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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 5, 1994)
Today’s morals hold next century hostage
to save world
By John Fulwldw__
Global survival in the 21 st cen
tury will depend on a shared set of
said the presi
founder of the
at a lecture
Kidder, the first
lecturer in the
E.N. Thompson Forum on World
Issues lecture series, gave a lecture
entitled “Shared Values, Troubled
Times: Global Ethics for the 21st
Century” at the Lied Center for
During the lecture, Kidder fo
cused on the Institute for Global
Ethics’ search for common values
and ethical standards around the
Kidder said the world can’t sur
vive the next century with the 20th
The nuclear accident at
Chernobyl in 1986 proved that, he
said. Two electrical engineers who
were performing an unauthorized
experiment to shut down a reactor
caused the accident, he said.
The engineers bypassed six com
puter fail-safes, locked valves in
the open position and held other
workers at gunpoint, he said. Kid
der called their actions “delibe rate,
calculated and unconscionable.”
The engineers were “bright,
working in a large scale system and
Of those factors, Kidder said
only morality could be controlled
The engineer’s actions during
the Chernobyl accidents showed
the effect of technology on moral
ity, he said. Disasters such as
Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez
oil spill wouldn’t have happened in
the 19th century, he said.
The technology of the time did
not allow a ship to carry enough
contaminants to cause a disaster
anywhere near the scale of the oil
spill near Prince William Sound.
The potential for disasters
caused by immoral actions will
become even greater in the 21st
century, he said, making it impor
tant to find a common moral ground.
Kidder said that many univer
sity students often choose unethi
Studies show university students
are dishonest, he said. One survey
found that 76 percent of business
graduate students lied to get into
That doesn’t make much of a
formula for business success, he
Kidder gave two definitions for
ethics and morality.
The first, “obedience to the un
enforceable,” dealt with the differ
ence between ethics and law. He
said a person’s ethics determine
what he would or would not con
For example, ethics prevented
people from elbowing aside an eld
erly lady i n the supermarket to take
the last shopping cart, he said.
But when ethics fail, law fills
the void, he said. Society is becom
ing more regulated by laws, he said,
because ethics are declining.
He said the second definition
was “a question of right versus
Great ethical dilemmas stem not
from questions of right versus
wrong, he said. Instead, they
emerge from a choice between two
things that seem equally right, such
as justice and mercy, Kidder said.
Rushworth Kidder, the former senior editor of the Christian Science Monitor, talks with
Chancellor Graham Spanlor during a reception at the Ued Center for Performing Arts
Tuesday afternoon. Later, Kidder spoke about global ethics as part of the E.N. Thompson
Forum oh World Issues.
Kidder said it was difficult to
solve problems of ethics by teach
ing students and others about it
because of disagreement about what
ethics should be taught.
“We are all so intensely indi
vidualistic, that there is no sense of
common values,” he said.
In his research, Kidder said he
foundeight universally agreed upon
values: truth, love, freedom, fair
ness, unity, tolerance, responsibil
ity and respect for life.
Those values came from a sur
vey he gave that allowed partici
pants to choose definitions for val
ues. Kidder said he found a major
ity of those who took the survey
agreed on the definitions of five of
the eight values.
Kidder concluded his lecture by
saying that ethics and moral ity wi II
be very important in determining
the world’s survival .
“If we are to survive the 21st
century, it will be because... we are
already moving toward a much
clearer sense of what the core,
shared values are going to be as we
get into that 21 st century,’’ he said.
Be a New Student Enrollment
(and get free shirts, too)
Applications are available NOW at the Culture Center,
Office of Admissions, Office for Student Involvement
(both campuses), Multi-Cultural Affairs, and all residence
hall front desks.
Applications Due October 24th!!!
Come to an information session:
Tuesday, October 4 at 4 p.m. - City Union
Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. - Niehardt Gray Room
Wednesday, October 12 at 4 p.m. - Culture Center
Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. - East Union
Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. - City Union
BACK INTO SUCCESS WITH NSE
Proud pigsty dwellers may roll in dough
From Staff Report*
Milton Bradley is rewarding students for
being sloppy. The company is sponsoring a
search for the messiest residence hall room on
college campuses across the country.
The contest is a promotion for a Milton
Bradley card game called “Pass the Pigs.”
Entrants must be nominated by their resi
dent assistant. The grand prize winner will
receive $1,000, a professional room cleaning.
an on-campus party for 100 friends anda Milton
Bradley prize pack. The person who nominates
the grand prize winneralso will receive S1,000.
Additional winners will be chosen from each
state and will receive a “Pass the Pigs” game
To enter, applicants should contact Milton
Bradley for the address and send a4-by-6-inch
photograph of their room and a brief paragraph
explaining why they are proud of their pigsty.
Entries must be postmarked by N6v. I.
Continued from Page 1
concern about the incident.
Monzon said he thought some good would
come from the tragedy.
“I think that there will be more awareness to
the needs of Hispanics and minorities in Lin
coln, Nebraska, he said.
He said Renteria’s death and the ensuing
response that came from the Hispanic and Lin
coln community would make society pay more
attention to minorities.
“We have a voice in this society,” he said,
“and we will not be taken for granted.”
He said the Renteria family appreciated the
community support. The family was planning
to hold a funeral for Renteria Thursday, he said
Renteria’s death also sparked a response
from the UNL community.
Chancellor Graham Spanier announced
Monday a committee would investigate the
University Police Department’s role in the inci
dent. The four-member faculty committee will
review police policies and procedures that are
relevant to the case.
William Lewis, who was appointed by
Spanier to lead the committee, said he hoped
the committee’s investigation would be com
pleted within two weeks.
“We will do our best to be timely,” Lewis
Lewis, who is the chairman of the depart
ment of mathematics and statistics, said com
mittee members were trying to take time from
their busy schedules to pursue the investiga
tion. The committee planned to meet two or
three times this week, he said.
Lewis said the committee would begin its
investigation by reviewing the policies and
procedures of the University Police Depart
ment. He said that included looking into how
the department trained and assigned tasks to
Then, Lewis said, the committee would in
vestigate the University Police Department’s
role in the incident. He said the committee
would begin that part of the investigation by
interviewing University Police Chief Ken
Lewis said Spanier assured the committee
that it would have access to any campus infor
mation regarding the incident. He said that
probably meant the committee would have ac
cess to university police records.
The committee would not seek information
about the incident from the Lincoln Police
Department, Lewis said.
“That’s clearly outside of the job we’ve
been asked to do,’f he said. “The chancel lor has
asked us to look at the matter from the perspec
tive of the university.’’
Lewis, who has been at UNL since 1971,
said he thought Spanier chose him to lead the
committee because he had represented UNL
faculty as president of the faculty senate and as
president of Lincoln’s chapter of the American
Association of University Professors.
Spanier probably chose the other committee
members because they also had represented
UNL faculty, he said.
“He wanted people who would carefully,
honestly and independently look at what hap
pened,” Lewis said.
Other members ofthe committee are Teresita
Aguilar, associate professor and vice chair
woman of the department of curriculum and
instruction; Christina Brantner, associate pro
fessor of modem languages and literature; and
Ronald Ross, associate director of the Office of
Affirmative Action and Diversity.
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