Ethicalbehaviors are the conducts that are considered to be in line with thecorrect principles of conduct that govern a particular group orprofession. The practices must be consistent with what the concernedgroup or profession considers moral. Therefore, morality is a systemof rules that govern how human beings behave and the principles uponwhich an evaluation of such practices can be carried out.
Theevaluative rules under which the ethical behaviors can be groundedfall under three broad notions. They include the religion, law, andthe philosophical ethics upon which a particular moral principle canbe analyzed from different points of view. For instance, theuniversal rule of conduct, which prohibits stealing, can beconsidered from different angles according to the three notions.According to the principle of the religious system, stealing isconsidered wrong because God prohibits it. Among the commandmentsthat He gave to guide the human beings, He ordered His people notsteal. If one steals, therefore, that particular individual hasviolated the Ten Commandments that God gave. Such violation will makeGod get offended of those who do not observe His Commandments. Fromthe religious point of view, therefore, stealing is considered wrongbecause it offends God and also is against the Ten Commandments thatHe gave for the human beings to observe. But according to the notionof the grounding principle following the legal system, stealing iswrong because the law prohibits it. The moral principles of declaringstealing as wrong under the legal system are not tied to anyreligion. Different nations can have distinguished jurisdictions, butif there is a country where the laws declare stealing to be illegal,then it is immoral for people to steal because they will be heldliable for their actions. It is unethical to steal in such countriesaccording to their legal system regardless of the religious beliefsthat govern the respective individual. On the other hand, thephilosophical regime of the ethical behavior has its unique way ofconsidering what is ethical and unethical at the same time.Philosophers are of the view that stealing is wrong because it isimmoral regardless of any external authority or sanction. There is noexternal source upon which the righteousness or wrongness of stealingcan be grounded. The philosophical notion does not need any externalpower for them to justify that an act like stealing is wrong. They donot base their arguments on the legal or the religious systems. Theway the philosophers and ethicists think is the similar since theyboth believe that mere reasoning is enough to declare some behaviorslike stealing to be wrong. This reason is independent of anysupernatural or legal authorities that define what is ethically wrongor right. This reason directs an individual that the behavior ofstealing is immoral, or the consequences that will result fromstealing make the act morally wrong. In both the legal and religioussystem, there are sanctions to stealing in the form of punishmentfrom the relevant authorities, but such penalties are not applicablein philosophy. The only sanction the unethical behavior is subjectedto is disapproval and social ostracism but no punishment (Insole andHarris, 2013).
Fromthe judgments based on these notions, it is possible for individualsto be certain that their actions are morally upright or wrong. Basedon the context of the person in question, his behaviors can be basedon a particular society or group of individuals, and it is possibleto tell the principles underlying such circumstances. For instance,for Christians, they can make reference to the biblical texts to knowhow moral or immoral their actions are according to the religioussystem. Some activities are forbidden while others are allowed, someattitudes are discouraged while others are encouraged and this is thebasis of identifying what the ethical behaviors are for theChristians. By way of reason, we can tell the moral truths behind theactions that we do referring to the Book of Creation (Kane, 2010).The same rule like in the religious system will apply to the legaland the philosophical notions.
Anyethical theory should help human beings to analyze the moral issuesas well as guiding their investigations. The method should providethe general principles upon which we can prove or disapprove theethical and unethical behaviors. Moral, ethical theories shouldconstitute attributes like coherency, consistency, comprehensivenessand should also be systematic. This attributes will as well addressthe ethical behavior and what should be ethically done. Ethicalbehavior, therefore, constitutes all the actions that are known to bemorally upright regardless of the notion from which you are basingyour arguments. At one point, all the opinions will agree that aparticular behavior is unethical in one way or the other (Graham,2010).
Counter-argumentsalways exist suggesting ideas that are against some of the notionsand theories that are put forward to explain the ethical behavior.For instance, the theory of utilitarianism is criticized because thecritics feel that our deliberations are based on certain guidingprinciples that govern our behavior instead of following the actionsof other people that are not unique in any manner. They further arguethat the consequences of our action are as a result of following therules and regulations instead of personal acts of people.
Onidentifying whether the individual rights are much more importantthan the human rights, as Sartre puts it, the original choice of anindividual will depend on his/her freedom. The selection of a personin some cases may lead to the self-deception like bad faith and insuch a case the nature of that particular person will make himdiscard that self-decision for something else. From the theory ofteleological or consequentiality, morality can be measured by theresults of the actions that somebody does. This method requires thatthe right actions are moral in nature and should be maximized. Thetheory is divided into ethical and psychological egoism. Inpsychological egoism, the human behavior tends to follow a givenbehavior in a way that favors their self-interest. On the other side,ethical egoism falls under the normative theory where individualsbehave exclusively in a way that serves their interest. Therefore,under the principle of ethical egoism, an action is declared moral ifthe individual’s long-term interest is promoted. It can be seenthat, in one way or the other, the individual rights are superior tohuman rights because people can do all that the society requiresaccording to its norms and even help others in that community if onlythey believe that the actions they are taking serve their bestinterest (Shaw, 2015).
Insole,C.J & Harris, H.A. (2013). Faithand Philosophical Analysis: The Impact of Analytical Philosophy onthe Philosophy of Religion.Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Kane,R. (2010). Ethicsand the Quest for Wisdom.Cambridge University Press
Shaw,R. M. (2015). Ethics,Moral Life and the Body: Sociological Perspectives.Palgrave Macmillan.
Graham,G. (2010). Theoriesof Ethics: An Introduction with Readings.London: Routledge.