What I Learned and Found Interesting in Ethics and Common Relations
I really enjoyed the class, Ethics and Common Relations. I learned valuable information in the class and look forward to applying the information to my everyday life as well as my future career in Criminal Justice. This essay will break down what was learned for me individually, and what I found most interesting. I will also provide a code of ethics that will apply to my everyday life at home, at work and as a citizen from this point forward. I’ve always had a code to live by; however, that code was based upon what my parents taught me, so I was much narrowed minded. There is a larger picture out there, and without this class, my vision may have still been blurred.
First and foremost, each module contained valuable information. However, I was most interested in the first two modules. Module 1 set the foundation, so I thought it was an important start. I learned about Justice Professionals and their need to use discretion, authority and power. This includes, judges, parole boards, parole officers and police officers, to name a few. Each Justice Professional has their own challenges and must decide when and how to use their discretion, authority and power. When dealing with criminals, ethical behavior is a must. Michael Braswell had five goals in the study of ethics and they were as follows: one must become aware and open to ethical issues, develop criminal justice ethics, become more personally responsible, understand how the criminal justice system is engaged in a process of coercion, and finally, develop whole sight, which is the ability to explore with one’s heart as well as one’s mind. When applying the above to ethical dilemmas, you must first identify the facts, identify relevant values and concepts, decide what the most immediate ethical issue the individual is facing, and resolve the ethical dilemma by using an ethical system.
In module 2, I learned how the principles of right and wrong structure the way everyone lives their lives. Thinking of morals in terms of an ethical pyramid was very easy to understand. The most important was moral judgment, and that was at the top of the pyramid. Without moral judgment, people are likely to do horrible things or turn a blind eye to other horrible things. The middle of the pyramid would be moral rules, which are the rules that guide us, and at the bottom of the pyramid would be the ethical system. I also learned about a German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who said according to my textbook, “goodwill is the only thing that is intrinsically good, and duty is required behavior because it is necessary to ethics.” I also learned about an English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, who believed humans are hedonistic, which means self-indulgence. Bentham is also regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. “This view holds that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good.” (Driver, 2014).
What to me was the most interesting was the disturbing video that was provided to me in my discussion board, which was an experiment that took place at The Stanford University located down in the basement that was supposed to be recognized as the Stanford prison for a solid two weeks. The experiment was called “The Stanford Experiment.” The mastermind of this experiment was by Philip Zimbardo. The purpose behind his experiment was to study social psychology for discovering extreme power controlled by college students. The college guys were randomly split between two groups; one group was deemed the guards, and the others were the prisoners. The experiment spun out of control, and the guards were abusing the power and incriminating the prisoners. For example, inmates were told to get naked and pile up on top of each other or having to put dresses on. The experiment was so absurd it only lasted a whole 6 days.
After taking this class, I have developed a personal code of ethics. I will always show love, always have positive vibes, always seek justice, always be brave and relax often. To be more specific, I will love everyone for who they are, I will never dwell on anything negative, I will always live by the laws of the land, I will not fear the unknown and I will relax when I am overwhelmed or I just need to catch a break because rushing always equals a larger mess.
In conclusion, this class was very informative, and I learned some valuable information. There is a much larger picture out in the real world, and I must learn that not everyone or everything is simple minded like my life. Instead of judging those different from me, I will take a more ethical and non-judgmental stand point when dealing with what I consider morally disturbing situations. Modules 1 and 2 helped me understand different positions within the justice system and how each position is responsible for using their own discretion, authority and power. Due to this, some authorities may abuse their power, but overall, I believe there are more ethical people than not, so for the most part, people will do what is right. The ethical pyramid allowed me to put what was important into categories, which further helped me develop my personal code of ethics. I plan to use the knowledge I gained from this class in my everyday life, as well as in my career in Criminal Justice.
- Driver, J. (2014b, September 22). The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of
- Philosophy/Winter 2014 Edition). Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2014/entries/utilitarianism-history/
- Pollock, J. M. (2018). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. In Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice (10th ed.). Boston, MA : Cengage Learning.