Ethical Concepts and Self Moral Development

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Kohlberg's stages of moral development Pages: 11 (3187 words) Published: August 21, 2010

Ethical Concepts and Self Moral Development

1.0 Introduction

Ethical judgment, in our everyday lives, is acquired via a complex combination of cultural background, particular workplace, past experiences and so on. The purpose of this essay is to examine two competing ethical concepts and approaches I used to evaluate my own moral development. In addition, this essay also conducted to analyze how my ethical being assist me to deal with moral dilemmas in two different work context: a commercial website in 2004 and a local government website in 2008.

The essential theory used in this study is an identification of Utilitarianism and deontological ethics, Kolhberg’s theories of moral developmental stages and the ethical relativism also for considerations here.

2.0 Explanation

2.1 Utilitarianism

There are two broad categories of normative ethical theories concerning the rightness or wrongness of actions: consquentialist and non-consequentialist. A consequentialist theory evaluate the morality of a action based on the consequences that action has. The most familiar and commonly accepted ethical form would be utilitarianism. The modern theory is most often associated with the British philosopher John Stuart Mill(1806-1873) who developed the theory from a plain hedonistic version put forward by his mentor Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Whereas Bentham established an act utilitarianism, Mill established a rule utilitarianism. According to the basic principle of rule utilitarianism, actions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. For instance, lie can be moral if it protect most peoples' feeling. Extract from this definition, there are two key words: greatest good and greatest number. Mill states that not all pleasures were equally worthy. He defined "the good" in terms of well-being, and distinguished not just quantitatively but also qualitatively between various forms of pleasure. He also insist that "the greatest number" included all who were affected by the action in question with "each to count as one, and no one as more than one." Therefore, Anderson(2001) described the theory as 'one calculates what is right by comparing the consequences of all relevant agents of alternative rules for a particular circumstance'.

2.2 Deontological Ethics

Consequentialist moral theories such as utilitarianism are teleological, however, when actions are judged morally right based upon how well they conform to some set of duties, we have a deontological ethical theory. Deontologists argued that some actions are wrong no matter what consequences follow from them. The deontological theory states that people should adhere to their obligations and duties when analyzing an ethical dilemma. This means that a person will follow his or her obligations to another individual or society because upholding one's duty is what is considered ethically correct. For instance, a deontologist will always keep his promises to a friend and never lie. Deontology provides a basis for special duties and obligations to specific people. For example, a journalist may have an obligation to report the truth. Although deontology contains many positive attributes, it also contains its fair number of flaws. Austin Cline raised onene weakness of this theory is that not enough to simply believe that something is the correct duty to follow in 2009. Duties and obligations must be determined objectively and absolutely, not subjectively. A similar scenario unearths two other faults of deontology including the fact that sometimes a person's duties conflict, and that deontology is not concerned with the welfare of others. For instance, if a businessman whose duty is must be on time to meetings supposed to drive through a red light, breaking his duty to society to uphold the law? This conflicting obligations does not lead us to a clear ethically correct resolution. Take another example which...

References: Anderson, K., (2001), Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.
Cline, A., (2009), Ethics as Obedience to Duty and God: Is Being Ethical just Being Obedient?
Crain, W.C., (1985), Theories of Development, Prentice-Hall,pp.118-136
Crane, A. & Matten, D.,(2007),Business Ethics (2nd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 86-122.
Kohlberg, L. & Turiel, E. (1971), Moral development and moral education., In G. Lesser, ed. Psychology and educational practice. Scott Foresman.
Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2001). The elements of journalism: What newspeople should know and the public should expect. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Lambeth, E. (1986). Committed journalism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Manuel Velasquez,(1992), Issues in Ethics ,
Rainbow Catherine,(2002), Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles
Weaver, D. (1992). The American journalists in the 1990s. Arlington, VA: The freedom forum.
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