We, as human beings are more often aware of our actions. Before we make decisions critical analysis comes with a great consideration. We are able to analyze these things because are considered as rational beings and we have the ability to think to the highest level we can. We opt to consider whether these things are good or not, if it’s right or wrong and if it’s really needed or not; this we often consider as ethics. Ethics is an issue of morality. There are things that we do that others consider wrong, but others may consider righteous.
According to the society we should act as what it considers right; norms are one of the foundations of ethics and we should act accordingly. Norms can be a basis of what is morally right or wrong. There are four perspectives to be discussed in this paper, each of them having their own characteristics and each of them having their strong points and their weaknesses. The perspectives are universally known as the character or virtue, deontology or the perspective of obligation, the theory of utilitarianism and the equity or principle of relativism.
The theory of utilitarianism points out two things; one thing is better than the other if we could gain more pleasure from it, and the other thing is not that good, or better yet to say evil, if we could only gain pain from it. This theory also states that we do things voluntarily, that one is considered as the pilot of his own decisions and that such consequences could have not taken place if only he did or did not do such actions.
The amount or quantity of pleasure or pain takes into a great consideration in the concept of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is better understood as having the maximization quantity of benefit and less quantity of bad or the pain it can cause. A person would have two distinct choices, the first one is that if he does the action he would gain more pleasure or shall I say he can maximize the benefits of the action; the other is that if he does the action he would have to gain more risks and consequences.
The first choice would be most favored because we, as human beings would not want to suffer from the choices we make, we do not want to be suffering from the consequences of our actions so what we do is do the thing that would give us the most favorable and maximum quantity of pleasure (Moore, 1912). Virtue is an ethical perspective that tackles about the actions that we make and the ideals we have in life that we should strive for and that these ideals help us in developing our highest potentials as human beings.
This focuses on the traits or character that one has, the dispositions in life and the attitudes whether be it bad or good. Virtues are acquired through doing it everyday, they become a person’s characteristic when they are practiced for the longer time. There are a lot of characteristics and virtues a person can have; truthfulness, patience, honesty, and courteous are some of these. Virtue would help us in pursuing the ideals that we have in life (C. A. Manuel Velasquez, Thomas Shanks, S.
J. , and Michael J. Meyer 1996). The theory of ethical relativism states that morality is based on the culture of a society. It singles out that one can either be wrong or right, bad or evil depending on the society the person belongs to; the society is the one concerned in creating its own culture. This theory is basically called relativism because being good or bad is relative of the kind of society a person belongs to; the society dictates whatever thing is perceived as good or bad.
Every single society shares a common culture, this culture defines good and bad and the people should act with accordance to the standards of the society they belong. This theory is often argued because of the fact that every single society has its own culture and therefore has its own perception of bad or good. However, this theory is useful in exploring the reasons behind the differentiation of culture among societies (C. A. Manuel Velasquez, Thomas Shanks, S. J. , and Michael J. Meyer, 1992).
Obligation perspective holds the golden rule “do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you”. It simply states that we should do what is only right and not what is wrong. It holds the principle of doing what is good because of the obligation. Say for example, a person should tell the truth because that person is bound to have an obligation to tell the truth because he doesn’t want other people not to trust him and because he upholds the value of truthfulness. This perspective is sometimes being pertained to utilitarianism, but it is totally different.
While obligation is obligatory, utilitarianism is a voluntary act. After taking the ethical awareness test, I have known that what ethic perspective dominates in me is the obligation or the deontology. My perspective is based on my obligation or duty to do what is morally right. With this, I am to consider a thing as ethical if I choose how I act and what rules I am willing to oblige. It is also stated in my ethical perspective that the people should not be treated as a means to justify an end, simply stating “the end does not justify the means”.
I also believe that every single individual should be given the respect that any man should have and therefore I won’t be able to comply with the policies and social traditions aimed at the best interest of the society as a whole. However, my approach to ethics requires legal and humane limits, I simply believe that people should be allowed to make their own choices and I advocate policies that have the intention to ensure equal opportunities for all as well as equal respect. My ethical perspective upholds the principle of doing things in accordance with the standards of right and wrong.
However, though my ethical perspective aims to do what is morally right I am faced with numbers of dilemmas with regards to work. These problems would somehow cause me frustrations and may lead to a more devastated life in the future for it is not only concerned in the present but it also pertains to the future. One of the problems I am going to face with this perspective is that the people I work with might argue that some people within a society are not able to act in their own best interests.
I may find this a fallacy because it was once used in the denying of the equitable treatment to women and the minorities. This somehow would result to frustration. The second problem I am to face with this perspective is that what I perceived to be morally right may not benefit most of the people. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if I have perceived a thing to be morally right it would maximize the good or pleasure. This would cause me another frustration because if I had made a decision which I perceived to be right and it didn’t work to be beneficial I may have doubts when I make a decision again.
It might cause greater problems in the future. Another dilemma I am to face with this perspective is that defending this may end up in economic hardship; in worst cases I can be terminated. Say for example, in a working place several employees should be terminated because the company is having low production because these people are handicapped or they are simply not productive, the best action would be to terminate them but I, as a moralist would say that they should not be terminated because they have children.
In the long run, if these people would be in the company and the company has still a low productivity the company would have losses and it may lead to closure because of the losses. Having things perceived as morally right may not be totally right; some may be beneficial but some can create more problems. We as human beings should act accordingly to whatever it is that we perceive because these choices are free of charge, because God created us with the opportunity of having what we call free will and should be practiced.
We should not depend on what others may in making our decisions but we should also be ready for the consequences that accompany our decisions. Whatever action we do we should think of it twice, we should think that there are always two sides of a story. We should not be bounded by obligations because this might cause us greater frustrations in the future and this may lead to a very low self-esteem. We don’t want these to happen that’s why we should think critically and make decisions wisely because we are the pilot of our own lives.