Ethical and Moral Behavior Term Paper

Pages: 10 (4020 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics

¶ … ethical and moral behavior and why such behaviors are necessary in the enforcement of the rules of the criminal justice system

Relationships of Criminal justice system, ethics and morality

The principles of criminal justice lead to acts which are similar to crime in content, and a distinction can be made with crime only if it is understood that criminal justice is moral while crime is immoral. This question has been asked from ancient times and even Saint Augustine had stated that without justice, kingdoms are only great robberies. Thus there is a use of force by both the state which is enforcing justice and the criminal who is committing the crime. The only distinction of the two uses of force is that the use of force by the state is moral while the use of force by the criminal is immoral. (Overview of Ethics & Moral Reasoning) Again, the concept of morality in this is directly linked to a use of force which is acceptable or justifiable. This justification has to come from our reasoning and that is what differentiates between right and the might of the criminal. Thus the concept of morality used here does not have to be only in terms of a morality that is accepted by humans due to other reasons, but also can be shown to be acceptable. The method for showing the acceptability has to be through rational and hence logical arguments.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Ethical and Moral Behavior and Why Such Assignment

The other element involved here is ethics, and that takes us to find out the definition of ethics. The use of morality tells us of the standards of rightness and goodness through which we judge human behavior. Certain standards are accepted for use there and those are non-malevolence, tolerance and truthfulness. The difference with ethics from morality is that ethics is the philosophy which lies behind morality; it is a philosophical study of morality and it gives us the principles of morality that has to be applied to that particular case. Thus ethics differs from morality due to a difference in occupations of the user - there are legal ethics and medical ethics. At the same time we do not talk about legal morality or medical morality. In the case of criminal justice, the study is essentially whether criminal justice is moral and this is to determine the ethics of the occupation of criminal justice practitioner and thus the study can be named as criminal justice ethics. The entire process is a study in philosophy and the object is to understand and find justification for the moral standards that are used by the various users or practitioners within the criminal justice system. The moral standards of those individuals have to be justified in the course of criminal justice ethics.

What are morals and moral behavior?

The matter to be judged in morality is not the acceptable standards of acceptable behavior by individuals; rather it is the rationally justifiable standards of behavior. This is the reason why individuals provide justifications for their actions - they want to show that the actions were not simply a result of self-interest or even selfish actions. This gives the feeling that morality provides us all a neutral standard, and the person offering moral justification is appealing to the universal principles of moral goodness. The assumption is that all humans understand the principles of moral goodness. This gives us the clear concept that morality is not a private matter of individuals, but a matter that can be easily understood by all humans. This also makes it clear that for morality to reach that level then it is clear that morality has to be educated or told to all human beings. Without knowing what morality is how will they accept moral justifications and moral standards of behavior? (Overview of Ethics & Moral Reasoning)

This is one of the ways to make all humans sane and mature and thus responsible for their actions. This also assumes that once individuals know what morality is, they will feel that morality is good for them and others. This again implies that certain standards of behavior are moral behavior, while other types of behavior are not. This has not defined moral standards for any occupation, or behavior related to the occupation. At the same time, it is expected that moral standards will be good for all humans, and neutral among them. This feeling will also be understood by the people that the behavior is moral - at least by the persons who know what morality is. This is the part of morality that is accepted by philosophers and one of them, Kurt Baier has said about morality that morality is good for all individuals alike. It has to be understood that morality is neutral and good for all, and not any specific group.

Overview of Ethics & Moral Reasoning)

Morality of law

While we have talked about morality, and accepted that one of the jobs of criminal justice should be to protect morality. On the other hand, the strength of criminal justice system is in the laws and those exist basically to enforce order more than moral values, and the moral values also change from society to society. There is the question of what should be a crime and related defense for insanity. In a society with a majority of Muslims, the practice is that everybody goes for their prayers or namaz five times a day. If a person does not observe it he is not a true Muslim, but the insane person does not do it and he is still excused. During certain periods of the year, they are not supposed to eat or drink for as long as the sun is up, and this is enforced on even non-Muslims in states controlled by Muslims. Yet again, an insane person is not bound by it. Whether the laws are correct or ethical in themselves are open to doubt, but they are certainly the opinion of the rulers and the laws are enforced, yet the laws are not enforced against insane individuals. Thus the question remains whether morality is different from law or different for insane individuals. (Morality of Law Overview)

Another view of law is that it does not have any morality attached to it, but the resulting compulsions from law give certain benefits to the citizens within the country. These are in the form of peace, predictability and security, and that is the reason why citizens obey laws. The state in turn completes its part of the bargain by protecting citizens who obey the law. This is a type of a bargain, and there are instances when one of the sides is not able to keep their side of it. In certain areas of New York City, there are many incidences that occur which are against the laws, and when even ordinary citizens see them, then they also start disobeying the law. This is where probably custom is taking precedence over law. (Morality of Law Overview)

The behavior of the criminals is also a question that is raised regarding the significance of morality. Generally criminals disobey law to satisfy some personal desires of his personal self. If it is viewed that he committed the act as he did not know what the law was, then the crime is from ignorance, and should thus be attracting only a symbolic penalty. On the other side, if he was aware of the law and still decided to commit the crime, then it is clear that he did some act against what he should have done. This is again a difficult action to blame as long as he is a part of society and the laws are a part of the society's morals. Would it be then correct to say that laws are a part of the society's morals? There are also people who attempt to commit crimes and fail because of various extraneous reasons, and then the guilt in the crime is viewed based on the intent. (Morality of Law Overview) The actual morality of the incident puts him under blame, but the action in itself has not caused any harm. So has the law decided to become the moral policeman? There are many such incidences where the question of morality of laws are open to doubt and should be thought over. The problem is that morality is not a part of any religion, but it is a general behavior that humans are expected to stick to. To repeat the statement made earlier, "morality is good for all individuals alike."

What are ethics and ethical behavior?

As mentioned earlier, ethics is concerned with a profession, and are also sometimes viewed as obligations related to that job. The individual concerned may be engaged in any profession including one in criminal justice, like being a police officer. At the same time, due to their occupations many professions provide individuals with a lot of power over the lives of other individuals. Ethics for the profession which… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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