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Monday, August 19, 2019

Basic ethics and it's branches

WHAT IS ETHICS?

Ethics defines the elements essential to human well-being and proposes principles to be used as guidelines for generating an ethical culture.

Ethics also refers to the specific values, standards, rules, and agreements people adopt for conducting their lives.

Ethics, most broadly, is the study of human behavior and its consequences in the light of what is ideally possible.

IS ETHICS ONLY ABOUT FOLLOWING CONVENTIONS?

No, Ethics are not merely social conventions, like table manners.
Ethics define the social conditions necessary for human beings to thrive.

CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE ETHICAL-HARMONY?

Ethical Culture proposes that the state of spiritual-ethical harmony would be created whenever people live by these three guidelines taken together:

1. Act as a member of an ideal ethical culture with a sense of interdependence with humanity and nature.

2. Act so as to achieve your own full and unique potential.

3. Act so as to elicit the best and most distinctive qualities in others and thereby in oneself.

DO WE REALLY NEED ETHICS? WHY– YOU SHOULD CONVINCE ME ALSO

Ethics is a requirement for human life. It is our means of deciding a course of action.

Without it, our actions would be random and aimless.
Any flaw in our ethics will reduce our ability to be successful in our endeavors.

To the degree which a rational ethical standard is taken, we are able to correctly organize our goals and actions to accomplish our most important values.

ANYTHING ELSE? WE ARE NOT CONVINCED?

Ethics are important because they give us a baseline for understanding the concepts of right and wrong.
Ethics help us to have a ready understanding of how to react to a certain situation long before that situation happens.
They act as our mediator when dealing or coming into contact with other people.
If we have the wrong sense of ethics we will react to people in a negative manner.

WHAT ARE SITUATIONAL ETHICS? TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT IT

There are situational ethics whereby we react as the situation dictates but our reaction is due to our built-in value system that tells us what to do, not the situation itself.

The major problem with having situational ethics is that they change with the situation.
Having a standard of ethics that governs us each day of our lives means we always know how we are to live no matter what.
There is no second-guessing and no changing your ethics according to what you feel your ethics are at the moment.

WHAT ARE THE APPROACHES TO ETHICS?

Experts divide ethical theories into three areas:

1. Meta ethics

2. Normative ethics

3. Applied ethics

Meta-ethics deals with the nature of moral judgement. It looks at the origins and meaning of ethical principles.
Normative ethics is concerned with the content of moral judgements and the criteria for what is right or wrong.
Applied ethics looks at controversial topics like war, animal rights and capital punishment

SO THAT IS ETHICS..!!!! WHERE DOES THIS ETHICS COME FROM?

Ethics are not born in a vacuum.
Ethics are more like a jigsaw puzzle that is thrown together over time, that when complete makes up who you are and what you believe.
From our earliest days of life, we start to learn from those around us.
These learned behaviors add to the traits that we are already born with and help to shape us into the person we will become.

As part of this learning process, we develop what will become our norms.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY APPLIED ETHICS?

Applied ethics are the practice of ethics, in particular the philosophy of language that aims to guide the moral judgment governing the decisions we make in all areas of our lives.
Applied ethics presupposes language because it depends on dialogue to attain this objective.

IN THIS REGARD CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE 3-FOLD PERSPECTIVE OF APPLIED ETHICS?

1. EDUCATIONAL ANGLE: It aims to accelerate the awareness process and to accompany the exercise of judgment, because “moral judgment cannot be learned; it must be cultivated”

2. POLITICAL ANGLE: It seeks to establish optimum conditions for exercising moral judgment. Applied ethics are a political practice because it is “concerned with the common good”.

3. PHILOSOPHICAL ANGLE: It aims to develop systematic, creative criticism based on meditation on human excellence

WHAT IS INTEGRITY?

Integrity is the virtue of practicing what one preaches. Or more importantly, practicing what one believes is right

Public or organizational integrity is the set of characteristics that justify trustworthiness and generate trust among stakeholders.
Integrity creates the conditions for organizations to intelligently resist corruption and to be more trusted and efficient.

SO WHO IS A MAN OF PRINCIPLES?

A ‘man of principle’ is not a man who understands a principle, but a man who understands, accepts, and lives by a principle.

INTEGRITY IS CULMINATION OF FOUR IMPORTANT PARAMETERS (AS PER THE INTEGRITY ACTION PORTAL, City Road, London, EC1V 2PY, UK.)

1. Accountability
2. Competence
3. Ethics
4. Corruption control

Accountability is both the ability of key stakeholders to check that we do what we say we do, and responsiveness to legitimate internal and external claims. Public institutions have to be held to account.

Competence is the ability to do something well.

EXAMPLE: If an organization doesn’t deliver good infrastructure, healthcare or education for example, it would not, ultimately, be acting with integrity.

Ethics is behaving with honour and public purpose. Engaging with values and issues such as the environment, access to justice, public infrastructure is intrinsically bound to the question of organizational integrity.

The final factor that undermines organizational integrity is corruption. The abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Eliminating corruption requires dedicated resource and institutional mechanisms that must be complemented by other institutions.

WHY IS INTEGRITY A VIRTUE?

The most important reason to practice one’s beliefs is that if they are right, you will be benefiting your own life.

To understand other virtues or principles, and not act by them, is destructive.
It is an act against your own best interest. Any deviation from what you know to be right is an attack on your own life.
The next reason to practice integrity is that it is an affirmation that your ideas benefit your life.

To act contrary to your own knowledge is accepting the premise that morality is somehow different from you own self interest, and that bypassing morality will somehow make your life better.

Every act that violates your integrity weakens the moral habit, until your emotions are unaligned with your thoughts.
Next reason to practice integrity is in dealing with others.
A man who practices what he preaches is predictable, and few will feel threatened by it.

Trust can develop, since others will come to realize you are consistently virtuous. To act without integrity, even occasionally, will leave others distrustful

WHAT IS MORAL LAW?

Moral law includes not only general and abstract rules of action (e.g. “do good and avoid evil”), or, in our language, the sense of the absolute should, but also particular and concrete precepts (e.g. help the poor, obey legitimate authority, be truthful, do not kill the innocent, adultery is wrong, etc.)

First, the moral law is called ‘law’ only metaphorically, or if one prefers, analogically.

The primary meaning of law is “a rule of action, promulgated by him/her who is in charge of a community in view of the common good”.
This is called positive law.
As distinct from positive law, another kind of law is called ‘natural law’.
It is descriptive.
It can also be called prescriptive to the extent if it is considered as willed by God and includes the divine positive law, and descriptive to the extent that this divine will is the ultimate cause of the constant of behaviour in things and human persons

SO WHAT IS MORALITY?

Morality involves what we ought to do, right and wrong, good and bad, values, justice, and virtues.

Morality is taken to be important, moral actions are often taken to merit praise and rewards, and immoral actions are often taken to merit blame and punishment.

SO WHAT IS THE RIGHT & WRONG ANGLE?

Something is morally right if it’s morally permissible, and morally wrong if it’s morally impermissible.
For example, it’s morally right to help people and give to certain charities, but morally wrong to kill people indiscriminately.

IN THIS MORALITY ANGLE, WHAT ARE CALLED FINAL ENDS?

Final ends are goals that we think are worthy.
Pleasure, survival, and knowledge are possible examples of goods that should be taken to be promoted as final ends.

Some final ends are also meant to help us avoid something of negative value, such as our goals to avoid pain and death.

WHAT ARE INTRINSIC VALUES?

Intrinsic values are things of positive or negative value that have that value just for existing
The main difference here is that final ends could merely be psychological—what we take to be worthy goals, but a goal has intrinsic value only if it really is worthy.

NB: It’s hard to pinpoint what morality is about, but we often discuss morality with ease anyway.

There are many related ideas concerning morality, such as what we ought to do, right and wrong, and justice; but these ideas often have a nonmoral counterpart also.

SOME RANDOM TERMS RELATING TO MORALITY

STATUTORY RIDER: Someone could disagree with the examples, depending on where they think morality comes from, but you can see how the words are used anyway.

Permissible – You can do it if you want; it’s morally allowed. (e.g. It is morally permissible to carry your phone in your left pocket, but it would be fine to carry it in your right pocket too.)

Impermissible – You should not do it; it is morally forbidden. (e.g. It is morally impermissible to murder someone.)

Obligatory – You must do it; it is morally required. (e.g. It is morally obligatory to care for your children.)

FROM WHERE DO PEOPLE FORM THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT MORALITY? (THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE SAID)

1. Culture
2. Religion
3. Feelings
4. Pain and pleasure
5. Interests
6. Rationality
7. Rights
8. Relationships
9. Character

SHALL I GIVE SOME EXAMPLES ON MORAL ACTIONS? (INSPIRED FROM THE BIZ TECH LIFESTYLE ARTICLE–DUE CREDITS!!)

Making moral decisions is a complex process
Emotions, distance, and agency play important parts in moral decision making.

There are Moral dilemmas in life and there are of course ways of solving them too. But the solution is depended on a numerous points.

THE TROLLEY PROBLEM

The person can turn a switch that will divert the train from the main track. This will save the five people on the track, but it will kill the person on the other track.

Typically, people choose to turn the switch because sacrificing one life to save five others is the most rational decision.

THE FOOTBRIDGE DILEMMA

In this “emotional” version of the dilemma, a person has to push a stranger from a bridge and onto the track to stop the train and save the life of the five people on the track.

WHAT IF THERE IS ANOTHER ANGLE INVOLVED HERE?

Imagine that person on the bridge is someone you love, for instance.
In that case, it’s likely that nobody would be willing to sacrifice one life to save five others.

NB: it’s easier to kill a person you hate from a distance with a gun than killing a person you love with your bare hands.

The trolley paradigm and similar moral dilemmas are hypothetical, artificial and unusual. In real life, moral decisions often have to be made quickly and implicitly

WHAT IS DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS?

The term deontology comes from the Greek word deon, meaning duty.

The theory of deontology states we are morally obligated to act in accordance with a certain set of principles and rules regardless of outcome.
Thus, deontological theories and duties have existed for many centuries.

Immanuel Kant, the theory’s celebrated proponent, formulated the most influential form of a secular deontological moral theory in 1788.

Unlike religious deontological theories, the rules (or maxims) in Kant’s deontological theory derive from human reason.

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE THEORY INVOLVED IN THIS?

Deontological moral systems typically stress the reasons why certain actions are performed.

Simply following the correct moral rules is often not sufficient; instead, we have to have the correct motivations.

This might allow a person to not be considered immoral even though they have broken a moral rule, but only so long as they were motivated to adhere to some correct moral duty.
Perhaps the most significant thing to understand about deontological moral systems is that their moral principles are completely separated from any consequences which following those principles might have.

Deontologists live in a universe of moral rules, such as:

It is wrong to kill innocent people
It is wrong to steal
It is wrong to tell lies
It is right to keep promises

CAN YOU TELL US SOME TYPES OF DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES? (EXCERPTS FROM ATHEIST DEONTOLOGY PORTAL)

Some examples of deontological ethical theories:

Divine Command
The most common forms of deontological moral theories are those which derive their set of moral obligations from a god.
According to many Christians, for example, an action is morally correct whenever it is in agreement with the rules and duties established by God.

Duty Theories

An action is morally right if it is in accord with some list of duties and obligations.

Rights Theories

An action is morally right if it adequately respects the rights of all humans (or at least all members of society).

This is also sometimes referred to as Libertarianism, the political philosophy that people should be legally free to do whatever they wish so long as their actions do not impinge upon the rights of others.

Contractarianism:

An action is morally right if it is in accordance with the rules that rational moral agents would agree to observe upon entering into a social relationship (contract) for mutual benefit.
This is also sometimes referred to as Contractualism.

Monistic Deontology

An action is morally right if it agrees with some single deontological principle which guides all other subsidiary principles.

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