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• Study of the norms of human acts as guided

by human reason which is natural (evident)
to man
• - Result of free choice
• - Judgment represents the truth and good
To do good and avoid evil is self evident
• Ethics is the study of morality
• Morality is the value dimension of human
decision-making and behavior. Good or bad,
right and wrong, just or unjust
• Ethics is primarily matter of knowing
whereas morality is a matter of doing

• Raise questions about behavior and

decision making – not technical or
scientific questions
• Questions about values, rights and
-Egoism- An act is ethical in so far as it serves the interest of
the performer of the act.
– Utilitarianism- Very subjective because ethical quality in terms of
pleasure or happiness or pain that results from the act. It relies on
the end result of the human act as the measure of the ethical
quality. This theory can justify practically any human action
regardless of intention or circumstance.It maintains that the
ethical action is the one that provides the most good or does the
least harm
– Deontology- An act is ethically correct or wrong when it it
conforms to a legitimate law or set of rules. The problem with this
theory is that there are some laws or duties that may not be morally
correct. States that an act may be intrinsically bad or good no
matter what is the outcome.
Ethical Theories 2nd slide

Relativism or Subjectivism- The standard of right or wrong depend on

the doer, group, society, or culture. The theory rejects an absolute rule
or standard. What individuals or groups have an important stake in
the outcome? Do some have a greater stake because they have
special need or because we have special obligation to them?
Situationalism- When the nature of the situation serves love, the act is
Good, if it does not, it is Bad. Nothing is good or bad in itself unless it is
done out of love or out of lack of love.
Proportionalism- Accept moral norms which are absolute but that there
may be Exceptions where the good that may result is greater than the
harm. This theory uses both Utilitarianism and Situational ethics.
Natural Law Theory-Based on biologic- spirit laws. There maybe
changes that will occur specially in social and scientific fields because
of new discoveries.
It believes that the human act varies in degrees of responsibilities.
Other approaches to solve ethical Problems

• The Virtue Approach states that “What is ethical is what

develops moral virtues such as honesty, courage,
faithfulness, integrity, etc. in ourselves and our
• The Rights Approach states that an action or policy is
morally right only if those persons affected by the decision
are not used merely as instruments for advancing some
goal but are fully informed of their rights.
• The Fairness (or Justice Approach) “Treat people the
same unless there are morally relevant differences between
• The Common Good Approach
calls attention to the common conditions that are important
to the welfare of every one. This may be a system of laws,
effective police and fire departments, health care or a
public educational system
Making an ethical judgment
A human act is ethically good only when the act
itself, the intention, and all the circumstances are
good. It is bad when the intention or any one of
the circumstance is bad
• 1. Object of the act (what?)
• 2. The intention (why or what for?)
• 3. Circumstances surrounding the act
– A. The agent (who?)
– B. (Where?) The act takes place
– C.(When?) It takes place
– D. (How?) Is it done

“ Do good, avoid evil”

Doing good, seeking for the truth and avoiding evil is not always simple
Because not all individuals are intelligent or have sufficient experience.
There are also different ethical thinking like Christian ethics, Catholic Morality
Islam Morality, Buddhist Morality, etc.

The best thing thing to do to help one make a decision is to seek

advice from others with more knowledge, deeper insights and
understanding, or refer to accepted code of ethics.