Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ethics Waivers

A listserv I read was discussing the subject of ethics waivers in government. The term, "ethics waivers," is often used as a synonym for conflict of interest waiver under the Ethics in Government Act. Interestingly, waivers are mentioned 61 times in the House Ethics Manual (see ). There are many--routine and special--circumstances where such "waivers" are given as a kind of "teleological suspension of the ethical" I don't understand. Surely, there is no higher duty than ethics, and ethics cannot be incompatible with religious duty. (See, for example,, wherein Kierkegaard would argue that the religious is indeed a higher duty than the ethical, in a manner perhaps unknowable).

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