Ethics And Society : Ethics

1009 Words Nov 8th, 2016 5 Pages
Ethics and Society

Ethics refers to the principals or standards of human conduct that can be used by an individual to make decisions between alternative courses of action. Ethical choices occur in all lifestyles and typically involve a conflict where one person or group benefits at the expense of another. Business, for example, is often confronted with the decision to utilize technology to reduce its workforce and thereby raise its profits to benefit its shareholders, at the expense of eliminating the jobs of loyal employees who have been with the company for many years. One could make an argument for either course of action, and indeed there is no right or wrong answer, because either action might be deemed correct within its own objective.
How then does one make an ethical decision? As with every decision, you begin by identifying the facts – who did (or will do) what to whom, and where, when, and how was (will it) be done? What are the opposing courses of action and the consequences of each? The decision maker can then decide which path to follow and which principal or value to apply. He or she may be guided by a professional code of conduct such as those advocated by the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association. There may also be a clear legal principle, but as is often the case with new technology the law may not yet exist.
Eventually, however, every ethical choice is a matter of individual conscience. Perhaps the most basic tenet guiding any…
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