Chapter 2 – Ethics in Our Law

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Transcript Chapter 2 – Ethics in Our Law

Chapter 2
Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-1, What is Ethics?
Survey of Ethical Theoretic Aptitudes
Ethics – deciding what is right or wrong in
a reasoned, impartial manner
Ethical decisions
decision must affect you or others in some
significant way.
Base decision on reason, not emotions
Impartial Decisions
 Impartiality is the idea that the same ethical
standards are applied to everyone
 Self-interest needs to be balanced with needs of
 Do not value one person or group more than any
 Each person is an individual and should receive
equal respect and consideration
 Organizations and institutions – consider how
the people associated with these are affected
Business Ethics
Business Ethics – the ethical principles
used in making business decisions
Problem of Profit Maximization: move
factories offshore and cut jobs in order to
reduce costs and produce greater shortterm profits
Assignment: Page 21, #1 - 11
Chapter 2
Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-2
Reasoning about
Right and Wrong
Basic Forms of Ethical Reasoning
2 basic forms
1. based on consequences
based on the results of the action
an act that produces a good consequence is good
an act that produces a bad consequence is bad
2. based on ethical rules
acts are either right or wrong
lying – wrong
telling the truth – right
cannot justify lying
Ethical Reasoning
Based on Consequences
1. describe alternative actions
2. forecast consequences
3. evaluate consequences
The Good – the standard for judging
right or wrong
Involves alternative basic goals such as
love, justice, truth and pleasure
Fundamental Ethical Rules
– acts themselves are judged as right or
- uses a recognized authority or human
Decisions based on Authority -- Law or
religion – based on Torah, Koran, Bible
Decisions based on Reasoning
Universalizing – picturing in your
mind’s eye everyone in the world doing the
Moral Rights – rightful claims on other
people that flow from each persons’ status
as a human being
Chapter 2
Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-3
How is Ethics Expressed
in Our Laws?
 People directly or indirectly determine the laws
that bind them by electing representatives
 Majority Rule – elected representatives vote for
laws acceptable to the majority of people they
 Our system mainly uses consequences-based
 Laws are judged to be right or good when they
affect the majority of the people positively
Our Laws Reflect Rule-Based Ethics
Laws desired by the majority sometimes
conflict with moral rights
-- Slaves
Civil Rights (or civil liberties) – personal,
human rights recognized and guaranteed
by the Constitution
There are limits to majority rule – when the
will of the majority conflicts with basic
human rights, our legal system protects
individual rights
Our Ethical Goals
Reflected in Our Laws
Read page 27
Need a consistent rule to assure order and
Why Are We Obligated
to Obey Laws?
ethical reasoning demands it
when law is violated, many more people
are injured than are benefited
we have agreed to obey it we have
accepted the benefits of the society
Integrity – the capacity to do what is right
even in the face of temptation or pressure
to do otherwise
by obeying it we avoid punishment
fidelity bond – an insurance policy that
pays the employer money in the case of
theft of employees
Are We Ever Justified
in Violating the Law?
Civil disobedience – an open, peaceful
violation of a law to protest its alleged
Scofflaws – persons who do not respect
the law
Assignment: Page 29, 1-11