From Ruhi D.,

How ethical are we actually?

This past semester I took a business ethics class where the last topic we discussed had to do with overconfidence of human morality. We like to think of ourselves as beings, that when placed in a difficult situation, would always take the high road.

However this is not necessarily the case. In this unit we discussed two types of morality gauges. The first theory explored how we are as ethical as our inner moral compass. Even if you don’t take action on something, as long as you believe it is wrong or feel the wrongness of the situation you are considered an ethical person. The other theory said that we are only as moral as our actions. Although we may have a moral compass, we are as ethical as the actions we take to keep unethical situations from happening.

On this trip I often think about what I learned in that class and how it applies to the Holocaust. I often wonder how did so many people just passively allowed this to happen. They made no effort to stop those who committed these crimes, and those who committed these crimes seemed to do so without any moral dilemma. Today the Holocaust is always spoken of in hushed tones, and often people try to forget it happened. However, this type of “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture is what created this terrible thing in the first place. What if people pretended for so long that what they were doing wasn’t wrong that they actually managed to convince themselves to believe it wasn’t wrong?

When it comes to Majdanek concentration camp, the curators are still trying to cover up the amount of deaths that occurred. To this day, more than 70 years later we are still trying to undermine what happened in order to protect our own morality. The Holocaust didn’t happen overnight. People slowly, but surely, began to cushion themselves and make excuses for the morally disastrous decision they were making. By shielding ourselves, we allow ourselves to get into a routine and make excuses for the morally questionable actions we do on a daily basis. Embracing and understanding this history in the rawest form is what can help us challenge our own morality and keep ourselves from committing such a crime against humanity ever again.