True Diversity: Ethics Development,
Understanding and Application
Ancient wisdom says “anything that is bought or sold has no value unless it
contains the secret and priceless ingredients of credibility, honesty and
integrity.” Introduction Questions about the ethical justification of human
activity have occupied philosophers since time immemorial. Whether Lao-tse,
Confucius, the writers of the gospels, or the Fathers of the Church like
Augustine or Thomas of Aquinas: they all have comparable concepts of what
is good and bad human behavior and what constitutes sensible human
existence. Those of us wishing to discover suitable working principles can
refer to Immanuel Kant, Max Weber, or Hans Jonas. One way or the other: no
one today can claim that there are no interesting impulses for appropriate
ethical reflection. However, anyone who examines the current social and
environmental situation in the world is liable to be disappointed about the
influence that the accumulated moral-philosophical wisdom is having in
According to Webster’s Dictionary ethics is defined as the discipline
dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.
(Source: Merriam-Webster Online) Ethics are behavioral traits that define
the manner of a personal conduct upon an individual’s core values, beliefs
and morals. A society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know
or believes in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members. To
understand how the people of one culture interpret a situation or event, an
individual must evaluate the attributes that a certain culture has.
Heroism and defiance are two concepts that are easily misinterpreted
depending on a particular culture’s ideals. Every society and culture has
different ways of interpreting and defining ethics development,
understanding, and application by the way their own culture or society
Differences: Ethics, Morals, Beliefs, and Values
How one will interpret rules, and how one will treat others, is based
upon well defined ethics. It is not possible to have ethics without morals
because ethics is a measure of the consistency of conduct to morals.
Ethics are situational because they provide the decision making framework
for an individual faced with apparent conflict. For example, how does one
interpret “Thou shall not kill” when one must eat to live (whether is it
animal or vegetable life is being compromised)? Morals are fibers from
which all else is made. Core values and beliefs, on the other hand, are
fixed, black and white, and not negotiable. They represent basic, inherent
understanding of how things are, or ought to be. They are not situational,
unlike ethics, nor are they topical. Values and beliefs start from birth
and are built brick by brick as we grow and mature. At some point in our
lives, they become fixed and ingrained in each one of us.
Morals are core values of us within society. They are not things that
we have based upon what we believe about other things. For example, one
might proclaim to have certain morals based upon a particular religion in
which one has received an instruction set from God or a god. In effect, the
instruction set is just that – actual rules. How the rules are interpreted
reflect personal ethics. Whether or not an individual may be attracted to a
particular religion reflects upon core values and beliefs. Core values and
beliefs, as defined in morals, does not refer to beliefs about God, but to
personal instruction set.As religion has entered the discussion, it is
necessary to define it as well. Religion, defined by dictionary.com, is
(1.) A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human
destiny. & (2.) A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the
teachings of a spiritual leader. Thus, it becomes evident how such
necessary structure affects the nature of personal core values and beliefs.
After giving it a thought, I think Ethics is not definable, is not
implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our
thinking, but also our feeling. Ethics is the study of right and wrong
conduct. If I start talking about my ethics, it is very simple. I was
raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never
lie, cheat, steal or hurt anyone. I tend to believe that ethical conduct
appeals to conscience. When looking at other people, I judge whether their
behavior is ethical by the intent of their actions, not the end result of
their actions. This is true; a lot of the time, I would rather see person
do the right thing, even if it doesn’t yield the result they had desired or
strived for. I myself have done this to a fault, even though I have at
other times compromised my ethics to get what I wanted, feeling pretty
crummy in the process. I do have a bad habit of not forgiving someone who
is selfish and does everything for their own benefit.
The word “ethics” is important and could mean something different to
different people. Ethical behavior is that accepted as morally “good” and
“right” as opposed to “bad” or “wrong” in a particular setting. There are
lot questions that could arise. Is it ethical to withhold information that
might discourage a job candidate from joining our organization? Is it
ethical to ask someone to take a job we know will not be good for his or
her career progress? Is it ethical to ask so much of someone that they
continually have to choose between having a career and having a life? If we
start talking about it, the list of questions can go on and on, but an
important point is that the public is increasingly demanding that people in
organizations and the organizations themselves all act in accordance with
high ethical and moral standards.
I always thing that why does ethics matter. Ethics matters because one
person can make one bad decision that could adversely alter the lives of
many people. Another thing to talk about is the moral barometer. It is a
metaphorical scale to think about how our society measures us from a moral
perspective. The important point of the Moral Barometer is to give us a
common framework for looking at issues and the world around us. Ethical
Fitness is a person’s state of readiness to make a big ethical decision.
Relating ethical fitness to physical fitness, most people are not asked to
run 100 miles every day. However, if we knew that we would be asked to run
100 miles, we would begin training months in advance. We might run a few
miles every other day and work our way up to 100 miles before the race.
When asked to run 100 miles, we would be ready. Ethical fitness works the
same way. We may not be required to make ethical decisions that impact many
people every day. However, we need to be able to make small decisions that
will help us become ready for an unexpected situation. I personally do
believe in that as well. I think that one has to be ready for good and bad
days so that we don’t face any surprises that could spoil our day.
The subject of ethical behavior in the workplace cannot be
overemphasized. An ethical dilemma is a situation in which a person must
decide whether or not to do something that, although personally or
organizationally beneficial, may be considered unethical and perhaps
illegal. Often ethical dilemmas are associated with risk and uncertainty,
and with non routine problem situations. Just how decisions are handled
under these circumstances, once that will inevitably appear during our
career, may well be the ultimate test of our personal ethical framework. At
my work, before any decision is made, I always check the checklist and ask
myself some questions. Is my action legal? Is it right? Is it beneficial?
When it comes to the ethics of decision making, the criteria individuals
use to define problems and the values that underlie these criteria must be
considered. Moral conducts is involved in choosing problems, deciding who
should be involved, estimating the impacts of alternatives, and selecting
an alternative for implementation. I think decisions may involve lying,
deceit, fraud, evasion of negligence that is disapproved of in many
cultures. But ethical monitoring and control go beyond just the pragmatics
of harm. Moreover, when we are the decision maker, decision making is not
just a choice process followed by implementation for the good of the
organization. It involves our values and our morality whether or not we
think it should. Thus, effective implemented choices need to not only solve
a problem or capitalize on choices but also match our values and help
others. It is true that decision making will be the biggest challenge of
our career. We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by
a thousand invisible threads, and we go along with them in many directions.
My Personal Code of Ethics
Ethical people are committed to increasing knowledge of behavior and
people’s understanding of themselves and others and to the use of such
knowledge to improve the condition of individuals, organizations, and
society. I strongly believe that ethical respects and protects civil and
human rights and the central importance of freedom of inquiry and
expression in research, teaching, and publication. They also strive to help
the public in developing informed judgments and choices concerning human
behavior. As one of ethical students, in order to fulfill this obligation,
I will pledge my self into my personal decision of acceptable behavior in
relation with people to the following categories:
1. Respect must be earned.
Respect cannot be bought. In order to respect somebody, one must first
show that they are genuine and worthy of being respected.
2. Being fair involves objectivity.
When making a decision that involves two or more parties or situations,
one must be open to each without any preconceived bias. Everyone is
entitled to a fair opportunity.
3. One should stand up for what she or he believes is wrong and will not
tolerate any longer.
Tolerating an unjust situation can only go so far. One must be able to
feel comfortable about him or herself.
4. Everyone must take responsibility for her or his own actions.
Too many times, individuals in our society try to place the blame on
someone else’s shoulders.
5. Power can be dangerous if used the wrong way.
People must use the power they have to make a positive influence on the
6. Values are corner of society.
In order for the world to be a better place, we must place more emphasis
on developing strong moral values.
7. Trust is very precious.
If abused trust, it can destroy friendships and relationships.
8. Lies should never be told.
If lies have been told, it ruins the trust on personal and business
levels and is extremely unethical in any case.
9. People should not be taken advantage of for an individual’s personal
Manipulation is an unfair method of getting another person to follow a
10. Love makes the world a batter place.
Without love, life would lose its meaning.
1. Be open to new and diverse ideas.
2. Be accountable for my actions.
3. Establish trustworthy relationships.
4. Treat all people equally.
5. Honor my word.
6. Be impartial in decision-making processes.
7. Contribute to society and human well-being.
8. Avoid harm to others.
9. Be honest and trustworthy
10. Be fair and take action not to discriminate.
11. Oppose all forms of discrimination, hatred, or bias.
12. Live my life in a manner in which I will not disrespect others or
13. Honor property rights including copyrights and patent.
14. Give proper credit for intellectual property.
15. Respect the privacy of others.
16. Honor confidentiality.
17. Strive to achieve the highest quality, effectiveness, and dignity in
both the process and products of professional works.
18. Be gentle with the earth.
19. Live a good, honorable life.
20. Share my knowledge.
21. Encourage, reward, and accept change.
22. Assist others in any way possible.
23. Take responsibility for my own errors.
24. Conduct myself as an ethical person in my private life, and as an
ethical professional in my dealings with learners, colleagues and
others in which I may encounter in all my undertakings.
25. Review my personal code of ethics periodically, and reflect on my
practice as a professional, and strive to make improvements wherever
and whenever necessary to the benefit of the profession, the practice,
and the adult learners.
At this point in time, while I am still learning to be an ethic person, I
can only hope that I have covered most of situations. However, the future
is a mystery I cannot predict what is going to happen, therefore this code
does not cover every circumstance I will use during my life. I only hope
that I will always keep an eye on this code.