The Development of a Personal Model of Ethics

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,400

What does it mean to be an ethical person? Is the ethical life something that can be judged from the outside, or can it only be understood from within? Is there a constant set of standards by which we may judge morality from one age to the next. And where is it in the human heart or mind that the impulse for or against ethics originates? These questions are ones that have been taken up by philosophers since people walked upright, and yet they continue to be of central concern for in the way that we answer these questions we find answers if not to the questions themselves then ideas about what it is that we mean when we try to define human nature.

We are in general today more likely to be concerned with whether or not we are happy than whether we are virtuous, but this does not mean that we are living unvirtuous lives. Most of us are happy when we are treated fairly by others – and most of us understand that we cannot expect such treatment from others unless we are also fair to them. The basis for this philosophy can be seen both in many of the world’s major religions as well as in the philosophical writings of those whose work at least borders on (or embraces) an ethics of duty or Utilitarianism.

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