The Ethics of Power

British historian, Lord Acton, earned himself an honorable mention in history when he coined the aphorism, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” At the end of a week in which Barack Obama will arguably become the most powerful person on Earth (others may argue for Rupert Murdock or the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank), it is a good time to reflect on the ethics of power. What roles do we play in life in which we are in a position of power? How can we wield power ethically either as individuals (parents, employers, supervisors, professionals) or as a nation or even a superpower? After service there will be Crosstalk in the sanctuary—an opportunity to explore over coffee hour the varied and individual responses to the ideas raised during the service. This will be the third in this year’s series on ethics, following services on the ethics of greed and the ethics of energy. Speaker, Mike Walleri. Lay leader, Cam Leonard. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

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