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Critical Thinking and Ethics Essay

In a discussion of ethics, critical thinking may not be the first term that comes to mind, unless opposing. However in some ways, critical thinking can the foundation, from which an ethical decision is made. This paper will explain the relationship between critical thinking and ethics, how the principles and rules of critical thinking are applicable to ethical reasoning, and if ethical decisions would be necessary if everyone followed the rules of logic.

Is Critical Thinking Applicable to Ethical Reasoning?

Ethical reasoning is based on the principles of what is considered right and wrong. Critical thinking on the other hand, warrants more of a thought process, causing one to analyze the situation from all aspects before reaching a conclusion. “By taking the path of a critical thinker, a person develops a mental process of evaluation which helps to determine their ethical standards” (Mnmelillo, 2010, Professional Growth, para.

1). Logic versus Ethical Reasoning

The purpose of logic is to find that which is true. Logical thinking processes are often times used in ethics to answer important moral questions. However logic does not guarantee a morally correct outcome. For example, the legalization of marijuana is constantly under debate. Using the rules of logic, one would be able to see both the pros and cons of this argument. Although drug use is considered unethical by US government standards, even for medicinal use, the state of California, has legalized medicinal marijuana. In this particular case or should I say state, the rules of logic did not produce a morally correct result.


Ethical reasoning and critical thinking are derived from different processes, although there are circumstances in which one is necessary to reach a decision regarding the other. As with critical thinking, there are no hard rules determining the use of ethics, considering what may be unethical in some cultures, for example, may prove to be ethical in another. Ultimately the use of ethics versus critical thinking or logic is determined by the situation at hand.

Mnmelillo, N. (2010). What is the relationship between critical thinking and ethics? Triad Search Marketing: Professional Growth. Retrieved from

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