Considering this class an initial introduction to Philosophy with a focus on ethics, I hope to use what I learn in daily business. I was surprised at the complexity of ethics. The first reading could probably take up an entire semester, if we concentrated on breaking down the various theories. For this essay, I will use values based on an American society. However, given the diverse ethnicity of the United States, there exists a great disparity in values. Despite this disparity in values, I will focus on basic principles of right and wrong.
On whose values should we base ethical behavior? Should we follow the practices of a society, and, if so, which society? In my reference site http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/papers/invited/colero.html Colero indicates that we should listen to intuition or an inner voice. That sounds like a good idea, but what if we lack an inner voice. A recent conversation I had with my orthopedic surgeon comes to mind. While he was Chief Resident at County USC Medical Center, Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) was brought into the emergency room. My doctor indicated that while Richard was a friendly fellow, his eyes were those of a sharkdead. Now, what kind of inner voice or intuition did Richard Ramirez possess? Why didnt he develop the same inner voice and intuitions as others?
Lawrence Kohlberg wasnt off base when he attempted to trace how youth think. I was surprised, however, to read that most people never reach Kohlbergs fifth level. I presume one reason would be that we encounter daily corruption. For example, we might see employees engaged in time theft, or taking a few office supplies, or making personal calls. Such deeds dont seem like a big deal, but they are nonetheless acts of corruption. Maybe people become desensitized to this type of corruption, and it hardens the ability to achieve Kohlbergs fifth level. Obviously, Mr. Ramirez did not reach any of Kohlbergs levels.
Perhaps, in addition to Kohlbergs five levels, we include W.D. Ross seven moral convictions, we might enhance our inner voice. Parental grooming probably stimulates our inner voice from the time we are toddlers. If, however, parents themselves lack moral character, how will they teach their toddlers?
I think the subject of ethics is as varied as the cultures of the world. It would be ideal if everyone shared the same ethics, or if everyone even had ethics. Sadly, just watching the evening news confirms the lack of ethics by many people. After reading the first weeks lesson, I think it will be a challenge to pinpoint one philosophy as the true ethical source. Perhaps we will have to combine a variety of philosophies and come up with our own rules for ethical behavior.