Sanctioningan ethics course for all college students is not a guarantee for amore ethical workforce or less white collar crime. One factor thatsupports this notion is that a course on ethics is just a formalinstruction concerning the manner in which people should act in theworkplace. In the real sense, such training cannot change humanbehavior. People are often exposed to moral instructions in differentaspects of their lives. A good example is in religious settings wheremost of the subjects taught involve ethical behavior. Despite suchinstructions, people still act unethically. Initiating a moral coursewill make no difference to the ethical behavior in future workplaces.
According to a Stanford Report (2014), a political theory and lawscholar argues that classes on ethics cannot efficiently teachstudents on ways of improving the world due to the
‘’ messy’’state of the society.It is indeed true that the condition of theworld today is terrifying. Unethical behavior is now considered partof society. As a result, subjecting students to ethical classescannot yield much fruit.
Human behavior is innate and cannot be changed with lessons onethics. In most cases, the key objective of a course in ethics is tochange behavior. In addition, to this, it acts as an endeavor toeducate young people on the code of conduct in every profession. Apparently, if people exposed to such lessons have an inclination toimmoral behavior, it can prove difficult to inculcate professionalswith high moral standards.
Ithink society today is less ethical than 100 years earlier. Peoplein contemporary society are more focused on what benefits them asopposed to the needs of the others. The impact of this state ofselfishness is that people adopt unethical behavior. For instance,organizations are more inclined to making profits as a result, theyaim at maximizing their interests as opposed to the welfare of thesociety at large. A case in point is the recent Volkswagen scandal inwhich the German manufacturing company falsified emission tests inthe United States. The action certainly has an impact on theenvironment and the health of society. This case clearly shows howmorality in the current civilization is derailed.
Theincrease in technological advancements in present day society hasalso heightened unethical conduct. Technological inventions such asthe internet have increased the level of misconduct. A good exampleof this is cybercrime which has emerged as one of the impendingethical problems. The phenomenon has adverse effects on bothindividuals and businesses.
Adifference exists between personal ethical values and legal behavior.Personal ethical values are the moral values that are held by anindividual and in most cases are principles that a person decides tofollow. Legal conduct, on the other hand, encompasses permissiblebehavior that is outlined by law. In most cases, people are requiredto behave legally as a way of avoiding conflict with the legalsystem.
Forexample, a difference between personal ethical values and legalaction arises in the context of tax remittance. It is a legalobligation for every citizen not to dodge paying tax. However, anindividual may choose to evade tax resulting in problems with thejustice system. If a person has strong personal ethical values, thenevading tax is an action he/she would not take.
StanfordReport. (2014). Stanford panel debates: Does teaching ethics do anygood? Stanford News.