I don’t know what integrity would look like, but I imagine parts of it. One is integrating near and far thinking. Far thinking: when an issue is merely theoretical, and I can tell my opinion without any cost, I could think anything of it. Abortion fits this: people discuss abortion who would never need one, and their opinion marks “People like us” from “People like them”. We can say it and feel cosy familiarity and togetherness. One makes these decisions according to abstract principle- at least in ones own mind. But near thinking- what do you do when the issue touches you personally, or those whom you love? To have what you say match what you do is integrity.
Universalisability, the moral axiom, is part of it. If something is right for A, the same thing in the same circumstances must be right for B.
Honour is part of it, though honour is more difficult to define. Honour is both “Touch not me but a glove”- watch your step around me- and respect for all things, for everything that is, is holy.
As we have discussed truth and integrity, my lie has been at the front of my mind. I have thought of a defence for it: I told a lie to break a lie, I told a lie to defeat a greater lie. They sought to oppress me with a lie, and they do not deserve straight answers. I thought I could explain this to these douce Quakers, as I explain things to you: being understood, I would be validated. Then I thought, no, I can accept my own argument, I can forgive myself, I do not need absolution from others. This self-containment may be part of integrity.
Plebgate rumbles on. “Gate” is the suffix indicating a scandal- why not “Gategate” for the scandal of the Cabinet minister confronting the police- on his bicycle, what a common touch- at the gate of Downing Street. Then the scandal surrounding what people said about Gategate could be Gategategate. Onywye. No, Andrew Mitchell did not use the word “pleb”, but he treated the police with patrician disdain, and when, poorer witnesses than they should be, they said “he called us plebs” (truly) it was taken literally, and they felt the need to prove the use of that actual word. Now one policeman is in prison, and three sacked.
A planning official told of how architects draw plans with inaccuracies, so that eg. sight-lines and light appeared to fit the rules better, or build subtly differently from the plans in the permission. Getting them to tell the unvarnished truth is so wearing! Esther Rantzen created the word Jobsworth for an official sticking literally to petty rules, but whether they are petty or not depends on where you stand.
Integrity is so much more difficult if you cannot trust rules or authorities.
Quaker faith and Practice: Integrity is a condition in which a person’s response to a total situation can be trusted… Right ethical choices… we cannot take advantage of others by any form of dishonesty…