Professor/Lecturer Ellmann's Course Materials Page

Essay #1 - Your Ethical Parameters

economic thought
MBA/MA - Anglo-American University International Finance
ERASMUS - International Finance
MBA - Money and Financial Markets
ERASMUS Money & Banking
M.A. Public Policy Economic Sociology
On the Origin of Facts

Dear students, this essay assignment has two parts, which follow sequentially.

PART I: please indicate if you agree or disagree with the following twenty statements in accordance with these instructions:

Each represents a commonly held opinion and there are no right or wrong answers. What matters is your reaction to such matters of opinion.

Rate your reaction to each statement by writing a number to the left of each statement where:

1 = Disagree Strongly
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Agree Strongly

The questions (please print them out and include them with your essay):

1. People should make certain that their actions never
intentionally harm another even to a small degree.

2. Risks to another should never be tolerated, irrespective of how small the risks might be.

3. The existence of potential harm to others is always
wrong, irrespective of the benefits to be gained.

4. One should never psychologically or physically harm
another person.

5. One should not perform an action which might in any way threaten the dignity and welfare of another individual.

6. If an action could harm an innocent other, then it should not be done.

7. Deciding whether or not to perform an act by balancing
the positive consequences of the act against the negative
consequences of the act is immoral.

8. The dignity and welfare of the people should be the most important concern in any society.

9. It is never necessary to sacrifice the welfare of others.

10. Moral behaviors are actions that closely match ideals of the most "perfect" action.

11. There are no ethical principles that are so important
that they should be a part of any code of ethics.

12. What is ethical varies from one situation and society to another.

13. Moral standards should be seen as being individualistic; what one person considers to be moral may be judged to be immoral by another person.

14. Different types of morality cannot be compared as to

15. Questions of what is ethical for everyone can never be
resolved since what is moral or immoral is up to the individual.

16. Moral standards are simply personal rules that indicate how a person should behave, and are not be be applied in making judgments of others.

17. Ethical considerations in interpersonal relations are so complex that individuals should be allowed to formulate
their own individual codes.

18. Rigidly codifying an ethical position that prevents
certain types of actions could stand in the way of better
human relations and adjustment.

19. No rule concerning lying can be formulated; whether a lie is permissible or not permissible totally depends upon
the situation.

20. Whether a lie is judged to be moral or immoral depends
upon the circumstances surrounding the action.

PART II: write a concise paragraph for each of the twenty statements, and in these paragraphs try to explain why your reaction to each question was what it was in Part I. Literally, try to answer in one paragraph for each of the twenty questions above why you think you've answered the way that you have.


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