Ethics can be defined as the study of the general nature of morals and of specific moral choices. Ethics are the rules and standards governing the conduct of the members of a profession (Davies, 1979).
As adults in today’s society, we are often faced with the task of making moral choices in difficult and complicated situations. The dilemmas we face today are a far cry from the issues that our ancestors a generation or two ago faced. Today, for example, we place opinions on how we feel about cloning, stem cell research, Ten Commandment postings in governmental buildings, or school prayer.
These issues make these ethical decisions more and more complex in a rapidly changing world. The issues themselves are often of such complexity that a person must gain a depth of understanding in several areas in order to make informed ethical decisions. Religion, science, education, and our cultural traditions are but some of the factors that must be considered in making good moral choices. In an ever-changing world, I have found but one standard that serves as the measuring rod for all of life’s questions, and that standard is the Bible. It is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and it never changes and is always “present tense.”
When asked, what are three barriers to morality in today’s society? Dr.
C. Everett Koop answered, “Lack of personal education in personal accountability, excessive access to materials which are over the edge’ and lack of opportunity to be with positive role models” (CACE Forum, 2001). I find this statement a bit disheartening, and find that in my little corner of the world, I am only able to change myself, and probably have little influence over steering the population as a whole towards morality and ethical behavior.
Davies, P. (1979). The American Heritage Dictionary.
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
CACE Forum (2001). The Center for Applied Christian Ethics – Wheaton College. Retrieved 10/30/01 from the Worldwide Web: www.wheaton.
edu/CACE/ . .