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Ethics and Our Law Chapter 2. GOALS Define ethics Describe each element of the definition Define business ethics.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics and Our Law Chapter 2. GOALS Define ethics Describe each element of the definition Define business ethics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics and Our Law Chapter 2

2 GOALS Define ethics Describe each element of the definition Define business ethics

3 What is Ethics? Lisa found a $20 bill in the girl’s restroom at school. She bought her sister a gift with part of the money and put the rest of the money in her savings. Jim found $20 in the boy’s restroom. He knows whoever lost the money would probably need it, so he turned the money in to the office. Who is displaying more ethical behavior? What would you do?

4 Hot Debate Should Julian inform the INS of Achmed’s whereabouts? If so, why? What are the reasons in favor of Julian not informing the INS?

5 What’s your Verdict? Has Jane made an ethical decision? If you were in Jane’s position, what would you do? Why so you think Jane's decision is okay? Not okay? What do you think Jane should do with the exam she found?

6 Ethics Deciding what is right or wrong in a reasoned, impartial manner

7 3 Elements: 1.Decision about right or wrong action 2.Decision is reasoned 3.Decision is impartial

8 1) Decision about Right or Wrong Action Decision to buy blue jeans with wide pant legs or narrow pant legs? –Ethical component? Decision to discontinue medical support for an unconscious, terminally ill relative. –Ethical component? Many decisions have little effect on other persons or yourself To involve ethics, a decision must affect you or others in some significant way

9 2) Reasoned Decisions We often act in response to our ________. EMOTIONS Ethical decision must be based on reason, not our emotions Usually refer to a written authority that provides consistency –Law –Religious texts “I believe that God is the source of the Bible and the Bible tells me not to lie. Therefore, it would be wrong, or unethical, for me to lie”

10 3) Impartial Decisions Impartiality –The idea that the same ethical standards are applies to everyone Ethics does not value one person or group of persons more than any other does –Men vs. Women Each person is an individual and should receive equal respect and consideration from others

11 Impartial Decisions (cont) It requires us to make ethical decisions while we balance our self-interest with the interest of others If you hit someone’s car and no one sees you, is it ethical not to report it? –Who is affected? All of our actions affect others

12 Impartial Decisions (cont) Particularly important when organizations and institutions are involved –“It was only the school’s property” –“Just the insurance company was cheated” –Consider how the people behind the institution are affected by the action

13 In this Case What would you have done in Gabe’s place? Why? What would prompt them to keep the wallet? Return the wallet?

14 Business Ethics The ethical principles used in making business decisions Too often, ethics are not considered when business decisions are made Why? PROFIT MAXIMIZATION

15 Business Ethics (cont) Move factories offshore and cut jobs to reduce costs –Increase profits for the business owners The profit maximization ethic will need to be replaced by the more humane ethical standards

16 Assignment Pg 27 #1-11 Make sure that you answer all parts of the question!!!! Complete sentences

17 Reasoning About Right & Wrong 2-2

18 Goals Reason based on consequences Reason using ethical rules

19 Based on Consequences Rightness or wrongness is based only on the results of the action Particular acts have no ethical, or moral character A good act = good consequences A bad act = bad consequences

20 Based on Ethical Rules Acts are either right or wrong –Truth = right –Lying = wrong Good consequences do not justify wrong or bad acts –Can’t justify lying if it has a good consequences

21 Same Conclusions For almost all ethical decisions, you reach the same conclusion using either form of reasoning –One should not lie Consequence-based reasoning –Recognizes that lying usually produces bad consequences Rule-based ethics –Lying is always wrong

22 Ethical Reasoning Based on Consequences 1.Describe alternative action 2.Forecast consequences 3.Evaluate consequences 1.Selecting the standard for judging consequences as right or wrong 2.Counting the persons affected

23 The Good The standard for judging right or wrong

24 Fundamental Ethical Rule Fundamental Ethical Rule – the acts themselves are judged as right or wrong Standard for judging comes from 2 sources: –Recognized Authority (law, religious text) –Human Reasoning (shows that things are basically wrong) A test has been devised to determine whether an action is right or wrong……

25 Universalizing Picturing in your mind’s eye everyone in the world doing the action –Irrational? –Illogical? –Self-Defeating? If any of the three are true, the action is inconsistent with reason and therefore ethically wrong

26 Moral Rights Rightful claims on other people that flow from each person’s status as human beings

27 How is Ethics Expressed in Our Laws? Lesson 2-3

28 Majority Rule –Elected representatives vote for laws acceptable to the majority of people they represent Do our laws more reflect consequence based or rule based ethics? –Consequence

29 National Legislature Congress The House of Representative s The Senate

30 Our Laws Reflect Rule-Based Ethics Laws desired by the majority may conflict with moral rights –The majority may benefit from unjust laws The courts would declare invalid because they deny “equal protection of the law” to the minority

31 Our Laws Reflect Rule-Based Ethics The U.S. supports and recognized human rights –Undermine human rights = unconstitutional Civil Rights –Personal, human rights recognized and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution

32 Our Laws Reflect Rule-Based Ethics Federal Judges –Appointed NOT elected –Appointed for life Protect human rights without risking their job

33 Declaration of Independence Recognizes our fundamental rights “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”

34 Other Ethical Goals Reflected in Our Law Laws need to be clearly stated and communicated –Ex. – Grades What’s your Verdict?

35 Are We Obligated to Obey Laws? Yes – Ethical reasoning demands it (avoid punishment)

36 Are We Obligated to Obey Laws? Ethics demands that we obey We consent to be governed by laws Integrity –The capacity to so what is right even in the face of temptation or pressure to do otherwise We want to avoid punishment –Fined, jailed, put to death –Barred from jobs with security clearance (Banks) –Licensed (Lawyers, doctors, accountants)

37 Employers usually purchase fidelity bonds for persons who handle large sums of money (cashiers) Fidelity Bond –An insurance policy that pays the employer money in the case of theft by employees Serious crimes do cannot qualify

38 Are We Ever Justified in Violating The Laws? What’s your verdict? Civil Disobedience –Open, peaceful, violation of a law to protest its alleged injustice Participants may be willing to be arrested in order to test the validity of the law in court –Goal = to make the legal system more just

39 Are We Ever Justified in Violating The Laws? Scofflaws –Persons who do not respect the law They assess the risk of being caught against the benefits they obtain They are NEVER ethically justified in violating the law

40 Chapter Review Ethics applies when decisions affect people Ethical decisions must be grounded on reason and impartiality There are two basic forms of ethics: those based on consequences and those based on fundamental ethical rules Ethics based on consequences evaluates only the results or effects of acts

41 Chapter Review (cont) The law tries to advance the goals of –Reflecting the will of those governed –Preserving natural rights –Maintaining order Both consequential and rule-based ethics compel us to obey the law Integrity is doing what is right even in the face of temptation or pressure to so what is wrong

42 Chapter Review (cont) We are obligated to obey the law because, by accepting society’s benefits, we have consented to be bound by laws We are obligated to obey the law if we believe in helping others. Civil disobedience is only justifies in rare and extraordinary circumstances We should obey the law if we desire to avoid punishment Civil disobedience is the open, peaceful violation of a law to protest its alleged injustice or unfairness


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