Two Ethical Principles in Our Personal Value Ethics

Through discussion, we have found that the two most important ethical principles we use to define our personal value ethics are those of self interests and personal virtues. Intertwining these two principles leaves room for productivity maximization while simultaneously cutting out room for unethical loop holes.

As written by LaRue Hosmer, the ethical principle of self interests can be defined as “never take any action that is not in the long-term self-interests of yourself and the organization to which you belong.” It should go without saying that these actions should be made without interfering with other’s rights. As Denis G. Arnold explains in his essay “The Justification of Human Rights” people must claim freedom and well-being as necessary qualifiers for their success and thus must acknowledge these rights to all other people as well.

Hosmer also writes about the ethical principle of personal virtues. He states that, according to this principle, we must treat others with courtesy and fairness. Further, one should “never take any action that is not honest, open, and truthful, and which you would not be proud to see reported widely in national newspapers and on television.”

As a group we have found it exceptionally important to combine these two ethical principles when defining our personal value ethics. While the reality that other people are going to look out for their own self interest is true, the principle of self interest is not sufficient by itself. Individual and group decisions could be made that could be potentially hazardous to others, but due to a lack of transparency to the public, could still be in our best self interests. That is why we couple it with the principle of personal virtues. We take every action we can to accommodate our self-interests while making sure we would be proud to openly report any action we take to the public.


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