Why Do We Need Ethics ?
In life, you make some decisions which may be wrong or right without knowing the result of the decision. Sometimes, even if your decision is wrong and nobody knows it and you have benefits from it either financially or emotionally, you may tend to do it. Ethics help us to differentiate between right and wrong.
Descartes had made a statement: I think, therefore I am, but thinking is not enough to be ethical a person. A person should be able to differentiate between right and wrong. A society without ethics is like a jungle of animals which kill other animals for survival. The difference between the man and animals is the capability to think in different ways, and to choose which is the best ethically.
Ethical decisions can be made using a school of thought. Epicurus believes that if every person in the world is cautious, honest and just, then there will be a just society. The basic thing is that the society will be a moral society if everybody in it is ethical. John Stuart Mills believed that a person should not live for the pleasure. Mills believed that every person should make his own choice and only then will he feel responsible for his choice and therefore, his decision.
For Immanuel Kent everything is in black and white. He did not believe in shades of gray. Kent believed that if the result is bad, then it is wrong ethically. W.D. Ross gives some guidelines to follow to act ethically. The first is not to do harm onto others; however, the next guideline says that if you harm someone, you should immediately make amends.
With so many schools of thoughts on ethical behavior, it is but natural that there will be a lot of debate as to what is ethical and what is not. However, we do need ethics in order to survive as a community, society or civilization. At the same time, we should realize that ethics are constantly changing based on different situations. However, we these ethics give up the rules to apply in our lives so that we live peacefully without turning into animals.
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