When we contemplate about ethics we typically think of that which is right versus what is wrong; however, we need to take into account what is morally correct as well. Many of us have a moral view that we opt to live by and that we utilize to predicate the majority of our decisions. Some are clearly ethical while others questionably ethical. How do we tell? We need to examine the whole picture and base our actions off of informed decisions and fact.
In an example of a Mayor of a large city who is accepting gifts from those who have received several city contracts and those who might be conducting business with the City in the future? Would we consider this appropriate? In essence the Mayor is practicing what is called a conflict of interest and presenting himself as someone who is able to be bought if the price is right. The consequences for his actions could result in negative media relations as evidence of the acceptance of the gifts are leaked to the press, the embarrassment of colleagues and family at his actions, the fact that it may show that there were more qualified contractors that should have been given the work and even his potential removal from office.
What good would have come from his actions? Obviously, the Mayor would have gained financial benefit in the form of the gifts. The City could potentially benefit from a regular contractor that knows the business. However, other than the Mayor directly, very few benefit. The big picture suggests that his actions have a grander negative effect. Those within the political arena are then viewed as a whole with the assumption that all politicians are accepting bribes at the expense of the people.
Another ethical dilemma comes in the form of a college professor who is pursuing her advanced education. To make things easier upon herself she gives her students the same lectures, assignments and examinations each semester without making any alterations or effort to improve them. Of course the professor benefits from these actions in the form of a consistent program in place, her time having to teach and grade projects is reduced, and she is able to apply more focus on her personal goal of obtaining her higher degree.
In the end we see that there is a more preponderant negative impact than she perceives. The students are not pushed to improve nor are challenged in their academic career. With the same material being taught each semester, many students will have the opportunity to copy...