When I think about ethics, I reflect on the morally upright activities conducted in the society. They may be carried out by different organizations, communities, religious groups and business entities. Ethics, values, and the principles lead individuals in his or her own activities and decisions. In organizations, codes of ethics are the principles that guide the organization’s policies and decisions for the business. This may end up affecting the reputation and the productivity of the entity. This paper aims at analyzing my journal experiences and how they molded my understanding of ethics. The goal of this essay is to shed light on the ethical issues in the society based on personal experiences.
Journalizing the ethical activities each day was as normal for me as any other noble task as, for example, making entries in the diary. I got the entries for journaling from reading articles on ethics and from the daily personal experiences. Journaling every day helped me in increasing my academic writing skills and improving my overall knowledge about ethics and its effects in the world. One of the major challenges that I experienced was selecting the daily experiences that involved the ethical issues. Some of the people I consulted about certain topics were unwilling to cooperate due to fear of exposure. This became an important issue and to make the study ethical, I, as a researcher, could not expose the participants of my study.
I discussed my journal entries with my friends as well as people at work. This helped me greatly in getting a broader perspective about my understanding of ethics in the real world. These individuals also assisted in giving me more ideas on ethical conduct in the particular fields that I had chosen. Moreover, I learned that the ethical issues that I identified are the same as the ones which my partners could have identified if placed in the same position as I was, which means that these ethical issues are major when it comes to affecting the society. The discussions and the debates are an essential part of the way we as the society form our values.
One of the most dominant ethical issues in the contemporary society that I identified was that of online privacy. Following the widespread data collection by the United States Government, the citizens are at liberty to make decisions regarding the legislations aimed at enhancing their online privacy. In this criteria, the government should first consider the legislation before invading the citizen’s privacy.
A times mirror survey released a few years ago stated that Americans named a decline in ethics as one of the most important problems facing the United States after crime, health care and jobs. Out of the large plate of the contemporary fields associated with ethical issues in the society, I chose three areas which were the medical field, the business field and the community as a whole. In the medical field, one of the major problems I identified was the issue of abortion. Abortion is the face of the doctors’ professionally unethical acts. The question asked in this case is whether abortion is allowed either as a religious or a legal issue.
There are the pro-choice and the pro-life sides on the issue of abortion. The first approach to abortion is ethically wrong and should, therefore, be made illegal since there are consequences to the mother and the child. However, the law should make exceptions for special cases resulting in pregnancy such as rape. As it is judged by most of the people in the world, abortion is one of the evilest acts that a person can ever do. However, this research has proved that though it is considered evil, abortion could be acceptable in case of some complications faced by the mother and her fetus.
On the issue of business field, it incorporated jobs as indicated in the time's mirror survey. I talked to a friend who had been looking for a job position in various organizations. He explained me that in each and every company in which he attended the interviews, although he always had all the required qualifications, he could not get recruited since he was unwilling to pay bribes for the positions. Therefore, the organizations are losing the best-qualified employees, since the latter could not offer bribes, and the former end up recruiting inexperienced persons to fill up the positions. It is extremely unethical for the managers in organizations to ask for bribes in order to give job positions instead of considering experience, knowledge and skills of the candidates.
Social media ethics has become a critical matter to all citizens in the US. It comes in two sides; one for those people who disobey the social media usage rules and the other for a person who follows the rules. A good example of an unethical issue in the social media is the case of a model who became a victim of cyber-bulling after her cosmetic clinic ad went viral. I read a recent survey by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) which shed light on the social media ethics among the social networkers. The report concerned as to whether technology is influencing the employees’ view on ethics at work and found that active social workers show tolerance for activities that may be considered unethical. In social media ethics, it is impossible to defend actions through moral reasoning; it should be strayed from the truth that may be based upon verifiable and substantial evidence.
Principles have become the society’s priority. I found out that ethics will not only affect the decision making but also the culture of an institution. Morality enriches an individual’s life and that of others. Ethics affects the way we do things either positively or negatively thus impacting on how we live. People’s ethics is shaped with the help of their families, religious lives, the school and the community as a whole. In an organization’s case, ethical behavior among its workers ensures that they do their work honestly and with integrity. This, in turn, improves the productivity of the company and also helps it to enhance its reputation in meeting the standards for quality in its work. In general, I learned that ethics brings about better results in people’s daily activities.
This project on ethics has enhanced what I have learned in class in a practical manner. It has increased my understanding of ethics and what may lead an individual to do those acts which may be considered unethical by the law. This involves the exceptions of ethical activities as in the case of exceptions of abortion which is considered unethical by the law. The academic study of ethics has helped me anticipate difficult choices, so that when they come along they cannot catch me completely off-guard. Ethics has helped me know my rights as an individual in the society, what I expect to be done to me and in what manner.
This project changed my life and also my view on the world. It helped me know that despite the fact I may think that ethics can hold me back in all kinds of ways, it actually does the opposite. That is, it provides me with traits that unethical people may have to lie about, some of which may include honesty and loyalty. Ethics also cultivates inner peace, make individuals more focused and lead to more productive lives than of those living unethically. This is the opposite to what I generally expected that unethical people have more productive lives since their unethical characters may have gained them more power.
The most interesting part of the project was the practical one where I acted undercover in order to identify the unethical practices in the business world. It opened my way in learning more other things that directly affect us in our daily lives. It increased my knowledge of the contemporary issues that influence people directly and helped me know what is best for me and how to pursue it. Journaling is not memorable in my life as in the case of a diary, and it was what I liked least. Collecting data from a large research study area was quite demanding which reduced the time which could be spent on doing other activities.
I would value my work as the best as per the given conditions since I dedicated myself fully to doing the project. I could have done better if I was given a particular case study. This would have reduced the time spent on gathering the journaling materials and also the means of getting access to the material, for example, by use of questionnaires and interviews.
In conclusion, I have realized that I have a responsibility to act in an ethical way even in situations which may be tempting to act unethically such as bribery. When I see something that is clearly unethical, I should avoid getting involved in it and notify those persons taking part in the unethical behaviors. This would serve as a way of enhancing ethics in the society. I view myself as an ethical person based on what I have learned by doing the project.
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