The Ethical Lens Inventory is designed to help you determine which of four ethical lenses -? four primary ethical perspectives -? help you determine what to do when faced with an ethical dilemma that doesn’t have a clear answer. Your preferred ethical lens depends on your core values -? the ideals that propel you to action. Each ethical lens emphasizes underlying core values in a slightly different way. Two of the ethical lenses emphasize using rationality – critical thinking – to determine what behavior is ethical. Rights and Responsibilities Lens: You (autonomy) use your reason (rationality) to determine the universal principles ND rules by which you and others should live. * Relationship Lens: The members of the community (CEQ laity) use their collective reason (rationality) to design and implement processes to assure justice for all. Two of the ethical lenses emphasize using sensibility – our intuition and emotions – to determine what behavior is ethical. * Results Lens: You (autonomy) use your feelings and intuition (sensibility) to determine the choices that you should make to contribute to your happiness, and by extension, the happiness of all. Reputation Lens: The members of the community equality) in conversation rely on their feelings and intuition (sensibility) to agree upon the character traits that are required for virtuous living. Ethical Lens Inventory Results for JOEL FULLER * Your personal preferred lens is: * Rights and Responsibility Lens * You use your reasoning skills (rationality) to determine your duties as well as the universal rules that each person should follow (autonomy). Your Core Values: Autonomy and Rationality * You strongly value autonomy over equality.
You favor protecting the rights of individuals and are not swayed from believing that individuals should be blew to do what they believe is right even if others protest that the results are not fair for everyone in the community. * You moderately prefer rationality over sensibility. You tend to use reason to find the rules of life but your actions are tempered by sensibility, being flexible as you prudently follow your intuition and heart. Your Classical Values: Temperance * You value individual balance and restraint in the desire for pleasure as you seek to satisfy your duties.
You also know who you are, so you can act with integrity in the exercise of all the virtues. Your Key Phrase: “l am responsible. * Because you value autonomy and rationality, you tend to assume that your own definitions of what a responsible person should do apply to everyone. Your Definition of ethical behavior: Fulfilling duties * You define an ethical person as one who fulfills their duties and does the right thing as an autonomous, fully-responsible adult. For you, this is the fullest expression of fairness and justice.
Your Tools for analyzing problems: Reason * Synonymous critical thinking skills is your preferred method for learning and problem-solving. You tend to think through a problem carefully and research options to find the one that will allow you to fulfill your duties. You focus on gathering and analyzing all the available data so you can make a fully informed decision. Your Gift: Self-knowledge * Because you are concerned with figuring out your duties, when you are at your best you know yourself – you know both what you are doing and why. Because of this, when you say that you will do something or care for someone, you follow through.
You are also able to live in the present, to determine what you need to do at any given moment to fulfill your responsibilities. Your Blind spot: Belief that motive justifies method Because you are so clear about your reasons for acting, you tend to believe that the motive justifies the method. You may unintentionally cause people upset and pain because you are so focused on your good motive. You tend to believe that ethics is a set of universal rules that everyone must follow, just as you do. You follow the rules -? everyone should. Your Risk: Being autocratic (bossy) * Without self-knowledge, you run the risk of becoming autocratic.
You require everyone to do things your way in order to measure up ethically. You tend not to consider other interpretations of the facts or listen to other approaches once you have made up your mind. Your Temptation: Excuses * If you are not paying attention, you can be tempted to excuse yourself from following the rules. You insist that you really are being true to your core values, even when you are not. You’ll convince yourself that the rules were meant for other people or that the action you want to take really does meet your responsibilities – even though your “Responsible Self” tells you otherwise.
Your Vice: Becoming judgmental and legalistic * Without self-knowledge, you can become overly rigid in your expectations, leading to legalism as you obsess over minute details. You will also become judgmental and when others do not fulfill (what you believe are) their duties, you will be quick to label them as unethical. Your Crisis: Becoming exhausted * Unless you develop the practice of mindfulness and reflection, at some point you will become exhausted. No one can meet all of the obligations that your “Responsible Self” has on your to-do list. If you have few friends, it could be because you are so judgmental that you drive everyone away.
Your Seeing Clearly: Listen to your heart * TO see more clearly, check to see whether your intuition, your heart, agrees with your head. To find balance, explore the gifts of the other lenses flexibility and a concern for the whole community. Because you tend toward excessive individualism at the best of times, consider the impact of your decision on the whole community. Sometimes an individual actually benefits by restraining autonomy for the good of the community. As you consider what your duty is, remember that others may see the situation differently or need different supports to fulfill their duties.
As you learn to consider the perspectives of others in your decision making process, you will live out the est. of your ideals with compassion and care for others. Core Values I At the very highest level, all of values can be placed along two continua, the tension between valuing the individual and the group, and the tension between using reason to determine a course of action and following the lead of our intuition, our heart. Autonomy includes values such as: freedom, diligence, authority, meritocracy, self-control, duty, independence, accountability, responsibility.
Equality includes values such as: fairness, justice, equitable, propriety, evenhandedness, impartiality, unselfishness, balance, and restraint. Rationality includes values such as: loyalty, faithfulness, high principles, purity, predictability, honorability, scrupulous, uprightness, trustworthy, incorruptible, consistency, and entitlement. Sensibility includes values such as: charity, prudence, courteousness, respectfulness, moderation, temperance, benevolence, kindness, generosity, merciful, compassion, gratitude, and flexibility.
The question for each of us becomes, when we have to make a choice in a difficult situation, which value takes the priority. Do we tend to privilege – give the benefit to – autonomy or equality? Rationality or sensibility? Remember, none of the value clusters is better than another. Wisdom and discretion involves knowing which value to use in a particular situation in order to get to the best result possible. I Classical Virtues I Plato is the first philosopher who lists what has come to be known as the classical virtues. These virtues are repeated through history by other philosophers, primarily Aristotle, SST.
Thomas Aquinas, and Alasdair McIntyre. These four core virtues are said to be the foundation from which all other virtues flow. Reflecting on the four core virtues reveals that people who find their home in particular lens will tend to favor one of the four different virtues. Temperance is the quality of being moderate and self-restrained in action and speech. Those whose preferred lens is the Rights Lens will value the practice of self-control. Justice is the quality of being impartial and fair. This virtue includes the ability to balance between individual and group rights.
Those whose preferred lens is the Relationship Lens will value the practice of being fair in their dealings. Prudence is the quality of making careful decisions in every-day affairs, using caution and foresight. Those whose preferred lens is the Results Lens will alee the quality of learning to judge carefully between competing actions to get their preferred results. Fortitude is the quality Of being able to bear hardship and uncertainty with calm courage. Those whose preferred lens is the Reputation Lens will value the quality of fulfilling their role with endurance and patience.
The goal of ethical maturity is to not only develop through attention and practice the virtue that is the most natural for ones lens but also those virtues which may more difficult to develop. I Definition of Ethical Behavior I As we make choices, we have the opportunity to describe for others why a reticular course of action is the best. We also use our definition of ethical behavior to persuade others to take our preferred course Of action. Fulfilling Duties. Those whose preferred lens is the Rights Lens define being ethical by doing their duty and following the rules.
Thus, those acts which fulfill our assigned duties count as ethical actions. Being Fair. Those whose preferred lens is the Relationship Lens define being ethical by making sure that people, especially those who do not have access to power, have equal opportunities. Thus, those acts which are determined to be “fair” count as ethical actions. Making people happy. Those whose preferred lens is the Results Lens define being ethical by making people happy and finding “win-win” solutions that respect everyone. Thus, those acts which increase the overall happiness for the most people will count as ethical actions.
Making choices that show good character. Those whose preferred lens is the Reputation Lens define being ethical as making hard choices with courage and wisdom. Thus, those acts which show leaders making virtuous choices under pressure will count as ethical actions. Many times ethical conflicts arise because acts that one person defines as Ewing “ethical” does not count as an ethical act, and in fact may be defined by a person in another ethical lens as being unethical. One way to build consensus is to give a reason for acting that meets the requirements for ethical actors by others in the decision process.
I Tools for analyzing problems I Belief systems are formed from four sources – that also reflect our preferred way of learning and analyzing ethical dilemmas. Reason: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens tend to learn through reason. Individuals (autonomy) are taught how to critically read texts, valuate data and critique authorities (rationality) to find the truth – the right answers. Authority: People who favor the Relationship Lens tend to learn through reading the authorities and adopting their beliefs.
After the ideas are vetted by a knowledgeable community (equality), we use our reason (rationality) to determine which authorities we find persuasive and will follow. Experience: People who favor the Results Lens put their hands in the fire to makes sure that it is really hot. They have to experience the event themselves (autonomy) and then they determine what is truth (sensibility). Tradition: People who favor the Reputation Lens tend to learn from people they respect (sensibility), role models and mentors. To be a role model, one must be recognized in the community (equality) as a respected leader.
Which tool is your favorite? While using your preferred method of determining solutions to problems is useful, learning to analyze problems with different strategies can help you become a more sophisticated decision maker. I Gift of the Lens Those who operate from each of the four lenses bring a gift to the decision making process. These gifts keep people from over-reaching in difficult tuitions and bring important perspectives as the best decision is sought. Self-Knowledge: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens ruthlessly examine their own conscience to make sure that they are fulfilling their duties.
Thus, ethically mature people whose home is this lens know themselves very well… And demand the same of others. Justice: people who favor the Relationship Lens tend ruthlessly ferret out injustice on both the individual and the systemic level. Thus, ethically mature people whose home is this lens will be relentless champions for those who have neither power nor voice. Free Will: People who favor the Results Lens know the value of individual choice and accountability. Thus, ethically mature people whose home is this lens will both claim the right to choose for themselves how best to live and also give every other person the same choice.
Compassion: People who favor the Reputation Lens care for all of the members Of the community. Thus, ethically mature people whose home is this lens will be able to act with compassion toward all people. Which gift is yours? We can practice developing our gifts to become more ethically mature. We can also work on developing those gifts that are not our trial preferences so we can move from taking care of ourselves to assuring that we champion ethical systems. I Blind Spot I If everyone works to be ethical, what is the source of unethical action?
In addition to differences in definition of what counts as ethical action, each of us can develop a blind spot that keeps us from noticing that we are about to do something unethical. Motive justifies method: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens become so enamored with assuring the motive is good that they don’t notice that the method they choose to enforce the rules can be harsh and the results undesirable. Overconfidence in process: people who favor the Relationship Lens believe that if the process is followed, a good result follows.
However, if the assumptions are wrong or not all constituents are at the table, a good process can get a bad result. Satisfaction with too little good: People who favor the Results Lens can settle for too little good as they cut corners to bring a decision to conclusion. Sliding into expedience is tempting in order to get to desired results. Unrealistic role expectations: People who favor the Reputation Lens can believe that they can solve all the problems by themselves and set themselves p for failure.
Leaders may tend to rely only on their own evaluation and not consult others. Knowing our blind spot can help us avoid the problems associated with our preferred lens. Also, checking our decision against the gifts and virtues of the other lenses helps us see more clearly. I Risk I Because we believe that we are ethical, we run the risk of believing we are better than we are. The classical term for this risk is hubris -? overreaching because of pride and arrogance. While we develop the gifts, we have to avoid hubris.
Being autocratic: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens become so Lear that they are doing their duties that they believe that they know exactly what needs to be done and they demand that everyone follow their definition of “duty. ” Being authoritarian: People who favor the Relationship Lens have thought carefully about the process, and so they can abuse power as they impose their will on others. Reducing everything to cost-benefit analysis: People who favor the Results Lens can reduce all decisions to a cost-benefit analysis while assuring at the same time that their own goals are reached.
Actually letting everyone choose what they prefer can be cumbersome, so some are tempted to cut corners to et the job done. Self-righteousness: People who favor the Reputation Lens can believe that they are better than they really are. This characteristic means that they are susceptible to insincere flattery and they don’t listen to constructive critique. To minimize the risk of hubris, many find someone they trust to tell them when they are running the risk of making a bad decision. Being someone’s conscience is a sacred trust that is not to be assumed lightly.
I Temptation I Once we succumb to the risk Of unethical action, we have to justify our actions. Each of the lenses takes a slightly different twist on a classic problem: elf-justification in the face of unethical action. Excuses: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens know their duties. Thus, when they don’t fulfill their obligations, they have a litany of excuses about why they didn’t really have to do what they were supposed to do. Being authoritarian: people who favor the Relationship Lens know that they have to follow processes to assure justice.
Thus, when they want privileges, they exempt themselves from the processes that safe-guard of justice. Expedience: People who favor the Results Lens can find themselves basing their actions on what is politic or advantageous rather than what is right or just. Thus, to get their own way, they settle for expedience rather than seeking excellence. Entitlement: People who favor the Reputation Lens can start believing that they as a person are entitled to the benefits of leadership rather than the benefits going with the role.
Thus, people in this lens may persuade themselves that they have rights inconsistent with good character. Again, trusted friends can help us notice when we are tempted. While being held accountable is not fun, having either friends or systems that can help us avoid temptation is critical if we are to be ethically mature. Vice I The opposite of a virtue is a vice -? a characteristic that is flawed or corrupted. Some definitions include terms like “evil” or ‘Wicked. ” As actions are individual, each of us has to pay attention to not develop vices but rather to cultivate virtue.
Judgmental and legalistic: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens know their duties and expect everyone else to as well. Thus, when someone’s life is not going well, people in this lens become judgmental and assume that individuals are responsible for their own plight. Ambitious Elitist: People who favor the Relationship Lens know that they have o follow processes to assure justice but may let their personal ambition override their passion for justice. Greedy: People who favor the Results Lens can find themselves taking as many goodies as they can without getting caught.
The desire to consume more than needed and accumulate status symbols may get in the way of exercising free will responsibly. Hardness of Heart: People who favor the Reputation Lens can start become consumed with the group and then forget the needs of individuals. Without compassion, people in this lens can run roughshod over people without a voice. Again, trusted friends can help us notice when we exercising our vices rather than virtues. While being held accountable is not fun, having either friends or systems that can help us not slide into vice is critical if we are to be ethically mature. Risks I Unless we are mindful and work on becoming ever more ethically mature, we will create a crisis in our lives where we have to take stock of ourselves and our ethics. If we are lucky, we will handle the crisis without public embarrassment or having to wear an orange jumpsuit, the uniform dress for prison. Again, each lens has a different form Of crisis. Becoming Exhausted: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens can get so busy fulfilling their duties that they forget to ask for help or to prune their to-do list.
Faced with exhaustion, people can take some time to reflect on what their obligations really are. Isolation and guilt: People who favor the Relationship Lens know all the places that injustice can be found. Trying to right all of the wrongs can lead to guilt and isolation from those who advise them to just lighten up. Failure: People who favor the Results Lens can find themselves falling short Of their goals and failing. This failure can require rethinking what goals are important or taking stock of moral failings that led to failure.
Confusion: People who favor the Reputation Lens can lose their center as they work to be all things to all people or if the role with which they have identified goes away. Remembering that we are not our roles is key to clarity rather than confusion. These periodic crises appear to be necessary for personal and professional growth. Whether our image is a butterfly pushing through the chrysalis or a child coming from the womb to breathe air for the first time, all growth requires seeing what is no longer needed and taking on new beliefs and behaviors.
I Seeing Clearly I Because every lens provides a perspective, to see clearly one must use the vantage points of the other lenses to get a balanced view. Like learning to use any new tool, learning to “see” through other “lenses” requires practice and persistence. However, being able to access multiple frames of reference makes the work well worth the energy. Listen to your heart: People who favor the Rights/Responsibility Lens can get so focused on reason that they forget to check their intuition, their heart, and they forget to remember the needs of the community as a whole.
Listen to your heart: People who favor the Relationship Lens can get so focused on reason that they forget to check their intuition, their heart, and they forget to remember the needs of individuals. Use your head: People who favor the Results Lens can get so focused on being happy that they forget to check the facts and don’t temper their passion for individual freedoms with the needs of the community. Use your head: People who favor the Reputation Lens can get so focused on their roles and making everyone happy that they forget to check the facts and don’t temper their passion for needs of the community with a concern for individuals.