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Personal Ethics

Essay by   •  January 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,027 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,533 Views

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Personal ethics are formed from a young age and are gathered from a variety of sources. The ethics an individual learns, leads them to develop an ethical system which they use as the basis of their decision making when faced with certain situations. According to Trevino & Nelson (2007), ethics is defined as ""The principles, norms, and standards of conduct governing an individual or organization" (Defining Ethics, p. 13); ethics form the basis for determining the correct action, or moral behavior, in a particular situation (Key Terms, University of Phoenix Materials).

Ethics Development

According to Scivicque (2007), "everyone has a different foundation on which they build their moral code, and personal ethics act as the foundation of those morals" (Where do Personal Ethics Come From?, para 2). People develop ethics starting with the adults who raise them and the other family influences that surround them. A child's first sense of right and wrong is generally learned from parents and family members and it is continually shaped as children grow and are faced with more complex situations. Children learn to mimic the behaviors that are exhibited by those who raise them. How an adult handles situations will impact how children learn to handle similar situations.

Another important source that impacts personal ethics are the religious beliefs that one is subjected to. As with all sources of ethics, this impact can be good or bad, but in general, religion can have a positive impact on how one behaves and the ethics that they adhere to. Religion allows people to follow an accepted set of moral rules and these rules are often considered to be for the common good of those around us. By following the rules set forth in religion, children and adults often learn that they are appeasing a much higher power (God), and that they're beliefs will be rewarded. Because of these beliefs, people often strive to stick to those rules.

The cultural norms that one is surrounded with also contributes to the development of one's ethics. Cultural norms can affect an individual's ethics more then they realize, and often times, an individual won't realize the impact of a specific culture until they are removed from that environment. An example of this would be racism or gender discrimination. Racism and gender discrimination in America is considered unethical. It is not commonly seen, but there are still societies where both of these behaviors are accepted and very common. Racism and gender discrimination being unethical was not taught to me as much as it was learned just from following the norm. A majority of our society accepts others and embraces diversity, but if I were to travel to another country, I would see that this isn't the norm in all societies.

The final two impacts on one's ethics come from educational institutions and the organizations which one works. Children spend a lot of time learning from teachers and fellow students. Because of this, these individuals have a major impact on a child's development of respect, responsibility,

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