What is ethics? I am always in debate with myself of what constitutes an ethical or non-ethical behaviours, so I intend in this article to talk about it in deeper meaning. In general ethics which is derived from the Greek word “ethos” means “way of living”, its a branch of philosophy that is concerned with human conduct, more specifically the behaviour of individuals in society. Ethics examines the rational justification for our moral judgments; it studies what is morally right or wrong, just or unjust.

According to Wiki:
“Ethics, sometimes known as philosophical ethics, ethical theory, moral theory, and moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct, often addressing disputes of moral diversity.[1] The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means “character”. The superfield within philosophy known as Axiology includes both ethics and Aesthetics and is unified by each sub-branch’s concern with value.[2] Philosophical ethics investigates what is the best way for humans to live, and what kinds of actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances. Ethics may be divided into four major areas of study:[1]

  • Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth values (if any) may be determined;
  • Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action;
  • Applied ethics draws upon ethical theory in order to ask what a person is obligated to do in some very specific situation, or within some particular domain of action (such as business);
  • Descriptive ethics, also known as comparative ethics, is the study of people’s beliefs about morality;

Ethics seeks to resolve questions dealing with human morality—concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime”

And according to the BBC guide:

“At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives.
Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy.
The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition.
Ethics covers the following dilemmas:

  • how to live a good life
  • our rights and responsibilities
  • the language of right and wrong
  • moral decisions – what is good and bad?

Our concepts of ethics have been derived from religions, philosophies and cultures. They infuse debates on topics like abortion, human rights and professional conduct.

So Ethics is a responsibility, as its derived from a feeling that what we are doing or about to do is not good, hence there will be a tingling in our brain that will try to hinder us from committing that unethical behavior. 

So, do organiations do unethical  stuff? or is this limited to people? I feel that because the organisation is made of people then it can be unethical too, and that is the jest of my discussion today.

I have been working for over 37 years, and have been faced with so many situations that made me upset and sometime had depressed me even as I cannot stand unethical behaviors.  People do it, organizations do it, companies do it, and governments do it. Leave aside the bribes, the waste of time and resources, the unlawful dealings with the public or counterparts, and the unjust treatments, I do not want to even delve into them in this article as it will take me forever to recite all of what I had encountered in these 37 years, I will only talk about two effects; the medical effect and the prison effect.

Many of those that were affected with unethical behaviors are frequenting the hospitals and clinics, as they couldn’t tolerate that behavior and worried to talk about it so a disease of mental trauma is created, I think the medical team (if they are ethical of course as this article include the doctors too) should investigate this factor and add it as an extra check point to resolve.

Many of the poeple in prison are also there due to some sort of unethical behaviour of people, for example it could be a bank charging exorbitant interest so the person cannot pay that amount so the bank put him in prison forgetting of course that by doing so the bank will not only lose its money but will also be doomed as the imprisoned person will be cursing it and its employees every minute of every hour.  I know some people who are still in prison due to defaulting of payments to banks or due to committing bribery and unlawful doing.

Of course having said all of this, I expect universities, colleges and schools to be free from unethical behaviours as they are “the teachers for the nations”, unfortunatly even these organisations who teach these subjects and tell people what to do and what not to do are committing the same things, they deny people their dues, they cheat in fees and their proffessors either fail students or expect money in return for services rendered or otherwise.

When are we the human beings who makeup the world (organizations and other communities) are going to wake up and listen to our inner minds! when are we going to be completely truthful and portray the correct information and not expect a kickback or a bribe etc.

Well, just some thoughts to ponder upon.