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Ethical Perspective

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The four broad characterizations of ethical philosophy are character, obligation, results, and equity and I fall under the obligation category, according to my profile. The profile states that from my perspective, ethical principles must be: (a) appropriate under any circumstance (universalizeable); (b) respectful of human dignity; and (c) committed to promoting individual freedom and autonomy. It also states that I believe that ethical conduct appeals to “conscience” and in judging a person’s actions the intent behind the actions, not the results determines whether they are ethical or not. We need to choose how we act and the rules we are willing to follow in order to be considered ethical. (2003, Williams) Yes I do determine ethical behavior by the previous description. Intentions and actions are more important in deciding whether a person is ethical or not. A person who says one thing and does another to me is not an ethical person because the intention behind their words is to deceive and tell people what they want to hear.

I tend to base my own ethical perspectives on what a person’s individual duty is and that they have an obligation to be morally right. (2003, Williams) When I read my profile I agreed with it, I do feel that a person has a right to personal respect and the traditions and laws aimed at “what is best for society as a whole” should not be followed. One example of this perspective is the laws that are being created so that same sex couples cannot be legally recognized is unconstitutional and that getting married is a basic right of every human being. Just because the marriage is between two men or two women rather than a man and a woman does not make it wrong. The only thing that should matter is that they love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Not so long ago it was considered unlawful for people of different races to get married and now no one gives it a second thought, why should it not be that way for same sex couples?

I did not mean to get on my soap box but was giving an example of how I determine what is ethical according to my perspective. When facing ethical dilemmas the right choice I make is not always the best choice, cost analysis is not beneficial in issues with ethical considerations, and my moral duty does not leave room for compromise among other frustrations. (2003, Williams) Although I have been able to compromise at times and take into consideration other people’s opinions it is still hard for me to do so in ethical dilemmas. I may not always be right but will defend my decisions when it comes to ethics and will try to understand the ethical perspectives of others.

The other categories are character, results, and equity and are described as follows. A person who follows the character category is concerned with what is good to be, rather than what it is good to do. They tend to base whether a person is being ethical on their integrity, honor and justice and that virtue is not abstract. It is not compliance but striving to be a morally good person that makes one ethical. A person who follow the results category base ethical behavior on what is good for the most people and they look for concrete evidence in actions. A person should not “talk the talk” but “walk the walk” and the bottom line is what really counts. A person who follows the equity category feel that pragmatism, and practical day-to-day experience is the only guide in determining if a person is ethical or not. They distrust any solution as long as the people in authority disregard cultures and minorities and that unity in belief is absurd. These descriptions are according to the Ethics Awareness Inventory: A Guide to Personal Awareness of your ethical perspective and style. (2003, Williams)

One of the issues that I face in ethical dilemmas is that good and evil, right and wrong, and the value of a human life are not easily measured and this can cause a conflict with my supervisor. My supervisor is a firm believer in the cost-benefit analysis and this decision making tool cannot measure any of the previously listed ethical considerations. In my opinion the only thing a cost-benefit analysis does is show reasons why people should be let go from a company. It does not take into consideration that by eliminating people because the numbers show it is not beneficial to the moral of the people who are left to take up the slack. Luckily so far in my career with my



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