How Personal Can Ethics Get?

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Date Submitted: 03/12/2011 12:59 AM

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Assignment # 1 – “How Personal Can Ethics Get?” (Integrated cases at the end of the textbook).

Students will read the case and write a 4-5 page report that answers the following:

1. Discuss how personal differences and preference can impact organizational ethics.

In western philosophy since the days of the ancient Stoics, the dominant view has been that all human beings are morally equal, in other words, of intrinsic and equal worth. A human life is inherently valuable, and no human life is more or less intrinsically valuable than another human life. Adopting the moral point of view is often equated with this view. However, this does not mean that all humans are equal; it only means that all humans are intrinsically equal in terms of their moral worth. They are unequal in many other respects.

In some circumstances, some people have power over other people. For example, a therapist has more power than a patient. In a situation in which people are not equal in terms of their power, it may be important NOT to treat people as if they were morally equal. Ordinarily, while it might be acceptable for someone who happens to be a therapist to ask another person for a date, it would not be acceptable for a therapist to ask a patient for a date (because there would be unusual pressure on the patient to accept due to the patient's status in therapy). That shows the difference between personal ethics and professional ethics.

Different people have different beliefs about what constitutes ethical behavior. The law defines what is and is not legal, but the distinctions between moral right and wrong are not always so clear. In many situations lines between right and wrong are blurred. Such situations can lead to ethical dilemmas.

When faced with ethical dilemmas, it is important to consider outcomes of the decision-making process. One way of dealing with ethical dilemmas is by using the four way test to evaluate decisions. This test involves asking four...