Making Sound Ethical Decisions essay revised 8 07

Making Sound Ethical Decisions essay revised 8 07 - Making...

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Making Sound Ethical Decisions Richard A. “Tony” Parker School of Communication Northern Arizona University Revised August 2007 Introduction We live in amoral times. American culture abounds with evidence of unethical decision- making on the part of government officials, employers, employees, teachers, students, the clergy, and media personalities. A few current examples support this claim: - Television reality shows such as “The Apprentice” and “Survivor” reinforce the notion that those who lie or cheat without detection are more likely to succeed than those who adhere to strict moral codes. - Automatic Data Processing, Inc., conducted 3.8 million background checks of job applicants’ resumes. The corporation reported that 52% of the applicants had lied regarding their work experience or qualifications. (McDonald, 7/4/04) - According to the Josephson Institute of Ethics, a survey conducted in 2002 of 12,000 high school students revealed that 74% of the respondents admitted that they had cheated on an exam at least once during the previous year—up from 61% in 1992 (McDonald, 7/4/04) - Journalists at many of America’s most prestigious news publications, including The New York Times , USA Today , and The Nation , have fabricated information in news stories. We live in a nation where more than 80% of Americans pray regularly, where virtually all mainstream religions promote honesty as a primary virtue, where families consistently reward truth-telling and punish lying. Yet immoral and unethical behaviors abound. Ask yourself: How many times in the past year have you told a lie, cheated on an assignment or project, betrayed the trust of another? Do you maintain a set of standards by which you live, that help you to distinguish right from wrong behaviors? Do you live by that set of standards? Thankfully, many of you will answer these questions in ways that affirm your strong commitment to a moral life. Many people do behave ethically; some don’t. All of us can benefit from a rigorous investigation of the role of ethics in our personal and professional lives. The purpose of this class is to introduce students to a procedure for making sound ethical decisions and to the rich intellectual history of philosophers dedicated to developing principles for moral decision-making. The approach outlined here is designed especially for professional communicators who seek practical guidance in discovering “the right thing to do.” It includes an understanding of ethical principles and guidelines, an awareness of a valuable method for 1
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reaching sound moral decisions, and application of the principles to case studies of challenging and provocative moral dilemmas in communications. Ethics: Product and Process
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course COM 400 taught by Professor Parker during the Spring '08 term at N. Arizona.

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Making Sound Ethical Decisions essay revised 8 07 - Making...

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