Ethical Decision Making
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38 / F / Fort Meade, MD
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Posted 2/18/08
I'm currently in an Ethics Class, and there are a few questions being asked in it that i find incredibly interesting.

How do you make ethical decisions?
What thoughts go through your mind when faced with an ethical or moral dilemma, or choice?

How do you arrive at the decision you made?

Which choice did you make? Did you choose to take action for the ethic or moral route, or did you choose to do the ammoral action.

Give some examples of different ethical decisions you've had to make, and what was your thought process behind those choices.

Please dig deeper then just saying it was the wrong thing to do or the right thing to do.

The responses i'm looking for are actual thought processes behind it.

Example:

When i was 22, i was homeless. I was pregnant, and living out of my Tiny little Miata.
There was a farmer stand on the side of the road and the owners were dealing with other customers..
I was starving so i stole the food.

The ethical choice there was: to steal the food or not to steal the food.

My thought process was that i was hungry, i had no other way of getting food, i was too embarassed and scared to ask the owners. and i thought, they have this HUGE pile of veggies... they aren't going to miss an ear of corn and a handful of greenbeans.

Even though i KNEW it was wrong to steal.
Posted 2/18/08
i had a class some what liek that. i say only do it if u really need it like stealing for food when ur starving. don't do it cuz you want to and everyone else is doing. basically wut i think if ethical is the common sense.
Posted 2/18/08
I`m always reminded of my Religion test . >.>

I haven`t lived long enough to make really big decisions .
I was thinking if I should go to school or not when I`m sick .
The right thing is that I should go to school .
However , I thought of the stuff we were going to do that day to see if it was okay to skip .
I end up going because I either have a test or a really big assignment to do that day .

Then there`s to skip English or not to skip since we have a sub that day .
I didn`t have much choice since my friend was pulling me to the caf and she was bigger than me .
I felt guilty though because I was skipping so I told my mom I was skipping
because my school will call later on that day telling my mom I was absent during that period .
She said it was fine so I felt less guilty . I somehow found a way to correct my wrongdoing .
The school called and I forgot to answer it . Then the secretary e-mailed my dad that time .
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30 / M / New York
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Posted 2/18/08
This is incredibly general. I couldn't possibly detail the way my mind works when confronted with every possible dilemma. I'll try to answer anyway.

I don't worry about whether things are right or wrong (there are no absolutes here) - just whether they'll have a negative impact on me. Furthermore, I consider my life to be the most important, so you won't see me sacrificing myself for any cause except that of escaping pain, which brings me to the next part of my "philosophy." If I can't be happy while I'm alive, I see no point in being alive at all. Whether I exist or not isn't particularly relevant to me because (presumably) I won't be aware of anything - including pain - after death.

All of that said, I still do nice things for people, but only if I'm not particularly inconvenienced.
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98 / F
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Posted 2/18/08
How do you make ethical decisions? Weigh in as many factors as i can, trying to find decent arguments for both sides of a choice. Throw in a healthy dose of logic and then make what i consider the best choice with the most gain for the least work.

What thoughts go through your mind when faced with an ethical or moral dilemma, or choice? Varies depending on the choice being made. For something simple like 'will i steal this piece of cake while a friend isn't watching' sort of things, i just think how delicious the cake will be, and how it will irk my friend.

For something a little bigger like 'is vivisection a good idea' (which i have an odd view on anyway >.>) i tend to wonder how people will perceive the choice I'll end up supporting, as much as a person enjoys their beliefs, most people will fold before being rejected by their peers.

How do you arrive at the decision you made? Size up the choices and then choose what i think is the right one. If at a later time i find fault with it, you can always change the story when you retell it ^^

Which choice did you make? Did you choose to take action for the ethic or moral route, or did you choose to do the ammoral action. Generally speaking, I have a tendency to follow my morality. Which may or may not conform to the norm as it were, but as i feel i usually take the right course of actions, what other people think isn't really a big issue (dangerous line there >.>).

I remember when i was taking my 3rd grading for a Judo class, paired off against my best friend. In the first of three rounds, she attacked, and i countered and pinned. She had no chance. Same thing happened in the third round, when she tried the exact same attack, with the same result. In the third round, once again she came at me with the same attack, here is where i had to make a decision. I could totally humiliate her by countering in the exact same fashion, or i could get 'distracted' and let her take a win to salvage some of her pride.

Sounds easier than it is, but a split second decision over pride isn't so easily taken =/ In the end, after looking at my options, i decided to counter. I decided no matter how much it sucked for my friend, i wasn't going to compromise my ability or take a fall just to make her feel better. Ethical? Moral? Who knows.

EDIT: The thing is, when you're faced with a moral or ethical issue, once you've done your own internal calculations on it, you need to overlay it with religion and perception before you can get an actual result. So many 'moral' and 'ethical' decisions for group X of people are 'immoral' by the standards of group G.

Kinda makes a person think there's no morality, just perception. Which is an entirely different argument.
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28 / M / North Carolina
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Posted 2/18/08
I don't know much about ethics or morals

My decisions are made with cold and calculated thought, whenever such a situation arises my first thoughts are

How much trouble would this be for me?
How can I benefit from it?
What will I have to give up if anything?
Am I willing to deal with it and the ramifications that may follow?

A little over a year ago, while walking to a nearby corner store, I encountered a man in his mid 40's, who was obviously a crack head. He walked up to me and had the nerve to ask me to "let him hold a dollar", so he could buy a soda, when lo and behold, there was an open, barely touched, Dr Pepper right behind him on the wall he was just leaning on.

Most people would be dumbfounded and caught off guard in such a situation, some would just give him the dollar others would write him off as a bum, and just walk on. I on the other hand, thought of a perfect lie in less than 2 seconds, and told him that all I had on me was "change to get my momma some chips". And without a major fuss or hassle, he backed off.

Sure most would think such a thing would be mean or dishonest, and those people didn't grow up in a place that was known as the "Beirut of North Carolina" in the 80's and 90's, the point is, street smarts heavily out weigh any moral or ethical thought process (which is why I prefer the former).

if I had given that man my dollar, who knows what could have happened afterwards, he could have gone to his crack pipe buddies and told them that I was a walking ATM machine, and they would just start coming out of the woodwork with their hands out, until I refuse and an unstable one all of a sudden decides to gun me down and take what he needs for his next fix.

And all of that plus more thoughts, went through my head in less than 2 seconds
Posted 2/18/08
ethics and morals only exist for those who have the luxury to follow them. i may have that luxury but i won't begrudge someone who doesn't.

in some ways, ethics is a bit pointless.

anyways, ethics, at it's core, is basically a theory on the pursuit of happiness, not to be confused with the pursuit of morality. the two are not necessarily codependent therefore what makes you happy need not be morally correct.


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38 / F / Fort Meade, MD
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Posted 2/18/08

xidiya wrote:

ethics and morals only exist for those who have the luxury to follow them. i may have that luxury but i won't begrudge someone who doesn't.

in some ways, ethics is a bit pointless.

anyways, ethics, at it's core, is basically a theory on the pursuit of happiness, not to be confused with the pursuit of morality. the two are not necessarily codependent therefore what makes you happy need not be morally correct.




Really...


How can you say that?


~From Merriam-Webster online Dictionary:
Main Entry: eth·ic
Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos
Date: 14th century
1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics><Christian ethics> bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>



And also from merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: 2mor·al
Pronunciation: \ˈmȯr-əl, ˈmär-; 3 is mə-ˈral\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 a: the moral significance or practical lesson (as of a story) b: a passage pointing out usually in conclusion the lesson to be drawn from a story
2plural a: moral practices or teachings : modes of conduct b: ethics
3: morale


Please tell me... how they can be seperated?
Posted 2/18/08

Dusterbayala wrote:


xidiya wrote:

ethics and morals only exist for those who have the luxury to follow them. i may have that luxury but i won't begrudge someone who doesn't.

in some ways, ethics is a bit pointless.

anyways, ethics, at it's core, is basically a theory on the pursuit of happiness, not to be confused with the pursuit of morality. the two are not necessarily codependent therefore what makes you happy need not be morally correct.




Really...


How can you say that?


~From Merriam-Webster online Dictionary:
Main Entry: eth·ic
Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos
Date: 14th century
1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics><Christian ethics> bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>



And also from merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: 2mor·al
Pronunciation: \ˈmȯr-əl, ˈmär-; 3 is mə-ˈral\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 a: the moral significance or practical lesson (as of a story) b: a passage pointing out usually in conclusion the lesson to be drawn from a story
2plural a: moral practices or teachings : modes of conduct b: ethics
3: morale


Please tell me... how they can be seperated?


ethics is a philosophy and therefore is not as simple or straightforward as a definition in a dictionary nor can it be constrained within one single definition.

ethics, like any philosphy is ever-changing not only because time dictates differences in our understanding of what is considered ethical but because ethics itself is so codependent upon so many other philosophies and or religions whose meanings and concepts change and or accumulate over time. nothing ever remains stagnant.

that aside, ethics at it's core refers to the pursuit of happiness (or a happy life) and that happiness can not always be confined to what is moral. using your example: would you have been happier to starve or to have pocketed and eaten the stolen food? does starving for your morals really make you happy?

aristotle attempts to somehow equate living the happy life with morality but it's crystal clear from the semantic difficulties his text suffers that this is not always possible. even aristotle had to resort to seperating ethics into how to lead a happy life and how to lead a happy and just life. from this seperation we can clearly see that these two things do not always go hand in hand.

that aside, the very fact that egoism and hedonism are aspects of ethics tells you that ethics is not necessarily bound by morality because in no way can we gaurantee that leading an egoistic and or hedonistic life equates to leading a moralistic life.

egosim and hedonism in ethics of of course leads us into a discussion of what is good and or moral, more specifically, how can goodness or morality truly exists in ethics if altruism as a practice in ethics is an impossibility.

anyways, i could go on and on but it'd turn into a huge dissertation that would span a million pages so i'll stop here.

as far as ethicists are concerned, if you're really interested you might look into the works of levinas. levinas is interesting in that in his work you can see the struggle between ethics as a philosophy, religion and or morals, and the problem of ontology or existence.

anyways, this was fun! reminds me of my undergrad days! :)




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22 / F / My body lives in...
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Posted 4/12/08

Your_Typical_Friend wrote:

i had a class some what liek that. i say only do it if u really need it like stealing for food when ur starving. don't do it cuz you want to and everyone else is doing. basically wut i think if ethical is the common sense.


still a violation of the basics... better ask and you can pay later after all they are at the farm which connotes relatively abundant supply
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28 / M / xxx
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Posted 4/12/08
i think it depend on what u belief, religion, and surrounding.
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28 / F / Seattle
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Posted 8/16/08

Dusterbayala wrote:


xidiya wrote:

ethics and morals only exist for those who have the luxury to follow them. i may have that luxury but i won't begrudge someone who doesn't.

in some ways, ethics is a bit pointless.

anyways, ethics, at it's core, is basically a theory on the pursuit of happiness, not to be confused with the pursuit of morality. the two are not necessarily codependent therefore what makes you happy need not be morally correct.




Really...


How can you say that?


~From Merriam-Webster online Dictionary:
Main Entry: eth·ic
Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos
Date: 14th century
1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics><Christian ethics> bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>



And also from merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: 2mor·al
Pronunciation: \ˈmȯr-əl, ˈmär-; 3 is mə-ˈral\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 a: the moral significance or practical lesson (as of a story) b: a passage pointing out usually in conclusion the lesson to be drawn from a story
2plural a: moral practices or teachings : modes of conduct b: ethics
3: morale


Please tell me... how they can be seperated?


I know this is an old topic, but I am currently taking an ethic class too... and I got an essay to finish.. ANYWAY.... this is how i differentiate ethics and moral... (credit: my Ethics teacher XD)

Supposed your kid is hungry, and you have no money to by food. No one cares about you, so you're thinking to stealing food. MORAL says stealing is bad, ETHICS asks my kid is starving, should i just do nothing and let him die?

Another example...

You see your best friend (yes, a very best friend of you) stealing money. Again, MORAL says, stealing is bad. ETHICS asks should i tell the police, he's doing a bad thing, but it's my BEST friend... my only best friend... If he goes to jail, I'll have no friend...

So yeah... you get the idea... moral is something that connected with a proper behaviour (no excuses)... but ethics is the reflection of moral rules...

Under ethics, there are many different theories. Me, I'm an egoist myself. I act according to my own interest
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28 / M / Bangalore,India
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Posted 8/16/08
Instinct. Whatever appeases my conscience, appeases me.
Posted 8/20/08 , edited 8/20/08
Socrates said something like, people will naturally do what is good, if they know what is right. Evil actions are the result of ignorance of the criminal, if the criminal were truly aware of the mental and spiritual consequences of his actions, he would neither commit nor even consider committing them.

This is bollocks, because there are people who willingly do the contrary of good while being fully conscient about their actions and the consequences, etc.

Ethics, the philosophy of good life and good conduct, but what will you do if the surrounding is stained by badness/evilness? Will it be profitable for you if you yourself will stay nice and kind, following the ethics, which should lead to a good life? I doubt it, because there will always be a situation where you will need to disrespect the ethical view. Under some circumstances, it is unavoidable to not break ethical codes. Why? Because we do have feelings, emotions, and needs which disallow us to handle some situations ethically correct.

_________________
If in such a situation, these are the questions that go through my head:
What are the probable consequences, if I do it?
How much trouble will this be for me?
Is it worth the trouble?
Any loss if I do it?
Etc.

Choice:
I'll pick the solution which seems to be the most profitable for me

Floetry~
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