Ethics and Critical Thinking – Rob Elkington BUSI 1010



you hi and welcome this is session fives primer for you for busy teen teen name of this primer this session is just to help you identify an employee ethical approaches to morality into reasoning when you look at this picture what do you think motivated this man to volunteer his time to helping others what moved him to work with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for people he doesn't know very interesting the association of morality with happiness and a sense of well-being is found in moral philosophies throughout the world studies support the claim that people who put moral values above non moral concerns are happier and more self fulfilled so moral values are really important in our lives and our form a part of our critical thinking Arsenal and process there are not moral or instrumental values moral values are those that benefit not only myself but also others and are worthwhile because they're intrinsically worthwhile but because they have pragmatic value because they're useful but just because they're worthwhile they include altruism compassion tolerance forgiveness and justice non moral values on the other hand are not bad but they're goal-oriented they're a means to an end that we wish to achieve non moral values include things like independence prestige Fame popularity and wealth all of which as we know are very transient and very ephemeral they can last for a moment and disappear when we fail to take appropriate moral action or make a decision we might later regret we call this a moral tragedy and I've included the example of Travis Lewis a 19 year old Brock University student who got really concerned about the amount of recycling that was going into trash because proper recycling bins had not been supplied and he took action his critical thinking his moral perspective moved him to take action and he posted this video on YouTube you can see it in the in the session outline you'll be able to watch the video in there we might even overlay it on here for you but it's just a great example of a person who didn't allow moral tragedy but actually his conscience was moved and he acted and so conscience is a really important thing and we'll talk some more at a later stage about how conscience is formed both in terms of our sociology our education our upbringing our national identity but conscience is important because it provides us with knowledge about what is right and wrong I read an article recently where the author said don't ever feel bad when you feel bad that's a good thing when your conscience is activated don't feel bad about that it can make us feel uncomfortable but it's a good sign in fact they say that employers should look for people who have a same sort of conscience because it means they'll be loyal trustworthy and will stay aligned to their values even under pressure conscience is really important and so we need to understand that consciousness and mates it's nurtured and it can be neglected we see in people in whom conscience is neglected that they can be really pathological and destructive outcomes when people don't develop their conscience it has an effective impact on our lives an emotional element that motivates us to act on right and wrong effective moral reasoning involves listening to the effective side of our conscience as well as the cognitive side and so the emotional side of our conscience which moves us to this uncomfortable feeling as well as the rational logical which says a plus B equals this is wrong but I also feel wrong about this doesn't feel right we need to listen to both elements Moral Sentiments are emotions that alert us to moral situations and motivates us to do what is right in our first session we looked at the tank man who stood in front of those tanks in Tiananmen Square he was moved with the emotion at the wrongs that the injustice that he Saints were going on in his country and it moved him to take action there are these things called helpers hi in Bill Clinton wrote a book on giving in which he pointed out that the research shows that we release endorphins when we do good things for other people and we feel good about that and likewise when we have compassion a moral outrage and resentment and there are things we ought to resent in life that are being done that are wrong we ought to have moral outrage when those who are weak or innocent are being acted upon by those who have power we need to we need to have outrage at that and so we identify these things helpers high occurs when you experience an endorphin rush after helping others empathy or sympathy is the capacity for an inclination to imagine the feelings of others try to always put yourself in the other person's shoes when you're talking with them how would I feel if I was listening to myself say these things how would I feel if this put it upon myself in this way or if this person did to me what I'm doing to them and so we need to empathize we need to be able to enter into their shoes and then of course compassion is sympathy in action which means moving to help another even when sometimes we feel they may not deserve it taking steps to relieve other's unhappiness that's compassion moral outrage moral indignation occurs when we witness an injustice or violation of moral decency resentment is a type of moral outrage that occurs when we ourselves are treated unjustly and that's why it's so important many times for the way police officers treat those who are charged with a crime that they do it in a way that doesn't create resentment or a moral outrage that we're still treated with a person is still treated with dignity and respect and that applies to many different things a specialist who is an orthopedic specialist or or a pediatrician the way they treat the parents to ensure that there's not moral outrage and that comes down to empathy and compassion and then guilt guilt is a very important thing as we've said in terms of conscience it alerts us and motivates us to correct or wrong we're not to live under guilt but guilts a great sensory perception that says hey something's wrong yet and we need to deal with it guilt results when we commit a moral wrong or violate a moral principle this is different to shame I had a friend who did a PhD shame and was always talking to me about what what the difference between guilt and shame is shame because as a result of a violation of a social norm or as a result of failure to live up to other's expectations and we can feel shame when we are really oughtn't to when we really don't need to because that's other people's expectations that may be valid or not valid and we have to assist it for ourselves it's a guilt and shame are two different things and then there's real guilt and imagine guilt real guilt is when I am forensically guilty when I have transgressed a known rule especially in terms of my own moral compass I feel guilty that's real guilt and then there's imagined guilt and that often relates to shame I can give you an example of imagined guilt as we you'll be in a conversation you'll be talking to someone you'll say something you'll go away and you'll say wow I said this I feel bad I wonder if that offended them I wonder if that hurt their feelings I wonder if and you'll feel this imagined guilt that isn't really necessary because you haven't done anything wrong and then you feel shame you feel this you always tell people who are struggling with shame in conversations they tend not to engage they tend many times to feel less than they withdraw and oftentimes we have to help people who are struggling with shame to say hey what is it that you feel shameful about and is that realistic is it is it rational there's a great book called boundaries for leaders by Townsend which deals with these issues of guilt and shame in a tremendous way and I'd encourage you to get that and read it if you can it's a great book moral theories provide frameworks for understanding and explaining what makes a certain action right or wrong how do I know what's right how do I know what's wrong it's all relative in our world today is it in a pluralistic postmodern world can we truly say that anything is right or wrong we need moral theories we need a framework by which to judge and assess certain things as they confront us in our lives our everyday moral decisions and level of reasoning are informed by the moral theory that we accept is true even though we may have never consciously articulated their theory sometimes it's just inherent in who we are and so there are two moral theories or two types of model theories one that is relative one that is universe moral relativists claim that people create reality and that there are no universal or shared moral principles that apply to all a moral relativist or a situationist would say that it really depends on the situation as to what is right or wrong and it really depends on the culture as to what is right or wrong sometimes it can be right to do something whereas in another context we could say that's wrong moral Universalists on the other hand contained that there are absolutes that superimpose themselves onto society that cannot be transgressed no matter what the context no matter what the situation moral Universalists would say that it's always wrong to lie well Universalists would say it's always wrong to steal people would say but what about if I'm lying to not hurt somebody's feelings moral relativists would say what if I'm stealing because my family's hungry is it wrong then and so we have these conflicting claims between moral relativists and moral Universalists and how we synergize and integrate those is a complex issue all on its own but we need to understand our own moral reasoning according to ethical subjectivist morality is nothing more than personal opinion or feelings well that's your opinion that's your feeling but I don't agree there is no ethical absolute cultural relativism the second form of moral relativism looks to public opinion and this is Edward maahes contention that law is sociologically determining we see loss shifting as public opinion shifts and customs provide the reasoning for moral standards cultural relativism like ethical relativism can be used to support discrimination we saw this in the South in slavery we saw this as I say in Africa with apartheid it was cultural relativism with cultural mores were used to justify something that was truly morally wrong the slavery of other human beings moral Universalists maintained that there are universal moral principles and this falls into four categories in fact there are three major ethical sister in the West and then this fourth one that subsist as a part of those the first one is utilitarianism and of course Spock is well known for utilitarianism in which he says the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one and so what is good for all becomes what is universally moral and that's a consequence based ethic is what I'm going to do going to have the greatest benefit for the greatest amount of people is going to bring the most happiness to the most amount of people in and that was Jeremy Bentham by the way who proved developed utilitarianism minutes in a strongest form and then we had deontology which is a duty based ethic and Immanuel Kant formulated deontology in which he said there are moral principles that are driven by duty and are right in every circumstance we then have rights based ethics which is justice and people look for justice not only as Plato said must we have justice but justice must also be seen to be done so we can have a just and moral society and of course we have this issue of the social contract that forms part of this justice system and then we have the virtue ethics which speaks not so much to social norms and social ethics but rather intrinsic character and when we look at Aristotle and Confucius we come up with 59 virtues in a star Aristotelian and Confucian thought and there are six main virtues that are common to both you can look those up truth compassion humanity those are some of the six main virtues that are common to both in this diagram you can see the four different systems as they're spelled out and this diagram is also in your powerpoints in your notes and it's adapted from Carolyn Baird's book everyday ethics making wise choices so I hope this is helpful to you I know we've covered a lot of ground in a short space of time but think about these things think about your conscience what is your moral framework and as you do your reading how those things will really be foremost in your mind thanks so much you

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