Concept of Ethics

Concept of Ethics

MODULE 5 ETHICS AND DEVELOPMENT Instructor: Masakija Concept of Ethics Ethics as a concept has been defined in different ways by various scholars. Etymologically, the word ethics is

derived from a Latin word Ethos that means character which incorporates the customs, practices and laws. Customs = accepted ways of behaving or doing something in a particular society. Customs govern our ethical life. Concept of Ethics Practices = our actions with regard to our daily lives.

Laws = refers to the regulations which guide us from not doing wrong things. Ethics can be defined as the branch of philosophy which is concerned with what is right and what is wrong. Concept of Ethics

Ethics can also be defined as the established code or set of conducts with stipulated or containing right conducts to be cherished and also the wrong conducted to be abandoned. Ethics informs a person what is right to be done and what is wrong to be avoided. It is from this process that laws are formed to prevent

people from doing the wrong things. Concept of Ethics Ethics is a branch of philosophy that uses the methods of science and not the methods of religion/faith. It is a science; it is a

systematized body of knowledge. Ethics weighs, assesses, analyses and draws conclusions just like any other science. Concept of Ethics Ethics projects that human persons are rational beings, therefore they OUGHT to act according to their nature (rationality). Ethics comes from the desire to understand

how to know what is GOOD and what is EVIL The ability to know what is good and what is bad (evil) is in the human nature of rationality, and is referred as Ethics. Ethics and Morality are related but are different. Spheres of Ethics Sphere of Ethics

The subject matter of ethics is human conduct (behaviour) where the sphere of ethics is dynamic as it changes over time. The sphere of ethics include family, civil, and profession. For example, children learn what is good or bad in their families, but as they grow up they go to a large society and the sphere of good and bad widens. It can widen for better or worse depending on what is going around on that society.

Branches or Forms of Ethics There are several branches or forms of ethics, among them include: 1. Descriptive or Comparative Ethics Descriptive ethics deal with examining or studying on what

people believe to be right and wrong within a particular society over a given period of time. Branches or Forms of Ethics Descriptive ethics is based on investigating on how people do act or on how they behave. Hence, descriptive ethics do not examine on the rightness or wrongness of peoples acts or

behaviours. Descriptive ethics dont identify the right conducts to be followed or the wrong conducts to be abandoned only that it generally investigate on how people act or behave. Branches or Forms of Ethics On the other hand, Since societies are dynamic i.e. keep on changing, ethics can also change. Therefore, the current

ethics of a particular society can be different from those ethics in the past 50 years ago and that is why descriptive ethics is also known as Comparative Ethics. Branches or Forms of Ethics Example: Descriptive Report on how some of office secretaries (whom most of them are females in the context of Tanzania) behave on

the basis of ethics such report can include: Preference on putting on short dresses Spending relatively more time on chatting Frequently ask support or favour to their bosses on different issues e.g. contribution for birthday ceremonies for themselves and/or their children etc. Maintain punctuality at work Eager to know the profile of their bosses in the workplace and home (off office) Branches or Forms of Ethics

2. Normative or Prescriptive Ethics Normative or Prescriptive ethics is the study of ethical acts. Therefore, normative ethics essentially focuses on what are right things to undertake or wrong acts to avoid. Normative ethics unlike with descriptive ethics, direct people on the right things to do and also expose the wrong things to be neglected. Branches or Forms of Ethics

Normative ethics is also referred to as Prescriptive Ethics since it bases or focuses on the principles which determine whether an action is right or wrong. Branches or Forms of Ethics Normative ethics then identify various sets of behaviours or practices and scrutinize them in

order to know what are right and what are wrong conducts. Branches or Forms of Ethics Example: Identified conducts among university students: Skipping some meals among male-students in order to meet their girl-friends expenses Occasional missing of lectures due trading

activities, leisure etc. Spending much time on chatting Waking up in midnight for studies Keeping their bags at Library LuggageKeeping Section even if they are not in the library. Depositing cash-money in some cafeteria as pre-payment for meals/foodstuffs. Branches or Forms of Ethics One can draw the following right conducts from the 6 identified conducts:

Waking up in midnight for studies Depositing cash-money in some cafeterias as pre-payment for meals/foodstuffs. Branches or Forms of Ethics There are various theories on normative ethics, among them include: Consequentialism (Utilitarianism)

Deontological Ethics and Virtue Ethics Branches or Forms of Ethics 3. Meta Ethics or Analytical Ethics Meta ethics or Analytical ethics deals with the origin and meaning of various ethical concepts. Meta ethics doesnt consider whether an action is either good or

bad but it just questions on ethics related concepts. Branches or Forms of Ethics Meta ethics focuses on the meaning (definition) of ethical terms themselves such as: What does it mean or imply with goodness or badness itself? How can one distinguish between

ethical and unethical person? What is reality? Is there any difference between truth and reality? Branches or Forms of Ethics 4. Applied Ethics Applied ethics is based on investigating the useful application of various ethical theories into real life situations. Professional Ethics

serve as the good example of Applied Ethics. There are different Professional ethics in respect to various professions or fields. Branches or Forms of Ethics Examples of Professional Ethics: Clinical/Medical /Doctors Professional Ethics Teachers Professional Ethics Engineers Professional Ethics

Lawyers Professional Ethics Media Ethics Business Ethics Branches or Forms of Ethics Organizational Ethics Social Ethics Development Ethics Branches or Forms of Ethics Some

Manifestations of incompliance to Professional Ethics: Lack of patriotism among the citizens-e.g. signing of contract for self interest Lack of commitment to particular ethical values in different professions like: Medicine (not keeping patients secrets etc) Learning-teaching

exams) (e.g. Cheating in Branches or Forms of Ethics Some Manifestations of incompliance to Professional Ethics:

In engineering e.g. civil engineering can lead to construction of buildings, roads and bridges with low quality. In industries: production of goods and services below the required quality. In Business: selling fake and expired goods.

THEORIES ON ETHICS 1. Deontological Ethics Theories Deontological ethics or Duty Ethics Theories focuses on examining the rightness or wrongness of actions rather the consequences produced by such actions. These theories base on the idea that whether an act is morally right or wrong depends on whether it is in conformity or conflict with moral duties and rights.

THEORIES ON ETHICS There are some specific theories in Deontological Ethics among them include: Categorical Imperative (Kantianism) Moral Absolutism Moral Relativism Divine Command Theory and Rossian Deontological Ethics theory THEORIES ON ETHICS

(a)Categorical Imperative/Kantianism Categorical Imperative or Kantianism (Kantian Theory) was developed by Immanuel Kant. According to Kant, moral values should follow two principles: i. Principle of Universality In principle of universality, Kant maintains that a moral action should be applicable to all people.

THEORIES ON ETHICS ii. Principle of Reciprocity Principle of reciprocity is based on the famous axiom that What you wish others to do to you then do such things unto them. This principle is widely used in several religious systems including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

THEORIES ON ETHICS (b) Moral Absolutism Moral absolutism holds that there are absolute or universal standards or principles against which moral questions or practices are judged. Therefore, on the bases of these standards, certain actions are judged to be right while others are considered to be wrong regardless of the context of the act. For instance: Killing and stealing are always considered as immoral/wrong practices under any

situations. THEORIES ON ETHICS (c) Moral Relativism Moral relativism contends that what is good (goodness) depends upon a culture of a particular society. Therefore, good things include those things which have been approved to be good by a group of

people or society on basis of culture. THEORIES ON ETHICS (d) Divine Command Theory Divine command theory as one of the Deontological theories asserts that an action is right if God has decreed it to be right. For example, marriage (marrying) is the right practice

before the God in reference to the Bible and Quran/Koran. THEORIES ON ETHICS (e) Rossian Deontology (William D. Ross) According to Ross an action is wrong unless there is a good reason to do so/ justify. For example, we should not kill or lie unless there is a good reason to do so e.g. abortion is bad, but if it is done in order to save mothers life

then, it is right. . THEORIES ON ETHICS 2. Consequentialism (Teleological) Theories Consequentialism or teleological theories assert that an action is right or wrong depending on the

consequence(s) that it produces or provides as the outcome(s). THEORIES ON ETHICS There are various specific theories within teleological theories; among them include: (a)Utilitarianism or Utilitarian Theory Utilitarian theory maintains that an

action can be regarded as right if it produces the most desirable effects/outcomes ( such as highest level of happiness) for many people. THEORIES ON ETHICS For example: killing can be regarded as a right action if the consequences will lead happiness to the majority of the people.

Jeremy Bentham is among the advocates of utilitarian theory. Utilitarian Theory Killing one Person to save many People Utilitarian Theory Killing one Person to save many People

THEORIES ON ETHICS (b) Hedonism Ethics Theory It is among the Teleological theories. Hedonism theory stresses that anything which maximizes pleasure is right. For instance, it can highly please on to keep animals or birds rather than bearing and keeping children. Hedonism Ethics Theory

Opted to Birds instead of THEORIES ON ETHICS (c) Asceticism Asceticism advocates that abstinence from egoistic pleasures in order to achieve spiritual goals is the right action. (d) Altruism Altruism calls for or urges people to live for others and not caring for

self is the right action. THEORIES ON ETHICS Altruism Altruism can also be defined as unselfish concern/care or support for other people.

THEORIES ON ETHICS (e) Virtue Ethics Theory Virtue refers to ethically good acts. One can also define virtues as the intrinsic motives and practices of doing the right conducts in the sustainable ways. Virtue ethics: the proponents of this theory argues that the basis of ethical behaviours stems from the character of the moral actor. Hence, the goal of achieving a more ethical good or just society is done by instilling

character and virtue in its members. THEORIES ON ETHICS Virtue ethics advocates that an action is right if and only if it is an action that any virtuous person would also do in the same circumstances or ways. Virtuous person is someone who has a particularly good character/behaviour.

Aristotle is among the scholars who advocate(d) Virtue Ethics theory. THEORIES ON ETHICS Aristotle understood virtue as a constant, habitual inclination towards ethically good life. Virtue has something to do with ethically good acts; the opposite of a virtue is a vice.

Virtue refers to repetitive acts, not just a single act. THEORIES ON ETHICS There are two categories of virtues, theological virtues and cardinal virtues. Theological virtues are faith, hope and love Cardinal virtues are prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.

Prudence: the intellectual virtue which enables one to judge correctly in matters patterning to ethical order. THEORIES ON ETHICS Justice: the ethical virtue which inclines the will to render or give to each one what his/her due in every conceivable respect. Temperance: an ethical virtue which makes a person ready to submit the desires for sensible pleasures to the

control of reason. Fortitude is an ethical virtue which regulates the human sensible pleasure (nature) to the demand of human reason in the face of obstacles which endanger the ethical good. THEORIES ON ETHICS 3. Cultural Relativism Theory According to the theory of cultural relativism, there is no singular truth upon which ethical or moral behavior

can reside, as our interpretations of truths are influenced by our own culture. Ethnocentric is the idea or belief that one's own culture is more important than, or superior to, other cultures. MORALITY Morality is derived from the Latin word Mos which means custom

or manner Therefore, the term morality in connection to its origin means customs or practices which build beliefs of a particular society. Hence, what is right or wrong is predetermined by a society in accordance to its beliefs. NORMS &MORALITY Norms

The norms (custom) governs our ethical life The norms of morality promote the values and behaviour that enhance the human well being while prohibiting those that seem destructive. Norms can be positive as- do this or negative as avoid that consistent or not consistent. MORALITY Morals refer to what a society

considers or perceives to be right and acceptable in such a society. Morals are beliefs of individuals, groups of people or society in general on what is right or wrong. Morality defines what are culturally accepted good behaviours to be cherished and what are bad behaviours or immoralities to be avoided. Morality

Immorality is an opposition to morality i.e. the opposition to what has been perceived as right or wrong especially by a particular society; for instance, stealing and killing. Therefore, those who fail to comply with the societys moral values one can regard them as immoral or immorally corrupted.

Immorality Failure to observe properly Table Manner Morality Amoral is the term that can either be judged as immoral or moral but which has been committed for a lack of concern of good behaviour; for instance, causing death of a

child or an adult person due to over-dosage resulted from someones misinterpretation of the doctors dosage instructions. Differences between Ethics & Morality Ethics are highly formalized and customized to a particular profession and organization while moral values are relatively not highly formalized. Ethics for instance, professional

ethics are relatively consistent or uniform unlike with moral values which vary from one culture to another. Differences between Ethics & Morality Ethics have the well known punishments and procedures for punishing those who fail to obey ethics of a particular profession

or organization but there are no well known predetermined mechanisms to deal with those who disobey moral values of a particular society. Differences between Ethics & Morality Ethics particularly professional ethics as the well established code of conducts can be modified or amended where applicable unlike

with the moral values which seem to be static/rigid on be basis of culture or see it unnecessary to undergo changes or do not show clear way of adapting changes over time. Differences between Ethics & Morality Moral values are intrinsically instilled and acclimatized from childhood to adulthood within a particular society while ethics are extrinsically or

externally formulated by particular organization or authority e.g. the Presidents Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance is responsible for formulating code of conducts in the realm of ethics for public or civil servants/workers. Differences between Ethics & Morality Ethics contains standards of what should be done and on how should be

done; whereas, morality has no well established standards of conduct i.e. morality has no precise gauge/ benchmark/degree of standards. Ethics uses human reasoning to arrive at what is good and what is bad. Whereas, morality uses experiences in relation to cultural and/or religious beliefs. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development

Ethics and Morality inculcate integrity and therefore obedience of ethics and moral value can reduce corruption and other criminal cases/social crimes and/or social problems e.g. robbery/theft, family break-up, street children etc. Both ethics and morality insist on punctuality and this make an economic use of time in the process of production of goods and services.

Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Both instill love and cooperation which can be manifested by having good cooperation of workers/people in team-work setups. Similarly ethics and morality will lead to reduced severe conflicts at different levels/ areas including family/household level and at working place will among other things

will enhance peoples concentration on economic activities in the more peaceful and cooperative ways. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Observation of morality and ethics will lead to efficiency and effectiveness in the process of production of goods and services in both government and private

organizations e.g. in hospitals, learning institutions and corporations which provide utility services e.g. electricity, water and sanitation etc. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Compliance of morality and ethics will reduce or prevent the production and selling of goods and services which do not meet

the required standards e.g. clothes, drugs, building materials, foodstuffs, etc Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Proper observation of ethics and moral values will also enhance obedience to rule of law including countrys constitution, policies, laws/acts, principles and other forms of legal frameworks for

different e.g. the National Environmental Policy (1997), Environmental Management Act (2004), National Land Policy (1999), Land Act (1999), Tanzania Investment Act (1997) etc. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Proper observation of ethics and moral values will instil willingness among the people to

willingly pay taxes and fulfil other duties to the government. They instil or impart hardworking spirit among the people. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Observation of ethics and moral values will prevent youths (who are energetic in production activities) from engaging

in wrong conducts such as unprotected sex, abusive drugs etc. which can expose them to a number of risks including sexually transmitted diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS) which can eventually weaken or vanish their potentialities. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Observation of morality and

ethics enable the professionals/workers to keep confidentiality of their clients/ customers and their respective organizations. Contributions of Ethics & Morality in Development Observation of morality and ethics enable the

professionals/workers to keep confidentiality of their clients/ customers and their respective organizations. CORRUPTION Meaning of Corruption According to the World Bank (1997) and UNDP (1999), corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain.

Corruption can also be defined as the abuse of entrusted power and resources for personal gains. Types of Corruption 1.Petty Corruption

Petty corruption refers to the small scale abuse of power and resources which is mainly committed by lowand mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, police, courts, and other agencies. Types of Corruption 2. Grand Corruption Grand corruption refers to

the large scale abuse of public power and resources which is committed mainly by senior staff. Methods of Corruption 1. Bribery involves the improper use of gifts and favours in exchange for personal gain. For example you visit the hospital and find a long queue, instead of waiting you pay a

nurse some money so as to be privileged. Methods of Corruption 2. Embezzlement Embezzlement and theft involve someone with access to funds or assets illegally taking control of them for his/ personal gains/interests. Methods of Corruption

3. Fraud Fraud involves using deception to convince the owner of funds or assets to give them up to an unauthorized party. Example: misdirection of company funds into "shadow companies" (and then into the pockets of corrupt employees).

Methods of Corruption 4. Favoritism and Nepotism Favouritism and nepotism involve the favouring of not the wrongdoer of corruption but someone related to them, such as a friend, family member or member of an association. Examples would include hiring, admitting or promoting a relative, friend or staff member to a role they are not qualified for, or who belongs to the same political party or ethnic group, regardless of quality.

. Causes of Corruption Moral deterioration in relation disobedience of Gods Laws and subsequently countrys laws. For example, Rust is immoral and with this there are some employees who are too ambitious to prosper especially in economic terms even through illegal means including committing corruption. 1.

Causes of Corruption 2. Low salary: people are lowly paid hence become unsatisfied and involved in corrupt practices. 3. Poverty can also exacerbate corruption

especially in the developing countries. Causes of Corruption 4. Bureaucratic problems especially in government organizations or authorities. For example, after completing application, it can take one 2 or more years to get Certificate Right of Occupancy (CRO).

Causes of Corruption 5. Poor or low enforcement of laws and regulations by the anti-corruption authorities and courts. 6. Poor provision of public services e.g. in hospitals etc.

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