Ethics refers to rules of morality that govern an individual or groups’ behavior. Ethics may also refer to a set of acceptable code of conduct that governs an individual or a group of individuals in their day-to-day lives. Ethics falls into two categories – personal ethics and professional ethics. Personal ethics refers to the principles that an individual sets to guide him or her in personal matters, such as decision-making and judgment. Personal ethics greatly depends on the person’s cultural and religious believes. The person’s daily interaction with others coupled with past life experiences determines his or her ethical conduct. Specialized ethics, on the other hand, refers to the rules that govern an interaction of an individual with others in business from the professional point of view (Holmes, 2008).
Ethics enables an individual to live a principled life that has objectives. It makes life easier for one to attain his/her personal goals. It also makes an individual be able to live with others in the community. Ethics improves life of an individual by providing him or her with set rules that guide his or her daily operations. It prevents law breaking and ensures that one’s actions remain acceptable in the larger community. Ethics facilitates the development of acceptable character among individuals in the society (Holmes, 2008). Professional ethics, on the other hand, enables an individual to have a smooth working relation with others at the workplace or in business. Professional ethics remains crucial to every individual since it enables employees to avoid vices, such as corruption, nepotism, and other unfair practices at the work. Professional ethics further enables an individual to establish a healthy interaction with others. Healthy relations among individuals promote good working relations that act as a motivation to work. Ethics remains vital at all levels both personal and professional. Ethics majorly defines people, what they stand for in life and their approach to daily activities (Holmes, 2008).
Consequential ethics as an alternative to the widely acclaimed Christian ethics makes more sense to me as an individual. The reason why ethics based on an individual experience makes more sense to me arises from the fact that every individual goes through different life experiences in his/her day-to-day activities. It, therefore, follows that the rules, which individuals establish basing on their experiences, have more weight than Christian ethics that requires everyone to follow a strict code of rules as long as one claims the Christian faith. Consequential ethics further caters for every individual without discriminating him or her on religious grounds. Since every individual goes through experiences, it follows that ethics shaped out of the experiences will remain all-inclusive. Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and even scientists will subscribe to consequential ethics (Holmes, 2008).
Jesus emphasizes on ethical teachings, such as the one found in Mathew 7:1 that forbids individuals from judging others. He emphasizes that he is the final judge, and all judgments rest upon him. Jesus further urges Christians to forgive in order to obtain the same forgiveness from His Father, according to Mark 11:26. All Christians should observe forgiveness as it sets people free from the bondage of anger, revenge and pain. The third ethical teaching of Jesus was from Luke 20:25 that demands every Christian to give Caesar whatever is due to him and to God what belongs to God. It was an emphasis on individuals to meet their responsibilities without many complaints. The fourth ethical teaching of Jesus was for Christians to show love to each other, according to John 13:34. The fifth ethical teaching of Jesus was on repentance, as Mathew 4:17 says. Jesus encourages Christians to repent and live holy lives for them to enter the Kingdom of God.
Jesus further went into His teachings, which convinced His followers that His teachings not only bordered on the theoretical perspective but also on the practical aspect. He emphasized on individuals practicing what they preach and discouraged individuals from judging others. He considered it immoral for individuals to judge others for He said that only God who was pure would judge humanity. Jesus believed that though humanity was prone to sin, it was possible for individuals to live pure life if only they follow the principles of chastity.
Paul, in his turn, condemns homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9. He further states that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul further forbids Christians from engaging in incest in 1 Corinthians 5:1. Another ethical teaching of Paul was on slavery, where he forbids Christians from enslaving others, according to 1 Corinthians 7:21-24. On celibacy, he cautions that only individuals with sexual control should opt for celibacy, according to 1 Corinthians 7:9, and finally, Paul urges for respect to women in 1 Corinthians 11:3. These ethical teachings of Paul helped to establish just society guided by morals. The teachings of Paul strengthened marriage bonds and further clarified the issue of celibacy. His teachings led to the establishment of laws that governed sexuality. It also saw a reduction in societal vices.
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The most serious ethical issue in the society today is pollution. Companies stand out as the leading pollutants in the world through their emissions. Discharging of waste materials into rivers and lands causes serious problems (Smedes, 1987), even though various states have established rules and regulations that govern the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. However, despite the establishment of these rules and regulations, some companies flaunt the rules and continue polluting the environment. Pollution causes serious health and environmental degradation. This ethical issue remains critical in the modern world of industrialization.
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