Ethics is the study of morality, Ethics is the moral principles governing a person’s or agent’s actions. I would call myself a Utilitarian-Egoists ethicist because I believe in doing that act that produces the greatest good for the masses but however, in doing that act that produces the greatest good for the greatest number we must always put our self-first, although at times self-egoism may seem selfish, it is always fair and intrinsically good to be self-motivated. My internal reflection plays an important role in my personal decision-making process. When I do something against my own ethics and values, I would be leaving myself to bad feelings of guilt or shame or dishonor. If do something which meets my personal ethics and values, I would feel proud of myself and such accomplishments. This is what influences the creation of my ethical standards. My family, my culture, my internal reflection, and others around me are what drive and motivate me to write my theory of ethics. This paper will be based upon a theory summarized as Joel’s theory.
My intention of writing this paper is to draw from all the ethical theories in reference of those highlighted in class, especially the one listed below, and formulated Joel’s theory which can be used as a guide toward human behavior. Joel’s theory of ethics states that “a true human being will not only help himself but he will also help others whom are in need.” Natural law, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue ethics, Ethical Egoism, and Situational ethics are the theories that were used to formulate my theory of Ethics called Joel’s theory. These are the theories that were used to formulate Joel’s theory of Ethics because they are simple and straightforward, furthermore, they contain materials and information that Joel’s theory stands for, although these theories contain flaws, Joel’s theory of ethics does not reflect those flaws and as such the formation of Joel’s theory of ethics will be thoroughly discussed. The aim of Joel’s theory is to show that if human beings are considerate and affectionate not only to himself but to his follow species, this world will be a better place not only for who is living in it now but also for preceding generations to come thus ensuring the continuation and integration of the marvelous human race.
My theory of Ethics; ‘a true human being help not only himself but he will also help others whom are in need.’ In other words, a true human being is not selfish but is instead considerate towards his fellow species.
What I like and dislike about a few theories namely Utilitarianism, is that it is simply it says do the act that produces the greatest good for the masses. What I dislike about this theory is that there can be proportionality; in order words there can be good or bad consequences, in terms of Ethical relativism; I like the fact that it says ‘there are no absolute laws binding us all. ‘Instead, these moral principles vary from society to society, hence the term ‘diversity thesis’. What I like about Deontology is that it just says in each case do the right act because the end never justifies the means. The end never justify the means, this is what I hate about Deontology because at times the end can justify the means. In terms of cyber ethics; what I like is that it says new ethical issues have developed due to technology/computers and this is clearly true. The point that I dislike is this where it says, “Technology have not introduced any new ethical issues”-traditionalist view of cyber ethics, to my knowledge this is not so, what about hacking, isn’t that an ethical issue?
From environmental and animal rights ethics, what I like is that these theories strive to preserve and embrace nature, especially in terms of egocentrism, where the ecosystem should remain un-touch by humans because of its intrinsic value. For animal rights ethics, I like the fact that this theory suggests that animals are living beings with the right to live freely. What I dislike about both theories is that they seek to make it look as if we as humans should not exploit nature, at times this need to be done for our own success. Additionally, what I like about Feminists ethics is that it seeks to create gender-neutral rather than gender-equal ethics thus generating non- sexist principles that can govern the action of males and females. What I am disgusted about this theory is that it tells us what we ought not to do but not what we should do. Ethical egoism, I like the fact that it says to strive for happiness and be the best you can be, but what degree of happiness should we strive for? For sports ethics, what I love is that there is a model which says we can do anything to gain an advantage over our opponent, whilst there is another model that says we should be considerate for our opponent. So in essence sports ethics gives us the opportunity to be selfish of considerate to our opponents.
My theory of ethics is somewhat dialectical. To demonstrate a classic example of the dialectal method of Ethics and its operative-ness Deontology could be the thesis where it says always love and help others because it is good in and of itself. The antithesis could be Utilitarianism where it says do that act that produces the greatest good for the masses. The synthesis, however, could be Situational Ethics which gets from deontology always love and from Utilitarianism, its gets do the most loving thing for the mass; for the most loving people. After summing up all of that Situational ethics would become the new thesis which always love and do the greatest good for the masses in each situation.
From Virtue ethics, Joel’s theory takes that Virtuous persons do virtuous acts. In other words, a true and good human being will do good things so this is directly in line with my theory since a true human being whom is a good person will do good things. This good thing according to Joel’s theory is giving assistance to others whom are in need. That person whom give assistance to another person who is in need is termed a ‘true and virtuous human being’. However, the flaw of Virtue ethics in terms of its approach to Joel’s theory is that Virtue ethics cannot correctly assess the occasional tragic actions of virtuous beings. In Joel’s theory, the Virtuous person who not only help himself but also help others in need may one day stray from helping a person whom is in need and this is what virtue ethics cannot assess.
Additionally from Natural Law Joel’s theory take away the line that the preservation and assistance, as well as the advancement of any life forms, must always take precedence and be embraced to the fullest. In Joel’s theory of Ethics; the helping of another human being at a particular time may make that person whom the assistance is given live or even more so that person life situation may improve. In terms of the dialectical method of natural law you could use Objectivity and Subjectivity and the synthesis could be Deontology, where if you take ethics seriously you have to look at it from an objective point of view that is if we are to seriously take ethics as a guide towards human behavior. If we look at ethics as subjective then we cannot use it as a guide toward human behavior. Deontology the synthesis would say it is intrinsic do the right thing let nature prevails. I love the line that say do good and avoid evil as it is directly related to my theory which states you must help others whom are in need and in doing so you will automatically do good and avoiding evil because in a sense one could have been plotting something negative against that person and so Natural Law is like the ‘right wing’ of my theory because this is exactly what my theory is about preserving life and warding off its obstacles when you help a person in need, you are actually eliminating that need and hence you will be warding off the obstacle of that need that may be hampering a person’s life. What I do not like about Natural Law is that this theory is too enclosed in terms of only pushing nature in your face. The course of nature needs a diversion at times if we as human beings are to be successful so this theory is too commanding and a person must have the right to choose what they believe are right for them. So Natural Law does not give us the opportunity of choice and I believe this is wrong because we should have that free will to do a particular act as it is us who will be blame or rewarded for the consequences. Natural Law is too absolute for my theory example it says; ‘Sex should only be used for procreation.’ I do not believe that, I believe sex was also made to be enjoyed by humans because we strive for happiness.
‘Help others and still help yourself. This statement emphasizes love just as situational ethics would. My theory of ethics gets from situational ethics that in any given situation; the moment decides what is right or wrong but in each case we must always love. Love unconditionally this is what my theory says, If we help others then this means more than likely we love them. My theory looks at the individual situations. The part of Situational Ethics that my theory does not stand for is Anti nominalism. The reason why this is so is because my theory indicates that there must be laws, if there are no laws then what will guide our behavior? what would be the basis of rewarding or punishing us?
From Utilitarianism, my theory takes that we must do the most loving thing that produces the greatest good on the masses so it is instrumental in nature and the end does justify the mean. As it regards to my theory if we help others in need then they will we be happy and we will also feel that sense of satisfaction and society will be better so in light of all this the greatest good will be produced for the greatest number. What I do not like about Utilitarianism is that we play god too much, how can we know what the greatest good will be on the masses? Can we see in the future? What I like about the theory is that the end can justify the mean and as such this is another pivotal theory in the formation of Joel’s theory of ethics.
From Deontology which is intrinsic in nature, my theory gets that we must always do the right thing, and always help others so this comes about in my theory where it says help not only yourself but also others in need. It is good in and of itself to help others it does not have to be instrumental like Utilitarianism. What me and my theory dislike about Deontology is that it says the end can never justify the means but however the END can justify the means and that is according to Joel’s theory of Ethics.
From Ethical Egoism my theory takes that we must love ourselves and we must be self-motivated in seeking our own happiness hence this reflects in Joel’s theory of ethics line which states; “ a true human being not only helps himself but he will also help others in need.” In this statement, it can clearly show that a human must love themselves but also love others in the process, very similar to what a man who says ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, a man who have a master in Philosophy, my Ethics teacher the great Doctor Shades, what a man he is. In saying all that, it is natural for humans to be happy when they help others and hence indirectly this is what Joel’s theory of ethics gets from Ethical Egoism. What I dislike about Egoism is that it tries very much in making us selfish, me and my theory of ethics does not stand for that neither would my teacher the Great Dr. Schades. McKenzie’s theory of Ethics is universal hence it is not in one domain. The reason why my theory is in more than one domain is that initially Joel’s theory was formulated from different ethical theories that were in different domains example Deontology was in the domain of the act and Utilitarianism was in the domain of the consequence and so on. So Timmy’s theory of ethics is in the domain of the Consequence, the Act, and the motive. From Deontology my theory takes the domain of the Act, so in other words, we look at the act to determine the rightness or wrongness of such an action and in doing so the end can never justify the means. So what this says is that my theory can look at the act alone to determine its rightness or wrongness of action however it is to be noted that although you can look at a single domain to determine the rightness or wrongness of an action, at times each domain must not and cannot be looked at in a vacuum, that is they must be looked at in light of other domain. From Utilitarianism Joel’s theory of ethics falls within the domain of the Consequence so the end can justify the means. The motive however is what is important the motive that lies with my theory of ethics is that we should help others whether or not the motive comes about intrinsically or instrumentally. My theory of ethics seeks to ameliorate human suffering because it says we are supposed to help one another, be there for each other and in doing so there will be less human suffering. Joel’s theory of ethics also seeks to keep society from falling apart because beneath the theory it says love others which is why we should help them and if we love others then obviously we will do no harm to them. Joel’s theory is ethics in and of itself, it is prescriptive so it can be used as an antidote to curve human behavior towards a more positive one, it is also universal because it applies to all relevant situations since it says “a true human being not only help himself but he also helps others whom are in need”
In terms of my theory of ethics, it application to society is simply it says ‘A person who is considered to be a true human being not only helps himself but he also help others whom are in need. If this theory of ethics is practiced then most definitely the world will be a better place for all of us as human beings to live. My theory of ethics is practical because it is feasible and can be practiced by members of any society and as such if the theory is made practical then it must be made public so that members of any society can come to appreciate Joel’s theory of ethics because personally what I have grown to know is that persons will not appreciate a particular thing until they know it can benefit them where at that moment they will come to appreciate what that particular thing is all about.
In concluding Ethics have changed me living in this world as a moral being a whole lot. It have open up my eyes to diversity showing me that I do not only have to use the Bible as a guide towards my behavior but I can also use other theories to determine what is right or wrong in my way of life as well as in society. Ethics have made me a Critical thinker in that it have made me step back and look at the marvels of the universe in a different way and in doing a show I acknowledge how great the creator is. Special thanks to my teacher Dr. Schades whom have made me through teaching Ethics more than I thought I could be. I have learnt that Ethics should be used as a guide towards human behavior objectively and not subjectively but more so I have learnt about two major theories Deontology where the end can never justify the means because of its intrinsic nature. We must also do the act that is morally right in every way because this is what deontologists will used to judge us. On the other the theory that I love, Utilitarianism which is instrumental in nature says do that act that produces the greatest good for the masses hence this theory is in the domain of the consequence. More so ethics is Universal, practical and prescriptive. It is also noted that there are specific theories in Ethics that can be used as a guide towards human behavior, some of which we as Jamaicans live by without even knowing. I also learnt that one can used more than one theory from ethics to guide their behavior and as such this may keep society from falling apart and at the same time ameliorating human suffrage. I will from now onwards use ethics in my daily life, to be more specific the ‘Utilitarian-Egoists’ theory because I believe each and every one of us must be the best we can be without preventing someone else from being the best they can be. Since I respect every member of this universe, I will therefore live by this statement of Ethical relativism which states that “there are no moral absolutes, no moral right or wrongs. Instead, right and wrongs are simply based upon the social norms of a given society.”