We each face ethical decisions every day. Some decisions are made without much thought. Some decisions have greater consequences than others.
What should Felicia do?
Review the story about Felicia Robinson and the five guidelines for ethical speechmaking (Chapter 2, page 28-33). Considering these guidelines, what would be the most ethical course of action for Felecia to take? Why?
Be sure to reference Lucas with a page number and respond to 2 classmates.
classmates posts to respond:
1. The most ethical thing to do would be to NOT out her opponent.
Problem 1. She would not be fully prepared. The advisors are urging her to rush and make a statement to sway the poles. She will not have enough time to research, fact check, write, proofread, edit, practice, and then publish a speech with enough time left to sway the results. (Lucas page 30)
Problem 2. She would not be honest. She does not know if he is innocent or guilty, so ethically she would not have the power to claim one or the other. (Lucas pages 31-32)
Problem 3.Name-calling. She would be slandering his name, since he has not gone to trial about it, breaking the innocent until guilty part of our society (although recently with “cancel culture”, you are presumed guilty until proven innocent). (Lucas page 32)
In my opinion, Felecia should let the poles go however they are. She has a chance to ethically swoop in and take the seat after the trial proves him guilty. You cannot fight un-ethical behavior with un-ethical behavior. “There is nothing illegal about falsifying statistics in a speech, but there is no doubt that it is unethical. (Lucas pg 33)”
2.The most ethical thing for Felicia to do is tell the truth, but not in the way that her advisors suggest. It is important for the public to know the truth about the candidate they choose, but making it an issue at a debate without all of the information could be risky, and there could be a lot of room for error. It would be very important for Felicia to be fully prepared for a speech like that, or else she risks wasting the time of her audience, the voters, as described by Lucas in the textbook (Lucas 30). If Felicia accidentally makes a mistake in her report and defames her opponent, she could potentially be sued for libel, and that would make her look bad.
I think that the ethical thing for Felicia to do is to release the information to the local press. The press have better protection from being sued with issues such as this because of the freedom the press is given in the 1st amendment, and the landmark ruling in Times v. Sullivan. If Felicia leaked the information to the press and they exposed her opponent for his shady dealings, her goals would be ethically met as described as one of the guidelines for Ethical Speaking (Lucas 29). It is always tough to know what to do in these situations, and sometimes the best course of action is to let others handle it for you.