Ghulam M. Dastgeer

Are Ethics Fading Away?


Ghulam M. Dastgeer MD (retired)

Broomfield, Colorado, USA



People are not comfortable with what is going on in the country. The erosion of ethics in every corner of our lives, are obvious to the point of being sickening. Too many ethics related questions cross our minds every single day. The followings are a few limited samples of these ethics related questions. You may call some of these questions nonsense and you may be right, but there are people who ask these types of questions. It would be better if the subject authorities should provide them with satisfactory answers, and offer comfort to those concerned.

Ancient Greek scholars, Professors of ethics, all three major religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have taught their followers about ethics. Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religious and non- religious communities also have guided their followers on ethics. Government Offices, the United Nations, major corporations, hospitals, the White house, and Congress all have ethics committees. Universities have ethics teaching departments with distinguished professors. While other schools have ethics departments and are teaching their students, ethics every day.

Thousands of pages and volumes after volumes of publications, including a variety of laws, decorating libraries of all authorities and offices mentioned above, as well as others all over the world. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to publish and train hundreds of Ethics Specialists and professors who are earning a great deal.

What was the use of Socrates Ethics? Or of Plato’s or of Aristotle’s? What has happened to Kantian Ethics? Does the Israeli Ethics allow them to occupy neighbors’ land and provoke them to send rockets so they can find excuses, and destroy their mud houses, kill their children and elderly? Is this Christianity Ethics, to go after illiterate, poor people and to convert them to Christianity? Is the Western world’s proud ethics allowing them to spread armament among war torn poor countries to fuel the fire only to leave them to burn?

Are these a real Muslim’s Islamic Ethics when under Allah – Akbar, they call the name of Allah who has instructed them, if you kill one innocent person it is like killing all the many people, but they still kill innocent old and young, men and women? What kind of ethics is this, that some so called Muslims like ISIS, Taliban, and other different group call themselves ‘Jaeshes’ continue to kill, rob, rape and be proud of? Is this Islamic ethics to commit suicide for killing innocents and destroy properties?

Will the ethics of Journalists allow them to ignore reporting the killing of thousands of Muslims in Myanmar? Will the ethics of Journalism allowing journalists to identify a Muslim attacker right away as “terrorist” but not a Jewish or Christian attacker despite terrorizing people, as what happened in the case of Las Vegas where close to 60 people were killed and 530 injured. What sort of ethic is this to say assault weapons are a right but health care is not? What has the Ethics Department of United Nations done to the world? Why are their ethics not allowing them to stop the genocide of other human beings in Myanmar? Buddhists are against killing any life, but is it in Buddhist Ethics to be an onlooker for killing of another human being, and not stop it? Is it proper ethics in Buddhism to torture and kill thousands of innocent Muslims because of their religion? Is the Hindus cast system ethical in the twenty first Century?

How successful is your community’s committee on ethics? How successful is “the Professor” in teaching social ethics to the students? Can the good professor show me the effect of his teaching on an individual community of corporations, health & other insurances, industries, businesses, human trafficking, children rape- mutilation and killing, smuggling, kidnapping, steeling, computer hacking, education, family life, lawyers, physicians, judges, governors, government, congress and the President?

What role so far have the Government Ethic Committees played in uniting the country? What is the role of government ethics committee to guide government employees not, to cooperate with foreign government who is our enemy? What was the role of, HHS committee on ethics. Is it to advice the secretary of HHS on the use of private jets funded by taxpayer money? Is congress following the ethics of their branch? Is Congress thinking of constituents or keeping in mind how to be reelected? Do they know what action, what scientific findings is good for people or are they there for their pockets, businesses, stocks, golf, and plane rides?

What is the role of the White House Committee on Ethics? Does the Ethics Committee advise the president on the house rules on ethics, interpersonal relation rules of ethics, international diplomatic rules of ethics, ethics of communicating with staff or people, ethics of respecting America’s mother, or the ethics respecting the first amendment freedom of speech? Do they advise the president on 18 U.S. code §227- “Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decision by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch”? Is this the ethics of White house and/or Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to ignore the Climate Change and global warming? Is it considered ethical to nullify all good works of a previous President for one’s personal reason? What kind of ethics is it to ignore scientific findings and call to be a civilized, Scientific nation?

Where are the ethics of caring for the elderly, being kind to children, and respect women? Is there an ethics of good neighbors? Is what Pakistan and/or Iran doing to their neighbors, sending armaments and sending suicide bombers, ethical?

Do we have the ethics of a good wife or a husband? Does an insurance company really provide what they advertise? Is it the lawyer’s professional ethics to charge $750.00 per hour? Particularly, when everything is at the tip of a paralegal finger on his / her computer keyboard?

This is only a message for those dealing with ethical issues. They may have encountered some or corrected some. Probably most of their advices have been ignored and others they forgot to follow through. These few lines may draw their attention towards a practical ethical solution to the issues, or may have to witness the gradual fading away of ethics to the point of God forbid, termination.

Fortunately, in many of America’s communities there exists a brotherhood and sisterhood where people help each other without thinking of religion, color, occupation, supremacy, sexual orientation…. in time of need. The horrors of the Las Vegas, New York and Texas mass shooting serve as examples. I call this ‘personal innate’ ethics for they do not require an ethics committee or a professor of ethics to teach but conscious inspiration arises from heart and put to action when it is needed. I wish we see the same level of cooperation in government, corporation, and organizations.

Many thanks to my granddaughters: Thahmina Hoshmand MBA student, Henna Rustami Columbia Univ grad, and Gina Rustami Fordham student, helping me to prepare this writing.

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