Ethics: The Right Means To The End

It is often said that one mustn’t judge a book by its cover, that what lies beyond the surface is what truly matters. Parallel to this notion is a criterion of judgment of human character, be it that of a politician, a business executive or a student, in terms of their ethical consciousness and the extent to which ethics is factored into their everyday decisions. Be it business ethics, ethics of war and politics, or something as simple as observing ethics in examinations, one factor lies at the intersection of their Venn Diagrams, the gem of moral conscience.

Every decision is influenced, in part, by their ethical outlook. It is the means of achieving the end that encapsulates, most perfectly, the concept of ethics. On the one hand, decisions made, oblivious to the repercussions for external agents, constitute a rather flagrant disregard for ethics. The same decision made with respect for the consequences of external agents, represents a cogent application of ethics. Such decisions represent a double edged sword, one of which symbolizes a moral standpoint, the other of which represents ignorance or blatant disregard for the same.

One might ask why the idea of being ethical is creditable. It is this characteristic of a person, whoever they may be, and whatever situation is under consideration, which makes him/her stand out from a moralistic standpoint. It allows one to judge a person under positive light and provides a wealth of insight into the depths of a person’s actions or decisions. It represents the integrity in one’s work, the courage of one’s persona, and one’s confidence in that which is right. It is one of the truest, most cogent indicators of a grounded mind.

At its core, the concept of ethics speaks of moral psychology and moral conduct, that is discerning right from wrong, and having a mind broad enough to weigh the consequences one’s actions will have on every party involved, and not just oneself. It is this power of discerning that gives form to an otherwise arcane concept.

Having an ethical outlook on decisions, keeps one grounded to the fundamentals of being a humane individual. Ethical minds are the bases for the establishment of certain standards for our societies, our businesses, our governments, our religious beliefs, and our communities. In conclusion, the notion of ethics represents why we have a stairway to heaven, but a highway to hell.

See Also