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Ethics - Assignment Example

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Ethics

The sense of and compliance with the principles of ethics is what makes man superior to all living creatures. The most convincing ethical system is utilitarianism. It is “probably the basic moral philosophy of most nonreligious humanists today’’ (Harris, 2002, p. 119). Utilitarianism suggests that in any situation, one should adopt that course of action that maximizes the utility for all of the sentient beings. An action that is generally considered objectionable in normal circumstances might be the right course of action in a particular situation because the context and situation might be equally different and unique. One needs to see what is the requirement of a given situation and in what potential ways can the maximum utility of a decision can be achieved in a positive way. Nevertheless, there is a certain level of subjectivity in this process that is difficult to avoid. This involves concerns about whether one should maximize the average, or the sum of the total utility. In addition to that, the utility of future beings also needs to be taken into account. In any case, the only factor that one should care about is maximizing the utility. The fundamental principles of ethics are maintenance of discipline and decorum and spread of mental as well as physical well-being. According to web.mnstate.edu (2012), there are four fundamental principles of ethics, namely the principle of beneficence, respect for autonomy, nonmalefience, and justice. The principle of beneficence obliges us to take such measures that make our actions good. This means that we should make effort to prevent others from harm. Nevertheless, adoption of this principle often involves us into a conflict with the respect of others’ autonomy. We are ethically obliged to have reverence for others’ autonomy so that their decisions regarding their lives are respected. It is the fundamental principle of human dignity. The principle of respect for autonomy deters us from interfering in the competent adults’ decisions and assigns us the responsibility of empowering others. The principle of nonmalefience instructs us not to harm others. In cases where it is not possible to avoid the harm altogether, we are ethically obliged to minimize the harm. Our actions should be such that more good is produced in their consequence than harm. The principle of justice requires us to give others what they deserve. Therefore, we need to consider all people equal and should deal with them impartially. The good life is that in which one never deters from getting one’s right and at the same time, always grants others their rights. An ethically good life is indeed a life that is functionally good (McKinnon, 1999, p. 69). In this world, everybody is interconnected. We have certain obligations toward others and others also have some obligations toward us similarly. To live a good life, we should neither compromise upon our own rights nor deny others their rights. If we compromise upon our own rights but grant others their rights, we essentially become selfless. Selflessness is just as harmful, if not more, for the quality of life as selfishness is. If we always get our rights ...Show more

Summary

Ethics and number Date submitted Ethics Ethics is one of the most debatable topics in almost every aspect of our life (Stahl, 2008, p. 27). There is a lot of subjectivity and conflicts of opinions in the field of ethics…
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