So some lawyers cheated in Bar exams in 2020. It is all the more ironic and shocking that one of the papers involved was about professional ethics. I’m afraid professional exams and papers including materials on ethics and conduct have descended into a mere tollbooth or barrier to entry rather than serving its meaningful purpose of qualifying the right candidates.
As a culture, we have gradually focused more and more on measureable attributes especially such as competence, at the expense of character. And because character wins out only in the very long term, in a society where speed, convenience, showing immediate results are important, attributes like integrity takes a big hit.
These incidents call to question whether taking exams on code of conduct is sufficient. And whether character is built upon knowing some kind of moral code vis-a-vis believing and practising them.
I’ve an inkling, but no research to back me up, that the prevalence of family breakdowns, rising rates of divorce and dysfunctional relationships can in themselves be traced back to this failure as a culture to invest in and bother with character attributes. Relationships, personal and family are the ones that have to really withstand the test of time unlike a job, a business traction or a year in school. These would naturally suffer more when our view of character has come so low in our thoughts about what makes a successful human being.