Ethics and Critical Thinking - Week 1- April

Wesley Discuss critical thinking and its application to criminal justice. 1. Define the term “critical thinking”. 2. Is morality inbred or taught? Explain your answer. 3. What is moral relativism? Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate viewpoints, facts, and behaviors objectively to assess the presentation of information or methods of argumentation to establish the true worth or merit of an act or course of conduct (Albanese, 2008). In my terms, critical thinking involves truly dissecting something and considering every separate part when deciding on the whole. Morality must be taught because it is not acquired naturally (Albanese, 2008). To me, this is not quite so black and white. I think that morality, or the ability to be moral, is something that we are born with, and those people who are immoral beyond comprehension were born without the inner controls that cause us to be moral. For example: we could all go see Charles Manson every day for 50 years, and every day we could teach him morality. However, can he be taught morality? What is morality, really? It is helping others, having empathy, being a good person, not offending or hurting any other living thing, etc. Can a sociopath/psychopath be taught morality? They may know what it is, but you can not make them feel it. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. Moral relativism is the belief that morals can be different, but none are better than another (Albanese, 2008). Albanese goes on to say that moral relativism is the same as situational ethics which tells us that there are no universal standards for morality (Albanese, 2008). Honor killings are a good example of this concept. (I am not an expert on this subject at all, and I do not know when these things were okay; I only heard it on a documentary) If I recall correctly, in some Middle Eastern places, honor killings were common practice at one time. They were considered to be moral and were not seen as criminal acts. If a girl dishonored her family by having sex before marriage, having an affair, or something of that nature, then the family could kill her. In our country, we would find this crazy and offensive, and certainly not moral by any standard. Moral relativism, in my own words, is the morals that relate to different cultures, religions, and practices around the world. April Wesley

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