Turning from a bad person into a generally good, law-abiding citizen is a possibility, yet the effects that the current codes of ethics have on the process are questionable. On the one hand, the ethical postulates that are promoted actively in the society, as well as oaths and other tools for reinforcing proper behavioral patterns, are based on generally good intentions. The people that created them must have meant well, yet the oaths and ethical standards only have a positive effect as long as they are followed by everyone. As soon as one of the members of the community notices that some of the people break these rules and yet remain dignified members of the community, the positive effect of these oaths and principles is likely to vanish (Rutgers 254).
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It seems that, when promoting a certain behavioral pattern, a set of codes and standards alone is not going to have a noticeable impact on the target population. Instead, one should create the breeding ground for fostering the qualities that will help citizens avoid deviating from the required standards of conduct. As long as one is capable of distinguishing between the ethical and the unethical, the current principles of conduct are likely to be followed (Svara 562).
Rutgers, Mark R. “Will the Phoenix Fly Again? Reflections on the Efficacy of Oaths as a Means to Secure Honesty.” Review of Social Economy 71.2 (2013): 249–276. Print.
Svara, James H. “Who Are the Keepers of the Code? Articulating and Upholding Ethical Standards in the Field of Public Administration.” Public Administration Review 74.5 (2014): 561–569. Print.