Ethics


Armed robber was never told to report to prison.

Lance Armstrong is a cheater and by most accounts an insufferable asshole. Those qualities led to his success, and he has leveraged his success to create a charitable organization focused on fighting cancer. If his charity finds some amazing breakthrough in cancer treatment, does that somehow render the cheating and bad behavior net beneficial?

Bill Gates possibly broke laws and certainly behaved unethically in pursuit of his fortune. However, he was able to create a powerful foundation, and his foundation is on the verge of curing polio. Here we are with the same problem, and one could make a similar case for most business tycoons (Carnegie, anyone? Rockefeller?).

I don’t know how to reconcile this in my own mind.