My personal decision-making when it comes to ethical issues was influenced by my unique background. This was impacted by a number of influences including nuclear family, relatives, friends, school teachers, church, university professors, and community. Although learning about ethical theories helped me understand my decision-making in greater detail, it did not change my style of thinking about certain issues. At this point in my life, I think and act as a mature individual with a well-developed system for ethical decision-making grounded in established criteria.
This thinking mode influences my opinions and decisions concerning issues like abortion, death penalty, and other controversial issues. Influences on Ethical Choices My first and most important influence was my family, including my mother, father, and siblings. My parents raised me to be an honest and straightforward individual, dealing with others as one would like to be treated oneself. My mode of thinking was impacted by observations of my parents, people of great integrity. Their high morale was rewarded with respect from other people in our neighbourhood.
This proved an additional incentive for me to replicate their behavior. I remember an incident early in my childhood when I was around five. My mother forbade me to eat many chocolates because I had an allergy to them; so once I stole a box of sweets from the table, eating all of them. When my mother asked me who had taken all the sweets and if I had not eaten them, I replied with a passionate “No”. In the end, I did have a bout of allergy, being all covered with blisters, and I had to tell her eventually, to my great shame, that I did eat them.
This was the moment of the greatest contrition in my life, and I learned that if one chooses to be unethical, one has to suffer the consequences. At school, I absorbed a lot of moral rules concerning my obligation to study well and my duties to others. I learned to respect the autonomy of other human beings and their rights to decision-making. Each time I tried to fight for something with my classmates, my teacher would get very strict and tell me that we have to respect the interests of other people just as much as our own.
Since that time, I learned to be respectful to others and consider their opinions and desires. The Church was also a great influence. I am a Catholic, and I have always believed in God, because it was the norm in my family. The Church taught me, too, that we should think of others when we make our moral choices. I also learned that good ethics is acting in God’s will because people should do what He wants of them. I read the Scriptures a lot and many of my opinions come from what I read the Bible. However, I am still confused on some issues and am not sure as to the exact biblical guidance.
My Views on Abortion All these influences are reflected in the way I think about abortion. First, I would like to note that in the debate on this issue, I am on the pro-choice side. This means that I support giving women the right to make the decision concerning their future babies themselves. This may seem strange for someone with a Catholic background since there is a distinct trend among the Christian Right to support the pro-life position. This is permissible, in my view, because each person can interpret the Bible in one’s own way.
However, I read several times and agree that the Bible does not offer explicit guidance on this issue. Murder is wrong, but it is difficult to believe that an embryo is indeed a fully-fledged individual. In this case, murder may not be applicable. So, if one goes by the Bible, there may not be the guidance that some people find, and so one can embrace a different opinion. My views on abortion stem from the conviction that a person should be the master of one’s own life as long as it does not contradict the vital interests of others. A woman should have the right to decide if she wants to have a baby.
This is very important since our society places a disproportionate burden of child upbringing on the woman through tradition. The appearance of a child will impact her life choices. Thus, it may limit her educational opportunities if she has not yet received an education. It may also become a problem if she is employed and wants to stay for a year or two with her child. Finally, it affects the woman’s financial standing, and if she does not have a reliable source of income, she may experience a serious downturn of her financial situation that will affect her whole life.
Thus, since a woman’s life can be ruined by the appearance of an undesired child, she should be given the freedom to decide for herself. Besides, I believe in being merciful to an individual. Society or other individuals should not subject this person to serious challenges that affect the whole life because of adherence to this or that ethical norm. People, in my view, should live and let live. Women forced into undesirable pregnancy and birth often by pure chance (as in the case of rape) should not be made to experience serious disadvantages because of that.
This child can impair not only their career or financial prospects. If they are not married, this reduces their chances to find a husband and be happy in their marriages. Some men will be simply reluctant to sponsor another man’s child. If two people date each other, and the woman gets pregnant, the man can often desert her if he does not feel ready to handle the responsibility at this point. This exposes women to serious emotional stress, and it is merciful to deny them an opportunity to have an abortion if it can prevent disaster in love life.
My principles also include the idea that each burden should be equally shared by the two parties that incurred it. As of present, there is hardly a reliable mechanism for making the man accept his share of the burden for the child’s education. In many cases, a man can simply refuse to be a father and lie that he was not involved. This makes the woman’s situation all the more difficult. As long as society has not invented a reliable method to make men accountable, it should not penalise women by forcing them to have unwanted children.
This is very unfair and cannot be justified. Besides, in many communities, an unmarried woman is stigmatised if she has an illicit child, while a man is not. This only aggravates her situation makes it even more unfair to demand that she keep the child. As to the arguments that the abortion is murder, I have already stated that I am not sure that a fetus is a human being. On the contrary, an adult woman, unless she is mentally retarded, is definitely a personality who has been through the stage of socialization, developed her own character, views, features etc.
As a unique human being, she should be appreciated and given a chance to enjoy her life, using the achievements of modern health care. The practical argument to which I am very responsive is that abortions will continue, whether the government legalises them or not, but if abortion is illegal, they will be performed undercover. For women, this means that many of those willing to risk to save their life plans will suffer at the hands of inexperienced people who can cause their mutilation or even death. To save them from non-professional interference, it is necessary to allow abortion legally.
Conclusion Each person has a distinct set of moral rules that originate in their childhood and various influences. These views affect the whole decision-making on moral issues. My ethical beliefs led me to approve of legalizing abortion as a way to help women control their lives. I find a lot of arguments in favour of my position based on several moral principles. In my view, society should respect individual autonomy, treat individuals with mercy and avoid harsh trials, as well as promote equity in decision-making.