My Ethics By Samuel Jennings

I pull from all of the five ethical systems for my morals. Most of my ethics I would say come from divine command theory where I pull most of my morals from the Bible.

I primarily get my ethics from the Bible because that gives me concrete dos and donts of how I should live my life. It also accurately lines up with history and science so if there is anything that I can logically say is truth then it would be the Bible. Since the Bible is something I can logically conclude is truth then it only makes sense that I would follow it rather closely. Today in this day in age there are ethical issues that the Bible does not necessarily address so then I would choose to do what I believe is my duty.

I believe that issues that are not talked about in the bible would be best decided upon by what my duty is in that situation. It is my duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is my duty to help my family because they would do the same for me. Some of these type of situations are in the Bible, but they are not commanded by God they are decided by an indivuals duty to those he loves. Your duty can even be to go against a standing government if they are infringing on human rights. Issues that duty does not necessarily address I can decipher through consequentialism.

Do the ends justify the means? I really like this ethical system because I can deduce which action is moral by looking at how the actions will affect people. If my action is going to hurt more people than it will help then it is probably not a moral action. I rely on my reason for much of my everyday decision so this system allows me to make ethical decisions through deductive reasoning. Although, there are problems with this system since it does not address problems like gun control and transgender equality completely. I can deduce the necessity of owning a gun through statistics and how it helps my surrounding environment, but gun control might help other areas so consequentialism does not give me a clear answer. For problems that I cannot solve through consequentialism then I would use virtue ethics.

I do not lean heavily on virtue ethics because I generally do not care what people think about me or my decisions. It does answer some questions that none of the top systems answer. Virtue ethics seem to adapt with the times a little faster than the other ethics systems. My virtues are usually tied closely with my religion so I tend to look up to the members of society who are ethical giants. If it's a situation like is it fine if I drink a little wine a party then I would probably ask what Tim Tebow would do in this situation and follow his lead. I don't really have a problem with wine, but I look up to Tim Tebow and Franklin Graham who I see living a good life, and they don't need to drink wine so why should I. Plus I look better to people if I stay away from alcohol. These kind of situations cannot be answered with the other systems. I guess I really only use this system if I want to know how others will think of me after I make a decision.

Cultural relativism I do not really use much becaus often I disagree with the laws in my own country. Most relativism questions I would need to answer I can generally answer with first four ethical systems. I would say though that I do not like people coming from other cultures and systematically trying to change mine. I really do not like someone imposing their cultural values on me. If you want to live a certain way then move to a country that thinks that way. The country I live in has a strong ethics based on my ethical systems. Since my culture seems to promote Christianity which I hold as my highest ethical system, I would prefer people not come in and change the values that my country currently holds. That being said I do go against values that my culture holds if the values go against my ethical system.

Emotivism is something I almost never use. When it comes to ethical decisions, this really has no place in my view. At this point if people think that anyone can do whatever they please then there is something clearly wrong. If anyone can do whatever they want without repercussions then that is when chaos occurs. Now I do agree with using emotivisim if the situation is not a moral decision. Let's say it is your brother's birthday, and you don't want to get him a grift this time. Well it's not morally wrong, but it might make your brother unhappy. If you feel that you should not have to buy your brother a gift then you don't have to. With moral decisions, you can more than likely find the answers to moral problems within my first four ethical systems. On everyday decisions that do not affect my morality, I tend to go with emotivisim and cuLaura's relativism or consequentialism.

In John's case, he is in the right here by trying to save his wife. According the Bible it is wrong to steal, but there is also a passage that clearly states you must take care of your household.

If this medicine can save John's wife then he is obligated to do what he can to save her life. If that weren't enough then he could go by his duty which would easily be for him to save his wife no matter the cost. In this case it was just stealing a few pills so he wasn't exactly committing theft on a large scale.

If John looks at the ends justifying the means then he is in the right. Yes, the pharmaceutical company may lose a little money, but compared to the profits they will make in general this little loss is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Without taking the medicine John's wife would surely die, but if he takes it then she can live so he is making a right ethical decision based on consequentialism.

Based on Virtue ethics which all about motive, John did the right thing. He did steal from someone which is wrong, but his motive was to save his wife from dying which in this system is the right thing to do. So far through all of the systems he has done the right thing.

The American legal system would find this illegal no matter the circumstances. Based on the American culture this wrong for John to steal from a company even if he is saving his wife. However, under my ethical system, saving someone's life comes before a culture's laws.

Under emotivisim John can literally choose what is right and wrong. He chose to save his wife so he did the right thing in his own eyes. He did the ethical thing in my eyes based on my ethical system so under emotivisim he did the right thing because he believed he did the right thing. He went 5/6 in doing the moral thing based on the 6 ethical systems, and under my ethical system he was justified in every way except the fact that he broke the law. That is a small price to pay to save his wife from death so I believe he is justified in his actions.

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