Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making
Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making
Decisionmaking is a critical process that affects human life on a dailybasis. The main purpose of basing decision making on theories andprinciples is to resolve dilemmas. However, the application ofethical theories does not lead to choices that can satisfy the needsof all people (Temitayo, 2012). Decision makers are encouraged toconsider the net benefit of using each of the theories in order toensure that their choices address the interest of the majority of thepeople who are affected by their actions. In this paper, I will focuson my personal ethics and decision making skills that affect myprofessionals as well as personal life. This reflection will beaccomplished using the framework discussed in class. The frameworkhas four major stages, including moral awareness alternatives andjudgments decisions and actions and reflection.
Stage1: Moral Awareness
Moralawareness makes it easy to identify ethical issues, parties with astake in a given action, and options that are available (Sher, 2016).However, there are three factors that block my ability to recognizeethical issues in professional as well as personal life. First, amyopic moral perception limits my ability to consider all dimensionsof certain situations. In most cases, the low moral perceptionresults from rationalization and unwillingness to focus on theunderlying issues, which reduces my ability to see it clearly.
Secondly,self-serving bias affects the way I interpret different viewed insituations that require the determination of ethical wrongness orrightness. This weakness is associated with the fact that people tendto search for information that is likely to support their preexistingviews. Ethical theories can lead to different actions. This impliesthat the alternatives selected by the decision maker regarding asingle ethical issue can lead to different actions (Lincoln &Holmes, 2011). In such as a case, I am tempted to take alternativesthat support my personal views.
Third,morally inattentive formal codes develop the background ofexpectations that can distort my ethical considerations presenting ina given situation. For example, policies that are developed with theobjective of maximizing the company’s profits can result in failureto recognize some ethical issues (such as honesty) when pursuing theformal policies (Sher, 2016).
Measuresthat I will take to recognize the moral issues
Theissue of low moral perception will be addressed by being alert to theeffect of actions on different stakeholders. This alertness will helpme understand the perceptions of different stakeholders regarding thesituations. I will overcome the weaknesses of self-bias by lookingfor alternative ways of interpreting the same scenario. Theconsideration of all available alternatives before making the finaldecision will help me recognize ethical issues, thus reducing therisk of bias. In addition, I will consciously strive to enhance thepractical applicability of norms in order to ensure that all ethicalissues are taken into account.
Stage2: Alternatives and Judgments
Peopleare guided by moral philosophies or principles when making decisions.In my case, I am guided by consequential and non-consequentialtheories when making decisions. The type of theory that I chose toapply depends on the underlying ethical issue. The theory of egoismis relevant when discussing the issue of abortion. This theory holdsthat actions are considered to be moral when the decision makers areguided by their personal interests (Driver, 2013). In the case ofabortion, it can be argued that it affects the expectant mothers themost. Consequently, women should consider their health and financialcapacity when deciding to abort or bring the pregnancy to term.
Thetheory of utilitarianism may not have a lot of relevance in adiscussion involving the issue of abortion. This theory wouldencourage the affected mothers to consider decisions that are likelyto enhance the happiness of the majority, instead of addressing theimpact of the pregnancy on their personal as well as professionallives (Choe & Min, 2011). For example, an abortion would enhancethe well-being of the mother while reducing the happiness of thecommunity and the infant. Therefore, the application ofutilitarianism could disregard the concerns of the expectant mothers.
Theapplication of the theory of natural law would allow the stakeholdersto allow abortion under certain circumstances. This theory supportsthe idea of the right to life (George, 2014). Therefore, abortioncould be allowed when the life of the expectant mother in danger.
Inmy view, I would not apply the Kant’s theory when discussingabortion since there is no universal rule that can be used todetermine whether women should be allowed to terminate pregnancy.There are conditions (such as poor health) that can make abortion thebest alternative.
Theapplication of the ethical theories can also be illustrated using theissue of bribery. Bribery increases the financial well-being of a fewindividuals while hurting the members of the public through a declinein the economic development and an increase in the cost of living(Marques, 2015). Therefore, the utilitarianism opposes corruption.The theory of egoism would be irrelevant because it encouragesindividuals to pursue their personal interests. Therefore, a corruptperson would consider the benefits of giving or taking the bribe,instead of taking the interests of the majority into account (Sims,2007). The theory of natural law is quite relevant because itconsiders bribe as a breach of the human good. Therefore, the naturallaws encourage decision makers to consider the interests of otherhuman beings. Moreover, Kant`s theory of categorical imperative isrelevant since being honest is an unconditional value that can beapplied in all circumstances (Marques, 2015).
Extensiveuse of pesticides
Thereare three theories that can be used to analyze the issue of theapplication of pesticides. The utilitarian theory supports anargument that pesticides affect the health of the members of thepublic while benefiting individual farmers. Therefore, excessive useof pesticides should be prohibited since it minimizes the happinessof the majority. Similarly, the application of the natural theoryleads to an argument that pesticides violate the principle of naturalgood as well as the right to life (United for Human Rights, 2016).They put the lives of the consumers of agricultural products at risk.Kant’s theory can also be applied to support an argument thatfarmers have a duty to protect their consumers by ensuring that theydo not supply them with products that can harm them. However, thetheory of egoism is irrelevant since it would encourage farmers touse excess chemicals as long as their actions help them earn moremoney.
Integrationof the mentally ill into the society
Thereare three theories that can be used to support the integration of thementally ill persons into the society. The modern world hasrecognized the need to avoid the discrimination of individuals on thebasis of their social as well as demographic characteristics.Therefore, the utilitarian theory would support the integration ofthe mentally ill persons since such an action would make more peoplehappy. Similarly, the theory of natural law will support theirintegration because any form of discrimination violates the generalrights of the affected population. All people have a duty to respectthe rights of others, which imply that the Kant’s theory would alsosupport the integration of the mental ill. However, the applicationof the theory of egoism would be irrelevant since the decision makerwould consider personal interests.
Legalizationof prostitution would minimize the happiness of the majority byincreasing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases anddegradation of the morals of the society. Therefore, theutilitarianism opposes its legalization. Prostitution is a viceagainst nature. The application of natural law would encourage thestakeholders to avoid its legalization. All people have the duty tomanage their sexuality and preserve morals that are upheld by thesociety. Consequently, decision makers who apply Kant’s theorywould argue against the legalization of prostitution. However, egoismis irrelevant since the decision would depend on the personalinterest of individuals. Prostitutes would support its legalization,while, the members of the society are likely to oppose it.
Stage3: Decision and Action
Thefour theories considered in this paper can influence the decisionmaking processes and actions in different ways. By using the exampleof the issue of abortion, it is evident that the theories usedifferent rationale to oppose or support its practice in the society(Robert, 2013). The utilitarian theory would influence the decisionmaker to consider the number of people who are pleased by abortionand compare it with those who are hurt. The decision marker shouldthen take an action that brings a net happiness. Abortion is likelyto hurt the members of the public, the infant, and relatives of theexpectant mothers who terminate the pregnancy (Marques, 2015). It isonly likely to enhance the happiness of the mother who chooses toabort. Therefore, I agree with utilitarianism because it opposes thepractice of abortion.
Egoistsbase their arguments on their personal interests (Aidaros, Mohd &Adris, 2013). Expectant mothers who wish to terminate the pregnancycan apply the theory of egoism to argue that they have the autonomyto determine what happens in their bodies. They can also apply thetheory to argue that abortion will improve their health and give themthe opportunity to advance their career. I disagree with the egoismtheory since it encourages selfishness in the society. In addition,abortion does not affect the expectant mothers only. Therefore, itwould be unfair to consider the interests of the mothers only whendeciding whether to abort or not.
Kant’stheory is based on the duty of the decision maker (Guthrie, 2013).Its application would support actions leading to the protection ofthe infants. Infants are helpless individuals, which imply thatmothers have a duty to protect their lives. Mothers also have a dutyto protect the morals that are advanced by their respectivecommunities. Personally, I agree with the Kant’s theory because allhuman beings have a duty to maintain sanity and nurture desirablebehaviors in the society.
Thetheory of natural law supports decisions that lead to the protectionof the life of the people who are affected by certain actions.Abortion can be permitted when the life of the mother is at risk.Similarly, the theory discourages abortion when no life is in danger.The life of the mother and the infant should be protected. Thisargument is based on the fact that the right to life is considered asinherent under the natural theory (George, 2014). I agree with thetheory because it supports abortion depending on the underlyingconditions.
Stage4: Conclusion and Reflection
Ethicaltheories provide guidelines that can be used to address dilemmas.Reflection is significant in the EDM because it ensures thatdifferent choices are implemented with the best attention and greatcare in order to take account of the concerns of all people who areaffected by a given action. The process of reflection ensures thatdecisions are not biased and all stakeholders are treated fairly. Thedesire to include the perspectives as well as the interests of allstakeholders creates dilemmas, but ethical theories ensure that thealternative that is selected is justifiable. In most cases, decisionsare based on theories that focus on the outcome of actions and thosethat encourage people to make choices depending on the duty of anindividual. Decisions that are based on these theories can bejustified using at least one ethical principle.
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