Module 1 – (Smith)

We develop our ethics through years of reasoning and information passed down to us by our culture, religion, or elders or even peers. There are certain standards that are placed on societies, including laws and regulations, but as our book reminds us, things that are illegal may be morally right and vice versa. The way we decide what is subjectively right and wrong in the world largely relies on how we are raised and the values we have in our culture, but it may not objectively be correct in all persons perspectives. We go about our lives making decisions and, implicitly or explicitly, morals and ethics of our culture will invariably come in and influence the way we think and behave. The question of ethics is not a can/could question but rather a should question. Should you help a person who is stranded on the side of the road? Should you call your employee unprofessional pet names? Should you donate your hard earned money to a beggar on the side walk? Our reflections of our experiences along with the Golden Rule which is a recurring sentiment in many religions, allow us to place priority in treating others the way we would want to be treated. We also will likely be influenced by social appropriateness, or how we think we are seen in other’s eyes.