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Normative Theories of Professional Ethics Essay

Compare between morality and professional ethics

Ethical relativists have a belief that society or culture determines what is right. Action is seen as bad or good, depending on the moral norms that certain social practices. It implies that actions considered right in one culture may be wrong in another. Therefore, there are no global moral standards. However, some confusion may arise regarding this ethical relativism.

One of the unsatisfactory implications is that while societies’ moral practices vary, the main moral principles, which act as a base, are similar. Sometimes, societies are different in the way they apply the fundamental moral principles. However, there may be an agreement in other principles.

For instance, some societies had the belief that killing the parents was favorable for their afterlife. Such a tradition was explained by the belief that having died in a good physical form, the person would be active and energetic in his/her afterlife. Societies that were against such a practice were, however, consent on their key moral idea that people had to care for their parents.

There is also an argument that, whereas there is moral relativism in some moral beliefs, it is absent in the others. For instance, practices concerning decency and clothes are dependent on the local custom. Other practices, such as political repression, torture, and slavery, are guided by global moral standards. Besides, they are judged unacceptable, irrespective of the differences experienced in other cultures.

Some philosophers have concerns about ethical relativism as a result of personal moral beliefs’ impacts. According to these philosophers, the wrongness or correctness of an action may depend on the norms in society. Therefore, it is obvious one will obey the norms of the society he belongs to. Going against these norms will be regarded as an immoral act by the representatives of that society. Consequently, this view advocates social conformity, leaving no space for improvement. Besides, the members of some society can have varying opinions regarding the different practices they have to observe.

The rationale behind adoption of normative theories and professional codes of conduct

Utilitarianism refers to the moral doctrine, where people should act in a manner that produces a greater good for each person affected by these actions. If the number of people who rejoice from action is greater than the amount of those who do not benefit from it, then that act is right. In organizations, utilitarianism offers a straightforward and precise foundation for testing as well as formulating policies. It offers an attractive and objective manner for self-interest conflicts’ resolution. Moreover, it is used as a result-oriented and flexible strategy for making morally right decisions.

There are several critical inquiries associated with utilitarianism. The first question is put regarding the criteria used to assess the various forms of happiness. If there is no criterion to determine it, should all the forms of happiness be placed at the same level? Are some forms of happiness bigger than others? Another question touches on the role played by reason in the entire ethical process. Is there a reason used as the calculator of pleasure?

There is also a concern regarding how people can develop their moral judgments when some factors under consideration are incalculable, while the others are unknown. What is the fate of action’s morality when the benefits intended to be achieved are not gained as a result of factors that one could not control? For instance, if someone donates money to support children at children’s homes, but the money is used to purchase automatic weapons to terrorize people, does that make the person’s act immoral?

The relation between justice, ethics and economic theories

Propertarian libertarians argue that one should sell themselves into slavery, if possible. Also, they assert that no one can violate people’s rights. Therefore, one has the right to dispose of him/herself as the one deems fit. It is worth noting that some libertarians do not go so far investigating the issue. However, the others, for example, Nozick, go beyond the extremes. It is usually difficult to get rid of such an idea, particularly in a principled fashion, if one follows the solid self-ownership concepts.

It is not meant that libertarians are to be tied by logic and welcome the utopian vision at a glance. However, in the absence of assumed self-ownership, libertarianism is identified as a philosophy which is to be advocated for. People should recognize that they were not made on their own but created by somebody else. Moreover, people can be ‘property’ that others can ‘own.’ Consequently, people regard their children in different ways.

Libertarianism can sometimes act as the road to freedom. Organizations acquire significant characteristics according to which the members should have the shared acceptance to adhere to the organizational rules. Sometimes, the pressure to meet the objectives set by organizations leads to unethical behavior. Therefore, it is a requirement that all the members of the main organization should dedicate themselves to its interests, sometimes even going against some personal freedom.

It is aimed at ensuring the fulfillment of the goals set by the organization. Individuals possess moral codes, ideals, and values which are above the moral principles. People need to critically reflect on their moral principles and ideals. It is vital for leading worthwhile and acceptable lives.

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IvyPanda. "Normative Theories of Professional Ethics." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/normative-theories-of-professional-ethics/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Normative Theories of Professional Ethics." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/normative-theories-of-professional-ethics/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Normative Theories of Professional Ethics'. 19 February.

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