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Ethics - Essay Example

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Ethics

Broader ethical issues are determined by society rather than the individual. For example, most people would agree that it is wrong to steal. There is really no way that someone can justify that, even though they might be in an extreme situation. On the other hand, a personal ethical decision is based on one's own experiences and thoughts. For example, I believe that it would be wrong to cheat on an exam, but there may be others that differ from that opinion. My belief about that comes from the way I was raised and also the fact that I believe that exams are a time to gauge one's ability, and cheating gives a false representation of this. Finally, there are ethical choices based on a personal circumstance or situation. Someone who is poor may justify taking money left unattended to because they desperately need it. Other people who are not in need of cash are more likely to try and return it to the owner. Personally, I make most of my decisions based on my values and religious beliefs but also my gut feel. If an action does not feel right, then I probably shouldn't be doing it. I closely follow the principle of utilitarianism because I think that any ethical decision must consider all the parties that will be affected by the action. Just because I benefit from an ethical decision does not mean that other people will also benefit, so it is important to weight all these factors up before making an ethical decision. ...
On the other hand, those of questionable moral character have likely only acting ethical on certain occasions, if at all. I believe that even if the possibility of being caught is extremely low, it is still important to act ethically because it sets a right mindset. There is a saying that goes "set a line in the sand." What this means is that we need to have boundaries of how far we are willing to go. Just because no one else will know or the likelihood of being caught is low does not mean that we should get rid of or move the line in the sand. Acting ethically at all times helps to breed consistency, and this will hold us in good stead when it really counts. I believe that decisions we make in secret are actually more important than those we make in public because they help to show our true character. I believe that if there was no possibility of detection, then most people would likely not pay their taxes. These types of people would justify their decision based on the fact that no one else would find out. Money is a subject that divides many people because of the power and status it brings. I do agree that individuals act in their own economic self-interest because we live in a capitalistic society where hard work and success are valued. Thus everyone wants to get ahead, and if not paying taxes can help then so be it. I do however think that most of those people who would avoid paying tax if they could get away with it would not openly admit to thinking that. The reason is that the process of paying tax is one of the most basic in our society and one of the greatest responsibilities of every working citizen. For those who would still pay their taxes even if they could get away with not paying them, I ...Show more

Summary

Essay on Ethics My general ethical philosophy is that everyone has the freedom and right to make whatever decisions they deem acceptable. Ethical choices are based on a whole host of different factors, such as personal opinion, societal attitudes, and the circumstances of a given situation. …
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