Integrity - Does it really matter?

Jan 2016
Collapsed wave
I've read somewhere or it was a lecture by Jordan Peterson, that the best predictors of someone's success is if other people want to do business (or cooperate in broader sense) with that person. Not intellect, not knowledge, not ambition, but if other people find it ok to do business with someone.
Jun 2018
New York
I believe it should. And when I really think about it, that seems to be whats missing from my own upbringing. I like to think I have integrity on some level, but am aware I am also lacking much. I'm young and find myself thinking this over more often than not and wish that it was hammered into me when I was growing; because it is extremely hard to break old habits. I may be an honest and kind person in my own eyes, but am I able to accomplish anything with my lack of integrity where such things matter? Work, relationships, education?

I think it is for sure something that is sorely missing from all levels of education and households these days, and continues to decline as the years go on and people around us seem to be more selfish than ever in every aspect of their lives. We need something to strive for outside of ourselves and the guidance to get out there and do it and pass it on. I wish such things would be incorporated into education again, though that seems like a lost cause at this point.

I also believe religion as a huge role to play in this decline. In a world where religion is criticized for being, for lack of a better term, 'seemingly outdated'(my own words). That gives you a clear purpose outside of yourself and the integrity along with it. Something to ground oneself in and work to be that honest, kind, merciful and decent person.

People are all different however, so everyone may have differing views on what integrity is and how that applies to them. The definition stays the same, how people look at it may not. So yes, integrity does matter. If not to a greater group than at least to and for an individual.

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. My father is a multi-millionaire but he could have made a lot more money if he wanted to compromise his principles. I've seen him do what he thought was right even when he knew it would cause him significant personal and financial damage. If I can pass at least some of this to my kids, I will have considered my life well spent.
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Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
I've read somewhere or it was a lecture by Jordan Peterson, that the best predictors of someone's success is if other people want to do business (or cooperate in broader sense) with that person. Not intellect, not knowledge, not ambition, but if other people find it ok to do business with someone.
But the reasons for that could be different... For example if someone is very rich, watch how people line up to sell him stuff... Or if someone has the power to make investment/buying decisions....

Its a fact that people in procurement functions, CIOs (large IT budgets), government officials are courted not becaus of their integrity but because they can made big deals happen..... and sometimes to make the deal happen a suitcase full of money is happily delivered to them....


Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
BTW what exactly IS integrity in modern society where its basically OK to lie and to lie big:

- advertising is basically one big lie, and everybody is exposed to it from an early age
- everyone is encouraged to lie by politically correct speech (and behavior), calling things by strange names and avoiding to call a spade a spade
- most everyone is encouraged to lie to get a job: first on their resumes (by being "optimistic" about their achievements, and "forgetting" about their failures) then during their their job interviews
- inside companies, everyone likewise lies from the CEO top down: again being "optimistic" about their achievements and pushing meaningless slogans such as "we care about our employees" (is that why you constantly demand more performance and free overtime from them ? and why you pay them so little ? because you "care" about them ?)
- in personal relationships people likewise lie to get friends and lovers
- I am not even going to mention politicians or religious figures

as someone said "you know they are lying when their mouth moves"

Think about the many times you've had to lie , dissimulate or use deception .... and sometimes outright steal ...... Children understand from an early age that it is beneficial for them to lie ("the dog ate my home wrok") and they get better at it as they grow older...
Think about the success of confession or psychiatrists.... These basically are the only places where one can tell the truth without negative consequences...

How can someone who had to lie to get their job be expected to "act with integrity" in the job ? Its a hilarious concept, honor among thieves


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
Financial traders have been pointed out as sharing traits with psycopaths as a matter of social and cultural adaption, with some t research to back it up:
Financial traders share traits with psychopaths, research finds

I'm not sure the asked for values are absent. It might rather be a problem of a kind of de-centering of society. It used to be that there was a "we" – as we in this city/nation etc. – that marked out a kind of shared community of people from all strata of society. That's when the people at the top still tend to think it matters how they look in the eyes of the little guy even many pegs down the rungs of society. A kind of feeling of responsibility the shirking of which would make you a cad and a bounder...

These days it might not be so much that the values – the feeling of responsibility itself – but where it is now directed. Too much of the managerial class live in a kind of bubble largely divested of connections with any kind of community surrounding it. Mostly people in a certain walk of life, incomst bracket etc. now relate to other people similar to themselves. The loyalty and values might well still be there more or less unchanged – but since modern communications and logistics allows you to largely cut yourself off from the immediate surroudning, that surrounding, including local community, even national society, starts slipping away. It is at least reduced as a point of reference, and somehing for which you even CAN feel responsible.
Mar 2018
Integrity - Does it really matter?
Should integrity be taught in schools and colleges? Should children be taught about the value of serving their community and their country?
The title of the thread and the opening post draw up a fake equivalence. Not everything that is important can/should be taught in school, and not everything taught in school is/should be important.

There are plenty of things in life which a classroom is not suited for. Integrity is one of them. The only way you could attempt to teach it in class would be some mind numbing skull-drudgery that might well have the opposite effect. That doesn't mean, however, that parents shouldn't try to impart integrity to their children. It just means that there's more to education than teachers and schools.
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