Why Should We Be Ethical? the Relevance of Ethics in Life

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UDate and Time of Submission
12/12/2011, 04.30 pm

Why should we be ethical? The relevance of ethics in life

Biz Ethics IIMK

Group a, Section D
Ankur dey Tarafdar, PGP/15/204,
Ankur Kaithal, PGP/15/205,
Bagya Lakshmi, PGP/15/212
Gauri Chodankar, PGP/15/215
Jayntwin Katia, PGP/15/224
Why should we be ethical? - The importance of ethics in life

Abstract

As Albert Schweitzer puts it “Ethics is nothing else but reverence for life”. The introduction of ethics in our life is an unconscious process but the dilemma that it creates leaves us with a lot of introspection to do. We introduce our topic by discussing about whether ethics is about right and wrong and if it is then what are the standards that govern the righteousness, which leads us to the question if there are just two stands that a person can take i.e. being ethical or unethical or is there a grey area in between. We take a critical view on whether the concept of ethics is a quest for reputation, wherein our decisions are influenced by socially acceptable norms or is it a set of beliefs that we actually carry. The increasing media scrutiny over the recent corporate and political scandals has brought to our attention the existence of unethical practices on a wide scale in public and private life and has sensitized the public to the need for a debate on the necessity for a formal framework on ethical practices. In this world of cut throat competition are ethics and practicality at conflict with each other or do they complement each other.

A contentious question is whether ethics is hereditary or do we develop our ethics as dictated to us by our experiences and environment. How ethics takes on different forms across time, geographical boundaries and cultures and the common beliefs that cuts across all of them. We would also like to explore whether there is an upper or lower age limit before or after which an ethical base can or cannot be formed. We will like to present the various categories of ethical dilemmas that we come across in our day to day lives and consequently we look at the various approaches towards ethics i.e. from the point of view of profit, law and general principles. We take a look at a few ethical practices that have been adopted in the recent past and judge their effectiveness by comparing the desired effect with the actual consequences.

We will scrutinize the drafting of our laws that so often govern our ethics. What are the various parameters that are considered in this process and how the interests of the various stakeholders are taken into account will be looked into as part of the study. We also take detailed view on the various unethical but legal practices that are happening in the world. We will analyze how ethics can be taught if at all it can be taught and consequently we explore how our present education system contributes in developing the ethical base and one’s conscience right from an early stage and how it can be improved. We fall back to our scriptures to take some example as to how the ethics was perceived in the prehistoric times and draw reference from them to our present scenarios.

In the end we present some cases on contemporary subjects where the ethical issues have been handled in different ways producing different outcomes. We leave it to the discretion of the reader to analyze them and form his perspective from the discussions we have mentioned above.

The increasing media scrutiny over the recent corporate and political scandals has brought to our attention the existence of unethical practices on a wide scale in public and private life and has sensitized the public to the need for a debate on the necessity for a formal framework on ethical practices. At the same time, a search on Monster.com reveals that currently there are more than 5,000 job openings in the ethics field. Such reports lead us to wonder if Ethics is just a fad or is it here to stay.

Ethics: A Fad or a Trend

Trends, as...
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