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Approaches to Ethical decisions
Ethics is a prerequisite for human existence. It is a mean of determining a sequence of action to be taken. Without ethics, individual actions would be unsystematic and purposeless. This paper analyses various theories learned in class. Besides, the writer categorizes them in hierarchy, basing on decision making within a given domain.
In a utilitarian system, a person portrays a tendency in fulfilling the needs of self as well as fulfilling other people’s needs. The principle in the utilitarian approach designates that; any action should involve certain principles which create happiness within oneself and others.
According to Nina (2005), an action that results in the moral rectitude and content should always be viewed as very useful. Using this approach, I will try to enrich the lives of people by adding value to their lives by increasing their satisfaction levels and reducing their sadness levels.
Although at a time, it is very difficult to make people happy since what I might think makes them happy, doesn’t work always, but I will try very hard to reduce their sadness.
Besides, I will employ the greatest-happiness principle as a key to my interaction with other people. I will aim at considering the moral course of my actions by using the levels of mixed feelings of happiness and unhappiness present in people.
For instance, I will ensure that whatever right thing I do will bring an increase the level of happiness in people. However, some action which I will employ at the end brings about the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, then that action is morally right contrary to a situation whereby the action taken results in the wrong choice due to the feelings of pain and dissatisfaction.
According to Nina (2005), any activity that provides pleasure is right and any action that provides pain is bad. This proposal seems fit since the feeling of pleasure, happiness and satisfaction is always good and right, whereas pain and displeasure always results in unhappiness.
Thus, I will ensure that my choice of an instrumental value is appropriate to achieve the desired results. The correct choice of the instrumental values results also in the attainment of an intrinsic value.
Kant’s moral approach
This moral theory is also known as the obligatory theory (deontology). Kant’s moral theory is in contrast with the utilitarian approach and it depicts a little relationship exists between true moral thinking and the consequences of an action (Nina, 2005). The Kant’s approach observes that esteem for the ethical law must be present.
Based on this approach, I will argue that whenever an action is done in a good will, the cost (whether good or bad) does not count.
For instance, a situation may arise in which a passerby who notices that the oncoming vehicle might hit a pupil who is playing on the road, and shouts a warning to the pupil which frightens the pupil causing her to panic and fall on the road thus being crushed to death, might be deemed as the warning scream from the passerby was meant to save the pupil.
The passerby meant good with the warning since it was an alarm to the pupil to move away from the road. Therefore, the principality of right doing should be upheld though it doesn’t always make people happy and comfortable.
Psychological egoism and ethical egoism
Psychological and ethical egoism have to do with a great deal of selfishness, which is always thinking highly of oneself and criticizing the interests of other people. Being referred to as selfish seems to be unethical, we all agree that we all possess a certain degree of selfishness in us.
According to the theory of psychological egoism, all of our doings are selfish since we were created like that. The selfish nature is part of humanity and getting rid of it is impossible (Nina, 2005). Selfishness mainly focuses on the security of one’s survival but is not a total disregard of other’s interests.
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For instance, someone may enjoy shooting to kill people who have not wronged him. If such a person is arrested and questioned about his acts, he may not have a valid reason for such criminal acts. The criminal may say that he only enjoys shooting to kill, that is, it is part of his hobby.
Generally, people find themselves doing things such as; doing drugs, over drinking and smoking, which are not useful. Psychological egoism theory does not criticize selfish human deeds since it perceives the selfish deeds as being beyond human control. An individual can be very loving and concerned also be a psychological egoist.
Didactic stories are stories with moral lessons which are mostly narrated to young children by an older person to impact a moral teaching in them. The use of didactic stories is a very effective method to impact moral lessons since the stories are very easy to memorize.
Some facts are very complex to explain, but when they are relayed in didactic stories form, they become so easy to understand. For instance, most children don’t understand what death is, but whenever there parent or teacher narrates a story of a dead dog, the story helps them to relate well to the subject matter which is death.
Stories can be relayed in various forms such as by the use of television, plays, books and many other forms.
Ethical virtues and ethics of conduct
These theories analyses the human ethical guidelines. That is, they are mainly focused on the culture of how human beings are supposed to behave ethically. As human beings, we develop the strong desire to be virtuous beings. A virtuous individual is one who is morally upright hence people can bank their trust levels on him.
The society tends to judge a virtuous person as a ‘saint’ in such a way that this person is expected to uphold high levels of cleanliness, modesty and purity. The society sees a person who has committed a wrong act as a bad person and that who has committed a right act as a good person.
Nina, R. (2005). The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics, New York: McGraw-Hill.