Traditional Ethical Theories

Often, unethical human behavior is not intentional, but is coincidentally based on boundaries such as individual knowledge, organizational unanimity, and societal acceptance of policy. On an individual level, although unbeknownst to the individual, humans make decisions based on the best outcomes for themselves, which may result in unintentional and unethical degradation of a fellow human. Further, an organizational setting will compound individual ethical dilemmas as internal groups working together seek acceptance through groupthink, which is the tendency of a work group to come to an agreement without fully exploring all scenarios and outcomes. Ultimately, groupthink results from an individual lacking the organizational resilience to …show more content…
Conversely, traditional ethics ignores the gaps that exists between a decision maker’s actual behavior and that person’s perception of his or her behavior. Further, traditional ethics ignores the following situations humans often encounter when making ethical decisions: lacking moral awareness such as considering a decision only as having business consequences; judging before reasoning which involves making moral judgements based on emotions before reasoning through the decision; and misjudging moral intentions which often result from misunderstandings of the purpose behind a decision. Often, these situations are present as humans make decisions on “System 1” thinking, which is what behavioral ethicists describe as making intuitive ‘gut’ reactions. Contrarily, there is also “System 2” thinking which provides that a decision is made only after carefully considering the situation and implications. Typically, a System 1 decision is appropriate for most decisions but may be at odds with a decision from System 2 thinking. Therefore, System 2 thinking should be employed for the utmost important decisions in life. It is important to note that it is unlikely that humans can be taught to behave ethically; however, behavioral ethics can assist humans in acting more ethically by …show more content…
The first stage is described as the prediction stage where humans, not faced with an actual dilemma, will predict that their responses to the situation will coincide with their moral compass. Often, this prediction matches what the “should self,” which translates into what the individual believes he or she has a duty to do. Unfortunately, when actually faced with a decision, which is the second stage of an ethical dilemma, humans will choose the less ethical response of the “want self,” depicting human nature’s irresistibility to be self-interested at the expense moral fortitude. Regrettably, unethical decisions are made hastily and instinctually, rather than with a clear and open mind to the situation. What results is that humans reflecting on the decision may notice regret from the decision; however, a psychological cleansing habitually eases this regret as humans morally disengage from the scenario in order to rationalize their decision. Not only do humans possess the ability to rationalize individual unethical behavior, they also avoid the conflicts associated with unethical behaviors of

Related Documents