For many people, defining personal ethics is a difficult endeavor. Ethics are simply the moral foundation on which people build their lives. They guide the decision-making of an individual and represent the core value system people use for everyday problem solving. They also create a framework for determining right versus wrong (Nucci 1). Many people consider their ethics to be a characteristic they were born with but truly, ethics are developed throughout life based on a wide variety of factors.
While parents cannot dictate their child’s morality, they are typically the first to voice and demonstrate ethical boundaries for them. Most parents consider it one of their critical jobs to instill a strong sense of right and wrong in their children. When parents tell their children that stealing is wrong, they are building a foundation for their child’s personal ethics. In many ...view middle of the document...
Children absorb the actions of their family, which contributes heavily to their sense of morality.
Schools also play a major role in the moral development of youth. The values and beliefs that teachers demonstrate are carried on to the students. Many schools teach about why lying, cheating, and stealing is wrong (Nucci 3). Peers in school also have a huge impact on the development of ethics. Learning about and evaluating themselves through others who are like them teach them morals (Garrod 40). Even the ones that are not like them could teach them morals. They could learn not to do things by other’s mistakes. Smith said, “Peer pressure was a huge problem. Now that I look back on it, it matured me in many ways.” In Moral Development and Moral Education: An Overview, Larry Nucci states that morality resulted from social interaction and immersion in a group.
Culture can dictate the ethical norms that people are used to and come to expect. The culture that is lived in may impact someone’s ethical code, simply because it surrounds them. The customs and traditions of the society they inhabit become ingrained in their psyche, and the ethics of the group are generally accepted (Nucci 4). Racism, gender discrimination and other forms of prejudice can become an accepted part of a person’s ethical standards when surrounded by people who do it and allow it.
The events that happen in someone’s life can also impact ethics. Emotion and personal understanding may cause a powerful shift in beliefs. For example, many people claim to be against the death penalty. However, if a loved one is murdered, they may find themselves feeling differently when looking into the eyes of the person responsible.
The main point is that other people or situations that other people go through influence ethics in a person. Ethics set a standard for living life and guide the actions one takes in living life. There are many different ways ethics and morals can be instilled in someone’s life. These are just a few.