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Chapter 1: Understanding Ethics
Transcript of Chapter 1: Understanding Ethics
: Based on living up to the ideal version of yourself.
: Societies can place different emphasis on different virtues.
Chapter 1: Understanding Ethics
Principals based on religious, cultural, or philosophical beliefs.
*Intrinsic Value: a value that is good in itself and is pursued for its own sake, whether anything good comes from it or not. (ex: happiness, health)
*Instrumental Value: a value which the pursuit of one value is a good way to reach another value. (ex: money)
When the decision you must make requires you to make a 'right' choice knowing full well that you are:
-Leaving an equally 'right' choice undone.
-Likely to suffer something bad as a result of that choice.
-Contradicting a personal ethical principle in making that choice.
-Abandoning an ethical value of your community or society in making that choice.
What is Ethics?
"Ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay."
- The Josephson Institute of Ethics
The study of how we try to live our lives according to a standard of "right" or "wrong" behavior--in both how we think and behave toward others and how we would like them to think and behave towards us.
Stealing is wrong- but what if you were stealing food for a starving child?
Doing the Right Thing
*Appropriate Individual Behavior
*Appropriate Societal Behavior
*The Golden Rule
(Ethics for the Greater Good): Focused on the outcome of your actions rather than the apparent virtue of the actions themselves.
: The end justifies the means.
There are certain and universal principals that should apply to all ethical judgements.
: No one is accountable for the consequences of the actions taken to abide by those principals.
The traditions of society, personal opinions, and the circumstances of the present moment define ethical principals.
Resolving Ethical Dilemmas:
*The Sleep Test
*Analyze the consequences.
*Analyze the actions.
*Make a decision.
Arthur Dobrin's 8 Questions to an Ethical Dilemma:
1. What are the facts?
2. What can you guess about the facts you don't know?
3. What do the facts mean?
4. What does the problem look like through the eyes of the people involved? (Who are all the people involved?)
5. What will happen if you choose one thing rather than another?
6. What do your feelings tell you?
7. What will you think of yourself if you decide one thing or another?
8. Can you explain and justify your decision to others?
Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Ethical Reasoning:
Stage 1- Punishment & Obedience Orientation
Stage 2- Individualism, Instrumentalism, & Exchange
Stage 3- "Good Boy-Nice Girl" Orientation
Stage 4- Law & Order Orientation
Stage 5- Social-Contract Legalistic Orientation
Stage 6- Universal Ethical Principle Orientation
Frontline Focus: Doing the Right Thing
Frontline Focus: Megan Makes a Decision
The Overcrowded Lifeboat (pg 11)