There can be no denying that whistleblowers may sometimes have the potential to do us all a great service. Whistleblowers are willing to stand up, sometimes at great cost to themselves, and shine the light of truth into the dark corners where governments and corporations operate in secret.
What is it
You might think we each have a moral duty to expose any serious misconduct, dishonesty, or illegal activity we discover in an organization, especially when such conduct directly threatens the public interest. However, increasingly we are seeing whistleblowers punished more harshly than the alleged wrongdoers, who often seem to get off scot-free. Given the possibility of harsh retaliation, how should we understand our moral duty to tell the truth and reveal wrongdoing? Should we think of whistleblowers as selfless martyrs, as traitors, or as something else? Do we need to change the laws to provide greater protection for whistleblowers? John and Ken welcome our era's most renowned whistleblower, former CIA analyst Edward Snowden, for a program recorded as part of the Stanford Symbolic Systems Program Distinguished Speaker series.