Ethical Decision Making

1641 words 7 pages
Ethical Decision-Making
Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making

Ethical Decision-Making
In today's business and personal world, ethical decisions are made on a daily basis. Most of these decisions are based on company ground rules. The others are based on personal ground rules. All decisions can have a number of ground rules that help us determine whether our decision is ethical or unethical. Each decision whether it is based on company or personal ground rules will have its own set of implications. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the impacts of ethics on decision-making, discuss the elements of an ethically defensible decision, define what the ground rules are; what they could be and what they should be, discuss
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Ethical decision-making requires more than a belief in the importance of ethics. It also requires sensitivity to perceive the ethical implications of decisions, the ability to evaluate complex, ambiguous and incomplete facts and the skill to implement ethical decisions without unduly jeopardizing a career.
An ethically defensible decision includes a number of important elements. Most crucial are the ground rules that underlie such a decision. These can include informal ground rules like religious faith, family values, personal experiences, and the personality of the individual. However, more formalized ground rules that are usually steeped in the philosophy of ethics may prove to be much more useful for making ethically defensible decisions. For example, a decision to allow a request for doctor- assisted suicide is ethically defensible using Kant's Categorical Imperative (Josephson's, 2002).
In defining the ground rules, Trustworthiness. Respect. Responsibility. Fairness. Caring. Citizenship. The Six Pillars of Character are ethical values to guide our choices. The standards of conduct that arise out of those values constitute the ground rules of ethics, and therefore of ethical decision-making. However, the ground rules could be honesty, integrity, loyalty, dignity, or accountability.
There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty. We associate honesty with people of honor, and we admire and rely on those who are honest. A person

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