Personal Ethics Development Paper

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Personal Ethics Development Paper Terry Pennington PHL 323 January 6, 2012 Kathleen Ramsey Personal Ethics Development Paper People are not born with personal values, morals, character, and beliefs. These attributes are taught and learned at an early age by family, peers, and the community. These terms are used commonly when discussing ethics. Ethics is defined as “The principles, norms, and standards of conduct governing an individual or organization” (Trevino & Nelson, 2007, p. 13). Ethics can be influenced by one’s culture, background, and environment. Ethical behavior can be taught but that does not mean one is ethical. I believe how an individual conducts himself when faced with an ethical dilemma is what makes him who he is. An ethical dilemma is defined as “Situations concerning right and wrong where values are in conflict” either for the individual or for the organization (Trevino & Nelson, 2007, p. 3). Through these interactions people can learn and continue to grow in respect to their ethical beliefs. My underlying ethical system is duty-based. The duty-based ethical system is considered the moral obligation or commitment to act a certain way with right and wrong determined by an outside authority. I did not always follow the duty-based ethical system. In fact, growing up I followed the entitlement-based ethical system in which my moral decisions were based on what was in the best interest of me. As an only child I was often spoiled and got what I wanted. I can remember acting out on many occasions when I did not get my way. Back then I was a selfish individual. My parents divorced halfway through my ninth grade year in high school. I was devastated when I heard the news. My mother tried everything she could to continue the lifestyle we lived but even with working two jobs she was barely able to pay the bills and put food

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