Christian Ethics

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Christian Ethics Final: “Ethical Standards Today”By: Elana Irwin Hall November 11th, 2011 {11-11-11} APS/ Cohort 12 Asbury UniversityProfessor: Kimberly Goard Final: Christian Ethics: “Ethical Standards Today” By: Elana Irwin Hall Page #1 “Ethical Standards Today” By: Elana Irwin Hall In our daily lives, certain words carry the same meaning across all social, economic, racial and spiritual boundaries. We know a dog when we see one, and we know what a spoon is and how to use it. These are words for physical items. But then, there are words that carry individual definitions developed by life experiences. “Ethics” and its companion “morals,” are an example of these types of words. The dictionary definitions are ambiguous at best, stating that ethics are a set of values defining right from wrong. The dictionaries further define ethics as a guide to decisions relating to moral duty and obligations. Ethics are generally perceived as a set of societal standards that encompass the norms of the community. For many in Western societies, ethical and moral behavior is based upon Christian teachings, the primary principles being the 10 Commandments that are found in the Bible of the Old Testament. This standard then becomes the established guideline by which all action is judged.But even under such strict criteria, ethical behavior is not black or white, right or wrong. Examples of this are shown daily as society struggles with issues pertaining to abortion, religious tolerance, homosexuality, gay marriage, pre-marital sex, and population growth. Then there are the technological driven issues such as: cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy and manipulation, and nuclear energy.Moral standards developed by a community are useful to the extent that they define a set of acceptable rules as they apply to the majority. These standards are usually found in the form of laws. Laws are necessary to help guide a community as a whole. Laws strive to ensure fairness and to assess guilt (and punishment) based upon generally accepted principles of behavior. Societal standards are useful in helping communities determine the way in which people will live together as a collective group and maintain peace and order within the group. As the group grows and changes, moral standards may also change.Final: Christian Ethics: “Ethical Standards Today” By: Elana Irwin Hall P. #2 These standards come from the group mindset of the majority. As such, the majority has an obligation to allow for rational actions taken on the part of the members of the minority. The rights of the majority are to be enforced only to the extent that they do not infringe upon the rights of the minority. But, societal standards vary. Impacts upon standards include: community, language, religion, economics, politics, stability, government, education, culture, history, race, and gender. And societal standards also reflect cultural consciousness. And those values are at odds with neighbors, the resulting strife can be reflected in ethnic cleansing, religious wars, or extremist views of religious doctrine.So personally, I believe that ethics are a set of values used by an individual to guide their actions, and to recognize my obligation. Ethics are not objective, but are subjective to the individual. Ethics are a continuously evolving code of conduct dependent upon circumstances and the life experiences of the individual. As a whole, ethics are relative to our perception of reality, and are based upon a specific point of view. As such, ethics are not a natural set of values or virtues. If this is in fact true, except in the cases of abhorrent behavior, we as human beings would operate on a more animalistic level. For example, wolves instinctively...
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