Sunday, March 29, 2015

A system of moral principles: The ethics of a culture - By Michelle Libby

A system of moral principles: The ethics of a culture.
A branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

Back in college I was required to take a class on the ethics in journalism. The class talked about what we can print and what we should print. Sometimes things are printed for the shock factor, the naked picture of a woman being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, was shocking, but was it there to explain a story or was it there to sell papers? 

It’s these dilemmas we deal with daily in our every day lives. Maybe we don’t have to decide what to put on the front page of a newspaper, but we choose what to put up on our Facebook posts every day. In our jobs, we have to decide to work with a strong standard of conduct, developing relationships rather than just getting that one sale or one story. 

Everyone has some form of ethics, it could be a moral principal, not to lie to people. It could be a way they live their lives that go along with schooling (medical) or religious upbringing. 

How do we choose which ethics to adhere to? 

In my opinion, I believe that we should live our lives based on do no harm. Telling someone the shirt they are wearing isn’t flattering may be honest, but if it will hurt the person’s feelings, then I would most likely keep my mouth closed. 

Lying to get ahead in business is not cool and when the lie is uncovered, as it always is, it leads to nothing but trouble. 

We teach our children about ethics. We may not call it that, but when they post on Facebook or their blog, what they put up reflects the ethics they have learned over the years. 

In my fiction books, I torture my characters. I make sure they squirm and have a hard time, but in the end, no one in my books dies. It was a decision I made a handful of years ago. There’s a lot of death in the world, why should I add fictional death into the mix? As I said, I do make some of my characters suffer, but death…eh. Leave that to Tess Gerritsen. 

As far as ethics goes, watch yourself over the next week and see what decisions you make and see which ones are ethical and which ones don’t move you forward in a good direction.

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