The Function of Ethics and Morality in American Democracy.

Essay by mkm November 2005

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There are a few questions surrounding the topic of ethics and morality. What are ethics and morality? Are they really necessary in order to have a decent functioning society? Would we be able to live with one another without them? Most people realize ethics and morality have something to do with the concepts of good and bad. Individuals need to have ethics and morality to a certain degree so we can maintain some sense of order.

So, what are ethics and morality? Ethics and morality are simply a good set of principles that can help with decision-making. Ethics are an individual's collection of morals, and someone who is ethical or moral is someone who makes decisions based on what she or he feels is right. Peter Abelard said, "God considered not action, but the spirit of the action. It is the intention, not the deed, wherein the merit or praise of the doer consists" (Jacobus 628).

A person would have to recognize the moral context of a situation before they could try to solve it. Ethics and morality are principles that we as a society try to instill in people. Some of the principles might include concern for the well being of others, trustworthiness and honesty, a willingness to abide by the law, being fair, and doing good or preventing harm to one another. If we as a people did not have these principles, then would we be able to function in society?

The laws in our country are based on such rules or principles. The founding fathers of the United States, although most of them were deists, used the Bible as a guide to making most of the constitutional laws. If we did not have those sets of rules, then America would have a very chaotic society. Friedrich...