1. How would you have explained the meaning of the term "ethics", before taking this class? I would have probably defined ethics as the obligation one has to do right by their fellow person. In other words, ethics is a value system that allows one to determine which actions are correct and which are incorrect. Ethics are many times instilled in a person by the way in which they were raised and/or the culture they grew up in. Some ethical values are multicultural in that they are recognized by almost every society on earth as being right or wrong. For instance, almost without exception, most cultures condemn unjustified (or cold-blooded) murder. The wrongness of murder is self-evident. Thus, it is no surprise that it is highly disliked everywhere. Some ethical values are endemic to a particular culture and not found in many other places. In a broader sense, ethics deals with more than just person to person interaction. Ethics is also a person's obligation to do right by the environment and any other living thing within the bounds of reason.
2. What are some of your deepest held values?
I believe the basis of any value has to logically come from a self-evident truth. Therefore my deepest held value is a constant desire to know the truth. From this comes my sense of obligation to do the right thing in interacting with my fellow person, the environment, and any living thing. Another deeply held value of mine is honesty; without honesty it is hard to find any common ground to build a relationship of any kind with anybody. Furthermore, I deeply value respectfulness. Respect should always be given where respect is due and it usually offends me when someone has a lack of respect for important things.
3. What are some main principles you try to live your life by?
I try to live my life with an open mind. I don't like to condemn the value systems of others even if they conflict with my own. I try to be honest and fair. Of course, it is impossible to always be honest and fair but I still think of it as a good benchmark to strive for. I use the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated. When it comes to certain ethical issues, sometimes the answer isn't as easy to discern as in obvious issues like murder or theft. When it comes to things like this I still try to respect and understand the value system of others but it does not change the fact that I will still hold my private opinions on the matter.
4. What moral qualities do you look for in others?
I look first and foremost for honesty. Without honesty, it is hard to believe that anything the person says or does is genuine. If a person is honest, they are usually law-abiding, hard working people and those are the people I tend to associate with. Of course, everyone breaks the law now and then on minor issues like speeding but I generally look to associate with people that have a respect for others and their government.
5. How were your values and principles developed?
My parents, culture, and religion instilled in me the values and principles I hold today. As a child I was brought up in a Christian home and this has had an effect on my views pertaining to morality and the way one should behave in society. My parents and culture basically reinforced the values given to me by the Christian faith. I don't agree with everything I've been told. As I said before, I try to hold beliefs whose value and truth are self-evident.
6. How have your values and principles changed throughout your life so far?
Thus far my values and principles have not changed very much and I don't feel that they will change that much in the future unless I come to a realization that I was previously oblivious to. I try to keep an open mind, of course, so something like that could possibly happen. I'm still really young too, and I'm sure there is much to be learned but thus far my values have pretty much been the same.
7. Out of 25 points, how many points do you feel your work on this assignment deserves? Justify your answer. I believe my work on this assignment deserves maximum credit (or 25 points) because I put maximum effort into it. I answered the questions to the best of my ability and as thoughtfully as possible. :)