Extra Credit 2

Extra Credit 2 - was a cab line Outside of MSG there was...

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Zach Schatz COM 107 Extra Credit Randy Cohen Lecture – October 19, 2010 Randy Cohen’s lecture, How to be Good , discussed the value of ethics in society. In his profession, Mr. Cohen is the author of The Ethicist column in The New York Times Magazine. His intriguing point of view presents an argument of character versus ethics and how to change one’s character. At the beginning of his lecture, Mr. Cohen said that ethics lead to the maximization of happiness. Using one of his many stories for support, he referred to a story of Franklin’s 13 weeks of virtue. Franklin believed that if you could change your character, you would lead a life of good conduct. Every week he would focus on one new virtue to improve in his life. By the end of the thirteen weeks he found it nearly impossible to achieve his goal. Randy Cohen believes that if we want to change people’s behavior, we need to realize that some conditions make people bad while others good. He gave numerous examples to support this claim as to a change in “condition.” The first example he gave
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Unformatted text preview: was a cab line. Outside of MSG there was once a chaotic scene at rush hour of people hailing cabs, cutting in line, anger and frustration. By placing a simple line of paint on the ground with the words “taxi line” below, order was restored. The next day people began waiting in an orderly line for their taxis. Another example of this relates to the organ donor percentage in America versus European countries. In America, there is an opt-in system where only 25% of its citizens are donors. In the opt-out system of European countries, about 80% of its citizens are organ donors. The simple difference between being asked if you want to be an organ donor, versus not being one accounts for a huge difference. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak much about his experience as a columnist, which I was hoping he would. He did however tell one story about being professional in a social setting and the effects of journalism versus ethics....
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2012 for the course COM 107 taught by Professor Chock during the Fall '08 term at Syracuse.

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