1. Confidentiality
X tells you in the strictest confidence that she is having an affair on the side. Her partner, Y, asks you straight out: ‘Do you know if X is having an affair?’ Do you:
a) Lie and say you don’t know
b) Tell the truth
c) Say: ‘Ask X’
d) Ask Y if he wants to talk about the problems in his relationship with X

2. Work
You are working for a large company which is putting a lot of resources into trying to find a treatment for aids. You have found out that one of your colleagues is leaking research information to your company’s competitors. Do you:
a) Take no action
b) Report your colleague
c) Think: ‘Good, the drug will be more widely and cheaply available if it’s made by more than one company
d) Try to raise the issue with your colleague and take it from there

3. Property
Your home is burgled and your TV is stolen. Actually it had just broken down, irreparably, and was worthless. You have insurance, but do you:
a) Claim it as stolen and look forward to getting a new one
b) Tell the insurance company the truth
c) Make out it was an even better one than it was, and take pleasure in ripping off the insurance company
d) Claim for it in full and appease your conscience by giving some money to charity

4. Giving
Someone comes up to you on the street and starts hassling you for money for ‘a cup of tea’ or ‘a coffee’. It’s pretty obvious that it’s really alcohol he wants the money for. Do you:
a) Apologize for not giving
b) Tell him that you believe him
c) Do as your mood takes you – whether it means giving or not
d) Give something – because you generally do

5. Schooling
You have a small child about to start school. In your area children entering state- or publicly funded education have to go to their nearest school, which in your case has a low academic standard. Do you:
a) Move house to an area where there is a good local school.
b) Write a letter of complaint to your political representative or your local newspaper explaining why you don’t want to send your child to the local school
c) Start looking for private alternatives
d) Send your child to the local school all the same and get involved there to try and raise academic standards

6. Deception
You live under a repressive regime and belong to a political party that is outlawed. Someone comes up with the bright idea that you could raise funds for your party’s work by collecting money for a fictitious charity for sick animals. Do you:
a) Feel uneasy about deceiving the people who are giving, but do it all the same
b) Say: ‘No way. It’s dishonest’
c) Grab a tin and get rattling as quickly as you can
d) Try and explore other, albeit less remunerative, alternatives with your colleagues

7. Crime
You see a woman shoplifting in your local corner store. Do you:
a) Ignore her and get on with your shopping
b) Report her to the store owner
c) Give her a wink and whisper: ‘Go for it! All property is theft, anyway!
d) Advise the shoplifter to pay for it or put it back

8. Leisure
You have been set the task of trying to spend the day ethically. Do you:
a) Spend all day weighing up the ethical pros and cons of each potential act – and end up doing none at all
b) Live your normal life
c) Stay in bed, having lots of (safer, non-procreative) sex, consuming fruit (fermented or otherwise), claiming you are being friendly to the environment
d) Do some voluntary community work

9. Environment
You don’t own a car – and are proud of it. However, you are neglecting your ageing parents because there is no public transport to where they live. Do you:
a) Look into getting one via a car-share scheme with another person or group of people
b) Hold on to your green ethics – and keep giving car-drivers a hard time
c) Go ahead and get one if you can afford to, putting your human relationships first
d) Campaign for better public transport and hire or borrow a car when you feel you really have to

10. Sexuality
You have it on the best authority that your political representative is having a secret, lesbian relationship. The politician is married with children and, like most in her profession, exploits her ‘nuclear family’ credentials to promote her career. She also abstains from voting when gay-rights issues come up. Do you:
a) Decide her sex life is her own affair – but ask for regular updates on the gossip all the same!
b) ‘Out’ her to the press – or at least write to her telling her this is what you intend to do if she does not make a statement herself
c) Write to her telling her it’s being a politician that she should be ashamed of
d) Reason that homophobia is a powerful destructive force and it’s acceptable for people who are gay or bisexual to remain closeted

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]So what are your ethics – Answers can be found through link to New Internationalist. Look in past issues for NI289, April 1997, What’s Your Ethics?[/box]