Essay on Influences on Ethics

1033 Words Apr 12th, 2006 5 Pages
Influences on Ethics: Experience, Media and the History of Ideas
Micah Gaither
University of Phoenix
GEN/480
January 16, 2006 Influences on Ethics: Experience, Media and the History of Ideas:
It can be difficult to come up with a method of evaluating decisions and forming unbiased opinions. To understand how ethics are influenced it is important to understand (1) how ethics are formed, (2) which forces are shaping them, and (3) what is a popular method of transmission. Chapters eight and nine of Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of your Professional and Personal Life by Paul and Elder, covers the (1) history of ideas, (2) media, and (3) experience. These topics are applied to their influence on ethics and decision making.
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Like a child in the early years, a long view of decisions is passed for the short term result. Dangerously this is when new influences like sexuality complicate the process and the media has an increased influence.
Early adult is the last phase in the forming of decision making skills. Paul and Elder (Paul and Elder xxxx) describe the early adult years as a time of even more independence even though some are still unwilling to take responsibility for actions.
Media
Paul and Elder (Paul and Elder xxxx) state that social forces act through the media and influence how the public interprets things. Everything imaginable is influenced and because of this there are billions of dollars spent to partake in the process. A critical thinker does not accept the influence of the mass media at face value. Alternate views are one way of seeking out independent opinions. It is not enough to know of the influence and not think in broad terms. Confirmation of the propaganda is what is needed to correct media sway. Education throughout life is a path to success, but general acceptance of the mass media predisposes the public. Paul and Elder (Paul and Elder xxxx) list The Nation and Counterpoint as two sources outside the mainstream media that are worthy of counteracting influence. From February to July in 1996 the media was full of stories about arsonists targeting black churches in the Southern United States. Headlines read of racist whites

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