You have read a great deal about ethical theories and principles, and you are now in a position to evaluate your own ethical principles and/or biases. After reading the Brown University work entitled “Making Choices: A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions”, carefully review the questions here below.
Before pondering these 5 questions, you should think of an example of a decision you had to make personally at some point in your life, one that would likely affect others as well as yourself. After bringing this moment back from your own experience, review these questions about how one could evaluate the relative ethical merits of making any decision. If this seems too personal or otherwise inhibiting, you may strip as much personal information from the example as you deem fit, or state it in terms of a third party; whatever helps you evaluate your own ethical preference(s).
Consider your ethical decision-making options and primary ethical orientation by evaluating the following questions in light of the decision choice you faced:
- Which action will produce the most good and do the least harm?
- Which action respects the rights of all who have a stake in the decision?
- Which action treats people equally or proportionately?
- Which action serves the community as a whole, not just some members?
- Which action leads me to act as the sort of person I should be?
In your initial post, briefly describe the ethical decision choice you were facing, then please address yourself to these questions:
- Which ethical questioning perspective above (1-5) do you identify with most and feel most exemplifies the considered approach you took to the ethical choice you faced?
- Which ethical perspective do you identify with the least, find the least compelling standard for basing any decision upon, including the one you identified?
The basic ethical archetypes that flow from the 5 questions above are here below, and they should help you consider which ethical perspective you most and least identify with.
- Which action will produce the most good and do the least harm? = The Utilitarian Approach.
- Which action respects the rights of all who have a stake in the decision? = The Rights Approach.
- Which action treats people equally or proportionately? = The Justice Approach.
- Which action serves the community as a whole, not just some members? = The Common Good Approach.
- Which action leads me to act as the sort of person I should be? = The Virtue Approach.
- Finally, as you evaluate these ethical categories, do you recognize now another approach that might have been better than the one you followed at the time? If so, how; if not, why not?
Your initial post should be at least 250 words.
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