A 'neutral standard' of ethics? What?

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I was incredulous after reading your Aug. 10 front-page story about the ongoing legal proceedings between the Augusta State University graduate student seeking to become a K-12 counselor and the university.

The article stated that the university "requires students (in the program) to adhere to a neutral standard of ethics." It also quoted Dr. Paulette Schenck, in an e-mail to the student, as saying "the unethical part was applying your own personal beliefs and values on other people and not truly accepting that others can have different beliefs and values that are equally valid as your own."

What? Ethics is defined as "that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions." How on Earth, therefore, can it be "unethical" to be ethical?

How would you like it if your physician adhered to a neutral standard of ethics? How about the pilot on your next commercial flight? How about a structural engineer designing a skyscraper? How about a judge or a law enforcement officer? What other professional do we seek advice or assistance from who adheres to a neutral standard of ethics? More to the point, what student in any other field of study is required to adhere to a neutral standard of ethics?

Mark Maund

Augusta

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shamrock
523
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shamrock 08/18/10 - 11:00 pm
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The only ones who care about

The only ones who care about adhering to a neutral standard of ethics ... basically meaning you have no ethics ... are the leaders (and I use that term loosely) at ASU! Dr. Paulette Schenck is a classic example of a poor leadership and educator model!

dashiel
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dashiel 08/18/10 - 11:07 pm
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So being judgmental is the

So being judgmental is the same thing as using good judgment?

grouse
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grouse 08/19/10 - 01:14 am
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What Maund doesn't want to
Unpublished

What Maund doesn't want to recognize is the reality that not everyone agrees on the same definition of ethics and certainly whether one is homosexual or not does not violate even his own preferred definition.

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 08/19/10 - 06:10 am
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reality is that not everyone

reality is that not everyone agrees on the same definition of ethics..then there is no ethics by definition..then how can ASU judge this lady on her ethical views? all societies have been governed by a set of ethics ..which seem to be somewhat universal..ie theft murder etc...right and wrong..when standards or ethics become blurred , society will fall.

disssman
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disssman 08/19/10 - 06:20 am
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I wonder if a person was, say

I wonder if a person was, say a catholic and felt a need to counsel Baptists on their wayward religious choice, would that be acceptable?

Rhetor
1015
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Rhetor 08/19/10 - 07:15 am
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The wrong analogy completely.

The wrong analogy completely. You want a physician to heal you, not to impose his own personal values on you.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 08/19/10 - 07:57 am
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If your "personal values" is

If your "personal values" is the illness, would you want a physician to recommend a cure?

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 08/19/10 - 07:59 am
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This letter is the simple

This letter is the simple truth as it relates to this case. Well done Mark Maund. The secular left will squall and twist on this all day. Staying on topic won't help them.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 08/19/10 - 08:59 am
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We defer to the right on

We defer to the right on ethical leadership. Whether they're doing the boot-scootin boogey in airport mens rooms or text-messaging youths for tumesence monitoring, the right is almost always wrong. Oh, and that so-called villa y'all are trying to make sound so palatial? I wish I could buy one for $87,000, and this ain't "wealth envy" talking, just somebody with a suggestion to the self-righteous: Cast the first stone (but watch your back).

justus4
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justus4 08/19/10 - 08:39 am
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The article mentions "human
Unpublished

The article mentions "human conduct" and goes on to sound as if "ethnics" are written in stone. Ha! Small minded. Here's why: U got the hard sciences like Math & Biology, where a philosophical approach WILL NOT apply. Examples: Doctors and Pilots are applying a "hard science." Other Sciences like Philosophy, Sociology, even Theology, are NOT an exact science and require a significant amount of comprehending the circumstances of the problemed individual - not YOUR personal life experiences or beliefs. So get off the high horse of moral ethnics, because the student's allegations against the school will be tossed out without merit.

faithson
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faithson 08/19/10 - 09:53 am
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So a friend who has hidden

So a friend who has hidden their homosexuality from you is OK. But as soon as you KNOW that this person is a homosexual your 'ethics' kick in. YOUR ethics being paramount in dealing with this person from then on.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 08/19/10 - 10:04 am
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Good point. Time-release

Good point. Time-release ethics or at least an ap.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/19/10 - 10:22 am
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I agree with the writer. What

I agree with the writer. What a convoluted can of worms! It would appear that the only ones qualified for the program are those that have no standard of ethics, no personal beliefs, and are virtually apathetic and disassociated from any contentious social issue of our times. WoW! That's the person I want counseling me....NOT! Going forward will everybody have to pass a litmus test for total apathy to get approval? Nobody is that much of an cold, dispassionate automotron, so I will solve the problem for everybody.

Scrap the program totally, and instead invest the money in purchasing some of the newer AI robots, that are hard to distinguish from humans btw, to dispense counseling from this point on.
That way the robots can be programed with no ethics whatsoever, no preconcieved standards, no bias, no hatred, no personality quirks, no deep ethic or ethnic conflicts, no problems!
The college will save lots of money, the eggheads can program the bots exactly as they see fit (exact copies of their egos/psyches) and everybody is happy. Looks like a win-win to me!
Oh...but then these braniacs will all be out of a job, and further inflate the unemployment numbers. Well, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, right?

Dixieman
15330
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Dixieman 08/19/10 - 11:15 am
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My ethics govern what I do

My ethics govern what I do and how I lead my life. I do not seek to impose them on others. If I am in a position where I am supposed to help others, I would tell them what my own ethical responses would be, and if they choose not to follow my advice, that's up to them. What's wrong with that?
BTW, I am fat and I like doctors who tell me flat out that that part of my lifestyle is wrong and needs correction, rather than mushmouths who would like to encourage me to accept my fat condition (which is my own fault), lawyers who want me to sue airlines and employers due to my self-created weight problem (problem, not "issue"), etc. So I want their ethics to be to tell me the truth and try to get me to shape up.

mattmesa
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mattmesa 08/19/10 - 10:40 am
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Regardless of anything else;

Regardless of anything else; after 3 years of attending ASU I have learned that compared to a previous university I was attending (had to transfer home to GA for financial reasons) I absolutely despise 98% of the administrative staff at ASU! It is a complete cluster-#$&* and one of the most poorly run educational instutions I have ever seen. Last I read, a few years a go, their graduation rate (not including transfers) was something around 23%? I don't care or have any personal interest in this case outside of hoping it exposes some of the crappy administrative staff at ASU; also, I have no personal religious beliefs and don't really care one way or another if some one chooses to be gay or not.

impossible
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impossible 08/19/10 - 10:46 am
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ASU is actually practicing
Unpublished

ASU is actually practicing "values clarification" as issues of morality are not and cannot be neutral - BY DEFINITION.
Shamrock: Plus the current administration in DC
Dashiel: Certainly can be
Dissman: How about vice-versa?
Johnston.cliff: Why would liberals start today to stay on topic?
Dashiel: Thanks for making Johnston.cliff’s point.
Justus$: Are you introducing racism into the discussion by talking about “ethnics?”
Federalist: Thanks for a sensible comment.

Given ASU’s stance on beliefs, they should to be safe give each and every candidate for every professional degree a questionnaire to complete about their beliefs on each and every issue. Do you suppose they have ever remediated a Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Buddhist, Liberal of any religious persuasion, etc? If they haven’t done so, then by definition they have been discriminating and guilty of malpractice as to the patients of future ASU graduates.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 08/19/10 - 11:12 am
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Thanks Impossible. Now that

Thanks Impossible. Now that you've done the impossible putting the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin, take care you don't fall down on it. It would blind you in both eyes.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 08/19/10 - 12:14 pm
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A counselor is by definition

A counselor is by definition one who advises.

I think what is missing in this discussion is this question; In what context is said homosexual person being counseled? The purpose for being counseled is to find solutions to a problem. If they came in to discuss matters not pertaining to their personal relationship preferences, I am sure Ms. Keeton did not have a plan to bring it up and try to force change upon them.

However, if their dilema was the pain of their sexual orientation, she nor any other counselor should have to say, this is not a suitable topic for counseling under the official mental disorder guideline policy manual or keep on doing what is making you miserable. Their would be and should be discussion and alternatives that would help the person resolve their own feelings without using shame or guilt.

Many good books have been written regarding this counseling dilema. Perhaps that would have been a better remediation plan. I feel certain at this point, both Ms. Keeton and ASU, would love the opportunity to replay this entire matter.

So crates
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So crates 08/19/10 - 12:58 pm
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Mr. Mud so helpfully pointed

Mr. Mud so helpfully pointed out the definition of ethics but, evidently didn't bother to consider it beyond how it "obviously" supports his own point. Walk a little further in your philosophy, Mr. Mud, and you will realize that the simplicity of the matter you propose is anything but. Ms. Keeton may have maintained her personal ethical standards admirably, but she is asking to be considered a member of a professional community that has its own ethical standards. I hope, Mr. Mud, that if you are working with a professional of any field that they maintain ethical standards that are neutral to personal ethical standards.

Dixieman
15330
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Dixieman 08/19/10 - 08:10 pm
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impoaaible@10:46 -- Hey, you

impoaaible@10:46 -- Hey, you forgot me! I have edited your post to add me.
"ASU is actually practicing "values clarification" as issues of morality are not and cannot be neutral - BY DEFINITION.
"Shamrock: Plus the current administration in DC
"Dashiel: Certainly can be
"Dissman: How about vice-versa?
"Johnston.cliff: Why would liberals start today to stay on topic?
"Dashiel: Thanks for making Johnston.cliff’s point.
"Justus$: Are you introducing racism into the discussion by talking about “ethnics?”
"Federalist: Thanks for a sensible comment.
"Dixieman: I would rather be governed by 2,000 random lobsters."

ruudvonbaron
0
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ruudvonbaron 08/19/10 - 01:08 pm
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I most definitely want my

I most definitely want my structural engineer to abide by standards and recognize that the force of gravity is 9.81 m/ss instead of just praying over a blueprint and hoping his deity keeps the structure from falling down.

impossible
124
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impossible 08/19/10 - 01:18 pm
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Dixieman. Sounds fishy to
Unpublished

Dixieman. Sounds fishy to me, but i apologize for overlooking you.

impossible
124
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impossible 08/19/10 - 01:22 pm
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Dashiel: Thank you for
Unpublished

Dashiel: Thank you for making Johnston.cliff's point. BTW, it's not the Our Father, but the question is, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Answer: As many as want to.

So crates
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So crates 08/19/10 - 01:27 pm
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Ms. Keeton's

Ms. Keeton's Imaginarium:
Client: I'm upset because I'm gay
Keeton: Well, homosexuality is morally wrong. How would you feel about trying heterosexuality?
Client: I've known my whole life. I just need to figure some things out.
Keeton: I'm sorry your gay, but if you avoid having sex you probably won't go to hell, at least.
Client: WT effe?
Client storms out feeling rejected, at the breaking point, and hurts self or others. Keeton goes to jail for malpractice with the defense of " he shouldn't have come to a christian counselor if he didn't want the truth."

Real LPC ( who may or may not be christian)
Client: I'm upset because I'm gay.
LPC: What are you feeling?
Client: I've known my whole life, I just need to figure some things out.
LPC: What does it mean to you that your gay...
Client and counselor proceed with an informed neutral discussion of the topic where client is not exposed to judgement from the professional. Client leaves with new things to consider in he quest to understand his life.

There are reasons for neutral ethics.

impossible
124
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impossible 08/19/10 - 01:49 pm
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So crates: If as you say, "a
Unpublished

So crates: If as you say, "a professional community that has its own ethical standards. I hope, Mr. Mud, that if you are working with a professional of any field that they maintain ethical standards that are neutral to personal ethical standards." Ethics relates to right and wrong, good and evil, moral principles. Ethics in the proper universal sense is not limited by the societal mores, guided or misguided, of particular groups. Nor is ethics defined by political correctness which varies from time to time.
At least, your "belief" is consistent with the liberal view of ethics in that they view ethics in no objective manner but relegate its definition to each individual's opinion/belief, except that the Christian individual's "ethics" and "belief" are not to be accepted. All others are given a pass.
So crates. Why do you use that handle? Does it stand for, “Southern cartons?” Can’t stand for Socrates who was a lover of knowledge.

Fiat_Lux
15686
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Fiat_Lux 08/19/10 - 02:08 pm
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Neutral ethics have no value.

Neutral ethics have no value.

So crates
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So crates 08/19/10 - 02:14 pm
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You are impossibly wrong,

You are impossibly wrong, imp. The relativity you refer to as a "liberal" view of ethics is simply the recognition by those who daily have to work between differing ethical standards that some core ideas do prevail. You sit fat on one set of ethics only because you are not challenged to acknowledge others. The victimization of christianity which you present would not be present in your mind if extremist christians were not constantly insisting in a public forum that only their way is right. Most often the argument IS with christians, but that's because they engage it. The fact that they lose all the time does not mean christians are hated, it means that they do not understand the discussion. Keep in mind that most of those evil American liberals you refer to finish an argument like this and still go home to what they consider a christian home.

nofanofobama
6856
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nofanofobama 08/19/10 - 03:21 pm
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so crate --you are wrong

so crate --you are wrong --either you belive in an objective universal moral and ethical code that governs ALL..or you have none..and your ethical standing is grounded in shifting sands..and if all etihcal standards are somehow right..how do you give advice? christians do understand the arguement **its the liberals that do not think their beliefs to its logical conclusion..

So crates
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So crates 08/19/10 - 04:13 pm
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No fan, if we lived in Iran I

No fan, if we lived in Iran I would agree with your argument. In fact, I would have no choice. However, we live in America, where we do have a choice. Because I may choose differently from you, our morals or ethics may begin to diverge. If we lived in Iran, one of us would simply kill the other and be done with it. We live in America. For that reason, we accommodate each other. Ethics becomes more complex. I give you leeway to go to church, you give me leeway not to.

We have established laws in America which protect your right to be you, no matter how small a percentage of the population you represent. Our ethics come from these laws and attempt to accommodate as many different peoples as possible. Not everyone can have everything they want, but we do a better job than much of the world at allowing people liberty in a society of differing views.

Your notion of advice assumes that the advice is directive: that is, that you must tell the person what to think. That is one way to give advice, but not the only way. A counselor can simply provide information. A counselor can help a client reason. A Counselor can provide problem solving techniques which the client has not been exposed to. In fact, the directive is the least preferred form of counseling except in severe cases of mental impairment.

Dixieman
15330
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Dixieman 08/19/10 - 04:46 pm
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So Crates -- That is the

So Crates -- That is the ultimate straw man!! That is not how she would handle the situation, but a snide parody by you trying to make her look as dumb and cruel as possible. I could write an imaginary dialogue out of my head in which she is compassionate, helpful, insightful, etc. You have a major omission in your fantasy: Any Christian would offer to pray for the homosexual.

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