Ethics Case Decision Paper
A German nun taking the place of a Jew in the gas chambers; or a soldier taking his own life to avoid being tortured into betraying his comrades to the enemy, is it ethical or unethical? In this world we are faced with these kinds of decisions on a daily basis. Are ethics situational and relative or objective and revealed? To answer this question or form an opinion one must first answer what is the foundation for ethics and how is it related to the nature of truth.
“Ethics is the method by which we categorize our values and pursue them” (Landauer & Rowlands, 2001, para. 1). In order to act, one must choose a course of action; and in order to choose, one needs some reason to prefer one course of action to another. The foundation for ethics has three sources. The first are desires inherent in nature, the second is the state of society, which makes certain rules governing behaviors and interactions. The third, and last to develop, is ones’ conscious (Jahn, 1999). A foundation of ethics must have a standard of value to which all goals and actions are compared to (Landauer & Rowlands, 2001). Ethical theories and principles are the viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained to reach ethically correct decisions (Rainbow, n.d.).
To understand situational, relative, and objective ethics one must determine whether truth is objective or subjective. If truth is subjective, every person can create his or her own reality. Two people can each have their own different truths and both are right simultaneously. If truth is objective it is the same for all people ("What is the Nature of Truth", n.d.). Objective ethics believes a morally wrong act is wrong regardless of the society in which it was originated. Objective ethics believe that moral truths are discovered and that they exist naturally. In situational ethics morality of an act is determined by... [continues]
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