M1 (Bohan)

THIS WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT:   Answer these questions with original thought and references to the text or outside resources.   How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?

People develop their ethics by being able to empathize with others. If one is able to imagine a theoretical scenario that could take place given a certain decision, they may decide to choose one way or another depending on the outcome of the theoretical  scenario and how their decision may affect others. For example, one could find themselves in a position to make a life-altering controversial decision that would affect many people, and they aren’t sure how to make the right decision. This person could begin with thinking about how the decision would affect individuals in one way versus the other and they could base their decision on what they think is best for the majority of people as a whole.

The text explains that some people derive their ethical standards from religious standpoints and from ethical relativism, but I don’t think this is entirely true. These two sources are valid in many cases, but both sources lack the encompassing basis of worldwide ethics.  You can be a good person without being driven by religion and you can also be religious while not being a good person. Humanity has common ethical standards worldwide, regardless of religion or culture, more-so based on empathy for fellow man.

2 Comments for “M1 (Bohan)”



Hello! I agree with your standpoint on including empathy in the ethical decision making. In my post I discussed nature and nurture, noting how we form ethical reasoning from those we are around while we are young, and also recognizing our “instincts” to do the right thing as we get older. I was definitely referring to the empathy for fellow man as you stated, but did not verbalize it this way! Thank you for your input on this!

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Empathy is definitely a huge part of ethical grounds and development. While considered a normal behavior for just about everyone, when given some thought we can see that empathy is vastly important to helping us understand what is right and wrong in society at large. Through empathy, we reaffirm our beliefs through situations not our own, but which serve to develop our experience with the world and its occurrences which in turn shape our moral beliefs.