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Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life by Bill Birchard, Clinton D. Korver, Ronald A. Howard

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CHAPTER 2

Draw Distinctions

Overcoming Faulty Thinking

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.

—Albert Camus1

KURT GERSTEIN WAS A TALENTED ENGINEER in Germany in the 1930s. A devout Christian, he was not easily swept up in the deceptions of the Nazi regime. Just the opposite: although he was a member of the party, he campaigned for keeping the Christian faith alive.2 So fervent was he that, in 1935, he jumped up in a theater to denounce an anti-Christian scene in a play. In 1936, he distributed eight thousand anti-Nazi pamphlets to state employees.

In December 1940, to the astonishment of family and friends, he took another tack of resistance: ...

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