Friday, October 14, 2011

Code of Conduct

I am unethical.  I have no ethics at all.  If I ever see an ethic, you know I won’t have it.  I’ll just walk up to that there ethic and say “Ha!  I see you and I will not have you!

Um.  Hang on a second.  I have to look up the definition of a word.  Huh.  Okay, that works.
Okay, maybe my understanding of what an "ethic" was might have been a bit off.
Yes!  I am unethical!  I do not conform to any approved standards of social or professional behavior.  And I am PROUD of it.  Well, not so much proud as…  Shoot, what’s the word for it?  Oh!  Right.  Ashamed.”
What do you know?  These things ARE useful!
I think the problem is that I’ve never seen a code of conduct, an oath, or set of ethics that I could really get behind.  So, I started to look for one to adopt as my own.

First, I checked out the most famous oath of all, the Hippocratic Oath.  I always liked the “First, do no harm part.”  But, you know what?  That’s not even in the Hippocratic Oath?  And if I follow it, I have to let my professors from college live in my home!  Can you imagine some old Beloit Literature professor hanging around my house, smoking cigars and writing lists of how kidsthese days don’t know how hard life was when I was a kid?  It’d be like having another me, but less sexy.  And another thing, the Hippocratic Oath forbids doing surgery.  How do you respect an oath that you have to immediately break when you start your job?
Because nothing says health like poisonous snakes on a stick.  Mmmm.  Poisonous snakes on a stick...
Next, I went to the Code of Conduct of the U.S. Fighting Force.  I liked the “never surrender your free will” part, although I didn’t really know what that meant.  As it turns out, I was just reading too fast.  The actual line is “Never surrender of your free will.”  It also turns out that the entire oath is about surrendering and what you do if you do surrender, or your subordinates surrender, or your superior surrenders, and so on.  Frankly, it’s a little dull.  I wanted an oath with pizzaz.
Because our fighting forces are always ethical.

So, I looked at the most famous fake oath of all, the oath of the Green Lantern Corps.

In brightest day, in blackest night,

No evil shall escape my sight

Let those who worship evil's might,

Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!

The problem with this oath is that it’s kinda vague.  There’s four lines but only one of those lines actually orders me to do something: to make sure I see all evil.  What is that all about?  I have to look at evil but I don’t have to do anything about it?  Sheesh. STUpid!
"I'm looking at YOU, evil!  That's right.  Over here looking at you, so watch out!"
I was running out of time, so I decided to look at one more: the Eight Precepts of Buddhism.  The Precepts are…  Oh, hang on.  Precepts are A general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.  A writ or warrant.

See?  See the things you learn on my blog?  Doesn’t it make you want to email a link to my blog to all your friends?

Now, I love these writs or warrants!  They make a lot of sense.  Don’t take life.  Don’t steal things.  Don’t have sex.  Don’t get drunk or high.  Don’t sing, dance, or wear perfume or makeup.  Don’t…

Wait, no makeup?  How can I leave the house without my “face” on?!
Maybe candles act as exfoliants.

Okay, this looks like it’s going to have to become an ongoing series.  Let me know if there are any oaths all both of you like so I can check it out.  Until then:

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