Personal Statement on Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Meaning of life, Theories Pages: 2 (661 words) Published: March 27, 2013
Scenario #4

Albert Einstein once said: “I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it”. This is one way to understand the definition of ethics. Naturally when a person is asked about the meaning of this word, the answers are always related to the term morality, which is practically true. In fact, ethics is a concept that a person uses in order to determine what is right or wrong; however, it differs from one person to another. The scenario given is about a student named Maitha who is caught in a dilemma of whether she should sign the attendance sheet for her classmates, Shamma and Fatema, or not. In this scenario, I think Maitha should not sign the attendance sheet for either of them. This dilemma can be resolved by using two theories and they are Bentham and Kant’s utilitarian theories. According to Bentham’s theory, the quantity is much more important than the quality; meaning, any decision made provides the greatest happiness to the greatest group and prevents the least pain to the least group. In this situation, the greatest good is the University as a whole and the students. For example, if inspectors knew that the University is not strict about attendance rules, their reputation will be harmed. Also, it will harm the students who actually attend their classes like in Maitha’s situation. The situation would not only put them in difficult decision-making but also it will make them consider skipping classes without consequences, if some students did it and got away with it, why should I not do it? However, the people with the least pain will be Shamma and Fatema or to be more general the students skipping classes. The consequence that students skipping classes might face is repeating the course, which will harm no one but himself or herself. On the other hand, Kant’s theory is all about doing your duty or doing an action based on rules that never change in...
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