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Phl/323 - Personal Ethics Development

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Personal Ethics Development

PHL/323

Vickie Sims


Personal Ethics Development

There are many terms under the ethics umbrella that are used interchangeably in society, an example being morals, ethics, and values. The terms, however, should not be used interchangeably. According to "Differencebetween.net" (2016), "Ethics can be defined as a set of rules formulated by a country or a company or some institutions" (Ethics vs. Values). Ethics are based on moral values. Values are personal in nature, and ethics are societal. Several aspects can affect people's view of ethics or their ethics. These elements include but are not limited to parenting, school or education, experiences, and religion. I believe from infancy through childhood the basic foundation of personal ethics is established. As one grows older and has more life experiences their personality along with their ethics is shaped and grows along with them. In the following paragraphs, I will explain ethics and explain how my personal views of ethics came to be what they are today.

Ethical Foundation

An individual's ethical foundation begins with their parents. If a child is raised in a family that practices good morals and values, the child is going to learn this as well. On the other hand, if a child is brought up in a household that is violent, there is the likelihood that they may, in turn, follow that same track because the children view that particular behavior as normal. Some children will learn what is normal and what is not as they grow older but all do not and vice versa children can learn morals that are not considered good as well. Next, school and education influence an individual's ethical foundation. The individual goes to school with an ethical system their parents have taught them already, but they experience different situations in school that they did not experience at home. The environment of the school in which one attends builds an individual's character as well. Next, I would say that a person's place of employment also factors into one's ethical foundation. For example, a bartender versus a cashier. These two individuals will experience extremely different situations that will affect their thoughts and outlook of the future. The last distinct influence on one's ethical foundation is the laws that all are supposed to abide by now. If speeding wasn't illegal would more people participate in it? If I had to guess, I would say yes, especially if they are running late.  

Ethical Systems

An ethical system is an individual's set of "ground rules" for making what one considers being a "right" decision. I don't believe that I have just one underlying ethical system. My ethical system is a combination of duty-based and goal-based ethical systems. Deontological (duty-based) ethics are concerned with what people do, not with the consequences of their actions. Duty-based ethics teaches that some acts are right or wrong because of the sorts of things they are, and people have a duty to act accordingly, regardless of the good or bad consequences that may be produced ("BBC", 2014). This type of ethical system is determined by an outside authority. A goal-based ethical system focuses on the outcome or final purpose (University of Phoenix, 2013).  Sources that helped shape my ethic foundation are my parents, schools and education, religion or church, and the laws that we all must abide by. My parents, mostly my mother has taught me trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and caring which make up one's character. Religion or church has enlightened me on many things that are also included in the laws of the United States. Education has played a significant part in my ethics at this point in my life as well. The ethics of a nurse differ significantly from the ethics of others.

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