Letter of the Law

June 26, 2014, by

Most of us will agree that the commandments of the Torah are divine and righteous. It is only reasonable that we should make all efforts to observe them in the most literal and meticulous manner possible. But sometimes we neglect the literal observance of a commandment because we feel that we understand the reason behind […]

Read more

Internet Privacy I-When Consent is Truly Informed

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Our firm collects private information about our customers. For instance, we have the measurements and style preferences of garment purchases. Can we sell this information to other vendors? A. It’s true that giving information to other vendors has some advantages for the customer. Exactly because such information enables the seller to concentrate his ad […]

Read more

Personal Phone Calls

June 24, 2014, by

Q. My company officially allows employers to make one personal phone call a day. No one keeps to this limit, and everyone, including top management knows it. Since top management “turns a blind eye”, is it unethical to make more than one personal call?  A. There are two different reasons management could be looking the […]

Read more

Unethical Moral Leaders

June 24, 2014, by

Q. I recently started work at a non-profit public interest organization. Surprisingly enough, some of the people who work in this establishment are not necessarily ethical. Although the head of our organization is a prominent crusader for public morality and social conscience, I have caught him in several outright lies during meetings, and I have […]

Read more

The Upshot on Downloading MP3s

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Is there anything wrong with downloading MP3 songs from the Internet, using peer-to-peer networks like Gnutella? A. Recorded songs are similar to other public goods like bridges or roads – they cost a lot to create, but once they’re around many people can enjoy them at low cost. Just as the government supports bridges […]

Read more

Ethical Stealing

June 24, 2014, by

ETHICAL STEALING? Q. I made an unwritten agreement with someone to make him something in return for payment. When I told him I’d take back the equipment if he didn’t pay me, he called my bluff and stopped using it! Now he claims that since he’s not using my work, he doesn’t owe me any […]

Read more

Chat Room Charades

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Companies sometimes advertise their products by paying someone to enter an internet chat room under a false name and praise the product as if they were an ordinary customer. Or they send out e-mails to newsgroups recommending the product, again using assumed identities. The representatives sincerely believe in the information they’re sending out and […]

Read more

When Is It Cheating On Taxes

June 24, 2014, by

Q1. My brothers and I inherited a business from our father. They want to save taxes through a complex scheme involving an offshore tax haven. Is this ethical?  Q2. As a CPA, I encounter many people who ask me to be as creative as possible in helping them reduce their tax liability. They tell me […]

Read more

Protecting Oneself from Slander

June 24, 2014, by

Q. After I was fired from an executive position at a known charity, I created a new foundation to advance my own programs for underprivileged youth. The executive director of the charity then began spreading horrible slanders about me. I have responded by sending a “truth team” of reliable colleagues to justify my actions, but […]

Read more

Snitching

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Some kids at my school relieve their boredom during class by booby-trapping the chairs in the auditorium. I’m afraid that someone could really be hurt if they sit down in one of the “fixed-up” seats. I let the teacher know by writing an anonymous letter. Was this the right thing? A. Deciding when to […]

Read more