How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?
To answer the questions above, I believe from the time we were children we have been developing concepts of right and wrong which shaped our ethics. Our ethics are developed based on our family and teachers or whomever we were spending most time with during childhood. Other things like personal experiences, religion, and culture can influence the way we develop our ethics. In the text William H. Shaw states “many things influence what moral principles we accept: our early upbringing, the behavior of those around us, the explicit and implicit standards of our culture, our own experiences and our critical reflections on those experiences.’ During my youth, following the rules were very important to me. I have a memory as a child that I still remember do this day involving a personal and cultural experience. I was in the car with my mom and my sibling driving home. My sister refused to put her seat belt on, after a couple of minutes of my sister arguing with my mother about how she must wear a seat belt, my sister still refused. My mom then decided that if she wouldn’t listen to her then she would listen to the police. She started driving to the police station and I began to cry. I couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t wear a seat belt when that’s what all of society does. We arrived at the police station and my mom told my sister to get out of the car and explain to the police why she wouldn’t wear her seat belt. Instead of my sister getting out of the car she began to realized the importance of a seat belt. She has worn it every day since. In this situation the term ethical relativism is relevant. Ethical relativism is the theory that what is right is determined by what culture or society says is right. Society and our culture say we must wear seat belts, or we will be punished with a costly ticket. However, in countries such as Afghanistan there is no law on wearing your seat belt at all. This example shows how different cultures and society shape us as citizens.
Here is a link of where i found out which countries do/don’t require a seat belt. I found it to be quite interesting!
Shaw, William H. Business Ethics. 9th ed., Cengage Learning, 2017
ChartsBin statistics collector team 2011, Seat Belt Legislation, ChartsBin.com, viewed 24th May, 2019, <https://chartsbin.com/view/2028>.