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Ethics, Values, and the Law

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics, Values, and the Law"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics, Values, and the Law
Law and Society

2 Morality,Ethics,Values
“What you do when no one is looking.” Values--beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something). Examples: moral values, economic values, political values, and social values. Morality—values that govern a society’s attitude toward right and wrong. Ethics—attempts to develop the means for determining what those values should be. People have struggled with the concepts of right and wrong since time began. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks tried to determine how members of society should be have. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism developed guides for individual behavior. Then governments set up their own system to guide society’s behavior.

3 How are ethical decisions made?
Feelings and Opinions The Greatest Good The Golden Rule The Ethics Bookstore

4 Feelings and Opinions May change from person to person or from situation to situation. Popular in the U.S. because of our tradition of tolerance and the fact that we are a nation of immigrants. The argument against this view is that if ethics are simply a matter of opinion then no one is ever wrong. See cases 1 and 2 page 7 of the book. Female Mutilation

5 The Greatest Good Racism Slavery
Ethical decisions made by the greatest good for the greatest number of people affected by an action. The more good that results, the more ethical the action and vice versa. The method may seem unfair to the minority opinion. Racism See Example 3 on page 7 Slavery

6 The Golden Rule Found in many religions
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Found in many religions Because of its consistency and universal appeal, it is preferable to the other two methods. Empathy—(the heart of the golden rule) putting yourself in the other person’s position. Read book examples on page 8 and 9 Examples 4-7.

7 If followed properly,the golden rule can be applied in all situations.
When would laws not be necessary? If everyone always followed the golden rule. If followed properly,the golden rule can be applied in all situations.

8 Because people do not always do what they ought to do.
Law-- Rules and regulations made and enforced by government that regulate the conduct of people within a society. Why are laws necessary? Because people do not always do what they ought to do. Read case on page 11—Example 9. And the following paragraph. The law cannot always make people do what is right. However it does have the power to punish them for doing things that are wrong.

9 Ethical and Legal Conflicts
Law is made by people and is therefore imperfect Legislators and judges bring their own personal opinions on values, ethics, and morality to the law-making process which results in Conflict Examples: Violation of the drug laws. Burning of draft cards during the Viet Nam War. Moving slaves through the underground railroad. Read Page 11 Example 10.

10 The “Rule of Law” A democratic system of government cannot function effectively unless its laws are respected by the people the laws are intended to govern. The “rule of law” requires that we are notified in advance of the laws and that they are created through democratic processes—not through decrees. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW—not even the president.

11 Human Rights Human rights are the rights all people have just because they are human beings. Most countries have agreed to recognize and respect human rights by signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations has developed a system of international treaties that protects specific human rights. Many countries also create laws aimed at protecting human rights. Our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other state and federal laws are all influenced by a desire to protect human rights. Read Page 11 Example 10.

12 Balancing Rights with Responsibilities
Americans enjoy many individual rights, but some people argue that these rights must be balanced with social responsibilities to foster a sense of community. Critics say Americans want their rights but refuse responsibilities such as becoming informed about candidates, voting, and serving on juries. YOU GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE BASED ON YOUR PARTICIPATION!!

13 Kinds of Laws Law can be divided into two major categories: civil and criminal. Criminal laws regulate public conduct. In a criminal case, the government brings legal action against a person and imposes a penalty. Civil laws regulate relations between private individuals and may be enforced in a civil action by a private citizen (or group) who feels wronged. Sometimes the same act or wrong can be tried as both a civil and criminal case.

14 The Sources of Law Federal and State Constitutions Statutes
Court Decisions (Common Law) Administrative law International Law

15 Federal and State Constitutions The U.S. Constitution
World Wall: Constitution unconstitutional The U.S. Constitution PA State Constitution The fundamental law of the nation or a state.

16 Six Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution
Popular Sovereignty—Government by the consent of the governed –people are the only source of power. Limited Government—Government is not all-powerful—can only do those things the people empower it to do. The Bill of Rights ( first 10 amendments to Constitution) guarantees the fundamental rights and liberties of all Americans.

17 Six Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution (continued)
Separation of Powers—Three branches of government Article I: Legislative (Congress) Article II: Executive Article III: Judicial Checks and Balances—Each branch is subject to a number of constitutional checks, or restraints, by the other two branches.

18 Six Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution (continued)
Judicial Review—The court has the power to determine the constitutionality of government action. Federalism—Division of power among central government and several regional governments (state and local).

19 Approve judicial nominations to Federal courts.
The System of Checks and Balances Judicial Review Courts may declare laws unconstitutional Legislative Branch The Congress Judicial Branch The Supreme Court Approve judicial nominations to Federal courts. May override presidential veto by a 2/3 vote Can declare executive Actions unconstitutional. Makes nominations To the Supreme Court (laws) passed by Congress May veto legislation Executive Branch The President

20 Statutory Law Laws specifically passed by a governing body created for that purpose. Laws passed by the U.S. Congress state legislatures City councils, and town meetings U.S. Congress and state legislatures pass statutes. Cities and towns pass ordinances and bylaws. Word Wall: statutes

21 The Government of Pennsylvania
Executive Branch Governor Ed Rendell House of Representatives Senate Statutes start here General Assembly

22 Court Decisions Court-made law is also called case law,common law, and judge-made law. Made through the common law tradition by interpreting statutes and by judicial review. Decisions made by the highest court of any state become the law of the that state. Interpreting confusing or incomplete statutes falls to the courts after a lawsuit has been filed. Courts also determine the constitutionality of laws and government activities. Word Wall: precedent Unconstitutional Common law

23 Agency Law Examples: These agencies: EPA Make their own rules. OSHA
Administrative agencies are set up by federal, state, or local governments to regulate a particular activity in the public’s interest. Regulation requires expert knowledge of a particular field and requires significant time. Considered hidden lawmakers making rules that affect business and industry as well as individuals. Agencies hold public hearings when new regulations are being proposed. These agencies: Make their own rules. Enforce their rules. Investigate violators Decide guilt or innocence. Word Wall: administration law Public hearings Examples: EPA OSHA FCC FDA FYI: More laws are generated by Regulatory agencies than by any other source.

24 International Law Law that applies to the conduct of countries.
Treaties ( agreements or contracts between countries) are the most common form of international law. Treaties may regulate commerce, environmental issues, or the status of refugees and other issues. The EU (European Union) and the UN (United Nations) are important institutions in international law. Word Wall: Treaty United Nations

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