Do you believe that professional ethics is the same as moral ethics? Why or why not. Please use ethical analysis for your answer………………
Do you believe that Professional ethics is the same as moral ethics?
No, I do not believe that professional ethics is the same as moral ethics because these are two different terms which are applied in different contexts. Most scholars have argued about the viability of a difference between professional ethics and moral ethics. However, some have found a slight similarity which may be substantial in arguing about the same thing. In this task, ethical analysis will be used to analyze the difference between the two concepts. Some terms will be defined in order to validate the difference between the two concepts.
First of all, professional ethics prescribes what professionals must or must not do in the place of work or professional life. It implies that if an individual is to have professional ethics, then there is need for the person to carry out his practice in a specified conduct. On the other hand, moral ethics prescribes the code of behaviors that a society, a group such as a religion or a rational person is expected of from an individual.
Professional ethics are set by individuals in a specific field or profession. This is because they do not want to tolerate bad or dishonest or irresponsible behavior in the defined professional field. Hence they will try to abide by the standards to maintain a good reputation. These are sometimes referred to as ethical business practices among them include; standards of integrity, honest and professionalism. In contrast, moral ethics are allied with personal outlook of values. These may replicate beliefs associated with gambling, getting drunk, and sex, among others. They have impact on the religion, culture, friends and family. They do define how a moral individual should act. A person is not expected to make love to his girlfriend or wife in the open public, because there ought to be some sense of privacy. This will be considered as violation of moral ethics.
Code of professional ethics refers to a proclamation of guiding principles, values or rules that steer the conduct of a person. These codes of ethics not only guide business enterprises, but also guide the conduct of people working in an organization (Dublin, 4). They may be in written form or by common sense. For instance, it is professionally unethical for an accountant or an auditor to manipulate the financial statements so as to embezzle funds from a firm. However, codes of morality are informal public system which affects all rational people, governing the conduct towards others and has the reduction of wickedness or harm as its main objective (Bernard, 2). For example, a child insulting an adult is immoral and shows signs of disobedience and disrespect. Moral behaviors may not be written as with the case of codes of professional ethics.
Every professional is required to be courteous and straightforward in their professional conduct. For instance, it would be very unethical for the police and other law enforcers to engage in criminal acts in their line of duties (Joshua, 14). They should not act in a manner that portrays conflict of interests. For instance, a senior official in the government is not expected to use public funds for his own personal gain like building his home. This would be a conflict of interests. Normally professional ethics are included in education systems. For example, medical practitioners are trained on various ethical topics in regard to confidentiality of patient’s information and Hippocratic Oath. It is against the law and unethical to expose to others, records of a patient’s health especially those who are not drawn in the health care of the person. Morality or moral ethics may or may not be included in the education program. Moral ethics vary among different communities or societies (Stephen, 1). For instance, it would be immoral for a Muslim woman to put on a miniskirt or a tight outfit. Similarly, it would be immoral in some countries for a man to marry another man or a woman to marry another woman. These practices are allowed in other communities while some communities do banish such acts. They are considered highly immoral.
Other professions like engineering, accountants, lawyers, and journalism and many other professions have specified professional ethics. In most cases, these ethics are similar all around the world and they must never violate the law. In case they are violated, the person in the professional field will have his license of practice cancelled and he or she will not be allowed to practice the profession in any other place as long as the ban is still in effect. On the other hand, moral ethics as mentioned earlier vary according to cultural difference among different communities. A rational person is not issued with a formal license of how he or she is expected to behave but rather it is unspoken. Moral ethics is the ability to differentiate between what is wrong or right (Kenneth, 4). They are mostly determined by the person himself or herself and he or she is expected to apply in the day to day conduct of his or her activities. The moral ethics also determine how a rational person views his or her actions and the gauging of the consequences related to the actions. Normally moral ethics are instilled in a person basing on the experience from birth to adulthood. They may not be trained but may be based on the environment the individual co-exists with the rest. Hence environment is also a determining factor of a person’s moral ethics.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that there are some elements of similarities between moral ethics and professional ethics. This is in the sense that both ethics have principles or values that help control the way some people behave in different contexts. Moreover, both moral and professional ethics distinguish between what is right or wrong in some particular circumstances. Similarly, both have the objective of infusing a sense of accountability to persons’ course of actions thereby helping to maintain law and order in the society at large (Peter, 3).
To wind up, as from the above argument, professional ethics and moral ethics are very significant in shaping the individual’s course of actions. In the discussion, it is worth acknowledging that professional ethics and moral ethics are essential in maintaining law and order in the community, and the relation among the individuals co-existing in the society. Nonetheless, as described in the argument, professional ethics is not the same as moral ethics in the manner in which they apply to different people in different environment or field of study.
Dublin, “Code of Professional Ethics” 2003, pp.03-04, Print.
Gert, Bernard, “The Definition of Morality” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010.
<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/> Web. 04-10-2011.
Joseph, Joshua. Ethics in the Workplace, 2007. Web. 03 October 2011.
Perle, Stephen. Morality and Ethics: An Introduction. 2004. Web. 03 October 2011.
Rogerson, Kenneth. Introduction to Ethical Theory. Texas: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1991.
Singer, Peter. Writings on an Ethical Life, London: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000. Print
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