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Ethics Ethics can be defined broadly as a set of moral principles or values. Each of us has such a set of values, although we may or may not have clearly expressed them. It is common for people to differ in their moral principles and values and the relative importance they attach to them. These differences reflect life experiences, successes and failures, as well as the influences of parents, teachers, and friends. Ethical behavior is necessary for a society to function in an orderly manner. It can be argued that ethics is the glue that holds a society together. Philosophers, religious organizations, and other groups have defined in various ways ideal sets of moral principles and values. The following are different approaches, from ancient and modern traditions and philosophers, depicting their meaning and understanding of ethics and how it can be applied in ethical decision-making. Utilitarianism was founded by the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham toward the end of the 18th century. He believed that all human actions are motivated by a desire to obtain pleasure and avoid pain. The principle of utility expresses that actions were right if they tended to produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. When faced with a moral dilemma, utilitarianism identifies right and wrong and also considers the consequences that may result. This can be regarded as an appropriate action, but offers no realistic way to gather necessary information to make the required decision. Confronting certain situations in life, there is no time to weigh all possible outcomes and decide the one that provides the greatest benefit to all; majority of predicaments allow just enough time for a person to act on impu... ... middle of paper ... ...when it comes to rape or incest, I don't feel a woman should have to go through the pregnancy in this specific situation. So this approach, having to rely on principles all the time and follow them accordingly to every situation does not agree with me. It is helpful to read about these different theories but I do not think it is necessary in decision-making. Reading about these approaches does make you think about how you as person handles certain situations and whether you can improve your process. However, this only happens when you are required to read and study about these theories. If I never took this class, I would never have known the difference between utilitarianism and moral law and which one applies to me and my decision making process. Therefore, it is not required to read and learn about different approaches in order to handle situations.
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