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Ethics Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Ethics, values, and social responsibility

In the finance field there are a number of ethical issues although many issues in this field are governed by law. Ethical issues in finance include individual conduct, financial institution operations and financial markets operations. In this field people are trained to perform different duties and thus finance ethics is diversified. However, the top five issues in this field include honesty and fairness, fraud, conflicts of interest, discrimination and information technology. Honesty and fairness in this field has raised much dispute. Because of the intense competition in the world, many people view the conditions in a business to be similar to those in a game of sport or war and thus anything is considered to be fair. On the other…

Fostering Ethical Behavior

Ethical conduct in today’s work environment is extremely important as it not only affects the climate of the workplace but can also make a major impact on the output of the employees who work for you. As Kreitner and Kinicki state, “Improving workplace ethics is not just a nice thing to do; it also can have a positive impact on the bottom line” (Organizational Behavior, 2009, p. 25). But the discussion on how to foster more ethical conduct can oftentimes be a tricky question to answer. First, my firm belief is that you have to start from the top of an organization and work down. If a CEO or upper level manager acts unethically in his/her practices then how can…

Enron And Ethics

Having some detailed written code of ethics like Enron had is usually not enough. Enron had a 64 page code of ethics and incase you might be wondering, the pages were not blank. However, despite this, it went down. The organizations ought to infuse some integrity and ethics in their corporate structure and in their success definition. To be precise, Enron ethics were simply ignored by the management and the employees. In any organization, the functions of any department should be based on ethical values, competence, integrity and a clear accountability of financial matters. Enron totally ignored these functions thus leading to its bankruptcy. As the company’s reputation did grow globally, hence there was competition of the employees therefore leading…

Addressing International Legal and Ethical Issues Simulation

1. Cad-Mex has a moral obligation to its publics to act as a responsible citizen. Corporate social responsibility demands that the company looks into the welfare of the communities in which it operates. At the same time the stakeholders of Cad-Mex demand that the company be managed prudently and generate a return on their investments. A price reduction in the face of an epidemic appears to be the best course of action that the company takes. By insisting that local companies can make generic versions of the drug, the government is in further breach of the contract signed by both parties. Suing the government for its actions may lead to expensive litigation costs and cancelling of the contract. Agreeing to…

A Framework for Thinking Ethically

The article “A Framework for Thinking Ethically” analyzes the main concept of ethics. The authors explores the arguments of what ethics is and what ethic is not, why ethics is important, five sources of ethical standards, and advises a 10-step framework for making ethical decisions. First, this article helps identify what ethics is not. It points out that ethics is not based on the law and culturally accepted norms; it is neither religion nor a science; and it is not the same as peoples’ feelings. Moreover, the authors describe that many philosophers and ethicists around the world proposed five sources of ethical standards to help understand what ethics are based on. Secondly, the article identified the following five sources of…

Teamwork: Ethics and Team Members Distrust

1. Which was the most effective group (team) of which you have been member? What made the group (or team) so effective? One of the most effective teams I have been a member of is the Lindsay Street Baptist Church Senior Usher Board. Our board is made up of individuals of the same race. However, our ages vary from 23 to 75 years of age. With this broad age gap, everyone is learning something differently about each other during our meetings. We share a common goal which is to be the best “doorkeepers” in the church. We find solace and joy in performing our duties. We are committed to each as members of the board. We respect, trust, and communicate…

Unocal in Burma

“Ethics is a kind of investigation- and includes both the activity of investigating as well as the results of that investigation-whereas morality is the subject matter that ethics investigate” (Manual G. Velasquez). Here in this analysis we’ll try to differentiate the right and wrong in Unocal’s actions in engaging in the Yadana project from four different key ethical perspectives which are the Utilitarian, Rights, Justice and Caring perspective. 1.Utilitarian Perspective: “Utilitarianism is a general term for any view that holds that actions and policies should be evaluated on the basis of the benefits and costs they will impose on the society” (Velasquez). On the basis of this concept we can see that Unocal’s project has benefited thousands of families who…

Economical Ethics

Each of us as individuals are responsible for our own monies, our own bills, spending habits and we are ultimately responsible for our money which in turn allows us much latitude in how we choose to spend our money. With this said, it can be said that there is little no to no ethics involved when we deal with our own funds or finances. Is this true? No! In fact there are many moral and ethical decisions involved in spending our own money. We must choose to pay our obligatory bills and not go gamble it all away. We are obligated, unless we don’t drive, to pay for our gasoline and not spend it on illicit drugs or other illegal…

Code of Ethics

A code of ethics is a very important document every company, organization, or association should have. This document ensures every member, volunteer, or employee comply with certain rules and acts in an ethical manner. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy code of ethics allows therapist to work with patients in an ethically controlled environment. It also gives patients the peace of mind that they will receive quality service, if any issue occurs they have the right to report the situation. I believe the most important part of the AAMFT code of ethics is the patient confidentiality principle. Therapy is a very personal matter and most people would not seek it otherwise. I don’t believe any part of the…

Professional Ethics

Lady Justice is the symbol of justice, where show the symbol of the justice: a sword symbolising the court’s coercive power, the scale representing an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed and the blindfold indicating that justice should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of power, money, and wealth. Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institution to govern behaviour laws are made by governments, specifically by their legislatures. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitutions (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in countless ways and serves as a social mediator of relation between people. Furthermore,…

Virtue Ethics Notes

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived between 384 and 322 BCE. He was deeply interested in the idea of cause and purpose. On the Foundation Paper, you will have explored the ideas of the Four Causes and the Prime Mover. Both of these theories look at the idea of how things are caused and how they move towards their purpose. In ethics, any theory that looks at how we become better people over time, or that looks at how we move towards our purpose is called a teleological theory, from the Greek word telos meaning goal or purpose. Virtue ethics is teleological because it argues that we should practice being good, or virtuous people over time. Virtue ethics is…

Applied Definition: Virtue Ethics

1. In what ways did the historical context from which virtue ethics emerged shape its basic principles? Presocratics, regarded as the first philosophers, brought the term logos to philosophy (literal translation: ‘word’; also denotes ‘logic’, ‘argument’, ‘reason’. Aristotle’s concept of Virtue Ethics regards humans as rational animals, implying that ‘logos’ is purely a human trait. Known as Plato’s most gifted student, Aristotle disagreed with his teacher’s view that the “essence of reality lies in some abstract world of Forms or Ideas” (Brannigan, 2005:60). Aristotle’s point of view directly contrasts his teacher’s, stating that the “source of meaning comes from concrete, physical reality” (Brannigan, 2005:60). This direct contrast with Plato leads to Aristotle opening his own school, which he called the…

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Virtue Ethics

The virtue ethicist suggests that this theory avoids the complicated tasks of using a formula to figure out what we should do, by instead focusing on the kinds of persons we sould be. The problem lies in determining how we know what kinds of persons we should be. How are we to determine just what the virtues are? If we don’t know what the virtues are, then telling people to live virtuously would be ignorant. The virtues are whatever character traits enable us to live at the heights of excellence. Aristotle suggests this theory too. However, identifying the “flourishing life” is itself a major task. Also, if we look very closely at the notion of a “flourishing life,” we will…

Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue and Happiness

Aristotle was one of the most respected philosophers of all time. He wrote on many subjects covering a wide range of topics; politics, psychology, metaphysics, logic and ethics. In the article “Nature of Virtue” written by Aristotle, his theory of a persons happiness and good morals is explained. I agree that a human’s goal in life is to be happy, and to live a good life but happiness and good do not come hand in hand. In this paper, I disagree with Aristotle’s proper function argument. The word happiness is a much broader term to Aristotle than what we think of. (Johnston, Para. F) By happiness he means successful, living a good life and physical well being. A fully happy…

Utilatarian, Deontology and Virtue Ethics

Utilitarianism is defined as ethic based on consequences. An act, either it is morally wrong or good is acceptable as long as the end outcome is greater. In this essay on utilitarianism, I would argue Peter Singer’s calculus preferences, equality is for all living being but sacrificing one for greater good is plausible. Counter argument of Immanuel Kant’s moral deontology claim, it is immoral to consider a human being as a means to an end. John Mills’ actions are right as long they promote happiness, wrong if they produce the opposite of happiness as the reply for the counter argument. In conclusion, I would ethically rectify my claim in supporting utilitarian argument. Singer claimed that it is wrong to choose…

Business and Virtue Ethics

Abstract For the purposes of this assignment we will analyze the Mattel case and discuss the actions of the company regarding the behavior and actions in conjunction with the Global Manufacturing Process that was implemented. Breaches of the two business ethics elements of integrity and egoism will be assessed. Within the discussion I have identified the virtues prudence, justice, fidelity, and courage that were largely violated by the Mattel organization and how it affected the employees of Mattel. We will discuss the implications of virtue, deontological, and utilitarian ethics regarding their potential usefulness in evaluation of the Mattel case. Introduction Mattel’s concept of Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) was not a novel concept. The many forms of GMP including International Organization…

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics and the view that ethics should be wholly concerned with a person’s attributes based on the holistic theory of Aristotle and his Golden Mean, is a newly accepted theory, which looks at a person’s virtues and not their actions. It is a view that directly contrasts with the theories of Kant and Bentham, which focus on actions as opposed to the actual person making those actions. Although the deontological nature of Kant’s theory does partially contradict the teleological constitution of Bentham’s theory, they both focus on the moral decision that a person chooses to make and these theories both clash with Virtue Ethics, in respect that Virtue Ethics looks at why and what made the person make that…

Virtue and Happiness

There are so many different circumstances under which someone will perform an action that it can be confusing when to determine if an action is virtuous. There can be factors of ignorance or factors of pressure to do certain actions. Pressure, ignorance, or reward can have a various affects on a person’s choices about virtuous acts but when it causes his or her moral actions to be compromised, then only certain situations can pressure or ignorance be an excuse. Courage is a virtue that can be determined by choices that a person can make. A person that only does an act because he sees some personal gain from the act such as saving a child from a fire may not…

Virtue and Aristotle

“Happiness depends on ourselves. ” More than anybody else, Aristotle enshrines happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. As a result he devotes more space to the topic of happiness than any thinker prior to the modern era. Living during the same period as Mencius, but on the other side of the world, he draws some similar conclusions. That is, happiness depends on the cultivation of virtue, though his virtues are somewhat more individualistic than the essentially social virtues of the Confucians. Yet as we shall see, Aristotle was convinced that a genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being. In this way…

Virtue ethics

Virtue ethics belongs to the branch of philosophy called ethics. Virtue ethics is also a sub branch of normative ethics and it contrasts with disteleology because normative ethics is more concerned about characteristics of a person rather than the moral duties and laws they must abide, so Natural Moral Law, Kantian ethics and Divine Command are usually dismissed by Virtue Ethics. This ethical theory also contrasts with consequentialism e. g. Utilitarianism which is more focused on results and outcomes. Virtue ethics was first introduces by Plato and was further developed by Aristotle. Virtue ethics is based on the focus of characteristics, also known as virtues. This means the good character traits an individual has- and the opposite of a virtue…

Virtue Theory

The Virtue Theory is one of the three main theories in normative ethics, which emphasizes virtues in determining moral character and what is good. It focuses on what makes a good person, rather than what makes a good action. In other words, The Virtue Theory is an agent-based approach to ethics, which asks this question about being good: “What kind of person should I be? ” This is in contrast to the other two approaches, Utilitarianism and Kantanism, which ask this question concerning being good: “What should I do? ” These two theories are act-based and are concerned with duties or rules, and the consequences of actions respectively, and not defining the proper telos, or purpose of man, such as…

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics is grounded in “character traits”. We all have by nature the potential to be moral persons, but we need to practice the virtues, to cultivate them. Ex. a medical doctor should cultivate virtues such as: compassion, discernment, trustworthiness, integrity, benevolence and non-malevolence Kinds of virtues: 1) intellectual (wisdom, understanding etc) 2) moral (temperance, patience, courage etc) An individual is moral not because of his/her intellectual activities, but because of his/her feelings and actions. We need to practice virtues – ex. people become generous by giving We must decide: what is the “golden mean” from our individual perspective (ex. coward – courageous – hero)? The virtuous person must enjoy being virtuous (ex. not like the one who avoids stealing…

Virtue Theory

Aristotle studied and explained a wide range of subjects ranging from science to politics and is widely recognized as one of the greatest philosophers of all time. One of his most important contributions to the study of humanities is his exploration and definition of moral virtue. In his book, The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explains different views about the nature of life in order to allow the reader to find what the main function of life is and how to successfully perform that function. For example, Aristotle states in his first book, in article one, “every art and every investigation, and similarly every action and pursuit is considered to aim at some good. ” Hence, Aristotle defines the “good” as that…

Virtue Ethics

The Greeks though of virtue as excellence, but the biggest part of being virtuous is being human. Compassion, integrity and courage are some of the virtues that make someone human. Animals do not have a concept of what virtue is, so that makes it solely a human act. You never see animals being courteous to each other, nor do you see them offer assistance to each other. The only animals that come close to showing signs of virtue are pack animals. Although, if an animal in the pack betrays the pack there is no second chances. (dictionary of world philosophy) Consequentialist Approach The Consequentialist determines what is right and wrong with virtue by action. (dictionary of quotations) The one thing…

Relativistic Theory of Ethics

One relativistic theory of ethics is situationism. Situationism (also known as situation ethics) was devised by Joseph Fletcher, who was strongly against absolutist theories for instance; legalism and also disliked how religions were taught implying there were some rules that could never be broken, as he thought these rules are too demanding and restrictive. He then created this theory of situation ethics which is seen as the ‘mid way’ because it lies between antinomianism and legalism. Antinomianism is very anti law whilst legalism emphasises the important of law. However, situationism lies between the two as Fletcher was very enthused by making a decision on individual situations. Situation ethics maintains that it’s the consequences of actions which determine whether an action…

‘Utilitarianism Is Unsatisfactory as a Theory of Ethics

Utilitarianism is an ethical theory coined by an English philosopher who lived during the late 1700’s name Jeremy Bentham. Bentham believed in the principle that human beings should be motivated by pain and pleasure; he said “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure” this meant that every human being’s goal in life should be to pursue pleasure and avoid pain and that these should be defining factors of what is moral. Utilitarianism is strongly based on this principle which is more commonly known as the principle of utility. The principle of utility is that an action is moral if it produces the greatest possible pleasure for the greatest possible number in any given…

John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism

John Stuart Mill published Utilitarianism in 1861 in installments in Fraser’s Magezine it was later brought out in book form in 1863. The book offers a candidate for a first principle of morality, a principle that provides us with a criterion distinquishing right and wrong. The unilitarian candidate is the principle of utility, which holds that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happpiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure.” One version of cecular utilitarianism was represented by William Godwin the husband of Mary Wollstonecraft and father of Mary Shelley, who achieved great notoriety with…

Case Study: Rule Utilitarianism or Act Utilitarianism?

This paper examines the procedure that were followed that it is a common sight to see on the street, children and sometimes old, physically handicapped, beggars and sickly people begging for food and some money. It critically examines these procedures in the moral dilemma with reference of applying the concepts: rule and act utilitarianism. Should we give these beggars money or not? In deciding whether we give or not, the answer for that is we should give. Why? Act utilitarianism basically states that an action is moral if it produces the greatest happiness for the most people. This reason alone the act of giving them would be a good idea, because it would benefit the most amount of people. At…

Utilitarianism Essay

John Stuart Mill, a philosopher and political economist, is known today as one of the most influential sponsors for Utilitarianism. His moral theory tends to go along with a “Utilitarian rubric” (Fitzpatrick, 2006) and thus holds that the theory is based on how to define right and wrong in terms of happiness. For Mill, “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (J. S Mill, 1861, pg. 9). If happiness, for Mill at least, is pleasure, then it is also the absence of pain. Although this can be seen as a hedonistic approach, Mill supports the idea of different levels for pleasure. In his essay Utilitarianism, Mill…

Ethics and Utilitarianism

What is Utilitarianism? Utilitarianism is an ethical framework for effective moral action. It’s a philosophical concept that holds an action to be held right if it tends to promote happiness for the greatest number of people. The essence of utilitarianism is in its concept of pleasure and pain. It defines the morally right actions as those actions that maximize pleasure or happiness and minimize pain or evil. Utilitarianism is all about making the right choices that will consequently promote the greatest amount of happiness. It can be traced all the way back to the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, but the name most frequently associated with utilitarianism is that of Jeremy Bentham. According to utilitarianism, we should evaluate an action by…