Character and Its Role in Ethical Decision Making

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What makes people real human beings is not their appearance but what they possess in their inside: their character. But what is character? Is it something we notice at the first sight? Is it something to be gained or inherited? How is it shaped and how can it contribute to decisions that manifest ethical qualities? We tend to judge people at the first sight. What catches our eyes is their appearance, their level of education, position, the wealth they possess, etc. But how much of a person’s unique world can be revealed through all these things? This question and questions like this give way to studies to reveal the inner world of people. The emotional world of every person forms his character. When talking of character, we mean the inward values that determine outward actions; the mental model used for making decisions; the moral compass that guides our choices; who we are when no one else is watching. Our character determines what we will support, give way or resist to. It is with us with every step we take and enables us to distinguish between right and wrong. What we perceive as right and wrong depends on the character we develop on our way toward future. Character is the integral part of our personality which comes into being, grows, and develops through the lifelong feedback we get in the form of affirmation or correction as a result of the actions we take to face particular situations. It is shaped through the experiences each person gains with the passage of time and while encountering different conditions which require decision-making and problem-solving skills. Scientific research reveals that the character of a person is influenced by both genes and the process of socialization. However, through genetics we only acquire the necessary tools to respond to certain circumstances biologically and the way we deal with those circumstances is affected by how we socialize. Socialization is a lifelong process, during which a person learns and becomes aware...
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