

The Lone Ranger does his Duty, is responsible and accountable for his actions.  It means earnest thought before action, the pursute of excellence in doing one’s job.

The Lone Ranger is Morally Courageous. He demonstrates the inner strength necessary to overcome obstacles or compelling forces to do what should be done, no matter the personal consequences.

What Would the Lone Ranger Do?
(Character-Based Decision Making*)

1.  The Lone Ranger considers the interests and well being of all likely to be affected by his actions.

2.  The Lone Ranger makes decisions characterized by his core ethical values of honesty, fairness, caring, respect, loyalty, tolerance, duty and the moral courage to do what needs to be done.

3.  If it is clearly necessary to choose one ethical value over another, the Lone Ranger will do the thing that he sincerely believes to be best for society in the long run.

*adapted and used with permission from the Josephson Institute.

(TM & copyright 2009 Classic Media, a division of Random House. All rights reserved.)


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