When Did You Lose Your Moral?

When did you sell out?  Or better yet, when did you lose your moral sense of ethic, your conscious towards others, nature, and yourself?  I am proud to call myself an anthropologist.  We are the do-gooders, we see to educate and better humankind (and not through a bigger TV or appliance), but through education about ourselves, and our surroundings.  There are four sub-fields in anthropology and each one contributes to another applying it to everyday problems; i.e. diabetes, nutrition, etc.  We have a code of ethics which outlines our responsibilities to both the individuals studied and the scholarship and science.

 

A small part of our Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association:

 

1. Anthropological researchers have primary ethical obligations to the people, species, and materials they study and to the people with whom they work. These obligations can supersede the goal of seeking new knowledge, and can lead to decisions not to undertake or to discontinue a research project when the primary obligation conflicts with other responsibilities, such as those owed to sponsors or clients. These ethical obligations include:

To avoid harm or wrong, understanding that the development of knowledge can lead to change which may be positive or negative for the people or animals worked with or studied

To respect the well-being of humans and nonhuman primates

To work for the long-term conservation of the archaeological, fossil, and historical records

To consult actively with the affected individuals or group(s), with the goal of establishing a working relationship that can be beneficial to all parties involved

2. Anthropological researchers must do everything in their power to ensure that their research does not harm the safety, dignity, or privacy of the people with whom they work, conduct research, or perform other professional activities. Anthropological researchers working with animals must do everything in their power to ensure that the research does not harm the safety, psychological well-being or survival of the animals or species with which they work.

3. Anthropological researchers must determine in advance whether their hosts/providers of information wish to remain anonymous or receive recognition, and make every effort to comply with those wishes. Researchers must present to their research participants the possible impacts of the choices, and make clear that despite their best efforts, anonymity may be compromised or recognition fail to materialize.

4. Anthropological researchers should obtain in advance the informed consent of persons being studied, providing information, owning or controlling access to material being studied, or otherwise identified as having interests which might be impacted by the research. It is understood that the degree and breadth of informed consent required will depend on the nature of the project and may be affected by requirements of other codes, laws, and ethics of the country or community in which the research is pursued. Further, it is understood that the informed consent process is dynamic and continuous; the process should be initiated in the project design and continue through implementation by way of dialogue and negotiation with those studied. Researchers are responsible for identifying and complying with the various informed consent codes, laws and regulations affecting their projects. Informed consent, for the purposes of this code, does not necessarily imply or require a particular written or signed form. It is the quality of the consent, not the format, that is relevant.

5. Anthropological researchers who have developed close and enduring relationships (i.e., covenantal relationships) with either individual persons providing information or with hosts must adhere to the obligations of openness and informed consent, while carefully and respectfully negotiating the limits of the relationship.

6. While anthropologists may gain personally from their work, they must not exploit individuals, groups, animals, or cultural or biological materials. They should recognize their debt to the societies in which they work and their obligation to reciprocate with people studied in appropriate ways.

 

I understand that not everyone is an anthropologist, and probably thinks this does not pertain to them.  But here is the point, the whole point of this is to respect one another and avoid any potential harm that could be caused.  Lying, or only telling half the truth to someone with no regard of what they implications of what may happen is irresponsible and to put in layman’s terms, mean.  This goes for any scenario in life, your everyday interactions.

 

At what point did people lose their respect for another?  Was it for instant gratification?  Was your maliciousness really worth it?  In the study of psychology many horrible studies have been done to try and prove a point; abuse of animals, keeping people in rooms with no watches, I mean how far is far enough? Or is there no end?  Every action has a reaction, and when it comes to the well being of someone else the result is never really the expected result, and underlying damage that can be done insurmountable.

 

I hope you try and think that everything you do has a consequence and to remember that the other person is a human being like you and is not superfluous.

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About Love and Anthropology

I am currently a 28 year old student doing her second BA in Anthropology... It has taken this long to just to decide that I will do what I love in life! I am deeply interested in people, and how they adapt to their surroundings. I look at life, and every conversation as a gateway into understanding this crazy world.

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