Ethical principles refer to the values that are generally accepted by the majority of individuals in society. For instance, in the Western world, most ethical values are founded on Christian principles. Thus, ethical principles comprise what is considered to be good. They provide guidelines on how an individual should behave even in the absence of laws and regulations to govern his/her actions (Chmielewski, 2004). Conversely, rules and regulations are normally imposed on people to ensure that they follow the stipulated moral standards. The laws provide details on the penalties to be meted out on those found guilty of engaging in illegal and immoral actions.
On the other hand, ethical reasoning engages the complicated process of judging the effects of people’s behaviors at the workplace, at home, within social contexts, and in institutions (Chmielewski, 2004). Although most of the decisions we make are habitual, we can suddenly trigger ethical dilemmas due to the potential emergence of undesirable outcomes. In such cases, individuals are called upon to make the best decision and respond in the most socially acceptable manner. Apparently, the fundamentals of the exemplary decision-making process comprise efforts to make balanced choices. It is a process that guides a person towards abandoning wrong choices in preference for good ones. Consequently, in making an ethical decision, a person needs to reflect on what a rational person would do in that particular situation.
According to me, it is unethical to tell people that he/she is strong when trying to get his/her help with lifting a heavy object especially when I believe he/she is not strong (Chmielewski, 2004). Doing so means that I am praising that person so that I can derive personal gain from his help. On the other hand, motivating my classmates by telling them that they are brilliant and they will perform well in their upcoming exam is ethical. I hold this view because my encouraging and inspiring words may motivate an otherwise poorly-performing student to end up passing in these exams. In conclusion, it is imperative to recognize how morals and ethics affect our social environment and how we see ourselves and function in our social surroundings and the ethical issues that may arise.
Chmielewski, C., (2004). The importance of values and culture in ethical decision making. Retrieved on October 1, 2016, from http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Values-and-culture-in-ethical-decision-making.aspx.