Term Paper: Ethical Theory Ethics in Law

Pages: 3 (1055 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] What is moral behavior for a father in disciplining a child may not be the same as the moral behavior expected of the child.

It is virtually impossible to predict every situation an ethical actor may find him or herself confronting or to devise rules that are transcendent across all situations and relationships. Given this challenge, following the 'Golden Rule,' or trying to be a virtuous person at all times seems more reasonable. One does not necessarily have to subscribe the hierarchical system prescribed by Confucius to believe in the concept of 'the Golden Rule' and the belief that a moral character is the primary determinant of moral agency.

When I am making a moral decision, I try to 'put myself in the other person's shoes' and ask myself how the affected person would see the world. However, I also acknowledge there are different perspectives than my own, and agree with Confucius that the ethical responsibilities of an older person to a child may be different than the child's obligations to an adult. This sense of relativism underlines the lack of absolutes when making moral decision. Even under the law, children are treated different than adults, and depending upon your relationships with others you may have different ethical responsibilities. A policeman is supposed to place the safety of the public above his own personal safety unlike an ordinary citizen; members of the public are supposed to extend added deference to the police, when dealing with the law on an everyday basis.

The notion of what constitutes 'good character' is to some degree relative, of course, which is a predominant criticism of other ethical theories, including utilitarianism and deontology. Just as concepts of who constitutes the majority may be and what rules are correct are culturally determined, ideas such as honesty, thrift, and compassion that are thought to make up a good character may be emphasized to different degrees, in different societies. In some societies, such as that of Confucius, an obedient child was considered to be 'better' than a child who acted upon his or her individual convictions to foster social justice, while this moral valuation would be the opposite in contemporary America. Not even virtue-based or character-based ethics can be appealed to as transcendent.

Still, despite this caveat, I find the Golden Rule to be the only rule which I can say that I try to follow on a daily basis. In some scenarios, I may focus on the consequences of actions, in others upon principles. Usually, that is based upon my judgment about how certain I am what the consequences may be, balanced by the moral seriousness of my action and its potential harms. But I believe that my ability to weigh deontological principles against utilitarian calculus in an effective manner ultimately lies in my moral character and adherence to my personal sense of the virtue-based ethics.

References

Velasquez, Manuel Dennis Moberg, Michael J. Meyer, Thomas Shanks, Margaret R. McLean,

David DeCosse, Claire Andre, and Kirk O. Hanson. (2009). A framework for thinking ethically. Santa Clara University. Retrieved:

http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework.html [END OF PREVIEW]

Ethical Theories: In Philosophy, Ethics Essay


Comparison of Ethical Theories Essay


Ethics Theory Research Proposal


Ethical Theories Are the Foundations Term Paper


Ethics and Persuasion Term Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Ethical Theory Ethics in Law.  (2012, March 14).  Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-theory-ethics-law/4381537

MLA Format

"Ethical Theory Ethics in Law."  14 March 2012.  Web.  18 October 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-theory-ethics-law/4381537>.

Chicago Format

"Ethical Theory Ethics in Law."  Essaytown.com.  March 14, 2012.  Accessed October 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-theory-ethics-law/4381537.