I read an ethics article this week and the term “unintended consequences” was used in regards to being a result of decision making. This concept intrigued me to think further on it.
If something is an “unintended consequence” of a decision, does it make any less important or vital? Was it unintended because one did not think enough about the consequences of one’s decisions before the decision was made? Is this a situation of naivete or of purposeful denial of the importance of considering possible unknown consequences of that decision?
One still needs to be held accountable regardless of intended consequences or unintended consequences. Therefore, it follows that if one needs to be held accountable and needs to be ready to take responsibility for the intended or unintended consequences, but is that the case?
Unintended consequences cannot be used as an excuse, which gives one an ”escape” of taking full responsibility for the decision. On the other hand, should unintended consequences be used as an excuse for the lesser of two evils to accomplish a great good? If so is this acceptable?
Sometimes words and phrases are used to desensitize those who made the decision as well as those that are affected by the decision. Care needs to be taken to keep those “unintended consequences” to a minimum and if/when they do occur to take responsibility immediately for the sake of being transparent as a role model of ethical behavior.