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Ethics is the branch of knowledge that deals with human behavior and moral principles. When a baby takes birth, he lives in a society with some norms and values. He unconsciously adopts his parents’ religion, language, culture, and belief. Before he becomes able to take decisions he already had a mindset. Every society works according to ethics which let all the individuals live together happily. Theories of ethics which help in decision making about what is good and bad for us? What is our moral duty? What is the right thing to do? How should I act to be a good person? Answers of all these questions we get from ethics. If our action is not resulting in any harm not only for us but for the people around us, that means it is a good act. If our act is harmful to people or the self that is bad for us, it is our moral duty that we follow all the rules and regulation of the society we are living in and work for mutual interest.
The principle of ethics:
There are following principles of ethics:
Beneficence: This principle helps us to understand the difference between good and bad. It tells us that "do good" should be our priority. For example, in school, we study hard to get excellent marks. Work hard for marks is a good thing but cheating will be bad for our self as well as the person who deserves better marks.
Least Harm: This situation happens when every action cannot provide us with any benefit. Therefore, we chose an action that will be least harmful. For example, when a company is facing low profit and decides for downsizing. A number of the employees may lose their jobs, and their family will suffer if the company remains on his decision. If the company decides to keep profit margin low and change the decision of downsizing, it will result in the least harm for everyone.
Respect: Every individual deserves respect as he has a similar set of emotions, capabilities, experiences, and motivations. This principle works with the beneficence principle, and for example, individuals always want to spend their lives freely. They prefer to have control over lifestyles, decisions, and life experiences.
Justice: This principle covers the decision makers and professionals. Every professional has a code of ethics. For example, a judge in the court has to take a decision, and his decision should be consistent and unbiased. It should reflect fairness and justice.
Theories of Ethics:
There are various theories of ethics includes Deontology, Utilitarianism, Rights, and virtue. Deontology focuses on the decision based on the goodness for the whole society. Utilitarianism based on the least harm and most beneficial decisions for most of the people. Rights imply that irrespective of personal choice or benefit, one should take a decision which is fair and right for the people who are going to be affected by it. Virtue judges an individual by his character rather than his action. Let us discuss the virtue theory in detail.
It is the principle which focuses on the character of the person. For example, two students get caught while doing cheating. Teacher punishes one of them because he had bad actions being noticed in the past due to which teacher now do not want to forgive him. On the other hand, the second student has a good reputation in school because of that teacher thinks, he cannot do any bad action, so he takes the decision to forgive him. If we notice on the example, we can say that virtue cannot lead to happiness every time. If you make a mistake you judge on the basis of your past action, your present attitude and change in character will not be taken into account. Virtue is beneficial in most of the cases for example, in school if you always reach on time and one day you get late due to some reason then there will be fair chances that teachers will not take actions against you because they know you are a punctual student and have a responsible attitude.
Morality is the standard taken from the code of ethics. It concerns the difference between good and bad or right and wrong behavior. For example, in the above example the teacher punished one of the students due to his past actions and forgive the other one, in morality teacher will punish both without bias. This bias ends when the decision maker does not focus on the character of the person rather decide on the basis of the mistake on which he has to make a decision. In this context, both students will be punished as both had made same and bad action.
A person lives in society and communicates with other people. Morality affects people living in society. Morality teaches us about our responsibility, loyalty, discipline, honesty, courtesy, kindness, self- reliance, and gratitude. The main goal of morality is happiness. It gives us a way of life which is beneficial not only for us but for the people around us. It makes every society living on ethics, rules, and regulations. Therefore we can say that morality is both culturally based and individually based as it covers both. Then there comes universal morality, due to globalization people live with people of culturally and linguistically diverse background. In such society universal morality works which teaches us to respect all irrespective of their culture, religion, gender, race, and nationality.
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