Thoughts On Ethics

In this fast paced ever evolving world we are often faced with ethical dilemmas. What is the right thing to do? Is it ok to take merit for someone else’s work? Is it ok to lie if no one is harmed and few people are benefitted? What should be one’s moral compass? And after all, does walking on the right path make economic sense? These questions have always confounded man and will continue to do so. For leaders who are responsible for millions of lives, it is utmost important for them to have a strong ethical framework when solving big problems. Ethical dilemmas act as a guiding light in times of crisis.

Today I am going to discuss the three common ethical frameworks that will give an insight in solving such dilemmas. For me, this is a very interesting study and observation whenever I look through these frameworks. For example whenever there is a conflict whoever you ask will tell you that their view is logical, reasonable and perfect. But in hindsight, it’s the conflict of my framework against yours. Such is the dominance of frameworks that they absorb our lives and lay the road ahead for us. It’s important to have as many perspectives and frameworks in one’s perception before deciding upon what suits best. So let us look at the three common ethical frameworks.

Deontology Ethics or Duty Based: Deontological ethics look at the action and decide whether it’s wrong or right. It’s the intention and motives that are taken into account that matter. So lying is not appropriate nor is sacrificing one life to benefit many.

Teleological Ethics or Consequences of Choices: Teleological ethics are focused on consequences and the final results. It’s the end that matters and whatever way should be used is justified. So here lying is perfectly fine, so is bombing few civilians to eliminate terrorist.

Utilitarianism: In utilitarianism, the best action is the one that maximises the benefits the greater good. Similar to teleological, utilitarianism looks at the final outcome that would benefit the society at large and act accordingly.

These three are the common ethical frameworks applied today. It’s very difficult in today’s world to practice duty-based ethics. Here is a video to look at ethics from a real world emerging problem.

Ethics and Karma: The law of karma offers an interesting insight into looking at ethics. With a philosophy as you sow, so shall you reap and its serious repercussion on the life we live, the law of karma urges man to be duty bound. The modern man lives in deep conflict, with duty often limiting one’s progress in the short term. However living an ethically sound life is beneficial in the long run and a good investment to a rewarding life.