Ethics has been a guiding principle for mankind. Ethical standards are being considered in every decision man makes. By following an ethical code, mankind knows that he is making the right decision because this ethical code ensures that there is fairness and no one will be deprived of his/her own rights. Mankind makes ethical considerations in many important decisions but there are still some major issues that arise when talking of ethical decisions. These are the issues that have ethical conflicts and man has been forever divided about these issues.
Man has legislated laws that are based on human ethical values and almost all good laws have seemingly relied on this principle. One topic that has been the subject of much debate based on varying ethical considerations and existing laws is abortion. Some laws forbid abortion while others allow it because some countries may grant ethical considerations to mothers. Many ethical issues arise in abortion cases. There is a conflict between a right to life and a right of choice.
The fetus inside the womb has a right to life, the right to be born into this world, while the mother has a right of choice whether she would want to continue with the pregnancy or not for some valid or invalid reason. Some choose to have abortion because of career choices or the inability to support a child. Others do not want to continue with the pregnancy which resulted from rape which may have various psychological effects (Cline). In some medical conditions, the life of both the mother and the fetus will be at risk and it would be necessary to choose who lives yet pro-life activists still argue that abortion should never be an option.
This issue pits one moral principle against another moral principle but mankind has a way of dealing with this stuff. They turn to religion, but this is not always a reliable option since there are various contradicting interpretations of religious scriptures and that religion does not govern everyone. Every person has the right to choose his/her own religion and a person also has a right to be free from religion. Another similar issue is capital punishment. Many believe that the death penalty is an appropriate sentence for many heinous crimes.
The criminal, having performed an act against certain moral principles, be it murder or rape, no matter how grave the crime or no matter how many people he killed, another killing is unethical and would not be unjustifiable since the existing laws prohibit killing. A wrong deed done will not correct a wrong deed done. More so, it violates a person’s right to life. Even if the criminal violated other people’s right to life, it would be unethical to kill someone on a justification that he killed others or just to get revenge. Cloning is yet another issue in which ethics plays a role.
Scientists are studying therapeutic cloning for a chance to probably cure many existing incurable diseases. These scientists are only hoping to improve the life of mankind with better medical technology but many argue that experiments is playing god or is an act of killing since cloning deals with stem cells from human embryos. In these examples of controversial issues, many people have different beliefs but religion is a strong argument since many people follow a certain religion but the religious argument is not universal.
These religious arguments support ethical principles. Human have different personal interest which is why there is a difference in beliefs regarding such topics. For some, abortion may be acceptable because they believe that the early stages of the fetus is not yet considered human but rather as a cluster of cells which is still a part of the female body. Others believe that life begins at the moment of conception, so the fetus is already has life. From these different perspectives, the topic becomes a huge debate based of varying ethical views (Cline).
Capital punishment may have been implemented as a way to prevent people from committing brutal crimes. This is not taking a side of the issue but prison time would be a better way of serving sentences rather than death penalty because the right to life is very important and from an ethical perspective, even the rights of the accused and convicted should be respected. Humans are responsible for all their acts and the decisions that they make. Man should be guided by the code of ethics and not mislead them.
Abortion, a controversial issue, is being allowed on a case-to-case basis. Abortion for medical purposes is allowed by some laws as well as abortion for pregnancies that resulted from sexual abuse. Generally, law does not allow abortion just for the sake of contraception. From this, it may be viewed that man, based on different circumstances, is responsible enough to see what is permissible under ethical standards. Likewise, very few states or countries allow for capital punishment which again connotes that man has a good understanding of the principle of right and wrong.