American Intercontinental University
Ethics, by many definitions, are said to be governing rules for one’s life. One must look at personal belief systems and actions chosen to support the chosen belief system. Ethics direct a person’s thought processes and the development of such processes. Ethics are not uniform and cannot be specifically reproduced in society. Experiences and enculturation play a significant role in its derivation. The author will define ethics by reflecting on the following questions; What is the “right thing to do?” What does it mean to be a “good person?” Does virtue lead to happiness? Do the ends justify the means, or is a virtuous action virtuous in and of itself?
How does living in a society affect morality? Is morality culturally based or individually based, or is there a universal morality?
Right Thing to Do
Defining the right thing to do has before even more difficult within past decade according to the author. Seems as if giving a clear definition for “the right thing” was easier when technology was not as prominent, when families consisted of both parents in the home, when hard work and sacrifice were a normality. With the world vastly changing the definition has become more complexed. Situations surrounding certain actions have become socially acceptable and the societal norm. For example, to publicly humiliate a person has become common and acceptable especially with the up-rise of social media. In the era of camera phones, a person can become an instant hero or zero by the push of a button. Although these erroneous and vulgar actions have grown to be socially acceptable, they are unacceptable.
The right thing to do, in the author’s opinion, is govern by an old saying, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If a person welcomes lies then the right thing would be to lie. If a person welcomes gossip then gossip should be bestowed upon them. If a person follows societal norms then the same should be rendered. Doing the right thing is doing to others what one would appreciate being reciprocated.
Being a Good Person
Being a good person means different things to different people. Being good to people is different than being good for people. Being a good person is more than good deeds. Good deeds are the lowest level in the author’s opinion. Being a good person is helping others and displaying positive energy which in turn comes back. Goodness in a person is a heart condition which is filled with intentions and desire. If one intends to be an asset to another continuously then a good person would be a worthy title. If one has the desire to do well and then does well then a good person could be claimed. The author has had experiences in which a person perform good deeds with ill intentions. Although the intentions were not public, the person continuously received negative situations and energy. Therefore being good is more than deeds. Being good is the intentions of the heart included.
Virtue leads to happiness
Firstly, the author defines virtue as a trait that is deemed as morally right. Answering the question of virtuosity leading to happiness, in this author’s opinion, the answer is no. Being morally right is held within the eye of the beholder. However upholding morality can be difficult. The right thing is not always the easy thing. For example, moral standards state that stealing is wrong however when a child is hungry and the sole provider is in need does the standard change? Happiness is found within a person.
Morality is culturally based in the author’s opinion. Morals beliefs are passed down from generation to generation. Individuality come into play when a person is directly affected by moral conflict. For example, moral beliefs frown upon not telling the truth however when a person is directly affected with a situation the definition of moral correctness may be altered in one’s mind. Many people fuse morals and religion. Religious people tend to have a moral basis which is grounded with rituals and rules. Morality is then defined by those rules.
Ethics are the rules by which people govern themselves upon. Defining right and wrong is solely an individual task and is based upon a person’s culture and experiences.
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