Chapter 2: Ethics in Law


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Business Law class Chapter 2 is titled: Ethics in our Law
This presentation was used in my Business Law class at Littlestown High School. Most of the notes are based on the textbook from South-Western: Law for Business and Personal Use 15th Ed. by Adamson-Mietus

Published in: Education, Spiritual

Chapter 2: Ethics in Law

  1. 1. Business Law Chapter 2: Ethics In Our Law
  2. 2. What is Ethics?  What does ethics mean?  Think of a situation where ethics would be involved.
  3. 3. What is Ethics?  Ethics is deciding what is right or wrong in a reasoned, impartial manner  Key elements: impartial decision, reasoned,
  4. 4. Ethics: Decision  To involve ethics, a decision must affect you or others in some significant way.  There are many examples of decisions that do not involve ethics.  Give an example for a decision that involves ethics, and one that does not.
  5. 5. Ethics: Reasoned  The decision must be made objectively without emotions.  It is often very difficult to remove your emotions from a decision.  People generally get guidance about right and wrong from their religion (Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.) or the law.
  6. 6. Ethics: Impartial  Impartiality is the idea that the same ethical standards are applied to everyone.  There should be a fairness involved when dealing with ethics.  We must balance our self-interest and views with that of others.
  7. 7. What would you do? You’re at a friend’s house for a party. While having a great time dancing, you accidentally knock over a porcelain picture frame and it cracks. The frame looks old and nobody saw you bump it. What will you do about it? How do you feel after making that decision?
  8. 8. What would you do?  As you’re walking home from school you notice a soccer ball left out on the field by the gym class. You play soccer and your ball is worn out so you pick up the ball from the field and take it home. Can you justify taking the ball?
  9. 9. What would you do? Jack’s car was struck by a man who ran a stop light. After surveying the damage, Jack sees he’ll need a new left fender, head light assembly, and a bumper. His left door is rusted out at the bottom but was not damaged. He decides to hit it with a hammer and say it was damaged in the accident so he can get it replaced at no cost to himself. How will Jack justify this? Has he hurt anyone?
  10. 10. Behind all businesses, schools, and organizations, there are people. When we wrong an institution, the government or any kind of organization, we injure or wrong people. Someone will be affected by your decision. Many people today justify stealing or short changing their work, their school, or our government.
  11. 11. Forms of Ethical Reasoning  Based on Consequences – – – –  Right and wrong is based on the results Not based on morals or rules, but greater good Positive consequences = right Negative consequences = wrong Based on Ethical Rules – Acts are judged either right or wrong regardless of the results  Both types of reasoning can be used in deciding ethical questions, usually with the same result.
  12. 12. Consequence-based Reasoning  An individual will examine possible courses of action and their consequences. After evaluating the consequences, a person selects the action that results in the best outcome.  When deciding which action to take, consideration is given to others involved.  A person’s goals and values affect their reasoning.
  13. 13. Rule-based Reasoning  A higher authority or standard sets rules to follow.  The Good—the primary goal toward which human life should be directed.  In rule-based reasoning, the act is evaluated instead of the consequence.  Universalizing—looking at an action and seeing what the world would be like if everyone did it.
  14. 14. Moral Rights  All human beings have dignity and worth therefore they must be treated with respect.  Humans are unique because of their potential for reasoning about right and wrong.  This means humans have moral rights.
  15. 15. Moral Rights  Rightful claims on other people that flow from each person’s status has a human being.
  16. 16. Laws  In this country, the people determine the laws that bind them.  Do you agree with the above statement? Why or Why not?
  17. 17.  We elect our officials who, in turn, make laws that are acceptable to the majority of people they represent.  ‘Majority rules’ is a popular statement that means elected officials enact rules and regulations that are acceptable by the majority of voters.  Majority rules is based on consequencebased ethics.
  18. 18. Civil Rights  Personal, human rights are recognized and guaranteed by our Constitution.  Freedom of religion, speech, the press, unreasonable searches and seizures, speedy and just trial, vote, etc. Read Law and the Internet p. 26
  19. 19. What’s Your Verdict?  Read What’s Your Verdict? p. 27 Is there any ethical justification for treating Smyth and Brown so differently?
  20. 20. Obeying Laws  Why do you obey laws and rules? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
  21. 21. Why Obey Laws???  Based on Ethical reasoning  Integrity—the ability to do what is right even in the face of temptation to do otherwise  Afraid of punishment/consequences  To maintain Civil order
  22. 22. What’s Your Verdict? p. 28  Is there ethical justification for Dr. King’s actions?  Under what circumstances would you consider committing civil disobedience?
  23. 23. Are we ever justified in violating the law?
  24. 24. Yes!  Any law that goes against basic human rights, dignity, and common justice for all may be deemed unethical.  How do you change the law?
  25. 25. How to change the law  Work within the system to make a change  Write your local/state government official  Vote  Be informed and educate others  Civil Disobedience
  26. 26. When is civil disobedience allowed?  Law goes against ethic reasoning  No political means to change  Disobedience is nonviolent  The common good is enhanced above one’s self interest  Disobedience is public  Offender is willing to accept the punishment
  27. 27. Responsibilities of An American Citizen The duty to obey the law The duty to respect the rights of others The duty to inform yourself on political issues The duty to vote in elections The duty to serve on juries if called The duty to serve and defend your country The duty to assist agencies of law enforcement