Ethics is the discipline that deals with the good and the bad as well as with the moral duty and responsibility of an individual. It can also be defined as the study of the choices made by individuals as regards right and wrong (Marie, 2005). Ethics is mainly concerned with the philosophy that results in a particular behavior. Ethics are of different types, and they differ in terms of their application in different contexts. Ethics state the working of a particular social system. They point towards the utilization of morality. At birth, as indicated by Be The Dream (2009), everyone is practically a blank slate.
The period of infancy is characterized by total emptiness. The only skill an infant is equipped with is crying in order to attract the attention of the other people. Infants are contented with just lying watching the world revolve around them until they need something. However, as life progresses, individuals develop values in accordance with what they have previously learned or gone through (Be The Dream, 2009). The main intent of developing ethics is to set up the capacity to come up with rational judgment and ethical decisions.
The whole process of personal ethics development is continuous and goes on through out life (Marie, 2005). Personal ethics, morals and values go hand in hand. Values are beneficial aspects learned from childhood, either as a result of interaction with the environment or from parents. Morals are the inherent beliefs that develop from the values system of the way an individual should react in a particular situation (Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2010). Ethics, on the other hand, are characterized by an individual’s reaction to difficult situations.
Ethics play a major role of testing the morals of an individual. Personal ethics are instilled by the culture, environment as well as the background in which an individual is brought up (Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2010). Family values in addition to traditional values are very important in the upbringing of a child. These values play a major role in assisting an individual develop personal ethics at a very tender age. Various personal ethics include: honesty, loyalty, punctuality, open-mindedness, self respect as well as respect for others and fairness (Marie, 2005).
Hatcher (2007) states that the expression of one’s ethics is not always comprehended in the global context at large, immediate surrounding, or even among the closest family members. This is mainly as a result of the difference in the development of personal ethics. Personal ethics develop early in life through interaction with family, church, school, and other members of the general community. All these people play part in helping one mold his/her beliefs (Hatcher, 2007). Personal ethics are established through unconscious observations as well as experiences of childhood.
Personal ethics narrate values that help an individual make sense of his/her life. They enable one to make moral decisions that are not inclined towards the good of an individual but to all people. An ethical person undergoes extensive internal battles, trying to figure out whether his or her actions will negatively impact on others. Personal ethics enable individuals to make decisions that are meant for the benefit of all. They act as an innate factor that enable individuals make rational and morally correct decisions (Hatcher, 2007).