Doing the right thing
If You Never Got Caught, Should You Still Do the Right Thing?
If You Never Got Caught, Should You Do the Right Thing?
Thesis Sentence: In this essay, I will argue that I am obliged to do the right thing even if I am given an assurance that I will never be caught for not doing the right thing.
Follow-up sentence: I will argue that a) doing the right thing at all times, even if no one is watching, is a moral obligation and b) it is the basis of trustworthiness.
Argument 1, against thesis: There is an argument that doing the right thing at all times may disadvantage or hurt oneself in some instances or in the long run. This is when people take advantage of a person’s good intentions. People who do the right thing or with good intent at all times are likely to fall victims after being taken advantage of by friends, family, workmates, colleagues, peers, or an organization. Some individuals have a tendency to manipulate others for financial, emotional, sexual, or material gains. Therefore, the intent to do right at all times may lead to undesired or disadvantageous outcomes to the doer. Apart from being taken for a ride, the desire to do the right thing at all times may give others a sense of control to stamp authority over you. Simple and good natured people are at a greater risk of being manipulated and taken advantage of due to their helpful and selfless character or personality. Once some individuals realize that another person does the right thing all the time, they may take it as a weakness and exploit them to the fullest.
Example 1, supporting Argument 1: In my life, I have been taken advantage of by a friend in the past, just for being nice to him. My friend kept looking up to me to pay bills most of the times even if I knew that he had enough money to pay his own bills. In other cases, he had a habit of borrowing money without returning any of it even if I reminded him of the same. These incidences made me emotionally and financially strained since my intention was to maintain our ‘good’ friendship and to keep him as a friend. However, it reached a time when I distanced myself from him. That is the time when I began to feel much better psychologically and emotionally since I had then developed a bad attitude that he was taking advantage of me; hence, he was a burden in my life.
Argument 2, against thesis: Doing right all the time, even if one is never got for not doing the right things, denies an individual the chance to take an initiative to do things in alternative ways and hinders creativity, innovativeness, and use of intelligence or self-drive. In such as case, an individual can be reduced to a tool or a machine which is focused on doing a specific duty regardless of the consequences. For example, a soldier who is instructed to kill all the enemies in an area may do it as a duty but his/her conscience may inform him/her that it is ethically or morally wrong to kill innocent civilians; these may include pregnant women and young children. For organizations, insisting on doing the right thing around the clock may deny the organization the benefits of change, innovation, inventions, and progressive improvements that may put it at par with top competitors.
Example 2, supporting Argument 2: In my neighborhood, there is a small grocery store that was forced to close-down during the COVID-lockdown period since it failed to adopt the use of technology; specifically, online and social media marketing strategies like other similar stores in the vicinity. The store continued with the traditional methods of employee-customer physical interactions rather than recruiting home delivery agents or utilizing delivery services like other stores. A drop in the customer-base during lockdown forced it to shut down since it run in losses. This illustrates that doing the right things all the times to keep a tradition may not be suitable in other circumstances.
Such are the arguments against my thesis statement that doing the right thing all the times is a moral obligation and the basis of trustworthiness as a person. But they are readily rebutted in the following paragraphs.
Argument 3, for thesis: Doing the right thing is a moral obligation and a way of maintaining moral integrity. I have a moral obligation to do the right thing at all times even if people may take advantage of me at times. This can help me to maintain good reputation in the public eye. It is a duty to do the right thing since it shields one from self-centered laziness. A sense of duty or moral obligation to do the right thing keeps me from striving to do the good that I truly long for and avoid doing evil things that I may be tempted to do.
Example 3, supporting Argument 3: Moral obligation to do the right thing has helped me to interact and serve others with equity and fairness regardless of basic differences such as gender, social status or class, race, and level of education. This approach has helped me to make many friends and maintain a sense of friendliness with strangers.
Argument 4, for thesis: Doing the right thing at all times regardless of whether I am being watched is the foundation of trustworthiness. Having good intentions in my actions can lead to happiness since I will have good rapport with others and gain emotional and psychosocial support from others. Doing the right thing at all times can help me to avoid getting in the wrong hands of the law. Trustworthiness can be achieved by being consistent in doing what is right at all times. By being trustworthy, people will see me as being responsible, reliable, accountable, and resourceful. Consistency in doing the right thing helps to reinforce trust.
Example 4, supporting Argument 4: Being trustworthy has made others to trust me with their secrets and let me manage their private issues. Trust and being honest has made me to develop and maintain bonds with others. I believe that honesty and trust are important in any personal relationships and improvement of self-esteem. Trustworthiness makes others to feel free to express or share ideas with others.