Speech On Values And Ethics

904 Words4 Pages
Two famous Hellenic philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, once asked the question, how do values and ethics come to be? They came to the conclusion that values and ethics are either discovered or developed. Since people are taught values and ethics as they grow, people determine their beliefs as they experience life, and people’s values change over time, it is clear that people develop their values and ethics rather than merely discovering them. What are values and ethics? In essence, values are qualities and principles that people find valuable, and ethics are duties and obligations that are considered right and good. How does one know that values and ethics are developed? When a person is born, they do not have a sense of ethics. People…show more content…
As a person exits childhood, gains higher education, works in different careers, and establishes a family, they grow and decide their own beliefs. Because of the way a person’s life changes as they grow older, their views on the world and their interpretation of what is right and what is wrong will be altered. This will cause their ethics and values to be an agglomeration of what a person has acquired from personal experiences and the influences of others. The development of values and ethics is a process that lasts a lifetime. For instance, a high school-aged girl’s idea of “the perfect man” may include characteristics such as kind, tall, handsome, funny, athletic, and popular. Once she is an adult, her idea of “the perfect man” may include traits such as hardworking, has a stable income, shares common interests, is working towards the same goals in life, and has a nice family. As this girl aged and matured, her values changed, and what she valued in a man changed too. Plato states in his work, The Allegory of the Cave, “You will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world” (Plato 3). Plato calls the shift of the “soul into the intellectual world” a journey. This means that in order for a person to develop their values and ethics, they must complete a lifelong trek towards a final goal of knowing what they believe in and what they value. One does not have a breakthrough moment during their life in which their views on right and wrong are
Open Document