What is ethics? What are some common ethical types? Why do business people need it? Can ethics be taught to people? Ethics is a study of morality, stems from the ancient Greek “ethos” meaning custom or habit. It is a study of theories concerning what is good and evil in human conduct. There is no particular set of laws defining what is ethical and what is not, because there is no right or wrong answer. The second sense of ethics speak of “codes of ethics”, which are a set of rules serve as guidance to people, often in fields of professions such as business or medical.
Ethical contrasts with unethical, which goes against the codes of ethics. There are several ethical theories in Western philosophy. Many of them look at the fruits of one’s action – categorized under Consequentialism, while other theories uphold one’s right and duty, which is Deontology. Consequentialism pertains to cost and benefits. It deals with the results and consequences of performing or not performing an action. For example: If war brings more good (money, oil, labor) than bad (casualties) then it is ethical. Some consequentialist theories are utilitarianism and ethical egoism.
Utilitarianism, according to Bentham and Mill, the right action is which creates the greatest good for the greatest number. People should ask what action would promote the greatest amount of happiness for people who are affected. For example: a utilitarian would say euthanasia is ethical if that would bring satisfaction to the suffering patient and financial relief to the family. Ethical egoism, according to Ayn Rand, says we should do what is purely in our best interest, as opposed to altruism. It promotes one’s well-being above others.
Meanwhile deontology pertains to rights, duties or obligations. It concerns the morality of the action that is being performed (or not performed) rather than the results deriving from said action. In Kantian deontology, he promotes the Golden rules (don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t commit suicide) which are absolute rules that one must follow no matter what. Therefore it would be unethical to steal food even if it is for a dying person. In Lockean deontology, John Lock believes each individual is entitled to natural rights, such as right to live, right to freedom, right o pursue happiness, ect.
Another theory is virtual ethics, which is similar to Confucianism, in that a person’s virtues are habits and characteristics that one exhibits. Business people need ethics because it helps prevent malpractices and corruptions. Business practitioners should refer to business codes of conduct as a guide to maintain good business practices that help safeguarding customer confidence, rights and satisfactions; protecting employees and shareholders’ interests and legal rights; and upholding healthy competitions among businesses.
According to Socrates, ethics are what people ought to do and it can be taught. Psychologists also argue that a person’s ability to deal with moral issues is not formed since birth but develop gradually. I personally think a person’s moral can be shaped and that ethics should be taught, because without it we are left with a generation full of confused individuals whom are unable to comprehend and decide what right and what is wrong. That said, ethics should not be forced on people but should only serve as a guide and advisor.
Because there is no uniform set of rules for ethics, it is subjective to the psycho-demographic and geographic of the teachers. A new learner should be given space to assess and confirm what he believes is right and wrong for himself. 2/ What is an argument? What makes it valid/invalid, sound/unsound, good/ bad, “true”? An argument is a collection of statements or propositions, including premises and conclusions, in an attempt to persuade another that the conclusion is true. The premises are intended to provide support and evidence in favor to the speaker’s stance, and in some cases they don’t success.
There can be an indefinite number of premises, while there needs to be at least one conclusion. Conclusions are statements about the point the argument is trying to make. An argument needs to base on logic, in order to avoid logical fallacies (such as slippery slope argument) which make an argument bad, invalid or unsound. An argument is valid, or colloquially speaking, is good if the premises give logical and true reasons to prove that the conclusion is true. It is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false, or if the conclusion follows from the premises in a logical way.
Subject: Business ethics,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 October 2016
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