Friday, July 24, 2009

Ethics Dissertation

Ethics are the standards of right and wrong. They are the standards and values which influence our conduct and behavior. Ethics are sometimes called morals and the study of ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy. In the history of ethics there are three principal standards of conduct. These standards are happiness or pleasure; duty, virtue, or obligation; and perfection which is the most complete development of human potential. All people who have attempted to determine ethics have based their decision according to two chief principles. The first is that they think of something as right and the second is that the rest of society thinks of something as right. Therefore there is no real definition of what good ethics are; instead it is a personal choice. Your idea of good ethics may be entirely different from someone else’s idea of good ethics. Ethics are an individual’s personal value system and without them our society would be in chaos. (158)

The coming of Christianity marked a huge change in ethics, because it introduced a religious idea of what is good into our thoughts. In the view of a true Christian a person is completely dependent on God and cannot achieve righteousness through intelligence but only with the help of God. The main Christian ethical belief is “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” - Matthew 7:12.

Work ethics is the desire to produce quality work and to give your best effort at everything that you do. Some qualities which determine good work ethics are integrity, reliability, perseverance, and the desire to succeed. Procrastination means putting off doing something because of habitual carelessness and laziness. Procrastination is one of the biggest signs of poor work ethics.

Good work ethics can be achieved by arriving on time and giving advance notice of absence if necessary, displaying loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, dependability, reliability, initiative, self-discipline, and self-responsibility, respecting the rights of others; being a team worker and being cooperative, having appropriate clothing, grooming, hygiene and etiquette, demonstrating a positive attitude, being productive, having skills in personal management, time management, prioritizing, flexibility, stress management and the ability to deal with change, having appropriate verbal and nonverbal
skills, having leadership skills while maintaining appropriate relationships with supervisors and peers, and dealing appropriately with diversity and treating everyone with respect.

Work ethics affect every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not. Work ethics or lack there of are the driving force for everything we do or don’t do. Most people who have achieved success have achieved it through good work ethics. A perfect example of this would be multi-billionaire Bill Gates. Bill Gates started out building computers out of his garage. His financial status was no different then that of the average working class American. However Bill Gates triumphed over adversity and rose to be the richest man in the world. He wasn’t born into his 40 billion dollars; he had to work for every penny of it. He showed incredibly good work ethics because he started his computer business very young and quickly shaped it into what it is now. Similarly most people aren’t born into an incredibly wealthy family but instead they have to work to build a life. In order to build a good life and have a secure future good work ethics are required. You can tell that you have good work ethics when you are working hard and achieving the goals that you have set for yourself. Conversely if you tend to procrastinate or if you lack productivity then it is apparent that you do not have good work ethics and you are not motivated.
Study ethics are similar to work ethics except they deal mainly with academics rather then all types of work. Study ethics are based on the same principles as work ethics such as attendance, attitude, productivity, organizational skills, cooperation, and respect. An example of good study ethics is not waiting until the last second to do your assignments, or doing your homework every night and showing up on time for class every day. Study ethics are being aware of what you have to do and then doing it rather than waiting and procrastinating.

From a students point of view study ethics are very important to succeed in school. Without study ethics a student cannot develop the skills he or she needs to eventually become a productive member of our society. Study ethics and work ethics go hand in hand for a student. If the student has poor work ethics then it likely that they lack study ethics as well. Benefits of good work and study ethics are success in any academic facility as well as success in attaining and maintaining employment. On the contrary consequences of having poor work and study ethics are being unable to keep a steady job and struggling through school.

In the words of Vigil an early Roman poet “Persistent work triumphed” meaning, constant labor leads to your ultimate success and unless you have work ethic all of your dreams will remain nothing but dreams. However if you work hard and keep trying then one day your dreams will become your reality and you will achieve the success you have worked for. Similar to the quote by Virgil, Euripides once said “Great effort equals great results” – Euripides. This quote means the more effort you put into a task the better the results are. So if you have good work ethics then you will put forward a consistently good effort and will achieve good results.

It can be said that idle hands are dangerous hands. This is evident in the quote “Work is the grand cure of all of the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind” – Thomas Carlyle. This quote means that if everyone in the world would do their fair share of work then the world would be a much better place and mankind as a species would be flourishing instead of killing each other in acts of greed and hatred. Similarly Albert Einstein said “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.” – Albert Einstein. This quote means that if we can learn to work without being forced to do so then we will yield good results. It can also be said that “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.” - James M. Barrie. This means that true happiness doesn’t come from getting your way all the time and doing whatever you want to do. Instead it comes from enjoying the work that you have to do, because you will get satisfaction from a job well done. If you only do what you want to do then it will eventually catch up with because you will have neglected to do the essentials.

It has been said that "Work banishes those three great evils boredom, vice and poverty." – Voltaire. This quote reiterates the point made earlier that idle hands can be dangerous hands. If you keep yourself busy with constructive activities then you will be conquering boredom because you will be busy doing something, vice because your mind will be focused on work rather than practicing evil, and poverty because you will be compensated for the work that you’re doing.

We should always try and practice good work and study ethics because the work that we do is a reflection of ourselves. This point is demonstrated in the quote “Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.” - Samuel Butler. This quote shows us that in order to put forward a good image of ourselves we must give our best effort at everything that we do. In order to put forth a good image of ourselves we must put forward our best effort in everything we do. As Thomas Edison once said “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” - Thomas Edison. This quote means that the only way to achieve greatness is through a great deal of work because inspiration means nothing if you don’t have the work ethic to follow through with your plans. Personally I have many philosophies on both work and study ethics. Study ethics has helped to achieve what I consider academic success this semester. Last semester however was a different story. I was too easily distracted and therefore couldn’t concentrate on my school work. When exam time came I really had to buckle down and go through countless hours of studying so that I could keep my average high enough. If I had better work and study ethics last semester then I would have made the principals list rather then the honors roll. In my opinion without good work and study ethics you cannot achieve anything. People may argue that athletes do not need good study ethics and they are successful, but this would not be entirely true because most athletes are drafted out of university and in order to get into university you must have good study ethics. Athletes also have good work ethics because it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to stay in good physical shape.

In conclusion work ethics and study ethics are essential to humans. Without ethics there would be chaos and everyone would be doing what they want to do. In other words there would be total anarchy without ethics. In order to maintain order in our lives and function as a society we have to fulfill our commitments as decent human beings and make positive contributions as individuals. In closing “Commitments are only as strong as the will to fulfill them” – Pierre Trudeau
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