General Business Ethics

Essay by killjoy004College, UndergraduateA+, November 2004

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Ethics can exist only if two basic assumptions about human life are made. What are these assumptions and what evidence supports these claims?


Ethics address in what ways is morally proper to behave in certain situations. However, in order to study the field of Ethics, or even for the field of Ethics to even exist, two assumptions must be made. First and foremost, it must be assumed that humans have free will and make their own choices. The second assumption is that a true and ultimate right and wrong exist. The choices we make are made based on a universal code of right and wrong. With our free will and our own understanding of right and wrong, we as humans are therefore responsible for our own actions. Of the two assumptions, the idea of free will is a much larger leap of faith. If we assume we are in control of our actions and destiny, it seems only natural that a code regarding right and wrong exists.

"With human life, however, a new dimension emerges: we have influence over our conduct. So, what is good, mediocre, or bad in the case of human life is for us to bring about. Our own choices affect how well we are doing. We can seek to actualize the potential of our nature in a way that nourishes our lives or we can default on this obligation. And this is where morality or ethics arises" (Machan and Chesher xv).

Skepticism Regarding Free Will:

Many people argue that ethics does not exist because humans do not have free will or even true control over their actions. Noted author and professor Tibor R. Machan writes that ethics "is controversial for several reasons, among them the perennial problem of whether human beings are free agents,