The irrevocable value of ethics and intellectual honesty

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The irrevocable value of ethics and intellectual honesty

By Sílvia Gusmão

In the globalized and increasingly networked world, education and business people are often heard talking about the importance of teamwork, relating well to others and to differences. However, contrary to what is proclaimed in the discourse, what is observed with force quite evident in the daily life of society is the preponderance of individualism. Their signs are visible in the most diverse situations.

For example, in the difficulty of individuals to build affective bonds, often replaced by virtual and fleeting relationships; in greed for novelty, which makes everything (including people) quickly turn into merchandise to be discarded; in the excessive protection of parents of the rights of the child within the school, forgetting that they also learn from their duties and respect for their colleagues, teachers and institutional rules; in the break, without constraint, of labor agreements and institutional links. All this set of phenomena present today has its origin related to socioeconomic and political factors that for decades has been producing changes in society and effects on subjectivity.

Although it prevails in this context that crosses all, being ethical and having intellectual honesty can make a difference for those who wish to excel in life, including, professional.

Especially from neoliberalism, we see a new man governed by a new logic – that of consumption – and mercantile value begin to be incorporated as the dominant pattern of man’s relation to the world. One of the consequences is that, today, people have been represented by their possessions, by what they have, not by what they are. Values ​​such as respect for tradition, law, limits, differences of places and generations, gave way to unrestrained desire, immediate satisfaction and unceasing pursuit of projects without effort.

This displacement of symbolic references as a social ordinator produced a fragility of social ties and exacerbated individualism. People have been cut off from others and the world. They look only to themselves, their needs and their interests; and seek in the objects produced by science and the market (and not others), modes of satisfaction. The order of the time is to enjoy to the utmost, at all times, in spite of the other.

In this sense, ethical issues were underestimated and left to each individual’s discretion. According to Bauman, author of several books on the subject, liquid modernity constitutes a historical moment in which all the institutional brakes disappeared and were exchanged for individual desires and the self-centered search for happiness.

Although it prevails in this context that crosses all, being ethical and having intellectual honesty can make a difference for those who wish to excel in life, including, professional. Career advancement requires technical competence, but also the ability to build good relationships, be trustworthy, and convey credibility. Attributes valued and observed in everyday attitudes of knowing how to respect others, complying with established agreements, not speaking one thing and doing another, not dissimulating, not promising something that may not fulfill, not omitting what needs to be said, not appropriating ideas of the others, to share successes and failures.

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