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Saturday, December 20, 2008

You Can't Teach an Old Dog.....

As the newly elected governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich signed an executive order in 2003 requiring all state employees undergo ethics training. This included the governor himself, and he passed. See the story here. Each employee is required to take and pass the training each year. Rod Blagojevich has passed the course each year for the passed five years.

The problem is that the training amounts to 30 to 60 minutes worth of a Computer Based Learning (CBL) session. Many corporations, especially those in retail, use similar systems to train their employees on a variety of subjects, including ethics. As long as one is attentive during the training phase, passing the self examination portion of a CBL is fairly easy. When it comes to situational ethics, most individuals know what the right thing to do is, regardless of whether they would actually do it. This is the classic definition of sin.

"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17 (NASV)

This type of training is no guarantee of the ethical actions of another, nor is it effective in instilling ethics and morals in a person who is not already in possession of them. However, it is effective at identifying those individuals who are unable to discern right from wrong.

The fact that Gov. Blagojevich passed the ethics training program says nothing about his ethical foundation. The old adage is true, that 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'. It is clear that Blagojevich learned nothing from the ethics training. Having been caught doing the wrong thing, the right thing for him to do now is resign. Blagojevich waved yesterday as that opportunity passed by.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

The fact that Gov. Blagojevich passed the ethics training program says nothing about his ethical foundation

Actually, it speaks volumes. As you say, the real issue hewre is that he knows right from wrong, he chooses not to do it.