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Odysseus: Hero Or Villain? Compare Odysseus To Modern Day Ceo's, With Relevance To Situational Ethics In Homer's Odyssey.

1015 words - 4 pages

Odysseus: Hero or Villain?Whether in times of war or in times of "peace," dispute has not ceased nor will ever cease as long as there are humans upon this Earth. Within these humans originates the essence of dispute: rationalization. Presupposing that there is no external source of absolute truth, it is necessary to decipher all we encounter, in an attempt to find self-explanation. Although humans are, in part, physically the same, mentally they are vastly dissimilar. The process by which each individual interprets their surroundings is different, subsequently creating variation of self-explanation between members of the human race. An individual's set of unique rationalizations forms the baseline standards and ethics to which that person adheres. Therefore, one can say the concept of ethics has not changed over the years; right to one is wrong to another. Thus, ethics are carried out and adjusted on a situational basis, in accordance with relative truth. We then find Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey greatly corresponds to some modern day CEO's and their respective practices.Sam Waksal, former CEO of ImClone, allegedly informed close friends and family about the denial of the company's cancer drug Erbitux before publicly announced ("With Insider Trading, The Key is Who Knew What and How They Knew It," Catherine Valenti, abcnews.com). Ever since ImClone made known their pending approval by the FDA for their "miracle" cancer drug, stock prices steadily increased. Waksal received the FDA's response denying approval for Erbitux. FDA denial would cause stock price to drop dramatically; for Waksal to honestly and legally sell stock and save money, prior disclosure to the public was required first. Waksal allegedly withheld the information until family members and friends sold off stock so they didn't lose money, which is illegal. The question is not whether Waksal broke the Law, but whether it was "right" and "moral" to do so.A popular bumper sticker reads, "The one who dies with the most toys wins." Another famous saying, "The ends justify the means," also weighs heavily upon the "guilty" Sam Waksal. For instance, Sam cared about his family enough to withhold information so they wouldn't suffer economic losses, even though according to the Law withholding such information was illegal. This shows concern for his family and friends. Is this wrong? Odysseus also cared for his family enough to spend years at sea and risk his life to attempt to reach them, but in the process all his men were killed. Although Odysseus warned his men of the dangers lying ahead before he set out for Ithaca, he is, in a way, "guilty" of their deaths. Some in our society consider both Odysseus and Waksal at fault and therefore they reason Odysseus and Waksal should be punished. But how can some in our society say he is guilty when others do not agree? As stated earlier, "An individual's set of unique rationalizations forms the baseline standards and ethics to which that person...

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