Ethics of Hounds and Hares

AFTER an observer watches the scandal hunters behave repeatedly with a characteristic moral blindness and realizes that their narrow perspective serves their private interests very well, the punishments meted out in many scandals come to seem arbitrary. Those who play the hounds do not look at all ethically superior to those who end up as hares. The very idea of ethics in government, as enforced today, comes to seem worthy of profound cynicism.To say that the pursuit of politicians and their wrongdoing is a morally complex enterprise is only to begin the debates that are possible on these issues. We can disagree about which offenses by political figures merit the most severe type of treatment. We can argue over the extent to which individuals accept tougher rules of punishment when they choose to have public careers. These questions are wholly legitimate ones. But before we can discuss them we must ask a prior question: How much moral responsi bility do the scandal hunters bear toward their human targets? And the answer cannot always be "none."

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK