• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How can we know, if at all, that our behavior is ethical?

Extracts from this document...


How can we know, if at all, that our behavior is ethical? Syamala Kalyanasundaram Ethics and morality are strongly debated topics in the world today. Peoples ethical and moral behavior is constantly questioned and people often constantly question their own ethical behavior. The most relevant dictionary definition of ethics is 'A set of principles of right conduct'. The 2 most relevant dictionary definitions of morality are 'The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct' and 'A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct'. For an action to be considered ethical, it should have 4 main characteristics. You must believe your action is right and be prepared to justify it as such, the interests of someone other than yourself must be involved, you must act of your own free will and your action must be deliberate. Its very important that the interests of people other than yourself are considered because you are not responsible and you do not have the right to inflict consequences of your own decision on others, if it affects them negatively. There are a few different ways of 'knowing' (in this situation, to know if our behavior is ethical) and those different ways are personal, impersonal and instinctive. Ethics deals with all of them. Personal knowledge includes conviction (belief/faith), practice, introspection, and empathy. ...read more.


I think abortion is not as wrong as it is more merciful letting the child be aborted, than to make them live a tough life. Personal ethics are very important to individuals, but not generally to society as a whole. Personal ethics depend on the individuals themselves, not on more than one person but sometimes peoples moralities can clash and this could indirectly lead to conflict perhaps. Personal ethics include sexual ethics, drugs, alcohol, lying, stealing and many other issues. I personally believe that personal ethics are the most important of all types of ethics. Sexual ethics are a big issue to individuals and they come under the heading of personal ethics. There are a number of issues discussed in sexual ethics, such as when is it morally right to have sex, is homosexuality immoral, is pornography immoral, and sometimes even abortion and women's rights can come under this heading. Every society has taboos involving sex and to me sex is a big issue when it comes to my personal morals. I think that sex and sexual acts before marriage in most circumstances can be considered immoral. If one has been in a relationship for a long time and they know they are going to marry their partner, I think sex in that situation is not unethical. ...read more.


To judge if one's behavior has been ethical in business, it is important to refer back to the rules and laws which govern business activity unless it is an activity which is beyond the rules, but obviously unethical and harms the business in some way or another. In the case of environmental ethics, many laws have also been passed regulating treatment of the environment, in industrial production, the use of land and the elimination of waste. All these things are more important to us than we realize and we take the fact that they will ruin our world, for granted. Now many actions are being taken to prevent pollution of the environment and the waste of natural resources. Taking care of the environment becomes an ethical issue when a lot of people start to suffer from a polluted environment and it is a social issue which applies to everybody's well being. I conclude for actions to be considered ethical they should have the 4 characteristics which are very important to ethics. Those 4 characteristics are that you must believe your action is right and be prepared to justify it as such, the interests of someone other than yourself must be involved, you must act of your own free will and your action must be deliberate. I only looked at 5 types of ethics, Bioethics, Personal Ethics, Social Justice and Equal Opportunity, Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics but there are many more to consider, but I believe those were the most important. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. RE euthanasia for and against

    From a Religious standpoint, no matter how other views are looked upon, the standpoint is overwhelmingly obvious not to let euthanasia come into practise as it goes against the will of God. ETHICAL THEORIES: UTILITARIANISM Jeremy Bentham devised utilitarianism it can be seen that utilitarianism strives for the greatest good for the greatest number.

  2. Business Ethics

    Another scenario would be whereby a person in the marketing field decides to market his products knowing that it has defects. Would that make him unethical because all he wants to do is to make sure that the stocks purchased be sold in order to generate income?

  1. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    year, there was what seemed to be decisive action on the part of President Clinton. He assembled a group of scientists, theologians and other experts to form the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) to examine the ethics of cloning. Clinton allotted ninety days for the a NBAC to "undertake a

  2. Examine the differences in ethical and Christian views concerning homosexuality

    does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and cannot be approved of." This seems to express the general view of conservative Catholics and provides another reason for practicing Catholics to be against homosexuality even if it is not entirely what they think.

  1. If ethics are an individual's belief about what is right or wrong or good ...

    This can present problems from the standpoints of program integration and effectiveness. Organizations that do not pay sufficient attention to upholding stated program priorities and justifications risk disappointing their employees, feeding employee cynicism and undermining their hard work in other areas (Joseph, 2001).

  2. Ethical Issues Involved In The Legislation of Euthanasia?

    Or does this case just highlight the kinds of issues we would be making on an everyday basis if euthanasia was to be legalised. Relativism is a theory used especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.

  1. How are religious and ethical principles used in the abortion debate?

    Not every human life can be seen as a person, since a person is defined as 'rational and self-conscious.' Humans who suffer from brain trauma may therefore cease to be a persons. The reverse is the case for the foetus, which is yet to become 'rational and self-conscious.'

  2. With reference to the topic of abortion , examine and comment on the controversies, ...

    Utilitarianism puts forward the idea that abortion is acceptable in certain circumstances, whereas Deontology and the Divine Command Theory would state that abortion is not acceptable in any situation unless the foetus was not considered a person. The Roman Catholic Church?s position on this issue argues that from the moment

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work