Essay – The Rules of the Game (Ethics in Leadership)
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This assignment should at a
minimum contain 2,000 words of content
(double spaced) and should be in APA format with at least six (6) references.
Please address each question within your essay. Points will be deducted for the questions not answered.
Essay should be scholarly written with sound reasoning. Essay will be submitted through turnitin for originality verification. No plagiarism!
After reading the Lesson Seven material, go the the following link and read the essay by Carl Sagan entitled The Rules of the Game: https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-universe-of-carl/the-rules-of-the-game-by-carl-sagan/553135628081163/ (Essay attached)
Afterward, please write an essay addressing the following questions.
1.Which rule(s) do you live by personally? Give specific examples of how you apply the rules you identified in your life. Why do you choose these rules over others?
Defend your personal position with sound reasoning.
2. Red Corp hires you to consult on an ethical issue they are facing. Red Corp recently discovered that its customer database has been hacked and published online, along with the customer database of one of its competitors, Blue Corp. Red Corp had no knowledge of or involvement with the hacking until a Red Corp employee stumbled upon the files published on the internet. Blue Corp and Red Corp have always operated with respect for one another, with no prior instances of underhandedness. Red Corp doesn’t believe that Blue Corp has discovered the hacking yet, but it believes that if Blue Corp does discover it (or if Red Corp tells Blue Corp about it), Blue Corp will almost certainly use Red Corp’s customer information against it (i.e. try to steal Red Corp’s customers). What do you advise Red Corp to do? Use the information and go after Blue Corp’s customers? Ignore it and hope that Blue Corp doesn’t find it? Something else? On which of the rule(s) discussed in the Sagan essay do you base your recommendations, and why?
3. Suppose that Red Corp decides to use the database, and begins under-bidding Blue Corp and taking its customers. Witnessing this, Blue Corp investigates and discovers the customer databases (both Blue Corp’s and Red Corp’s) online. If Blue Corp does nothing, it believes that Red Corp will continue to steal customers. Blue Corp hires you to consult on a response. What do you advise Blue Corp to do? Retaliate? Ignore the information and the attack by Red Corp? Something else? On which of the rule(s) discussed in the Sagan essay do you base your recommendations, and why?
4. Did you rely on the same rules in your advice to question #1 and #2?
If you did, can you think of a different set of circumstances in which you would have given different advice (and relied on different rules)?
If you did not, why not? How were these situations different such that the difference caused you to change your basis of morality?
IMPORTANT NOTE: For the sake of these questions, you may assume that the published customer databases cannot be removed from the internet, and that law enforcement cannot help. While in reality, these options would be perfectly reasonable, they aren’t relevant to the purpose of the assignment.
Essay – The Rules of the Game (Ethics in Leadership)
The Rules of the Gam e by Carl Saga n Everything morally right derives from one of four sources: it concerns either ful l perception or intelligent development of what is true; or the preservation of organize d society, where every man is rendered his due and all obligations are faithfully discharged ; or the greatness and strength of a noble, invincible spirit; or order and moderation i n everything said and done, whereby is temperance and self -control . Cicero, De Officiis, I, 5 (45 -44 B.C. ) I remember the end of a long ago perfect day in 1939 — a day that powerfully influence d my thinking, a day when my parents introduced me to the wonders of the New Yor k World’s Fair. It was late, well past my bedtime. Safely perched on my fathe r’s shoulders , holding onto his ears, my mother reassuringly at my side, I turned to see the great Trylo n and Perisphere, the architectural icons of the fair, illuminated in shimmering blue pastels . We were abandoning the future, the “World of Tomorrow,” f or the BMT subway train . As we paused to rearrange a tray around his neck. He was selling pencils. My fathe r reached into the crumpled brown paper bag that held the remains of our lunches , withdrew an apple, and handed it to the pencil man. I let out a lou d wail. I disliked apple s then, and had refused this on both at lunch and at dinner. But I had, nevertheless, a proprietary interest in it. It was my apple, and my father had just given it away to a funny -looking stranger — who, to compound my anguish, was now glarin g unsympathetically in my direction . Although my father was a person of nearly limitless patience and tenderness, I could se e he was disappointed in me. He swept me up and hugged me tight to him . “He’s a poor stiff, out of work,” he said to me, too quietly for the man to hear. “He hasn’ t eaten all day. We have enough. We can give him an apple. ” I reconsidered, stifled my sobs, took another wishful glance at the World of Tomorrow , and gratefully fell asleep in his arms . Moral codes that seek to regulate human behavior have been with us not only since th e dawn of civilization but also among our pre -civilized, and highly social, hunter -gathere r ancestors. And even earlier. Different societies have different codes. Many cultures sa y one thing and do another. In a few fortunate societies, an inspired lawgiver lays down a set of rules to live by (and more often than not claims to have been instructed by a god — without which few would follow the prescriptions). For example, the codes of Ashok a (India), Hammurabi (Babylon), Lycurgus (Sparta) and Solon (Athens), which once hel d sway over mighty civilizations, are today largely defunct. Perhaps they misjudged huma n nature and asked too much of us. Perhaps experience from one epoch or culture is no t wholly applicable to another . Surprisingly, there are today efforts – tentative but emerging – to approach the matte r scientifically; i.e., experimentally. In our everyday lives, as in the -momentous affairs of nations , we must decide: What does it mean t o do the right thing? Should we help a needy stranger ? How do we deal with an enemy? Should we ever take advantage of someone who treats u s kindly? If hurt by a friend, or helped by an enemy, should we reciprocate in kind; or does th e totality of past beha vior outweigh any recent departures from the norm . Examples: Your sister -in-law ignores your snub and invites you over for Christmas dinner . Should you accept? Shattering a four -year -long worldwide voluntary moratorium , China resumes nuclear weapons testi ng; should we? How much should we give t o charity? Serbian soldiers systematically rape Bosnian women; should Bosnian soldier s systematically rape Serbian women? After centuries of oppression, the National Part y leader F. W. de Klerk makes overtures to the African National Congress; should Nelso n Mandela and the ANC have reciprocated? A coworker makes you look bad in front of th e boss; should you try to get even? Should we cheat on our income tax returns? If we ca n get away with it? If an oil company suppor ts a symphony orchestra or sponsors a refine d TV drama, ought we to ignore its pollution of the environment? Should you cheat a t cards? On a larger scale: Should we kill killers ? In making such decisions, we’re concerned not only with doing right but also with wha t works -what makes us and the rest of society happier and more secure. There’s a tensio n between what we call ethical and what we call pragmatic. If, even in the long run, ethica l behavior were self -defeating, eventually we would not call it ethic al, but foolish. (W e might even claim to respect it but ignore it in practice.) Bearing in mind the variety an d complexity of human behavior, are there any simple rules — whether we call them ethica l or pragmatic — that actually work ? How do we decide what to do? Our responses are partly determined by our perceive d self -interest. We reciprocate in kind or act contrary because we hope it will accomplis h what we want. Nations assemble or blow up nuclear weapons so other countries won’ t trifle with them. We retur n good for evil because we know that we can thereb y sometimes touch people’s sense of justice, or shame them into being nice. But sometime s we’re not motivated selfishly. Some people seem just naturally kind. We my accep t aggravation from aged parents or f rom children, because we love them and want them t o be happy, even it’s at some cost to us. Sometimes we’re tough with our children and caus e them a little unhappiness, because we want to mold their characters and believe that th e long -term results will br ing them more happiness than the short -term pain . Cases are different. Peoples and nations are different. Knowing how to negotiate thi s labyrinth is part of wisdom. But bearing in mind the variety and complexity of huma n behavior, are there some simple ru les, whether we call them ethical or pragmatic, tha t actually work? Or maybe we should avoid trying to think it through and just do wha t feels right. But even then how do we determine what “feels right” ? The most admired standard of behavior, in the West, at least, is the Golden Rule , attributed to Jesus of Nazareth. Everyone knows its formulation in the first -centur y Gospel of St. Matthew: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Almos t no one f ollows it. When the Chinese philosopher Kung -Tzu (known as Confucius in the West ) was asked in the fifth century B.C. his opinion of the Golden Rule, of repaying evi l with kindness, he replied, “Then with what will you repay kindness?” Shall the poo r woman who envies her neighbor’s wealth give what little she has to the rich? Shall th e masochist inflict pain on his neighbor? The Golden Rule takes no account of huma n differences. Are we really capable, after our cheek has been slapped, of turning the othe r cheek so it can be slapped? With a heartless adversary, isn’t this just a guarantee of mor e suffering ? The Silver Rule is different: Do not do unto others what you would not have them d o unto you. It also can be found worldwide, including, a generation bef ore Jesus, in th e writings of Rabbi Hillel. The most inspiring twentieth -century exemplars of the Silve r Rule are Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They counseled oppresse d peoples not to repay violence with violence, but not to be compliant a nd obedient either . Nonviolent civil disobedience was what they advocated — putting your body on the lin e and showing, by your willingness to be punished in defying an unjust law, the justice o f your cause. They aimed at melting the hearts of their oppressor s (and those who had no t yet made up their minds) . King paid tribute to Gandhi as the first person in history to convert the Gold or Silve r Rules into an effective instrument of social change. And Gandhi made it clear where hi s approach came from: “I lear nt the lesson on nonviolence from my wife, when I tried t o bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will on the one hand, and her qui t submission to the suffering of my stupidity involved on the other, ultimately made m e ashamed of myself and c ured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was born to rule ove r her. ” Nonviolent civil disobedience has worked notable political change in this century — in prying India loose from British rule and stimulating the end of classic colonialis m worldwide, and in providing some civil rights for African -Americans — although th e threat of violence by others, however disavowed by Gandhi and King, my have als o helped. The African National Congress (ANC) grew up in the Gandhian tradition. But b y the 1950’s it was clear that nonviolent noncooperation was making no progress whateve r with the ruling white Nationalist Party. So in 1961 Nelson Mandela and his colleague s formed the military wing of the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Spear of the Nation , on the quite un -Gandh ian grounds that the only thing whites understand is force . Even Gandhi had trouble reconciling the rule of nonviolence with the necessities o f defense against those with less lofty rules of conduct? “I have not the qualifications fo r teaching the philosop hy of life. I have barely qualifications for practicing the philosoph y I believe. I am but a poor struggling soul yearning to be . . . wholly truthful and wholl y nonviolent in thought, word and deed, but ever failing to reach the ideal . “Repay kindness wit h kindness,” said Confucius, “but evil with justice.” This might b e called the Brass or Brazen Rule: Do unto others as they do unto you. It’s the le x talionis, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” plus “one good turn deserve s another.” In actual human (and chimpanzee) behavior it’s a familiar standard. “If th e enemy inclines toward peace, do you also incline toward peace,” President Bill Clinto n quoted from the Qur’an at the Israeli -Palestinian peace accords. Without having to appeal t o anyone’s better nature, we institute a kind of operant conditioning, rewarding the m when they’re nice to us and punishing them when they’re not. We’re not pushovers, bu t we’re not unforgiving either. It sounds promising. Or is it true that “two w rongs don’ t make a right ? Of baser coinage is the Iron Rule: Do unto others as you like, before they do it unt o you. It is sometimes formulated as, “He who has the gold makes the rules,” underscorin g not just its departure from, but also its contempt for the Golden Rule. This is the secre t maxim of many, if they can get away with it, and often the unspoken precept of th e powerful . Finally, I should mention two other rules, found throughout the living world. The y explain a great deal: Suck up to those abov e you, and abuse those below. This is th e motto of bullies and the norm in many nonhuman primate societies. It’s really the Golde n Rule for superiors, the Iron Rule for inferiors. Since there is no known alloy of gold an d iron, we’ll call it the Tin Rule f or its flexibility. The other common rule is: Giv e precedence in all things to close relatives, and do as you like to others. This Nepotis m Rule is known to evolutionary biologists as “kin selection. ” Despite its apparent practicality, there’s a fatal fla w in the Brazen Rule: unendin g vendetta. It hardly matters who starts the violence. Violence begets violence, and eac h side has reason to hate the other. “There is no way to peace,” A. J. Muste said, “Peace i s the way.” But peace is hard and violence is ea sy. Even if almost everyone is for endin g the vendetta, a single act of retribution can stir it up again: A dead relative’s sobbin g widow and grieving children are before us. Old men and women recall atrocities fro m their childhoods. The reasonable part of us tries to keep the peace, but the passionate par t of us cries out for vengeance. Extremists in the two warring factions can count on on e another. They are allied against the rest of us, contemptuous of appeals to understandin g and loving -kindness. A few hotheads can force -march a legion of more prudent an d rational people to brutality and war . Many in the West have been so mesmerized by the appalling accords with Adolf Hitler i n Munich in 1938 that they are unable to distinguish cooperation and appeasem ent. Rathe r than having to judge each gesture and approach on its own merits, we merely decide tha t the opponent is thoroughly evil, that all his concessions are offered in bad faith, and tha t force is the only thing he understands. Perhaps for Hitler this was the right judgement . But in general it is not the right judgment, as much as I wish that the invasion of th e Rhineland had been forcibly opposed. It consolidates hostility on both sides and make s conflict much more likely. In a world with nuclear weap ons, uncompromising hostilit y carries special and very dire dangers . Breaking out of a long series of reprisals is, I claim, very hard. There are ethnic group s who have weakened themselves to the point of extinction because they had no machiner y to escape from this cycle, the Kaingang of the Brazilian highlands, for example. Th e warring nationalities in the former Yugoslavia, in Rwanda, and elsewhere may provid e further examples. The Brazen Rule seems too unforgiving. The Iron Rule promotes th e advantage of a ruthless and powerful few against the interests of everybody else. Th e Golden and Silver Rules seem too complacent. They systematically fail to punish cruelty an d exploitation. They hope to coax people from evil to good by showing that kindn ess i s possible. But there are sociopaths who do not much care about the feelings of others, an d it is hard to imagine a Hitler or Stalin being shamed into redemption by good example. I s there a rule between the Golden and Silver on the one hand and the Br azen, Iron and Ti n on the other which works better than any of them alone ? With so many different rules, how can you tell which to use, which will work? More tha n one rule may be operating even in the same person or nation. Are we doomed just t o guess abo ut this, or to rely on intuition, or just to parrot what we’ve been taught? Let’s tr y to put aside, just for the moment, whatever rules we’ve been taught, and those we fee l passionately — perhaps from a deeply rooted sense of justice — must be right . Suppose w e seek not to confirm or deny what we’ve been taught but to find out wha t really works. Is there a way to test competing codes of ethics? Granting that the rea l world may be much more complicated than any simulation, can we explore the matte r scientificall y? We’re used to playing games in which somebody wins and somebody loses. Every poin t made by our opponent puts us that much farther behind. “Win -lose” games seem natural , and many people are hard pressed to think of a game that isn’t win -lose. In win -los e games, the losses just balance the wins. That’s why they’re also called “zero -sum” games . There’s no ambiguity about your opponent’s intentions: Within the rules of the game, h e will do anything he can to defeat you . Many children are aghast the first t ime they really come face to face with the “lose” sid e of win -lose games. On the verge of bankruptcy in Monopoly, for example, they plead fo r special dispensation (forgoing rents, for example), and when this is not forthcoming may , in tears, denounce the g ame as heartless and unfeeling -which, of course, it is. (I’ve see n the board overturned, hotels and “Chance” cards and metal icons spilled onto the floor i n spitting anger and humiliation — and not only by children.) Within the rules of Monopoly , there’s no way for players to cooperate so that all benefit. That’s not how the game i s designed. The same is true for boxing, football, hockey, basketball, baseball, lacrosse , tennis, racquetball, chess, all Olympic events, yacht and car racing, pinochle, potsie, an d partisan politics. In none of these games is there an opportunity to practice the Golden o r Silver Rule, or even the Brazen. There is room only for the Rule of Iron and Tin. If w e revere the Golden Rule, why is it so rare in the games we teach our childr en ? After a million years of intermittently warring tribes we readily enough think in zero -su m mode, and treat every interaction as a contest or conflict. Nuclear war, though (and man y conventional wars), economic depression and assaults on the global envi ronment are al l “lose -lose” propositions. Such vital human concerns as love, friendship, parenthood , music, art, and the pursuit of knowledge are “win -win” propositions. Our vision i s dangerously narrow if all we know is “win -lose. ” The scientific field t hat deals with such matters is called game theory, used in militar y tactics and strategy, trade policy, corporate competition, limiting of environmenta l pollution, and plans for nuclear war. The paradigmatic game is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. It i s very much non -zero -sum. Win -win, win -lose and lose -lose outcomes all are possible . “Sacred” books carry few useful insights into strategy here. It is a wholly pragmati c game . Imagine that you and a friend are arrested for committing a serious crime. For t he purpose of the game, it doesn’t matter whether either, neither, or both of you did it. Wha t matters is that the police say they think you did. Before the two of you have any chanc e to compare stories or plan strategy, you are taken to separate interroga tion cells. There , oblivious of your Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent…”), they try t o make you confess. They tell you, as police sometimes do, that your friend has confesse d and implicated you. (Some friend!) The police might be telli ng the truth. Or they migh t be lying. You’re permitted only to plead innocent or guilty. If you’re willing to sa y anything, what’s your best tack to minimize punishment ? Here are the possible outcomes : If you deny committing the crime and (unknown to you) your friend also denies it, th e case might be hard to prove. In the plea bargain, both your sentences will be very light . If you confess, and your friend does likewise, then the effort the State had to expend t o solve the crime was small. In exchange you both may be given a fairly light sentence , although not so light as if you both had asserted your innocence . But if you plead innocent, and your friend confesses, the State will ask for the maximu m sentence for you and minimal punishment (maybe none) for your friend. Uh -oh. You ar e very vulnerable to a kind of double cross, what game theorists call “defection.” So’s he . So, if you and your friend “cooperate” with one another — both pleading innocent (or bot h pleading guilty) — you both escape the worst. Should you play it safe and guarantee n o worse than a middle range of punishment by confessing? Then, if your friend plead s innocent while you plead guilty, well, too bad for him, and you might get off scot – free . When you think it through, you realize that, wha tever your friend does you’re better of f defecting than cooperating. Maddeningly, the same holds true for your friend. But if yo u both defect, you are both worse off than if you had both cooperated. This is the Prisoner’ s Dilemma . Now consider a repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma, in which the two players go through a sequence of such games. At the end of each they figure out from their punishment ho w the other must have pled. They gain experience about each other’s strategy (an d character). Will they learn to co operate game after game, both always denying that the y committed any crime? Even if the reward for finking on the other is large ? You might try cooperating or defecting, depending on how the previous game or game s have gone. If you cooperate overmuch, the other player may exploit your good nature. I f you defect overmuch, your friend is likely to defect often, and this is bad for both of you . You know your defection pattern is data being fed to the other player. What is the righ t mix of cooperation and defec tion? How to behave then becomes, like any other questio n in Nature, a subject to be investigated experimentally. This matter has been explored in a continuing round -robin computer tournament by the University of Michigan sociologis t Robert Axelrod, in his remarkable book The Evolution of Cooperation. Various codes o f behavior confront one another, and at the end we see who wins (who gets the lightes t cumulative prison term). The simplest strategies might be to cooperate all the time, no matter how much advantage is taken of you; or never to cooperate, no matter what benefit s might accrue from cooperation. These are the Golden Rule and the Iron Rule. They alway s lose, the one from a superfluity of kindness, the other from an overabundan ce of ruthlessness . Strategies slow to punish defection lose — in part because they send a signal tha t noncooperation can win. The Golden Rule is not only an unsuccessful strategy; it is als o dangerous for other players, who may succeed in the short term onl y to be mowed down b y exploiters in the long term . Should you defect at first, but if your opponent cooperates even once, cooperate in al l future games? Should you cooperate at first, but if your opponent defects even once , defect in all future games? The se strategies also lose. Unlike sports, you cannot rely o n your opponent to be always out to get you . The most effective strategy in many such tournaments is called “Tit -for -Tat.” It’s ver y simple: You start out cooperating, and in each subsequent round s imply do what you r opponent did the last time. You punish defections, but once the other player cooperates , you’re willing to let bygones be bygones. At first it seems to garner only mediocr e success. But as time goes on, the other strategies defeat themse lves, from too muc h kindness or too much cruelty -and this middle way pulls ahead. Except for always bein g nice on the first move, Tit -for -Tat is identical to the Brazen Rule. It promptly (in the ver y next game) rewards cooperation and punishes defection, a nd has the great virtue that i t makes your strategy absolutely clear to your opponent. (Strategic ambiguity can b e lethal. ) TABLE OF PROPOSED RULES TO LIVE B Y The Golden Rul e Do unto others as you would have them do unto you . The Silver Rul e Do not do unt o others what you would not have them do unto you . The Brazen Rul e Do unto others as they do unto you . The Iron Rul e Do unto others as you like, before they do it unto you . The Tit -for -Tat Rul e Cooperate with others first, then do unto them as they do unto you . Once there get to be several players employing Tit -for -Tat, they rise in the standing s together. To succeed, Tit -for -Tat strategists must find others who are willing t o reciprocate, with whom they can cooperate. After the first tournament in which t he Brazen Rule unexpectedly won, some experts thought the strategy too forgiving. Nex t tournament, they tried to exploit it by defecting more often. They always lost. Eve n experienced strategists tended to underestimate the power of forgiveness an d reconci liation. Tit -for -Tat involves an interesting mix of proclivities: initial friendliness , willingness to forgive, and fearless retaliation. The superiority of the Tit -for -Tat Rule i n such tournaments was recounted by Axelrod . Something like it can be found throughout the animal kingdom and has been well -studie d in our closest relatives, the chimps. Described and named “reciprocal altruism” by th e biologist Robert Trivers, animals may do favors for others in expectation of havin g th e favors returned — not every time, but often enough to be useful. This is hardly a n invariable moral strategy, but is not uncommon either. So there is no need to debate th e antiquity of the Golden, Silver, and Brazen Rules, or Tit -for -Tat, and the prior ity of th e moral prescriptives in the Book of Leviticus. Ethical rules of this sort were not originall y invented by some enlightened human lawgiver. They go deep into our evolutionary past . They were with our ancestral line from a time before we were human . The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a very simple game. Real life is considerably more complex . If he gives our apple to the pencil man, is my father more likely to get an apple back? No t from the pencil man; we’ll never see him again. But might widespread acts o f charit y improve the economy and give my father a raise? Or do we give the apple for emotional , not economic rewards? Also, unlike the players in an ideal Prisoner’s Dilemma game , human beings and nations come to their interactions with predispositions, b oth hereditar y and cultural . But the central lessons in a not very prolonged round -robin of Prisoner’s Dilemma ar e about strategic clarity; about the self -defeating nature of envy; about the importance o f long -term over short -term goals; about the dangers of both tyranny and patsydom; an d especially about approaching the whole issue of rules to live by as an experimenta l question. Game theory also suggests that a broad knowledge of history is a key surviva l tool .
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