Ethics: The Role Of Ethics In Everyday Life

1380 Words6 Pages
The Role Of Ethics In Everyday Life David Michaels EG373 April 24, 2012 The Role of Ethics in Everyday Life Throughout our lives, whether we know it or not, ethics plays a big role in many aspects of our lives. Everything from what we think of as being the right or wrong thing to do to how we look at our fellow human beings to the factors we consider in our decision making process, can all be linked back to our ethical views. And while there are many ethical theories that exist, some may apply to us more than others. For the purposes of this paper, we will examine four ethical theories and give a brief explanation, in our own words, of each theory’s position and meaning. Before beginning to explore the various ethical theories, perhaps…show more content…
Deontology is a theory introduced by Immanuel Kant which places special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. Deontological theories are often formulated in such a way that the rightness of an action is found in its conformity to a moral rule and consequently focus on logic and ethics. In deontological ethics, no attempt is made to explicate specific moral obligations. The third theory that will be discussed is intuitionism. According to philosophy-dictionary.org, intuitionism “stresses the immediacy of knowledge or the self-evident character of certain ideas”. This theory, which is also sometimes called moral intuitionism, embraces moral realism, ethical non-naturalism, and the thesis that our intuition forms the foundation of our ethical knowledge. This ethical theory is one which was championed by noted philosopher and moralist David Hume. As previously stated, throughout our lives, whether we know it or not, ethics plays a big role in many aspects of our lives. One form of ethics that I am consciously aware of in my life is that of utilitarian ethics. One area of utilitarianism that I can particularly relate to is the idea of the “greatest happiness of the greatest number”. While this concept can be seen as somewhat ambiguous since stressing the “greatest numbers” could be interpreted to imply that “the utilitarian should bow to the majority” (Martin…show more content…
Kant’s theory of deontological ethics places special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. My interpretation of that, as it relates to my military service, is that it gives you the “wiggle room” to “justify” committing acts and doing things that you would otherwise consider immoral, even if it the “justification” is short-lived. A prime example of this can be seen in the killing of fellow human beings while engaged in combat. Having been an infantryman, this is something that I unfortunately have personal experience with. The taking of a human life is looked upon as being the ultimate sin, as reflected in the fact that perhaps the most well known of the ten commandments being “Thou Shall Not Kill”. Yet this is precisely what you are asked to do when in combat. And if you are in the infantry, not only are you asked to do this, it is your job to do this. And that is a hard pill to swallow as human beings, which is why the Army spends a lot of time indoctrinating to have a different mindset and why so many of the running cadences that you run to every morning are filled with blood and guts and killing. They slowly desensitize you to the idea of killing but it is another to desensitize you to the actual act of killing. That is where deontological ethics come into play. You are

More about Ethics: The Role Of Ethics In Everyday Life

Open Document