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The textbook states that the best determiner of personal moral development “is the recognition that motive, not consequence, is a critical factor in deciding if an act is ethical”.  Discuss something specific that you have learned in this class that supports or challenges this assumption

Discussion

Answer the question posed in the discussion description related to Chapter 11 Becoming an Ethical Adult

1. The textbook states that the best determiner of personal moral development “is the recognition that motive, not consequence, is a critical factor in deciding if an act is ethical”.  Discuss something specific that you have learned in this class that supports or challenges this assumption.

Page 205 on the pdf uploaded And One paragraph for discussion no citation or quotations


Student responses

4 sentences each

1. “An important part of moral development is the recognition that motive, not consequence, is a critical factor in deciding whether an act is ethical” (p.359), and with this statement I completely agree. In this class I have learned a lot about ethical choices and the distinction that while one may be making the “right” choice, does not mean that the choice is the “ethical” choice. For example, in case 8-D, Above the Fold: Balancing Newsworthy Photos with Community Standards, editors discussed back and forth whether or not they should release photos of Shelby McGuire being carried out of a hostage situation and give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the front lawn (p.272-276). Ultimately, editors decided that the pictures should be run because the photos were so compelling and showed the public what police officers are faced with on a daily basis, but the public quickly expressed their discontent. While they felt it was the right choice to publicize the photos, was it ethical? I feel that this case supports the idea of the “right” vs the “ethical” choice, and realizing the motive and not the consequence behind determining if it was ethical to release the photos or not was prevalent. I think that the editors did realize the uproar the photos could cause, but the motive, which was to inform the public of the tragic events police officers face was ultimately the determining factor. I feel this shows moral development because they had good intentions releasing the photographs, but ultimately I think it shows there will always be a battle between what is “right” and what is “ethical” in the media.

2. I learned in this class is that consequence does have a factor on deciding if an act is ethical. Motive is all fine and good and it does have role to play because there will always be something that pushes someone to make a decision that is ethical or not. Consequence plays a much bigger role because once that decision is made the result will be a positive or negative consequence.

3.Many times as a kid, we would do something that our parents told us not to. But even at that age we didn’t stop to think about the consequences associated with these acts. We would just do it, then get in trouble. Our motive was that we wanted whatever we wanted or wanted to do something and our parents would not let us. As we age, our brain starts to analyze the consequences of our actions. We start to see the right and wrong of our personal moral development. It’s kind of like a circle, because we start off at a young age worrying about why we want something and not worrying about what would happen instead. Then as we begin to interact with more people at school, and more adults than just your parents. Their judgment of us makes us view the consequences more instead. For example, in this class I always think about how much better my grade would be if I did all my work and made a 100 on everything. The motive to graduate far outweighs the consequences of not graduating, and that’s what it comes down to. As we mature our decision making also changes too.

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