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Ethics & Criminal Justice - Essay Example

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Ethics & Criminal Justice

Moreover, Schafer also contends that when confronted with an ethical predicament, most of us would try to involve balance in our decision making process which has either long term or short tem consequences. The author, furthermore, describes a 'fit' - a 'good fit' results to equilibrium while a 'bad fit' increases conflict. Thus, according to the author, leading an ethical life decreases our confrontation with ethical predicaments. As constraints in time limit clear thinking, individuals must make ethical choices giving sufficient considerations to the consequent 'dilemmas' which may arise from the previous choices we have made. For the author, ethical decisions 'consist of a series of choices', not a single decision, hence, as ethics cements and builds strength of personal character, it does not come free of pain (Schafer 2002).
Similarly, defining ethical behavior does not come free of pain and constraints. Each of us has her own definition of ethics and morality molded mainly by our environment, our individual perception or our personal experiences and our cultures. Thus, the dilemma in ethics is also a dilemma in bestowing it 'justifiable' definitions. Our predecessors, as well as contemporary thinkers and philosophers from the age of antiquity, of various cultures and beliefs were not spared of this predicament. Consequently, one takes a subjective characterization of ethical standards based on our justice system, local regulations, religion, education, culture and our surroundings. What results is a more relative view of ethics versus the ideal ones proposed by Plato or Socrates or Heraclitus. The relative view versus the ideal and universal definition of ethics presents a dilemma since we do not know when to draw the line between realistic ethical applications from the ideal ethical propositions or when and how to apply both principles. Hence, I take the prevailing social and cultural view of what ethical behavior should be. Since society is a result of adaptation to the changes that occurred in our environment, and aims to provide protection of right and promotion of justice, social, legal and cultural standards - standards enshrined, for instance, in our Constitution, laws, social norms, acceptable behavior - of ethical principles, these standards should be the guiding principles of ethical behavior. However, the implications of these principles as defined by our system and aforementioned ethical bases are that, ethical standards and principles evolve over time. 'Evolve' for me, does not really mean 'improve' or 'progress' but rather 'change' for the purpose of adaptation or the preservation of life, liberty, respect for the rights of others and justice or fairness. These ideals, norms and even 'realities' of ethical standards are evident in almost every culture in every community and units of society all across the globe. Thus, even though they are not perfect, ethical principles in my society are 'justifiable' definitions as, apparently, the same ideals exist in other societies, and therefore I take that what is right and 'just' in the society I live in, should be applied using the full force of the law, even if the application of such principles cause much grief.
As aforementioned, such principles and ideals of ethics should evolve and ...Show more


There is one tale of ethical predicament where a rookie officer noticed that his partner, a senior officer, had alcoholic drink as the senior policeman's breath reeked with the stench of alcohol. The former ignored the issue to avoid confrontation and just let the latter drive the car…
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Ethics & Criminal Justice essay example
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