Ethics

Ethics

  • Criminology
  • Research Paper, 2 pages

In a 2–4-page paper, describe a personal experience in which you or someone you know had to make a moral decision—for example, cheating on an exam, stealing out of necessity, or being forced to give up a personal freedom. Include the following in your paper: How did you approach the situation? What steps or actions would or should you take? What are some of the positive and negative consequences for the action that you take? Based on your answer, what ethical theory best describes your approach? Define and critique the differences between the concepts of morality and ethics. Are there similarities between the two concepts? Describe moral principles (beneficence, least harm, respect for autonomy, and justice). Incorporate normative ethics, metaethics, and applied ethics, and discuss one or more the following modern ethical theories: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theories, taken from utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism. Relate free will and reason theories to the moral or ethical dilemma

 

Moral decision
It was an early morning I was in a rush to go to work. I had been stuck in traffic for half an hour or so. I was running late and I could not afford to waste any time. With time, traffic flowed and within five minutes the roads were clear. I drove hastily to ensure that I did not arrive late. On my way, I came across a lady that was besieged with a flat tire. I was in a hurry. Therefore, if I decided to help her out I would inevitably run late (for an estimated twenty minutes, which was not against corporate rules). If I chose to ignore her, my conscience would not give me rest. After weighing the two implications, I decided to help out the lady. After approaching the lady and assessing the extent of damage. I discovered that the tire could only be fixed by a mechanic (an expert). I offered the lady a ride to the nearest mechanic shop. The lady was escorted by one of the mechanics to where she had parked her car. The lady took off (to get her vehicle fixed) and I took off to work.
Impacts of the decision I decided to make
By deciding to give the lady a ride, I was able to assist her in solving her current problem. The lady was able to get her car fixed hence; she proceeded with her daily activities without struggle (through my behavior I was able to maximize goodness). On a rather negative note, I arrived at work fifteen minutes past time. According to the work place policies, a worker is penalized if he or she arrives an hour after the set time. Therefore, I was on the “safer side”. Judging by the impacts of the decision I made, it is evident that the positive outweigh the negative.
The ethical approach I incorporated
Judging by the decision I made, it is correct to say that I incorporated the consequential ethical approach. The consequential approach is one that requires one to assess the impacts of a decision before making it. Before I decided to help the lady out, I assessed the implications that would follow. I discovered that I would arrive twenty minutes (or so) late. However, this implication would not compare to the guilt I would feel, if I chose to ignore the lady. After weighing the two, I chose to confidently push through with the decision I made (Spinoza, 2001).
Concepts of morality and ethics
Ethics may be described as rules that are set by an external source requiring an individual to follow each rule. On the other hand, morals are rules or principles that are set by the individual. There are certain differences between ethics and morals. Ethics are governed by factors such as legal and professional principles. These legal and professional principles change over time, meaning that the ethics change over time too. On the other hand, morals are governed by norms and principles (such as least harm beneficence, justice, and respect for autonomy) that take time to change, meaning that morals do not change over time. The two notions also have similarities. Both relate in the sense that, they dwell on two similar aspects. The two (ethics and morals) rely fully on being right or wrong (Spinoza, 2001).
The virtues approach
The virtues theory is a theory that incorporates virtues such as goodness, kindness, and so on. The virtues are used to offer guidance to people, when it comes to distinguishing right from wrong. In the virtues approach, people are encouraged to embrace good character that will in turn enable them to make moral decisions that meet the conform to the ethics (Gardiner, 2005).

References
Gardiner, S. M. (2005). Virtue ethics, old and new. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University.
Spinoza, B. . (2001). Ethics. Ware: Wordsworth Editions.

 

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