In this course we discuss models and tools for making ethical decisions. We are often told to be ethical, and make ethical decisions, but are not provided with the tools to help us make ethical decisions.
Ethical decisions usually mean make a choice between two rights and includes balancing various needs in order to make what is considered an ethical decision. This is what makes ethical decision making so hard, because there doesn’t seem to be one correct answer.
Most ethical decisions can be described as being making a choice between:
* Truth or Loyalty
* Short-Term or Long-Term
* Individual or Group
* Justice or Mercy
Objectives, values, and a defined process for considering the best decision help us make good decisions that we can feel are ethical. We will discuss universal human values that should be included in any decision making process, how to consider and incorporate organizational or situation-specific objectives and values into the decision making process, and common ethical decision making models prevalent in the world. By understanding how these ethical decision making models work, we can determine a model that is best for us to use in making these difficult “right versus right” decisions. Once we understand these concepts then we can also help others.
* Identify the core human values upon which any ethical decision should be made.
* Define the types of ethical decisions and which are applicable to the decision you need to make: truth vs. loyalty, long-term vs. short-term, individual vs. group, or short-term vs. long-term.
* Familiarize yourself with commonly accepted ethical decision making models and recognize the common elements necessary for developing an ethical decision making model. Consider classical ethics philosophies and determine how to apply them into your own ethical decision making model.
* Provide others with the resources and examples of ethical decision making models they can use in everyday life.
Field of Study: Behavioral Ethics
CPE Hours: 1.0