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Chapter 2 Ethics in Our Law

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1 Chapter 2 Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-1, What is Ethics?

2 Survey of Ethical Theoretic Aptitudes
Ethics – deciding what is right or wrong in a reasoned, impartial manner Ethical decisions decision must affect you or others in some significant way. Base decision on reason, not emotions

3 Impartial Decisions Impartiality is the idea that the same ethical standards are applied to everyone Self-interest needs to be balanced with needs of others Do not value one person or group more than any other Each person is an individual and should receive equal respect and consideration Organizations and institutions – consider how the people associated with these are affected

4 Business Ethics Business Ethics – the ethical principles used in making business decisions Problem of Profit Maximization: move factories offshore and cut jobs in order to reduce costs and produce greater short-term profits Assignment: Page 21, #1 - 11

5 Chapter 2 Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-2 Reasoning about Right and Wrong

6 Basic Forms of Ethical Reasoning
1. based on consequences based on the results of the action an act that produces a good consequence is good an act that produces a bad consequence is bad 2. based on ethical rules acts are either right or wrong lying – wrong telling the truth – right cannot justify lying

7 Ethical Reasoning Based on Consequences
1. describe alternative actions 2. forecast consequences 3. evaluate consequences The Good – the standard for judging right or wrong Involves alternative basic goals such as love, justice, truth and pleasure

8 Fundamental Ethical Rules
– acts themselves are judged as right or wrong - uses a recognized authority or human reasoning

9 Decisions based on Authority -- Law or religion – based on Torah, Koran, Bible
Decisions based on Reasoning Universalizing – picturing in your mind’s eye everyone in the world doing the action

10 Moral Rights – rightful claims on other people that flow from each persons’ status as a human being

11 Chapter 2 Ethics in Our Law
Lesson 2-3 How is Ethics Expressed in Our Laws?

12 People directly or indirectly determine the laws that bind them by electing representatives
Majority Rule – elected representatives vote for laws acceptable to the majority of people they represent Our system mainly uses consequences-based ethics Laws are judged to be right or good when they affect the majority of the people positively

13 Our Laws Reflect Rule-Based Ethics
Laws desired by the majority sometimes conflict with moral rights -- Slaves Civil Rights (or civil liberties) – personal, human rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution There are limits to majority rule – when the will of the majority conflicts with basic human rights, our legal system protects individual rights

14 Our Ethical Goals Reflected in Our Laws
Read page 27 Need a consistent rule to assure order and predictability

15 Why Are We Obligated to Obey Laws?
ethical reasoning demands it when law is violated, many more people are injured than are benefited we have agreed to obey it we have accepted the benefits of the society

16 Integrity – the capacity to do what is right even in the face of temptation or pressure to do otherwise by obeying it we avoid punishment fidelity bond – an insurance policy that pays the employer money in the case of theft of employees

17 Are We Ever Justified in Violating the Law?
Civil disobedience – an open, peaceful violation of a law to protest its alleged injustice Scofflaws – persons who do not respect the law Assignment: Page 29, 1-11

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