Why Study Ethics? By Part of Ethics is a central component of any happy, healthy, and mature life. But some critics still question the value of studying ethics and living an ethical life. After all, if you ignore ethics, you can just focus on yourself, right? Not so fast. Some great reasons to resist those critics include the following:
Ethics allows you to live an authentic life. An authentic and meaningful life requires you to live with a sense of integrity. Integrity is making commitments and sticking to them through thick and thin no matter how much violating them may benefit you. Having a firm character or set of principles to guide your life and the choices you make is what ethics is all about. Ethics makes you more successful. You may think that ethics can hold you back in all kinds of ways, but the truth is the opposite. Ethical people embody traits that unethical people have to work at to fake they re honest, trustworthy, loyal, and caring. As a result, ethical people are perfectly suited not only for interpersonal relationships generally, but also more specifically for the kinds of interactions that make for thriving business.
Unethical people generally don t do so well at these things. Ethics allows you to cultivate inner peace. Lives that are lived ethically tend to be calmer, more focused, and more productive than those that are lived unethically. Most people can t turn off their sympathy for other human beings. Hurting people leaves scars on both the giver and the receiver. As a result, unethical people have stormier internal lives because they have to work to suppress their consciences and sympathies to deal with the ways they treat others. When they fail to properly suppress their sympathies, the guilt and shame that comes with harming or disrespecting one s fellow human beings takes deep root within them. Ethics provides for a stable society. When people live ethical lives, they tell the truth, avoid harming others, and are generous. Working with such people is easy.
On the other hand, callous and insensitive people are distrusted, so it s difficult for them to be integrated well into social arrangements. A stable society requires a lot of ethical people working together in highly coordinated ways. If society were mostly composed of unethical people, it would quickly crumble. Ethics may help out in the afterlife. Some religious traditions believe ethics is the key to something even greater than personal success and social stability: eternal life. No one can be sure about an eternal life, but people of faith from many different religions believe that good behavior in this life leads to rewards in the next life. Why Study Ethics? There are several reasons to study ethics. All of us use ethics on a daily basis. БEthicsБ is not some term grabbed out of thin air by philosophers trying to build castles in the air. Many individuals do not know what ethical behavior is. This course is not aimed at any one group or agency; anyone who lives or works on the reservation could benefit from this course.
You will find yourself challenged to think about ethical decisions, you will have an opportunity to study the ethical decisions made and behaviors modeled by our ancestors. No matter what your past experiences or educational level, you are never too old to learn. We have all heard the old sayings, you canБt teach an old dogs new tricks, and a leopard doesnБt change his spots. Indeed, I often hear tribal members saying something to the effect, it doesnБt matter who is elected they will (fill in the blank). It is true that important changes never come easily, but change is possible. Studying ethics is one way of recapturing our heritage. Why teach ethics? This question would have confused our ancestors. Ethics were an inherent part of their daily lives. Today, however, we live in a different time, a time when ethical behavior appears to have diminished in our culture. As a result, an ethics course is appropriate, valuable and useful.