9.09.2007

ABCD: Ethics

Ethics, also referred to as moral philosophy, is the study of morality, the study of good and bad, of right and wrong. It’s concerned with actions, with behaviors; it’s concerned with classifying and distinguishing between behaviors that are moral (ethical, good, right) and those that are immoral (unethical, bad, and wrong).
Before reading further about ethics, consider some of the popular beliefs about ethics, perhaps one or more of which you hold personally.
For each of the following statements place a T (for True) if you feel the statement accurately explains what ethical behavior is and an F (for False) if you feel the statement does not accurately explain what ethical behavior is.
_____ 1. My behavior is ethical when I feel (in my heart) that I’m doing the right thing.
_____ 2. My behavior is ethical when it is consistent with my religious beliefs.
_____ 3. My behavior is ethical when it is legal.
_____ 4. My behavior is ethical when the majority of reasonable people would consider it ethical.
_____ 5. My behavior is ethical when the effect of the behavior is more beneficial than harmful.
All five of these statements are (generally) False; none of them state a useful explanation of what is and what is not ethical.
(1) Statement 1 is False simply because people often do unethical things they feel are morally justified. Jack the Ripper killing prostitutes is a good historical example but there are many current ones such as stalking (I’m so in love I need to be with this person) or insurance scams (My family needs the money more than the insurance company). Even though Jack, the stalker, and the scam artist may feel justified in their own minds, it doesn’t make the behavior moral or ethical.
(2) Statement 2 must be False when you realize that different religions advocate very different kinds of behavior, often behaviors that contradict one another. Examples abound in almost every issue of a daily newspaper.
(3) Statement 3 must be false when you realize so much discrimination against certain people is perfectly legal in many parts of the world, and, in many countries, war (even preemptive war) is legal.
(4) Statement 4 is False because the thinking of the majority changes with the times and has often proven to be extremely immoral. The burning of people supposed to be witches or of those who spoke out against majority opinion (as in the Inquisition) are good examples.
(5) Statement 5 comes the closest to being possibly and sometimes true; but it’s more generally false. The reason it’s more false than true is that the burning of witches, for example, was in the interest of the majority as was slavery and discrimination against gay men and lesbians. But, despite this majority interest, we’d readily recognize these actions as immoral. On the other hand, in deciding whether to do one thing or another, it may prove useful to weigh the good against the bad that would result from each action.
BTW, I got the idea for this self-test after reading “What Is Ethics?” (www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html) and think these 5 statements would make for great discussion in small groups or with the class as a whole.

Three Areas of Ethics

According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(www.iep.utm.edu/e/ethics.htm) the field of ethics consists of three areas:
• Metaethics concerns itself with the origin and meaning of ethical principles—where they come from (God? Social conventions? Cultural norms?) and the meanings of various ethical concepts (What is responsibility? What is right? What is wrong?).
• Normative ethics concerns itself with articulating the standards of right and wrong; this is the area that proposes specific ethical principles (for example, don’t lie, don’t willfully hurt another person). It is from normative ethics that we learn the principles governing what is ethical and what is unethical.
• Applied ethics concerns itself with the ethical implications of controversial issues (Is capital punishment ethical? Is preventing marriage to same sex couples ethical? Is it ethical to engage in war?).
These three areas often intersect. For example, the ethics of capital punishment is clearly applied ethics since it focuses on a controversial issue but it also draws on the insights of metaethics (Where do the rights to kill another person come from? Who has the right to kill another human being?) and on normative ethics (By what standard does one person claim the right to kill another person? Under what conditions might it be justifiable to kill another person?)

Two Approaches to Ethics

So, when is behavior ethical and when is it unethical? Lots of people have come up with lots of theories.
If you take an objective view, you’d claim that the ethical nature of an act—any act—depends on standards that apply to all people in all situations at all times. If lying, advertising falsely, using illegally obtained evidence, and revealing secrets, for example, are considered unethical, then they’d be considered unethical regardless of the circumstances surrounding them or of the values and beliefs of the culture in which they occur.
If you take a subjective view, you’d claim that the morality of an act depends on a specific culture’s values and beliefs as well as on the particular circumstances. Thus, from a subjective position you would claim that the end might justify the means—a good result can justify the use of unethical means to achieve that result. You would further argue that lying is wrong to win votes or to sell cigarettes, but that lying can be ethical if the end result is positive (such as trying to make someone who is unattractive feel better by telling them they look great, or telling a critically ill person that they’ll feel better soon.)
Each field of study defines what is and what is not ethical to its concerns (in the normative ethical sense). Here are just a few to highlight some communication-oriented codes as well as a few to indicate the range of associations that developed and, in some cases, enforce such codes:
• The National Communication Association Ethical Credo (www.natcom.org)
• Bloggers’ Ethics (www.cyberjouranlist.net/news/000215.php)
• Online Journalism (www.ojr.org/ojr/wiki/Ethics/print.htm)
• Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (www.rtndf.org./ethics/coe.html)
• National Education Association Code of Ethics for the Education Profession (www.nea.org/aboutnea/code/html)
• American Medial Association Principles of Medical Ethics (www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category)
• Merrill Lynch’s Code of Ethics for Financial Professionals (www.ml.com/cms/templates/so)
Try looking up the code of ethics for the profession you’re in or planning on entering.

266 comments:

1 – 200 of 266   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I agree and desagree with all of these staments because sometimes thigs cant be the way we think they're going to be, and sometimes thigs are not what we think they are like when people like to discriminate people that like opposite sex. And because all of us have the opportunities to do what we want, and to like whoever we want.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is stated. Regardless of how you feel when you commit and action wether or not you believe your actions are justified by certain events it is still unethical.

Anonymous said...

For my part, I consider ethics to be subjective. As ethics are constantly changing, I find it difficult to believe that there is one unerring moral code. I would love to believe that there is a set of definitive, inflexible guidelines that, if universally followed, would create a moral universe, but I feel that ethics are too malleable for that to be the case.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the arguments for the first four questions in the test, but I think that the fifth question is true because when the outcome of the behavior is mostly beneficial rather than harmful, it is good. You confused me when you stated that "it may prove useful to weigh the good against the bad that would result from each action." when arguing that statement #5 is false. Wouldn't this prove it true?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the all five statements espaecially statement #5 even though it seems true but, its our each and everyones opinion towards their behavior thinking wether its great behavior and it couldn't harm anyone or it is harmful behavior harming someone else.

Anonymous said...

i also agree with the arguement stated. When you commit to an action and follow through, you mentally are aware if it is right or wrong. You can psychologically persuade yourself to think otherwise, however, no matter how you try to justify it, it will always be ethically right or wrong based on the sociatal view.

Anonymous said...

These questions are very contradictory. How can you say ethics can not be applied to religion, but they can be applied to what you believe and everyone else believes to be true? Gays and Lesbians are religiously inmoral to some groups, and are also wrong to other people. But if you believe they are deserving to be just as happy as any other couple then how can number 5 be possibly right? One can not justify believing gay and lesbian actions are any different from anyone elses, and most have the same mindset. Loving the same sex is no more of an ethics call than religion, racial issues, or how you feel in your heart. They all should be justified as false, because this otherwise is severely hypocritical. Who are you to say what is or is not moral or ethical?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the five statements above are false. Simply because people have different perspectives on religion and what feels right in their heart does not mean that actions consistent with those ideals are ethical. If one’s religion says murder is right, that does not make taking another’s life ethical. If an individual believes corruption feels right in his or her heart, this does not make corruption moral. Also, if harming another were legal, believed by a majority, or seemingly beneficial, harming others is not thus ethical or morally right. I believe that certain aspects of morality are objective: intentionally harming others in any context is hurting another human being, and thus unethical. However, certain aspects of morality are debatably subjective: “lying” to someone to lift them up is not necessarily wrong if your intent is to help. After all, would it be more ethical to tell an extremely hurtful truth?

Anonymous said...

Those 5 statements were very subjective. All of the statemnets are subjective. Some people think capital punishment is wrong and that it is wrong to kill people even if that person killed 100 people. Everyone is going to have a different opinion, but in general people know what is unethical and ethical. If you catogorize lying with being unethical then it's a false statements because everything depends on the situation and nothing can be generalized or interpretated strictly on what the norm is.

kt said...

While the first four statements are easily shown to be false in many situations, this is due mostly to differing perspectives, whether psychological, cultural, or religious, the last statement could be considered more often true, simply because whatever creates the largest benefit is the most simple, effective, and universally applicable standard for morality. However,the issue can be made difficult depending on the type and definition of 'benefit', thus the problem in the example of discrimination, where the benefit for the discriminators appears to be an ideological one.

Anonymous said...

Many people have different perspectives based on their religion and what they feel is right. I'm a Catholic, so I'm strongly against taking someone's life, it's unethical. I don't believe anyone's life should be taken away from them regardless of what they've done, on the other hand I can cope with those who are for capital punishment. For example, if someone's family was murdered, I can understand why they would want the murderer to receive the death penalty. The same goes with issues over homosexuals and abortion. Truly nobody can really determine what's moral and ethical nowadays because no one's perfect.

Anonymous said...

I agree with statement 3 and 5. They describe what I think is ethical. Doing what is legal is almost always right and if something benefits someone more then it is harmful is also right. Well there are many opionions and yes thats how I feel.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with this completely. I believe that different people will have different views on this. I am a practicing Christian and Christians have different views than nonChristians have on ethics. Christians are tought right from wrong just as everyone else, but we are also tought why and how. We are tought different ethics from the society now. I believe that no matter what the situation is, ethics should stay the same.

Anonymous said...

Given a virtuous perspective on ethics, I believe the priciple "What is ethical is what develops moral virtues in ourselves and our communities." Depending on your character traits and morals you could answer the statements with true or false. I would agree that these statements are generally false because they do not state what is ethical or not in a given situation. While the statements are too general to answer true, with a virtuous perspective of ethics one could possibly argue that the answer is true. If you have a consistant set of ethics then it is simple to answer true given that the statement falls in your relm of ethics. -*Dr.T*

Anonymous said...

i agree that ethic is not related with the feelings, thoughts and beliefs of a person, because ethic is a kind of correct way of make things, doesn't matter if i think it is bad or good, what i believe, think or feel is not ethical

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. But what defines what is ethical or not if religion is almost a set of ethics you follow? Different religions have different ethics but doing something in the name of religion could be ethical.

Carl G said...

I agree with the statements, but not copmletely. I believe religions are just guidelines that set a standard for what you believe is right or wrong. So therefore, I believe that any actions in the name of religion could be considered ethical, because in their religious ethics say it is okay to do so. And statement 5 i totally agree with. Just because most of an outcome is good, the rest of it must be bad. But people have different opinions and that's how the cookie crumbles.

easycredit said...

is everyone posting comments on this thing for speech class?

easycredit said...

I agree with the arguments for the first four questions in the test, but I think that the fifth question is true because when the outcome of the behavior is mostly beneficial rather than harmful, it is good. You confused me when you stated that "it may prove useful to weigh the good against the bad that would result from each action." when arguing that statement #5 is false. Wouldn't this prove it true?

easycredit said...

what a waste of time...

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with all of this. The ends never justifies the means. If someone does horrible things, but the end result is good, the actions don't justify themselves. You can have different beliefs than someone but still have the same ethical values as them.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the statements that have been stated. In our life when we do things rather we think they are wrong or right in our mind doesn't actually justify why we did what we did or said what we said. I often believe that people should take credit for what they do and not what others do. It's called being honest and loyal. I think the main thing in life is to think about what you do before you do that way when you do it you know you thought hard about it and put your al into. Life is still filled with critism so rather you think what you sad/did is right others can think the opposite.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with all of this. What seems wrong to others might seem right to us. What is ethical is a madder of opinion. My opinion of what is ethical is that it should be legal and should not servery harm someone. "If someone does horrible things, but the end result is good." You can have a different opinion than someone but can still have the same ethical values as them.

Anonymous said...

I most definately agree with this. I think our society had a distorted view on what they feel is ethical. Just as in the past the horrible acts performed against people, because they were different, was very unethical, but society felt it was ethical, because they thought it would benefit society.

Anonymous said...

I believe that regardless of what you think is right,not everyone believes it is morally right,and if it doesn't benefit the other party invlved,it may not be considered justifiable.Everyone has different views,for examole, some may think that a gay couple getting married and adopting children is wrong morally and psychiologically while others think that they have a right to express themselves.We live in a world today where the bibical morals we were taught when we were younger aren't considered a "norm" in society.

Anonymous said...

I believe there are some issues where the ethical standards of society and individuals are tested. I can argue that the five test statements could all be true; it just depends on the individual and their beliefs. The text states that all the statements are false, but it is only because examples are given to make them false.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the point and fact that ethical and unethical actions are based off of good or bad behavior, deeds, but most definitely not on Religious beliefs. Everyone has a certain religious belief, in that case, no one will have the same state of mind about things, whether it be good or bad. It is all based on our inner-man or woman.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the point of view of unethical actions because regardless of your actions wether or not you believe your actions are justified by certain events it is still unethical.

Anonymous said...

You have a choice to do something whether (in other eyes) it's good or bad, but realize in whatever you do, be ready to handle the conquences from that action. No matter what a person does, it will always seems unethical to someone else.

Anonymous said...

I also agree that #5 is true, because if majority rules in my day and age then that is also what i most likely have come to believe. If the outcome is positive i will feel good for what i did. For example, some people feel that war is necessary to protect our freedom as a country. Many may say war is not necessary or okay, but the end result is freedom for millions as well as mine.

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with the statements above because not everything you do is considered "ethically correct" if you've gone through this checklist to see if they all fall under the categories. It takes a lot more time and thought to consider something "ethically correct".

Anonymous said...

i agree with all the arguments except #2 because it is false. i think its false because many people have different religious beliefs and there are numerous of different religious beliefs. just because my religion is ethical, it doesn't make it ok for others and their ethical statements.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the statements as well as disagree with a few.Many people have different perspectives and opinions due to various factors such as culture and religion.Some things that are stated will be vallified by some people and will not by others.So nobody can exactly determine what is ethical and what is not because not everyone thinks the same way and from the same perspective.

cjl724 said...

I disagree with the majority of these statements. The first statement is false for the examples given including Jack The Ripper. The Gay/Lesbian issue also applies to this because people feel different things are right. I agree that the second statement is false. Many religions contradict each other. Many people don't believe in a God or acknowledge a specific one. I agree that the third statement is false, there are still laws, even in the United States such as the prohibition of Gays/Lesbians in the armed forces, which are unjust. I agree that the fourth statement is false, because of the statements Joe made. The fifth statement is the only statement I believe is true. In contradiction to Joe's explanation of why it is "generally false,"anyone could see that the death of a woman was wrong even if she was a witch, because still she hadn't harmed anyone. Keeping gays and lesbians from being married may be justified in terms of religion, but that plays back to statement two. When comparing a man, woman, or child's freedom against their enslavement, it's obvious which is more beneficial than harmful.

Anonymous said...

As for me, I agree that all the statements are false bacause it may seem ethical to some people..but when you really pay attention you can conclude that it may in some way be unethical for other people.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree because I think ethics and morality are very subjective. They change depending on the background of each person and we are all brought up in different environments; therefore, while someone brought up in abortions are commonplace may believe that they are okay, whereas someone brought up in a country where abortion was not legal may find it to be a barbaric practice.

Anonymous said...

I believe that all of the statements are false except for the fifth one. Many people believe thier behavior is ethical if its more beneficial than harmful so its a little bit of both false and true.

Anonymous said...

I also, think that morality and ethics are subjective as well. You must always base what you think is right off of the particular situation. There are times when doing something is wrong and other times when it is actually within your morals. For example lying. As long as what you are doing acts as a means to get to a good ends, what you are doing is ethical. As for the five questions as the top, I feel that your ethics should always be constructed based off of how you feel, not off of what someone else tells you such as religion or popular opinion.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion out of the five points mentioned I only agree with point number 1. The rest of the points I disagree because, for example point number 2 said "My behavior is ethical when it is consistent with my religious beliefs" and I do not follow that idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm of the opinion of "the morality of an act depends on a specific culture’s values and beliefs as well as on the particular circumstances." Setting straight what is right and wrong for any situation is presumptuous when one hasn't experienced or understood all of the different cultures and beliefs in the world. One can consider lying to be unethical, but we ourselves have April Fools' Day, a day when it's basically "okay to lie." Celebrating unethical behavior is ridiculous, but opposing the holiday would earn replies of "it's just a funny day." At this point, it becomes almost absurd trying to decide in black and white what's right and wrong. In the same way, other cultures may have other holidays or rituals that seem ethically unreasonable, but they're part of people's lives. We were raised with the existence of April Fools' Day, and so we live with its existence. What is ethical changes with perspective. People from long ago might have considered human sacrifice to be ethical, but other time, reconsidered it to be unethical. At the same time, others might consider it to be unethical, then reconsider it to be ethical. What is right and wrong depends on the views of each individual person, and each person is correct in his/her own right.

Anonymous said...

I believe that these five statements are ethical.For example the first statement say that if you love something with you heart it must be ethical,but I disagree with that.

Anonymous said...

I understand where you are coming from with all of your ethical and unethical beliefs, but if its legal to have war in that one place apparently they see nothing unethical about it. We could probably look at it as being unethical because our nation nation or whatever state you live in doesnt believe in that but when they were brought up as that with no opinion as to run the place they live in, its just a way of life. I still kind of disagree with other things to because they are both ethical and unethical. Ethical in the persons mind b/c he/she is doing it for a just reason, but unethical for whoever doesnt benefit from it.

Anonymous said...

I think that what is ethical a lot of the time comes from religion, at least in my case. I'm a Christian, and I believe that Christian morals are good to live by. It really just depends on the type of religion you have because some religions have very unethical principles.

anxa said...

I think that ethics are subjective, constantly evolving. However, to expect everyone to make "ethical" choices and later be responsible for them and their consequences, ethics must be looked at objectively. It's a flawed social system, but it's the best we can do.

Anonymous said...

The concept of ethics given here I believe is coherent, and right to an extent. I don't say that it's right to an extent because I say so or believe so, but circumstances do influence the decisions we make, though we'd want to think that it is our decisions that make up the circumstance. Maybe it is true, but I consider ethics to be overall subjective.
-DT.

Anonymous said...

I agree mostly, but not fifth question. I think it is not ethical if the effect of behavior is more beneficial than harmful, because if it was harmful even little bit, then it is nor ethical. Maybe to whom anyone got benefit would think that effect of behavior is ethical, but not to whom anyone got harm.

Anonymous said...

In response to the Utilitarian approach to ethics, that doing the most good for the most people is the most ethical, we must watch ourselves because who is to judge what is the best for the most amount of people. It is your typical Crime and Punishment psyche, that every killing is in the betterment of the most people because by killing this person or that person then I am helping the world by sharing the wealth, lower taxes or whatever. There is a difficult balance to make because as soon as the judge's perception is skewed then the whole infrastructure is tainted.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is said about ethics. Personally i think everyone has a different perception of ethics depending on their culture and up bringing. Though at first I answered true to some of the questions after reading the section below I realized that what was being said was right. For example if we feel something is right it may not necessarily be that way.

Shezaan said...

As years go by and people change, ideologies begin to evolve into new beliefs and traditions are replaced with new ones. We have seen this steady change numerous times through history. In our society, at first, Machiavellian beliefs were prominent, but as changing traditions progressed, the Machiavellian theory in government was overshadowed by Nietzsche's ideas. Ideas once thought unethical and wrong were now taking hold of society and became the norm. In general, the statements presented are correct because they follow the rules in which society progresses and evolves.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the reasons behind #'s 1-5 being unethical. I tend to lean towards ethics being objective though, rather than subjective. We know lying is wrong, stealing is wrong....etc, they remain unethical in all scenarios. The issue presented in #5 was interesting to me in that while following the will of the majority may not be morally correct, it is often the best decision.

Anonymous said...

I feel that this article hit the nail on the head so to speak. Morals are very ambiguous. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to our action. Because I do action A because it is morally pleasing to me doesn't mean the my action is considered a threat or an insult to something that they hold sacred. Morals are very tricky things to judge, especially in our legal system where our laws are morals that we argue back and forth about, such as the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is stated above. The five statements are all false because everyone has different views about what is right and what is wrong. It is hard to determine what is ethical or not because of these different views, so we will forever be debating whether war and abortion are ethical or not.

Anonymous said...

I believe that it depends on peoples' ethical and unethical persepectives. Then you can disagree or agree with the statements above. No one beliefs are facts, so that indicates that they are opinions of people. I think some of the statements are true and false. Religion should not be the judge of YOUR ethical beliefs. For example some religions believe that you should kill people who are against your God. Are you gonna go around killing innocent people, just because they do not believe your God? No, you should not. There is no right or wrong when it comes to people's ethics.

Anonymous said...

I believe that ethics are heavily influenced by a person's upbringing. Whether or not they should be influenced, or if we believe the ethics of a person's upbringing are "good" is up to the beliefs of the person who is judging the other. Note the word judging. Who am I to say another person's upbringing was wrong or right? That is my opinion and is also determined by my own influences.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that the five comments are false. I believe that what is "right" or "moral" or "ethical" is left ot the individual. They can base what they have learned from of their own life, a past experience, their religion, or anything else. Humans are so strongly based on the individual that it is very difficult to decide on a "right" answer to these type of phylisophical (spelling) questions. Your belief in what is ethical is not correct. Neither is mine. We must live our lives based on what we believe is the correct answer and let others do the same.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this. I believe that all of those questions were false because not everyone has the same ethical views, what one person may think as ethical could be unethical to another person. The ethical views of a person can be altered by the upbringing in their childhood.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that all five of these statements are false since everyone sees different actions as ethical or unethical. No one will evr agree or have the same views on morals or ethics because ethics are always evolving and changing with the styles of perception in the world. Ethics are extremley dependent on your enviornment and aslo your personal opinions. While there are some standard wrongs and rights, there will always be someone who feels differently.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that four of the five statements (2-5) are indeed false due to the amount of evil really found on this planet we live one. Statement 1 though, caught me off guard. Believing it was true right away was due to the experiences I have had in my life. When the time came to follow the head and heart to what was right, I came to realize that it was indeed the right thing for me. Then when the statement was explained, I saw the bigger picture where a number of criminal in foreign countries and our own truly believe what they do is right, whether it be murder their own child, embezzle money, steal for their family, etc. To every single person who comes to talk about the topic of ethics, each response will be different without any doubt. Our take on what is right and wrong can never be set to a complete compromise.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of these statements because everyone has a different perspective of what is ethical. People all over have different ideas over this so I believe it is a very controversial topic. In some situations you might feel good of what you do but in another person's what you did it is not justified. Everyone will react differently to this topic because there is not a compromise in this topic. In this universe not everyone will agree with your thoughts of what is right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

I believe everyone's ethical standard is different. There is no one "right" action to take all the times. People's emotions, feelings, and diversity should also be considered when making an "ethical" decision. So I agree more with the subjective view approach to ethics. And as for the statement #1-5 I think it solely depends on the person. Like the author's argument, someone might feel justified to steal to survive, but someone might also think donating all their money to charity is what they feel in their heart is the right thing. So for the generous person statement #1 is true, but for the stealing person the same statement might be false.

Anonymous said...

After reading about ethics. I agree that what you have stated is correct about ethics. Different religions and different people could consider different things to be "right" or "wrong." But if there is a certain set of ethical statements as to what is right or wrong, everyone would see these matters in the same way but would not necessarily agree with them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with whatthis is says in thats it's right when saying regardless of how you feel when you do an action wether you do or notbelieve your actions are correct they still my be events that are unethical.I seem to agree more with the subjective view approach to ethics.

Anonymous said...

i agrre to most of the point because every person has a different perspective. People might do wrong and think is right fo them but others think different. I think that each person wether they are doing good or bad sees each point different.

perla said...

I agree and disagree with this because everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs about different subjects, not all of us are going to agree on the same things all the time and people can't obligate us either. I disagree as well because things are not always going to be the way we want them to be and we can't change that, it's destiny what has everything planned for us.

Anonymous said...

I actually said that all of the statements were True except for the last one. I didn't understand how they could all be False because I believe that being ethical was described in all of the statements except for the last one.

Anonymous said...

I believe that, although we can ponder over what is ethically right and wrong for millions of years, we will never truly know. There can be a majority who believe one certain thing, but there will always still be others who don't, and it's true that beliefs will undoubtably change throughout time, like they always have. It has happened with the Salem witch hunts, with gay relationships, with slavery. And it will continue happening. There is nothing we can do but guess at what is the morally correct thing to do, and follow it.

Anonymous said...

I agree that all 5 examples are false. Something cannot be ethical just because one feels it is. However, I do realize that every single person has a different idea of what is ethical and what is not--and that is okay.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that these 5 statements are false. However, everyone has their own opinion and thoughts on what is ethical and what is not. One cannot simply choose what is ethical though, just because they think it is.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with some of them I do understand the first 5 statement is false but I know there are most people who do follow their heart and minds,etc. But I dont know why they all have to be falsein a way . I know most of my answer wasn't false. But I do know that everybody has they own ethnic style and ways.And that most people who did do bad is in jail or they have a harder life to deal with.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything except for number five. I think that if an action is more beneficial than harmful, then most of the time it is ethical. Also the examples used to show how it is false are unrelated to the question. The question is if the effect of a behavior is more beneficial than harmful but the example deals with the interest of the majority. The examples used in number five help prove why number four is unethical, but in my opinion are completely unrelated to question number five.

Tara Boyum said...

In many situations, being ethical can cause one their own problems. If you do what is right and keep your moral stability, for example, you can keep a person out of debt while putting yourself in. Applied ethics are unfair to some people, because it depends on each individuals beliefs. If a man and a man court in marriage so be it, as long as they arent causing problems to others.In the jack the ripper case it is fair because he is causing others harm. Most ethic arguments can not be proven right because theyre peoples own views on whats right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree that all the statements are false. However, I think that number 1, doing what you feel is right in your heart, is an important thing to consider when making tough choices.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the statement we sometimes can't want things the way we want them to go. Some people do follow there own heart and minds because they have confident.

Anonymous said...

Ethics and morals are completely subjective, so therefore one could even question if they can really be pinned into a sort of 'text book of morals' in the first place. There will always be argument on whether this was ethical or that was morally right. People have the privilege of deciding what they think is morally or ethically right and wrong and those same people will have to deal with the consequences, good or bad as set by society, of acting on their chosen moral code.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the statements at the top are true or not depending on where one says that moral behavior comes from (meta-ethics). If one considers them to be objective and coming from a single source that is universal then there are definite morals and it makes most if not all of the statements incorrect depending on the source. If one believes that morals are more subjective then any or all of the statements could be true depending on perspective.

Anonymous said...

There can't be a universal definition for ethics, as ethics are situational. A action that is demonstrably unethical in one situation may be the right choice in another.

Anonymous said...

I believe that no matter what most statements here are arguable 1-5 all vary on the persons backgrounds, there is always a loop whole in trying to find out what is considered ethical by people, an example would be someone of Religious faith most of there ethics could come from the bible on things that they would consider right or wrong, or also on the current perspective of your region certain states in the U.S have things that they consider ethical and unethical another example besides The death penalty and same sex marriage is abortion when is it ethical to do it and when isn't it? Everyone see's the situation through different eyes I couldn't find myself agreeing to any of those statements being the most accurate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post. I believe that things like religion, laws, and popular opinion are not necessarily the best way to define what is ethical and what is not. Things like religious persecution, slavery, and the Salem witch trials were all in accordance with religion, the law, and popular opinion at the time. However, we can see today that none of these are ethical or the right thing to do. I enjoyed reading the article, and learned a lot from it.

Anonymous said...

If what the article states is correct, and none of those five statements can properly define ethics, then what can? Any action, taken with those explanations provided can be skewed to be nonethical, in the sense that it hurts and individual or a party. Perhaps ethics can be defined with a combination of those five statements, but if they stand alone then they can be easily disproven.

Anonymous said...

this i strue, because i think that any unethical thing that a person could do can be justified. So, it helps me to realize that certain things aren't ethical even if you think that they are.

Anonymous said...

at times i agree with these statements and at times i disagree with them. because at times things arent always what we perceive them to be.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with these statements, because it's all based on your perception of what's right or wrong. Something is ethical to YOU when you feel it's morally justified. Also, most religions actually advocate the same type of behavior: do to others what you would do to yourself. Whether relgious fanatics follow those guidelines or not is up to them. Again, discrimination and war may be ethical to YOU, but it's all about perception. Since times have changed, ethics have changed with them, so what was once ethical to a majority may not be now. And lastly, though there are protests against some things, that again is about perception and depends on what YOU consider good and bad to weigh the options.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the information above, because, although some of these reasons might be enough to make a person feel something is "right", not one of them is enough to guarantee that an action is ethical. For example, polygamy is considered by some religious and cultural groups to be right, but many people would agree that it is not ethical. The death penalty is still legal in many places, yet a large percentage of people find it inhumane and unethical. The opposite is also true, where some people find it ethical yet it is illegal. The idea of something being "ethical" is so fickle and vague it would be futile to try to give it a concrete definition.

Anonymous said...

Ethics can be both objective and subjective at the same time. Yes, one may feel better by lying to someone about them dying soon, saying they'll get better, but I think deep down anyone who was in that position would still feel bad, knowing they lied but that telling the sick person the truth may cause even more harm. Certain things will always give rise to a subconscious level of guilt or understanding that something may be good or bad. However, there will also always be certain things that are forever debated about, such as who, if anyone, has the right to kill another human being.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is stated. But there can't be a universal definition for ethics, as ethics are situational. A action that is unethical in one situation may be the right choice in another.Ethics, in my opinion, really depends, primarily, on where you are and who you are (ethical background).

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is said. Too many people assume what is ethical when ethics is too subjective to be assumed by any one person. I think what was said here was very true.

Anonymous said...

There are so many ways to believe in ethics and so many ways to simply disregard all ethical arguments. All ethical issues are subjective: depending on the person, the culture, or the religion, anything may be considered ethical. There is no true exact definition, but a general idea of ethics is accepted. For example, many people will lie to make someone feel better, and many would kill during war. Throughout history, although ethics was debated, I don't believe there was ever a solution to differences in what is believed to be morally right behavior.

Anonymous said...

I believe that ethics are the study of right and wrong, but the lines between the world's view of right and wrong are constantly being blurred, so ethics give the appearance of changing and shifting. But, at its core, ethics are constant, containing basic principles (example - the Ten Commandments)that have been around for ages. So, if the world changes, it doesn't mean that ethics themselves change. It's only the world's view of them that does.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree. I think its base on the type of person.Some people do have concious and others just don't, but its most likely thats theses statements are false to most people, but not always. IF it was true i think the world would be a utopia, but as we see its not. Therefore, these things are not always true.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree. I think its base on the type of person.Some people do have concious and others just don't, but its most likely thats theses statements are false to most people, but not always. IF it was true i think the world would be a utopia, but as we see its not. Therefore, these things are not always true.

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the above; ethics are subjective and one's personal ethical beliefs may in fact be influenced by their religious and experiental standards. Yet one can study metaethics just as one studies history, which can truly be just as subjective due to differing understandings and experiences of the same event.

Anonymous said...

I think that there is not a "blanket" ethics policy and every situation is different. Ethics depends on your beliefs, values, morals and personal situation. What seems ethical to an atheist may be very unethical to a christian.

Anonymous said...

I believe that certain situations are objective, but many remain subjective. For example, hanging Suddam was considered brutal and inhumane by some in the US, but, in his native country, that was reserved as a high type of punishment, and not so outlandish. The perception of ethics differ, but it does not make the country less or more ethical for hanging him. However, objective matters, such as premeditated murder, are usually agreed upon as wrong by all cultures.

Anonymous said...

It appears that human ethics will continue to evolve along with the rest of nature. By the time humans are old enough to formally study ethics, they are too biased to see others with differing ideas as being ethical. Just because someone does a particular action doesn’t mean they think it is ethical, rather it is justifiable at that time. For example, what parents wouldn’t steal a drug for their critically ill baby if there was no money to buy the drugs after all other resources to get the drug failed? For me, the real test of ethics is how the pharmacist or judicial system handles this case, not so much the parents choice.

LM said...

I believe that statement 2 is true. I believe that truth and, therefore, ethics are knowable and are revealed in the Bible. Therefore the other ‘tests’ are not as the metric by which truth can be defined. For those who would say I am wrong I would ask, how can you say I am wrong if by your definition truth is not absolute. If truth is situational or if truth is definable by the individual then you cannot be intellectually honest and call my position ‘wrong’. You must embrace my perspective as just as valid as any other post or perspective that YOU agree with. Just food for thought.

Anonymous said...

I agree to all of the statements here because if you do something you do it for a reason. You believe it is ethicaly correct or that what you are doing helps or makes someone feel better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the statements. Ethics are personal and just because you believe that you are making a moral decision or the majority tends to agree, doesn't mean that it is the most ethical action. Your action could be ethical in your eyes, but unethical in anothers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that different people have different perspectives on what is right and what is wrong. However, there are some behaviors that are always immoral. For example, murder is wrong regardless of the circumstances. The ends should not justify the means. If murder is justified because of the circumstances, then the cycle will be perpetuated, and there will always be murder, because it is justifiable if one has the right "circumstances."

Anonymous said...

The individual alone can decide what is moral and what is immoral, based on their personal values and opinions. Setting up questions and answering questions with questions does nothing to define ethics. What is ethical and what is not varies, depending on the situation, the time, and the individual alone.

Anonymous said...

As people we chose to do what's right and wrong for ourselves. persuasion and opinions don't matter if your mind is already set to what your going to do, say, or think. Being moral and immoral is all up to the person and their views on life. Nothing can change what you feel. But even so, there are times when changes come into action and things get altered to a new perspective but in the end, it all comes down to that person.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that which of the five you find most true depends on whether you have an absolute or a relative view of ethics. If some behavior is always good--or bad--then you might agree with the one about religous principles. If you think that ethics are situational, you might agree with the fifth one.
The truth is, I might be able to argue for one particular system of ethics, but in a particular situation, I might have a different reason for thinking that one choice is more ethical than another.

Anonymous said...

Ethics are changing over time. What was once moral could now be considered unethical. I agree with statement 5 because as long as the majority of 'Reasonable' people consider it ethical, then it must be. But what if these people are religious? Religion can affect what people see as moral, so can it really be thought of as reasonable when only those in that particular religion think so? I believe the answer to that is an opinion.

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with everything that is said here. Ethics are ever evolving from generation to generation. What is seen as ethical one generation could be see completely differently during the next. Both objective and subjective viewpoints need to be considered to determine whether something is ethical at the time. Ultimately it will always differ from person to person whether or not an act is ethical or not ethical.

Anonymous said...

Ethics changes between generations so what was moral in the 60's could not be now. Religions don't necessarily signify what is ethical or unethical, they're just a group of people who believe in the same moral philosophy. I think all the statements are false because it all depends on person to person.

Anonymous said...

When I first answered those questions in my head, but when I read the general answers, it changed my perspective. I believe that each of those questions still can be true, though. It all depends on the situation that someone is in. For instance, for the first question, a certain behavior can always be the right thing if you feel so. And a lot of religious beliefs do follow proper ethics so that isn't something that is totally false. Laws try to follow proper ethics too for the most part but I agree that that is the weakest point of all of those five questions. The majority of reasonable people will pick the ethical choice at least once, logically. Number five can also be true because good ethics can yield more beneficial effects in a good number of cases.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the statements, as regardless of if you feel your actions are justified or moral by certain events or opinions it is still unethical. As what is deamed ethical and moral changes, I find it hard to believe you can have a moral code that can be followed, as what seems perfectily ethical to most is still going to be unethical to someone else. I believe that we cannot obtain a moral universe till we create a moral code with definite, inflexible guidelines that all are to abide by.

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone has their own opinion despite their beliefs on what is ethical and unethical. So I can agree and disagree with the statements above because whether something is ethical or unethical truly relies on that one person. People's opinions differ through a variety of circumstances such as their age, religious views, knowledge of the subject and etc. It's some of these circumstances that decide whether someone thinks something is truly right or truly wrong.I also don't think any one person has the right to decide whether something is ethical or unethical because every situation is arguable and can be proven true and false.

Jinjie Ling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I believe that the borders of morality are different for every person because what you determine is right or wrong is altered by your living conditions, environment, and your influences. Furthermore, certain moral issues can be adjusted to fit different scenarios. For example, killing someone is always immoral but in a scenario where you were assaulted, it can be proven justifiable. Lastly, it is also important to remember that the ideals and boundaries of morality can also be manipulated in order to achieve a greater good in the larger picture.

Anonymous said...

I believe that ethics and morality really depends on someone's opinion on something. Morality differs for everyone. The Aztecs believed in human sacrifice, and it was ethical to them. We can't prove to them with evidence that human sacrifice is wrong. Though, luckily humans nowadays can come together to create absolute morality aka laws

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with the 5 introductory statements and I see how each can be proven wrong. To me, ethics is a subjective topic. It definitely matters on the person's background. The person's background influences his mentality. So in stating this, every person's ethics is different and to add to this gray area, ethics changes over the years. Human sacrifice was moral thousands of years ago but now, it is immoral.

Anonymous said...

over time things change. just because something was wrong then where they wrong now.

Anonymous said...

over time things do change and because it is wrong then are they wrong now

Anonymous said...

After reading the explanations for why the five statements are false, I have to agree. Each individual has his or her own take on what is considered moral or ethical. Therefore, what one person thinks is ethical may not be ethical to another person. There is no law that can dictate what is truly ethical. But if neither laws nor individual beliefs nor majority beliefs nor benefits determine if something is ethical, then what does? I conclude that there is no way to determine what is truly ethical and what is not. Only individuals can determine what is ethical to themselves.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the argument stated. Ethics should not be something that is taught or gained, it should be something that you feel. Statement #1 is true to me because I base my decisions on my religion, upbringing, law, and consequences but I do not force myself to believe in the perviously stated ethics. It should not be up to others to understand wether or not what was done was wrong. Laws are used to keep people safe and the reason we have things like congress and the Senate are for people to express their ethics and to speak up for what they believe in. Ethics should not be justified and forced upon large groups of people, every person should have a right to what they do and what they believe is right.

Anonymous said...

I can agree with the staements of how and what are considered as ethical actions. Statements one through four all seem to be irrational ways of considering whether your action are ethical. This is because all these methods seem to be subjective and opimionated forms of basing actions. While question five can in some ways prove whether your actions are ethical. Achieving the greatest good and the best end, or as Kant's philosophical theory, usually can justify and base your actions.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, or in other words, find false what is stated besides statement one. I feel that ethics are based on what you believe is wrong or right. Of course depending on your culture and religion, ethics is different for many people. If someone is doing something from their heart, it's because they feel and they know they are doing the right thing.I feel as if that's what ethics are supposed to be. You're own standard of morals are your own expectations you set for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Everyone's ethics are affected by everything you do. Ethics are constantly changing and to some people the right thing may actually be the wrong thing, but that could change in a short time. Ethics are completely an opinionated topic and they change with time.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that number 5 is false. Anything that is more beneficial than harmful, or benefits the majority, is clearly ethical in my mind. The writer states that this is false because slavery and discrimination were not ethical but were more beneficial than harmful. However, I can't see how either of these two situations could be more beneficial than harmful or benefit the majority (especially since slaves were the majority in some states). Saying that they are beneficial takes only material gain into account and completely ignores the emotional and physical harm done to society by slavery and discrimination. If these factors are looked at as well, I believe that it makes the examples backing up the claim that 5 is false invalid and actually proves that this claim is true.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that the reasoning behind ethics leaves us with moral codes that are lacking in multiple different circumstances. Or at least I would if I did not believe that any religion could be proved true. Many people believe this and I don't blame them for it because that is what our society implies to us from an early age. If you spend time dealing with the subject of apologetics you will learn that while religion can't be proved by pulling God out of a hat it can be proved with ideas and theories that are sometimes central to science. One example of this is the phrase we all know "You can't get something from nothing." We all know this phrase and science backs it up. But if you can't get something from nothing then how did the universe begin in the middle of nothingness. You can also use archeological evidence to validate the truth of religious books. Due to this I think that behavior 2, my behavior is ethical when it is consistent with my religious beliefs, is true and that we can use science to find out what religions are true.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that ethical and unethical actions depend on good or bad actions but not necessarily on a person's Religious beliefs. Every person has certain religious beliefs, with that being said no two people will have the exact same ideas about things, whether they are good or bad, peaceful or evil. I could say that it all hinges on who is inside of us, the inner person, our REAL selves.

Anonymous said...

I think that since there are so many different ways to be ethic, you cant really say that you are always ethical or that you are never ethcial because at some point in your life you are going to do soemthing unethical so I think you can be ethcial as much as you want to.

Anonymous said...

Everyone will have a different view on what is ethnical and what is unethical. For me i do believe the ethnical and unethical actions depend on good and bad actions, but not in religious beliefs because everyone has different beliefs and you can not say someone is immoral because they have different beliefs than you. Same goes with liking the same sex, you can not control someone and who they like, they can like whom every they want to like.

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone has a different view on ethics and what is and what isn't ethical. To one person, gay marriage is ethical, because if you are in love with another person then so be it. But to a religious person they might think that it is unethical because that is what they were taught. Different cultures and societies have a different set of moral codes which determine what is ethical vs. not ethical. I think if a person generally does the right thing, tries to be honest, and works hard then the majority of their decisions will be pretty ethical.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of this. Because the world is so diverse, it would be hard to make a universal statement saying "do what you feel in your heart is right" because some people might have been raised radical or some overreact to situations. I especially agree with your reasoning for statement four... Popular opinion is not the absolute for ethical actions. Number 3 also makes since, however if you are a Christian, for example, following Christ's teachings wouldn't be unethical.. Living with morals such honesty, love, or the value of hard work would obviously be very ethical.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the content of this argument. It is impossible to set one statement into stone to be the ultimater determiner of what is moral or immoral. Although, there are some statements, like #5, that would be more consistent in proving what is moral and what is not. Every situation is different and it is important to take into account every aspect of the situation before deciding whether it is moral or not.

Anonymous said...

on a logicial sense yes i would agree with the article. but basically every type of senerio could be contradicted and proven ethical or unethical. everyone has different moral standards and beliefs on what is ethically right or wrong. for example different countries and or religions see things as right or wrong according to there countries or religious groups beliefs and ethical codes. the fact is the whole earth as a whole is never going to agree with what is ethical or unethical otherwise we would all be considered one whole nation. most of the time where you live and who you surround and associate yourself with you typically believe and live by the same code of ethics.

Anonymous said...

I believe ethics are more personal than one broad code of ethics. I believe one general code does offer a guideline, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what you believe in; otherwise it's just a set of rules.

Anonymous said...

I believe with that statements above, however I think everyone has a different view of what is ethical and what is unethical. I think it really all depends on the person. Obviously, there are things that can be differentiated from right and wrong, and hopefully most people can distinguish those and make the right choices.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of the other posters. Ethics are subjective and perpetually changing. A person as a Christian might not believe in the death penalty, but if their close relative was murdered then they would most likely change their mind. I think it's easy for people to make snap judgements on distant things, but when they actually put themselves in that position their beliefs often change.

Anonymous said...

No matter what is your choice to do something even if its based on morals. if you choose to do something wrong,that is on you not on what you believe. Everyone has their own religious beliefs, no two people are going to have the same idea on their perspective on things. Everyone has a different view on what unethical and ethical is.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Statement one is the most right out of all the rest. Only because If you think that something is right in both your heart and your mind who is anyone too tell you that you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

I believe that almost all of these statements are true expect for the one regarding religion. I believe that in some religions this statement might be true but in my religion (I am Catholic) I believe by following God and God's Word - The Bible. Therefore, I believe that if I live and make choices following God's plan that it is ethical.

Anonymous said...

I think that everything said in this blog has some truth to it. However, ethics is such a subjective topic and it's so hard to make generalizations about it. Ethics really depend on the person, culture, and community they come from. The only true thing that can be said about ethics is that for one person, it's their belief of what is right and what is wrong. Most would say that what ever is beneficial is right and what ever is harmful is wrong. This is why people almost never unanimously agree on something. Everyone has their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs. Its a part of human nature.

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Alex Garcia said...

In my opinion, the meaning of ethics can be defined in many ways depending in different aspects such as religion, social status, moral value, cultural background , and all other influential aspects that form your personality. Whe have to consider that in orther to live in a peacefull environment with other people in this globalized world it is is important to consider, and respect other peoples ethics.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the only answer to this question can come from the individual. One may believe that an eye for an eye is ethical, while another sees to it that they only forgive and forget. What I mean to say is, no matter how many categories you make and attempt to put people in, every person is different. There is no right or wrong in the human race, because all of our beliefs and morals differ widely.

Anonymous said...

It depends on your core values. There is not 1 right answer when it comes to a question of ethics.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is important to live a good and moral life based on your ethics. This becomes your moral compass and your guide to making the right decision and to stand up for what you believe in even when you standing alone.

Deirdre Baker said...

Interesting comments

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is stated because things that people may think are morally right may be the complete opposite. For example, many people are taught growing up that if someone hits you, hit them back. In reality, that is not morally right. But if that's the way you were taught then that's how people act. Your choices can end up being morally wrong or right but just because you believe something is right, doesn't mean it is ethical.

Anonymous said...

I believe that if you are a Christian, you are guided by what the Lord commands. Therefor, choosing what is right and ethical is not just a choice, its is a law that you live your life by. It is standing up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone. It is not wavering depending on different situations but remaining consistent in all circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post because I think that being moral to your own beliefs does not translate to being ethical. For example, some extreme Christians may grow up hating homosexuals and they may insult them which may seem right to themselves but is not ethical.

Ruth Ling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Ling said...

I beleive these statements are all false because the first, what you beleive is the right thing to do may be unethical. You may beleive that cheating is okay if you want to get a good grade but that is not ethical. The second one is also false beacuse your religion could deem something ethical but it really isn't. For the third one, some legal things may not be ethical such as slavery. Moreover, the fourth on is false because if the moajority of people think something is ethical it could still be unethical. Finally, something with a more positive result could still be unethical.

However, I personally beleive that in the end, whether something is unethical or ethical all depends on each individual. Some people just have a common interest. For example, most people would consider killing someone with a murderous intent is unethical, but some may beleive that it's ethical. No one can truly deem something as "unethical" or "ethical".

Anonymous said...

Hello.
This article was very interesting and it made me think of all the possibilities. I have to admit, I thought most of the statements were true and yet when I read why they were false, it was SO TRUE. I hadn't thought of all the different possibilities that make the statement false.
All it take is one situation where the statement is false to prove it false. I agree with all the reasons but I also think that an action can be ethical in one situation but unethical in another. For example: You have 2 kids. You are in a cliff with them and they are going to fall and you only have a chance of saving one of them. What do you do? If you save one, it would be ethical and unethical at the same time because the other one dies. If you left both die, its unethical. Tough choice right?

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what is included in this article, but not with everything. I think that ethics and what is ethical and what is not ethical can never be actually described and written out. I think ethics is to personal of a thing to put labels on things saying they are unethical or immoral. People believe in different things and what one person might say is ethical and right, another person might say it is completely unethical. While there are some things in our society like killing that I believe most people would say is unethical, there are other situations where people might change their mind on that prospect and now say it is ethical: like when hanging someone. Not only does ethics depend on a certain person and their individual self and also depends heavily on what the situation is. Ethics is one of those topics that is hard to make a universal document on and probably will never happen. It is constantly changing and there will hardly ever be a consensuses on what is truly ethical and what is not.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above statements because for the most part, ethics cannot be determined by your own personal beliefs. As stated in the explanations below the questions, people often times have different beliefs. What one person finds reasonable might be absolutely abhorrent to another. As a result of this, you cannot judge if something is ethically correct based on your religion or your gut instinct because no two people or religions feel the same way about any issue.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the information in the post. However, I believe the perspective of what is "right" and "wrong" can vary from person to person. I think this variation may fall under morals instead of ethics. I also believe some of the statements are able to be true in certain situations. Thanks for the article. It was very interesting and made me thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

I think many of the statements on this post contradict each other, but at the same time it makes sense It claims that individual values don't create ethics and just because a group of people think something is ethical, it doesn't make it so. Then how are laws made? It just shows that ethics change depending on the person and ethics are a major reason for conflict and controversy.

Anonymous said...

I agree to most of the post's information. Different people can have different thoughts of how ethical or unethical an act can be because of the fact that everyone has different internal and external influences. People think differently so something can be no doubt right to one person but horribly wrong to another. I agree how the answers to the five statements are false but some of them can be described as true.

Anonymous said...

Considering that ethics varies in each culture and is derived from one's opiion,the statements made in the article are correct and incorrect, it depends one the readers point of view. The difference between right or wrong is all opion. Whether you feel in your heart that you are choosing the ethical thing to do, or you are doing right by abiding by the law, the nature of ethics and what is correct will always be differnt because it is determined by the individual.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with most of these statements except for 2 and 4. I believe 2 requires 4 in order to be considered ethical. If your religious beliefs cause more good than harm then they should be considered ethical.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I defiantly agreed with the fist paragraph describing misconceptions about ethics. Many ideas that i hear about ethics seem to be non-conclusive such as the ones in the paragraph. The consents about circumstantial ethics. when it goes over when some normally immoral actions become morel. it just proved that everything we do is so circumstantial.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with this posts for the most part. The T/F statements I strongly agreed with once I read their explanations. When I was answering some of them I was struggling a little bit with which one to pick. When it comes to the "Two Approaches to Ethics" paragraph I would have to lean more towards the subjective view. I do not believe there is the same right and wrong for every situation. I believe there is a different right and wrong depending on the scenario, person, and reason.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with what has been stated. Ethics are different for every single person just like morals. There is no set rules for ethics because each person sees and perceives the world differently. So what one person may believe may be the ethically right thing to do for that one person but would be unethical to another person. So there is no appropriate set of ethics for EVERYONE just for each individual person.

Anonymous said...

I think that everybody's opinion on what's ethical is different and that you should do what you think is ethical but you shouldn't impose it on other people. It's kind of like the saying, "Whatever floats your boat." One of my favorite rules of life is everything in modesty. So you shouldn't always go with what the majority of the population thinks is ethical or what your religion says is ethical. I think it differs from situation to situation.

Anonymous said...

I agree almost completely with what has been stated. The one thing that caught my attention was the objective and subjective views. I think that anyone that takes an objective view hasn't really thought things through completely. If you're family is starving to death and you need food, yet are lacking the money to get it, is it morally wrong to steal it? No.

Anonymous said...

Overall, I agree with the arguments presented and how many believe they are doing something ethically correct when they are not. And how their are three areas of ethics that tend to intersect, directing moral behavior. But, since people see ethics in slightly different ways any action could be seen as unethical and ethical by different people. Thus, ethics in society is mostly based on how the majority of others will see a action.

Rachel said...

I agree with the statements that are said. This is because everyone is so different in belief that sometimes morally what we believe is right actually isn't. Also, some religions do not teach what it morally right in some ways although most do. There are a lot of things that are legal which are not ethical such as legalizing marijuana in the state of Colorado. Also, what is popular and seems right may not always be right. Many people lie and steal and cheat, but these are not correct actions. Also, wrong things are still imperfections, not matter if there is more good in a doing. I agree with this blog and the message that it is trying to bring.

Anonymous said...

I feel like the subject of ethics is both subjective objective because morals and values are different in different time periods and in various countries while also there is always a certain set of rules for people living in any society.

Anonymous said...

I agree that all of these points are false. Someone may think they are doing the right thing in their opinion, but in the real world, it is considered unethical. Religious beliefs could be unethical too sometimes, for example sacrifices may be considered as unethical. Some legal things are still not the best choices. Even if the majority of people believe it is ethical, there is still that minority that believes otherwise. Same for the last question, there are still harmful effects, even if there aren't that many.

Anonymous said...

It's ignorant to say that things are simply either unethical or ethical. Who's to decide what's what? Regarding the death sentence, one can believe that it is immoral no matter what the individual in question has done, or one can believe that it is indeed moral because said person killed so many people. There will never be a consensus. In the end, there is no right or wrong opinion. No one can say what is ethical or unethical because its all based off of the varying circumstances with which people base their arguments. No two people have experienced the same things, and no two people process these experiences in the same manner. No one's opinion is fact. All we can do is respect the ethics of others and do what benefits the most people.

Anonymous said...

I follow only a subjective view on ethics when analyzing myself. After reading this information I realize I use both objective and subjective views when analyzing the ethics of others. This is simply subconscious. After reading the five statements, I understand the difference between perspective and belief vs. ethics. Depending which view you adopt, the actions to serve greater good may or may not be ethical.

Anonymous said...

I think that all 5 of the "situations" are equally both ethical and unethical in the right situation or occurrence. I also believe that the only official way to tell if something is ethical is if everyone agrees upon it and it won't affect the present or future for the worse. This will never happen but I believe this to be truly the only way for something to be considered "ethical".

Anonymous said...

I believe ethics is an extremely subjective topic. Of course many may think that statement is obvious, but it does lead me into my next thought. Due to the subjectivity ethics will continue to be talked and argued about since solid lines will never be drawn out. These solid lines or borders will never exist simply because ethics are influenced by a person's opinion and life background.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the subjunctive view most of the time. Now if the motivation for lies per say is malevolent, than you must use an objective view on morals. Its all in the blurred lines and sometimes, you just gotta go with your gut.

Anonymous said...

With all the statements that been stated I would have to say sometimes we don’t know in our gut to truly feel what is right. Having an ethical point of view based on anything is our perspective what we may seem is good, right, bad or wrong. That’s why I may also agree that ethics may also look at it in a subjective view. For instance having a normative view helps us to view what is ethical or unethical. We live daily knowing and not knowing what could happen in any second of the day. Though we are only humans we live by these ethical and unethical decisions which makes me believing that is why I think what we go through is put out to be our point of view. No one but ourselves has the right to state what ethical or unethical events we go through. It may be obvious what they are. For an example I strongly believe in God, does that means I’m ethical or unethical believing in God? That is up to me. Which I think it’s ethical because in all my might I believe in God.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the answer to these statements is generally false. Each of the statements has a broad array of questions left to be asking. What are the ethics of your religious belief? Who do you consider to be reasonable people? Who is your behavior beneficial to? Yourself or others? Although I do believe these statements could all be considered true for certain people in certain contexts, as a whole, they are false.

I also agree that humans should have their own personal set of ethics they always follow (maybe based on religion, culture, family, etc.) but exceptions can be made in certain situations.

Anonymous said...

I find this an interesting view point on the subject of ethics. First answering the questions I find myself answering true to each one of them just based on the small information provided. After reading the conclusions I can agree that all five would be false based on the examples given. I don't know that there could ever be a definite answer to any of them. People's perspectives of the world around them are too different to have a final true or false answer.

Anonymous said...

I find that I disagree with some of what this article says, and that other parts of it lead me to though-provoking questions. I personally believe that, if ethics is based off the idea of morality and the difference between right and wrong, as this article states, some of the true/false examples could be true. If one can't have their own gut-feeling or say in what's morally correct,then who can- someone else who is also following their heart? Though I can see a point being made on cases which show how this wouldn't be moral, I can also see how it is. The part of the article which describes the two approaches of ethics also brings me great confusion, as I go back and forth in my mind on which side I agree with.

Anonymous said...

I think that all ethical behavior should also follow the basic "laws of the land". There is no behavior that is ethical and illegal at the same time; especially considering that ethical behavior means "doing the right thing".

For example, a man was arrested for smoking illegal drugs and he said it was a part of his religion, but the courts said that his behavior was still illegal.

Katrina Garner said...

Since Ethics are basically a code of morals, and everyone has different Morals and beliefs based on where they come from, to upbringing,and different religions. Most of us will have different view points on what is ethically acceptable or not. One thing I do think is that all people no matter what, has a compass that knows right from wrong and doing the wrong thing and trying to justify based off the statements 1-5 is just wrong. If you think it might be unethical then don't do it. My philosophy is to do the right thing even when no one is watching. K.G.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some parts of the statements, because I realize some religions and the majority belief aren't always the best,and people don't always have the best perception morally, but sometimes let prejudice or vengenace cloud their views. I belief most religions worth following will have the correct set of ethical rules, and that is one of the best ways to go, but ayou could always follow your conscience, truly as in without fault, and consider the consquences of your actions.

Anonymous said...

I agree that just because a person feels that a specific action is right it doesn't necessarily mean that it is ethically correct. For example, just because I am hungry, it does not make it right for me to steal food. Ideally, stealing the food would serve a good cause for me, but it violates ethical values and principles.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some aspects of this article. I understand that the questions in the article can be interpreted differently between different people. Although, I find myself pondering over the definition of ethics. For example, in this article it states a theory that says lying is acceptable in certain situations such as telling someone who is less attractive that she is pretty. I believe the truth should always be told, because it is ethical. Telling the less attractive person she is beautiful for her personality is ethical and tells the truth. I also believe that ethics evolves with time. What is considered ethical now wasn't considered ethical 100 years ago. In a way, views in what is ethical and unethical is largely decided by society. Ethics has changed for the good and the bad. For example, equal rights was a positive ethical improvement, but sexual themes being displayed everywhere is an ethical downfall. I agree with some aspects of each theory, but I don't agree with one theory of ethics completely.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with what is stated above. Yes, the morality of an act depends on a specific culture's values and beliefs, but that doesn't mean that a different culture's acts are unethical. There is definitely a universal boundary for acts that all cultures share that is prohibited. Not many cultures have this trait, but they should really use it when dealing with people who don't share the same ideals as they do; to be considerate and understanding.

Zoey Ferguson said...

I agree with what is stated above. The five statements are all false because everyone has different views about what is right and what is wrong. It is hard to determine what is ethical or not because of these different views, so we will forever be debating whether war and abortion are ethical or not

Anonymous said...

I believe that the majority of people have the same idea of what is ethical and what is unethical. At the end of the day everyone has their own opinions and beliefs. With that being said, just because you believe it's okay to kill an innocent person doesn't mean it's ethical.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your true/false analysis of the first four options. Gut feelings are not always of good intention, religious beliefs are easily manipulated in unethical ways, civil disobedience has proven the unethical nature of many laws in the past, and sometimes the majority's opinion on ethics is skewed (take, for example, the readiness of the Germans in 1938 to commit acts of violence against Jews). However, I disagree with how you deemed #5 to be "generally false." In fact, I don't even see clear reasoning on your part as to why the effect of the behavior being more beneficial than harmful is false. The possible consequences of any action are key part to understanding the ethics of something, and if the good outcomes outweighs the bad outcomes, then I believe that the action is generally ethical, though it may not be perfect.

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Anonymous said...

I also think that the idea of ethics is very subjective, because even as you grow older you tend to tell more lies and you justify them easier, simply because you're exposed to more and more things.

Anonymous said...

I had originally thought all of the statements true because, in some cases all can be true, but not always, which is the idea that I took away from this as well. Ethics is based on the source or who is determining whether something is moral so everything is sometimes ethical and sometimes not.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post in that no act is truly ethical or unethical when considered from all backgrounds and perspectives, however I believe that the "most correct" statement out of the 5 would be Statement 1: what you believe in your heart is right and morally justified. This makes more sense when looked at from an individual perspective. Since morality cannot be comprehensive across any group or culture, it must be looked at in terms of each individual person's state of mind. Morality can therefore be defined for each specific person in existence, according to their true beliefs and values.

Anonymous said...

Who are we to even attempt to confine the boundless concept of morality within our flawed, human understanding? No attempt at categorization could accurately separate "right" and "wrong" into two utterly separate and defined groups; no extent of hypothetical musing could conjure up every possible situation in which ethics might be questioned. We continue to meddle in things that we will never comprehend, and thus lose as much as we gain by creating an endless stream of "What if?" questions that can never be answered.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the given statements. I believe that having an Objective View is the best approach to most situations because every time it is applied to a circumstance, the outcome is consistently fair. A great example of this is in a court room where the main objective is to prove justice. For whatever reason that the law was broken, the punishment for that type of crime is the same. However, I do agree that a Subjective View is appropriate a part of the time. I feel that in informal situations, this approach can be applied like in the given example, telling someone that they will get better even when it is extremely unlikely. I think that this view should really only be applied when hope is needed to be given. As for the 3 Areas of Ethics, I think that Normative Ethics and Applied Ethics are partially incorrect in one way or another. Every Area (except for Metaethics) implies that there is a right and a wrong way of doing things. However, I believe that nothing is right or wrong, but that everything is different. I excuse Metaethics from this because I find that it just wants to explore the past, something I find entirely innocent and reasonable.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the argument presented, especially the first four statements. Evidence from history, such as wars and slavery, proves that due to diversity among cultures, religions, and races there is no set-in-stone set of ethics. Just because an individual or even an entire group of people feel ethical committing a certain action doesn't necessarily make it right. Ultimately, I believe ethics are subjective, because, as mentioned above, the immense amount of diversity in the world makes it nearly impossible to have only one ethical approach to all situations.

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Anonymous said...

Ethics is a matter of opinion and therefore a very controversial idea which is why I agree that all of the above statements are false. In order to even begin to consider the ethics of a situation, a nonbiased objective view needs to be taken so that the ground work can be laid out of where to start. Only after that can a subjective view be taken. Unfortunately subjective views largely depend on the culture and backgrounds of the people determining the ethics of an act. In most cases I believe that metaethics should be left out of a situation because they create too much of a gray area. The fact of the matter is, a person or persons did a questionably bad thing and the extent of how bad it really was ethically is trying to be determined, leave the philosophical origin of the evil out of it.

Anonymous said...

I dont agree or disagree with these statements. I think most of the evidence is circumstantial. It is hard to pin down ethics or how people will believe or react to it. I don't think it can be generalized in anyway.

Anonymous said...

Ethics is a very controversial subject due to the fact that it is entirely subjective. I can agree that there is no single statement that is able to accurately explain what ethical behavior is. In many of the other comments I noticed that the commenters felt that number five was the closest to a statement that accurately explained ethical behavior. I can agree that number five is likely the most ethical statement, however I feel that most people tend to follow number one. Even in movies and novels, people are often told to "follow their heart" when making decisions. It has also been statistically proven that the majority of people follow their emotions rather than standing back and analyzing the situation to find the "best" outcome.

Anonymous said...

I somewhat disagree. Because there are so many different cultures and groups out there, the majority ruling sometimes does not apply. Just because it is considered ethical by law doesn't mean it is ethical to all human beings. Some issues are just too multifaceted to put a specific ruling on.

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Anonymous said...

I agree to this. In some cases it does depend on the situtation to determine if something should be considerd ethical. Then again , withthe lying example, no matter what the circumstance is lying is still considerd unethical. The one thingI also would agree is ethical is lying for to benefit someone else. As in, if they dont look attractive but when asked you tell them they look good. These things I believe are the exceptions for lying.

Anonymous said...

I believe that ethics is subjective because the example given of the unattractive person receiving a complement is ethical. If you didn't try to help them with their day or help them feel better about themselves then they would feel as if they don't belong in the world making them unhappy and unresponsive. By giving the complement their confidence becomes boosted making them a well rounded person and have an overall great life.

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Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with all of this. If someone does a horrid thing, but the end result is good, the actions don't just justify themselves. You can have much different belief than someone else but still have the same good ethical values as them.

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