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Please post your answers to the following questions:

Can an independent thinker be a team player?

Should we admit to doing wrong?

What is the difference between a mistake of the mind and a mistake of the heart?

Dilemma:

You are the lead investigator in a double homicide case. You develop a suspect, and during your interrogation, you have the opportunity to lie to the suspect concerning the evidence you have against him in this case. The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld lying to a suspect as an ethical practice in Arthur v. Commonwealth 1997. As a Christian, you know it is a sin to lie. Will you lie to the suspect concerning the evidence you have against him in this case in an attempt to illicit a voluntary confession? This interrogation technique is legally accepted; however, is it moral and ethical?

During this class, we have continued to emphasize the importance of strong character driven leadership. Please provide a biblical example of unethical leadership and describe its consequences. Please provide a biblical example of strong ethical leadership and describe its advantages.

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Book CJUS350: CRIMINAL JUSTICE

featuring

Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice, 10th Edition

Joycelyn M. Pollock

Read ch 14

CJUS 350
LECTURE NOTES: HONESTY
Can an Independent Thinker be a Team Player?
Should We Admit to Wrongdoing?
The Ninth Commandment Stated
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). It is only in seeking
and bearing witness to the truth that man is associated with God. For, in fact, God is truth! Jesus
said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17), and, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
No matter what other faults and weaknesses a person may have, if he is willing to speak the
truth, live openly and truthfully what he really is, and acknowledge the truth when it is shown to
him, that person can be respected and helped to overcome personal weaknesses.
The far-reaching spiritual applications of the ninth commandment are tremendous. There is a
personal, living Almighty God of this universe whose ways and laws are intrinsically right.
Therefore, an honest person—one who is willing to speak the truth and acknowledge the truth
when it is revealed—must eventually be converted to the true God and His ways! But if one’s
word is no good, and one is in the habit of lying to others (and oneself), one’s very character and
mental processes are so twisted and perverted so as to prevent understanding the truth of God
until one’s lying mind is cleaned up! That is why it is so vitally important that—even though
people may have honest differences of opinion on many matters—we all learn to live and speak
truthfully. Yet we are living in a society that is increasingly permeated by various forms of
untruth, hypocrisy and self-deception. If we are ever to build the character of God—and inherit
eternal life—we must consider the ninth commandment in all of its ramifications, and learn to
obey it.
The ninth commandment protects every upright and decent person, in that it helps guard
reputations. Perhaps there is no more despicable sin than that of slander, the lie invented and
spread with intent to harm another human being. A thief takes only material goods, which may
usually be replaced. But a false witness who slanders may rob one of esteem and reputation in
the eyes of others—and chances are slim that a lost reputation will ever be fully regained.
The Practical Value of Honesty
The immediate value of being able to rely on a man’s word would not only guard every decent
man’s reputation and eliminate millions of wasted hours from the burden of investigating every
statement and report several times over, it would also prevent unworthy men from ever being
placed in high positions of responsibility. It would absolutely clean up our society! Often, today,
entire nations are guided by leaders who are in power only because of their ability to delude and
deceive their own people! Throughout the world, we see dictators arising and promising their
followers something for nothing. By means of clever propaganda, a leader makes the people
believe what he himself knows to be a big lie. Then follow many months or years of uncertainty,
anguish, and frustration, until ultimate disaster strikes and the truth is finally made plain only by
force of circumstance.
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CJUS 350
Even in our democratic nations, men are all too often recommended for high office—not
because of integrity and ability, but because of what seems expedient at the moment in party
politics. The political and governmental leaders who countenance this are certainly “bearing false
witness” against their fellow countrymen! They are living a lie—as well as helping tell one. In
the field of industry and business, think of the tremendous benefit that would come to the public
if each company would really tell the truth about its own product and honestly seek to serve the
consumer’s real needs! The effects of this would be absolutely astounding! Think of a society
where each brand of toothpaste and breakfast cereal, for example, was not just an imitation or
needless variation of another but was the only and best of its particular type, honestly priced and
truthfully advertised! Apply this to every phase of society and you get something near utopia.
But this is not a farfetched or fantastic suggestion. It is simply the blessing that would come if
the entire society really and literally obeyed the ninth commandment of God! If you would live
forever in the society of God, you are commanded by Him who gives you life and breath:
“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are
members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25).
Apply the Ninth Commandment in Your Life
The very root principle of all sin is vanity. “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; vanity of
vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The real reason most men reject the true God is that
they want to be “gods” in their own eyes and the eyes of their fellow men. It is vanity. Every sin
that is committed by human beings has its ultimate roots in this one principle, and so it is with
every form of lying.
People lie because they are more concerned with their own self-esteem and sense of importance
than they are with the ultimate good of their neighbor. They speak and act falsely because they
fear the opinions of men much more than that of Almighty God Himself! The daily actions and
words of nearly all men bear eloquent testimony to the literal truth of this statement. As John
said even of the religious leaders of his day, “they loved the praise of men more than the praise
of God” (John 12:43). Men and women are often ashamed of what they call “failure” in a
business or social sense. They will cheat, falsify and lie in order to avoid this “failure”—or to
cover it up.
But from the point of view of what is intrinsically “right”—and of eternal values—the thing they
should fear is sin. For, as the Apostle Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
(Romans 8:31). Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all
kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:11). We all had better quit worrying so
much about what puny, mortal men think—and become far more concerned about what
Almighty God thinks! Then we will learn to cease from all hypocrisy in business, in social life,
in politics—yes, in our religious and scientific endeavors. Remember that many whom this
deceitful world condemned have received God’s blessing and are heirs of eternal life. Never
forget that it was through the sin of false testimony and lying that Jesus Christ was murdered!
“For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree” (Mark 14:56).
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CJUS 350
Since, through vanity, men want to believe what is popular at the moment, they will kid
themselves and their associates into believing even religious and scientific theories that have no
basis whatsoever in actual fact! God warns against all such hypocrites, “For the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth
in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
Men suppress the truth. God is condemning those who knowingly suppress the truth of His
existence and His purpose on this earth! God says the vain philosophers and scientists of this
world are “without excuse” for denying that He literally created this universe and is now ruling it
through His power (v. 20). Most scientists and theologians who believe in the Satan-inspired
theory of evolution ought to know better. Some of them do know better! But they are going
along with what pleases men, and they are living a lie! God says they are “without excuse”!
And in the same category are those ministers and Bible students who continue to teach and
practice what they know are ancient heathen and pagan beliefs and customs condemned in the
Word of God. In all too many cases, they know better! They are “without excuse.” The continued
teaching of these basic scientific and spiritual lies is the very thing that is blinding most of this
world from the real nature of God and of His true plan and purpose here below. This is the truly
terrible result of bearing false witness, self-deception and lying. For as long as supposedly
“educated” leaders keep deceiving themselves and others about the very existence and power and
plan of God, our civilization is doomed!
Live by the Truth
In your own personal life, then, learn the importance of telling the truth, believing the truth,
living the truth. Be careful not to base your whole life on a series of lies—whether they be
personal, political, scientific or religious distortions of truth. Remember, it is the truth that will
make you free (John 8:32). In your personal speech, guard your words carefully. Never forget
that a person is only as good as his word. It is almost impossible to help one who has become a
habitual liar, because any response to help may simply be another deception. One of the basic
qualities of God’s character is that He is truth. If we could not rely on God’s Word, there could
be no real assurance of forgiveness from past sins, of present help in time of need, or of future
reward and eternal life.
If God had tremendous well-meaning love, and all wisdom and power—but you could not rely
on His Word or His promises—where would you be? Have you ever thought of it that way
before? The very diametric opposite of God’s character is that of Satan the devil. As Jesus Christ
revealed, “When he [Satan] speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar, and
the father of it” (John 8:44). Those who follow Satan in his refusal to live by truth have a terrible
fate awaiting them, “But the cowardly, unbelieving…and all liars shall have their part in the lake
which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Remember,
there are no “white lies” in God’s sight. Half-truths, distortions and deceptions are condemned
throughout God’s Word. Jesus said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Let us live by that
inspired Word that we may inherit eternal life in the kingdom that is based on what is literally
true and right. This is the message of the ninth commandment.
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CJUS 350
We are more apt to forgive someone who makes a mistake and accepts responsibility for the
mistake that we are to forgive someone who makes a mistake and lies about it.
Always tell the truth!
A Matter of Public Trust
Law Enforcement Oath of Honor
On my honor,
I will never betray my badge,
my integrity, my character,
or the public trust.
I will always have the courage
to hold myself and others
accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the
Constitution,
the community,
and the agency I serve,
so help me God.
– Developed by the IACP Committee on Police Ethics, 2000
As an officer in our criminal justice system, you will inherit a tremendous amount of public trust.
Keep that trust sacred and always try to make the right decisions.
In whatever you do, always be your own person no matter how difficult it may be.
When you are sworn in as a new officer, there are 2 items on your uniform that you control the
integrity—your badge and your name.
References:
Meredith, R.C. The Ten Commandments. Retrieved from
http://www.tomorrowsworld.org/booklets/the-ten-commandments
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