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Ethics And Law

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Ethics and Law

Many people have argued that ethics can not be taught. Some believe that human

values and a person's conduct being based on right and wrong is simply a characteristic

that is unique to each person seperately. I believe that ethics can be taught. I believe this

by considering the premise that values can be observed, practiced, and changed.

"'The word ethics comes from the Greek word ethos, meaning character or custom,'

writes philosophy professor Robert C. Solomon. Today we use the word ethos to refer to

the distinguishing disposition, character, or attitude of a specific people, culture, or group.

According to Solomon, the etymology of ethics suggests its basic concerns: (1) individual

character, including what it means to be "a good person," and (2) the social rules that

govern and limit our conduct, especially the ultimate rules concerning right and wrong,

which we call morality."(Ch.1 Pg.4)

The individual character is formed and developed at a very young age. Children

become aware of the importance and the consequences of their actions by observing their

environment. They can be told by people in authority what is wrong and right and what their

actions signify. ei. When a child hits another child and injurs him/her, it can convey an

assessment that the child who did the hitting is better than the other child, is mean, or

dislikes the other child to the point of physically affecting the well-being of the other child.

Since children form their character, morals, and values based on what they learn at a

young age, it is important for parents to aid the child in acquiring good character, morals,

Pg. 2

and values. The parents can sit down and discuss with the child how right behavior differs

from wrong behavior and how to apply it. ei. The parents could tell the child that it is better

not to talk negatively without cause about another person. They could say that when the

child becomes upset with another child, to not say any hurtful things about them, but rather

to tell his/her parents about the problem he/she is having with the other child.

A very important learning experience for the child is when different circumstances

and situations arise when it is time to use the basis of their ethics. When the child uses

good judgement and actions in a situation, the parents should tell the child that he did well

and why he did well in that situation. Although, when the child doesn't use good judgement

and he/she acts in a wrong manner, the parents should tell the child that he/she did not do

well and why this is the case.

Even though the early development of a child's ethics is very important, an individual

continually grows and changes throughout his/her life. The individual will be placed in

different situations that will have different results. This will cause the individual to question

and sometimes modify what he believes is right and wrong. The individual will learn from

the situation what he/she should do. Therefore, people are constantly learning and deciding

what basis of ethics they have and their basis is constantly being used, questioned, and

changed.

There is definitely a relationship between ethics and law. Our forefathers and

predecessors determined the law based off of ethics and ethical issues. From the

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