Some years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people, "What does ethics mean to you?" Among their replies were the following:
A person following his or her feelings may recoil from doing what is right. In fact, feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical. Nor should one identify ethics with religion. Most religions, of course, advocate high ethical standards. Yet if ethics were confined to religion, then ethics would apply only to religious people. Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. The law often incorporates ethical standards to which most citizens subscribe. But laws, like feelings, can deviate from what is ethical. Finally, being ethical is not the same as doing "whatever society accepts." In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical."Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.""Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.""Being ethical is doing what the law requires.""Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts."
"I don't know what the word means."
What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons.
If you follow all applicable rules and regulations, are you an ethical person?
It depends on what who is setting the rules and regulations. What if you were to join an organization that had in their bylaws "to be a member of this elite group of individuals you must participate in the illegal selling of your prescription drugs." If you have a legitimate prescription for your medicine than it would not be unethical to take that said "drug". But it is against the law to sell your prescription drugs to other individuals. So, that is not ethical because you are breaking the laws of your governmental body. But, now to the organization you are wanting to join. To be a member you must participate in selling of prescription drugs. That is their rule and regulation. Following what is required of you to be a member would be ethical. But the organization is unethical. I believe an ethical person would not join such an organization.
I consider myself an ethical person. I try my very best to follow the rules of the land, but I have been distracted before and ran a red light. I have accidentally neglected to stop at a stop sign. I catch myself going over the speed limit at times. So, even an ethical person will unintentionally break the rules occasionally.
Those are just examples of an ethical person following the rules and regulations.
Again, I consider myself an ethical person, but if rules and regulations cause me to be unethical, than I would not work for that company long nor join an organization. I also do not keep company with unethical people but I know many. Am I unfriendly to every person who is unethical? No, but I do not want to be associated with their behavior or ways. I know people who follow many rules and regulations while they are in public, but participate in illegal behavior "secretly". They are ethical in the eyes of public, but not behind closed doors.
That question in my opinion cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
Now for the prompts... These are to be recorded in your personal journal and not shared on public domain.
In your own words, what are ethics?
What are your moral beliefs?
Do you have religious beliefs and what are they?
Have you ever done anything immoral, illegal, or unethical?
Does your church have a covenant of what is expected of the members? Do you adhere to each and every one of the statements in the covenant?
Are there things you would do if you knew you would not get caught?
If you know a family member or friend was doing something illegal would you inform the proper officials?
Do you find yourself having to resist temptation in certain areas of your life?
Do you still participate in sinful acts that you committed before you were a born-again Christian?
Are you suffering consequences of your sinful behavior even though you no longer are participating in those behaviors?
Are you an ethical person when people are watching but guilty of unethical behavior behind closed doors?
Has your unethical behavior in the past never been discovered by anyone?
Do you continue to feel guilty of your past even though you have asked the Lord to forgive you of it?
Do you know of people who seem to get away with being unethical or immoral? What if you did the same thing? What do you, as a child of God, think would happen to you?
Have you "thought" of being unethical before, but never acted upon it?
Would you ever step over the line if you were ever tempted?
Do you find yourself wishing you could do something ethically wrong just once?
Do you break any of the Ten Commandments?
The most important question though is:
Would Jesus consider you an ethical person?
These prompts are on a very personal level. They are to prompt you to write in your personal journal only.