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TOK Presentations

Social Norms and Our Ethical Decisions

Rachael Chesnover

on 21 February 2013

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Transcript of TOK Presentations

For Example: I think that What are the consequences
of not following social norms? Big
Picture Social Norms and our ethical decisions... A close friend of my family divorced her husband and later met a man who was
10 years older than her and remarried to him. By coincidence, her ex-husband ended up remarrying to her new husband's daughter. Does age matter in a marital relationship? What role should social norms
play in our ethical decisions? Social norms are
behavioral guidelines
set by society. Leaving a tip for your waiter/waitress at a restaurant Wearing clothes in public HOWEVER Not all social norms are the same everywhere; different regions have adapted different social norms. ALSO Social norms do not
remain the same for all
of time, but instead
change with societal
development. There are some countries where wearing no clothing in public is perfectly acceptable. Women used to always dress modestly with their shoulders and ankles covered. Now, during warmer seasons tank tops and shorts are very commonly worn. social norms are generally a positive force, establishing order to our actions, but social norms can take on a negative form as well. The consequence depends on the offense. You may receive some peculiar looks, you may lose respect from a peer, or you may lose the friendly acquaintance you had with a neighbor. Positive Social Norm: Saying thank you after someone does you a favor Negative Social Norm: Discrimination against gay people Social norms definitely play a
role in our decision making, but should they? What if... I was presenting this to
all of you and the zipper
of my pants was down? Social Norm: Interrupting while someone is
giving a presentation is rude. Individual Notion: "If I don't tell her, she will be
embarrassed in front of the whole
class and could give her entire presentation with her fly down..." Many of you took
the social norm
into consideration
and it influenced
your decision. I would argue that although social norms can be helpful, your ethical decisions should be based on your personal convictions and ideas and not solely on what society dictates is acceptable. Basic ethics are universal.
Social norms vary with culture. Although wearing clothing or not wearing clothing are social norms dictated by culture, stealing is universally seen as a wrong deed. One should not have to abandon their personal convictions to stay within the lines of social norms. Even though marrying a man old enough to be the father of her ex-husband's new wife does not fit within the margins of social norms, it is ultimately her decision to marry him. Social norms should play a role in our ethical decisions
but should not overrule our personal convictions.
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