“To Whom Do We Owe Respect?”

Do we have a moral obligation to be respectful toward everyone, or just to those who agree to be respectful in return?

What about those who are not only disrespectful, but who are violent, racist, and bigoted?

And what does it mean to show respect, anyway? Does it just mean speaking with civility, or is there more to it? Can I detest someone but still respect them?

Rick Kyte is the Endowed Professor and Director of the D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he teaches a variety of ethics courses dealing with issues in business, leadership, and the environment. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994. He is the author of several books and writes a regular column for Lee Enterprises newspapers titled “The Ethical Life.” He is asked to speak frequently on the topics of servant leadership and ethical decision making.

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