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Ethical Decision Making Framework

The lecture started the seventh week ethics lecture by distributing small pieces of paper to students. I was surprised when he said it was for quiz. In my mind, I was saying “What am I going to write?” we have not even started the lesson yet. No matter what, I needed to answer all the questions. I really had no idea about the quiz but I tried to answer. In fact our lecturer wanted to know the progress of our knowledge before and after his lecture, so we would have second quiz about the same topic. After doing and checking the quiz, I was surprised that I got all the correct answer. Next, let us see my progress after the lecture.

The topic was “Preferred Ethical Decision Making Frameworks.” This week I have learned about five ethical frameworks which are used in making decisions. The frameworks include relativist ethics, divine command ethics, utilitarian ethics, deontology ethics and virtue ethics. Based on my understanding of what has been taught, firstly, relativist ethics is a framework to make ethical decisions according to the situation. In other word, it depends on belief of community, individual, cultural, value system or historical period. For example, one of my experiences, I was a relativist in choosing engineering after graduating from secondary, because in my country engineering is valuable and most of people are looking for this major. The second framework is divine command ethics. The moral standards are determined by God’s law and religion. For instance, in Islam people are not allowed to eat pork. Utilitarianism is the third framework. It depends on the consequences, result and effects of the decision. Everything is ethical if it is useful and more people benefit. For example, if someone kills one person for saving the society, he or she is a utilitarian. Next framework is deontology ethics which depends on rules, duty and obligation. It provides special moral status for humans. The last framework is virtue ethics. This framework depends on person’s character or theory which says that the good character of the person who acts is more important than others.

Even though I got two wrong answers in second quiz, it does not mean that I did not get any knowledge or I got worst. After studying about these five ethical frameworks, I have got much knowledge. Now, I can distinguish each of them and how it functions. The most important thing is I am able to identify my ethical thinking style. Based on my experiences, I realize I have used these five frameworks to make decision in my life, but when I am asked which ethical thinking style do I prefer, I will directly say divine command ethics. I, personally place God’s law and religion as the highest rule in my life. Similarly with the result of survey that we did during the lecturer, most of UGP scholars in AIU are command divine ethics in decision making. Students highly answered the question not to use steroids because human’s body is a gift from God and we should not abuse it.

In conclusion, every human has their ethical thinking style. People have right to choose their own framework in order to get preferable life in their way. So far, I am so thankful for this topic, because it helps me as a human and social being to be better facing the problem.

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