On the home page of the website globalethics.org, a lot of information about its vision of global ethics can be found (Global Ethics). First of all, the representatives of the Institute for Global Ethics state that their mission is to promote ethical action. They are targeted at the global population and do not pay much attention to discrepancies and differences between populations. They believe that ethical action is a tool that can be used to foster decision-making. The Institute for Global Ethics focuses on diverse clients. It serves corporations, government agencies, educational establishments, and not-for-profit organizations. Its representatives believe that the ethical culture that exists in the workplace needs to be constantly supported and improved. Even though they believe that individuals should define tools of mitigating issues themselves, professionals can offer the most appropriate ones.
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Ethics is a tool that allows one to link individuals
According to the Institute for Global Ethics, people and companies face moral issues regularly and try to limit the attention paid to them to avoid their development, which is not right. Ethics is critical at every instance in various contexts. Still, individuals and organizations tend to have different perceptions of ethics even though they deal with it daily. On the page “Our Approach”, the Institute for Global Ethics mentions that every organization has ethics in its core. With its help, employee morale can be improved, reputation boosted, client and employee loyalty strengthened. Ethics is a tool that allows one to link individuals. Without it, challenging dilemmas cannot be solved, and shared philosophy cannot be developed. Ethics provides people with the moral courage to make a critical decision or implement organizational change. It allows us to make up one’s mind when being in a situation when two different decisions seem to be right.
According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, professionals started discussing global ethics with the development of globalization and its influence on different spheres of life (“Global Ethics: Capabilities Approach”). If people resort to global ethics, they are supposed to maintain moral reasoning in the framework of culture, religion, environment, etc. to address issues of globalization. The dominant approach presupposes that moral theories that are consistent with various perspectives are developed while according to the communitarian approach no universal standard that deals with both local and global ideas can be developed. The capabilities theory created by Nussbaum combines both a universal measure and religious and cultural differences.
People are expected to express their powers basing their actions on intuition. Still, justifications should be developed concerning the list of capabilities that allow a person to use one’s powers. This hierarchy is vital because it allows us to define how to act, focusing on the most critical points. When making a decision, individuals should think of goods that make their lives better. The emphasis should be put on those they are critical for the living (such as food or shelter) while luxurious goods (such as vacationing) can be ignored in some situations. People should conduct those actions that have a positive influence on the environment and the lives of others. In a case of any ethical dilemma, they should resort to the main capabilities and ensure that the decision they make is aligned with them. It is also significant to ensure that eventually, the well-being of a person will improve. When dealing with some issues, individuals should choose an option that allows them to obtain a possibility for some improvement.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy reveals the fact that the capabilities approach is based on Aristotle’s ideas because it presupposes the aim of using power for flourishing and well-being. It is also claimed that people should be virtuous if they want to have a good life. However, the main attention is paid to the differences between the two ethics. While Aristotle focuses on a naturalistic aspect of flourishing, Nussbaum thinks of it more as of a merely moral concept. In addition to that, an ancient philosopher is highly concerned with the reasons why people conduct particular actions and with the way motivations build one’s character (Aristotle 138).
Nussbaum pays attention to space instead. She believes that the proper space is the main thing that allows a person to use one’s powers and fulfill a particular capability. Virtue is a trait that allows people to act so that they gain good. Aristotle sees virtue in both pleasures and pains (26). When making a decision, people can resort to it to identify what will be the best actions conducted in a particular situation. It does not presuppose any right or wrong decision but deals with the selection of the one that allows reaching the best possible outcome. Similar ideas are discussed by the representatives of the Institute for Global Ethics who claim that in a real-world context people often need to decide between two options that seem to be right (Global Ethics). Just as Aristotle, they see courage as the readiness to make a critical decision. However, the philosopher also attracts attention to the fact that this quality is often revealed by people who make rash decisions that are not always the best ones (Aristotle 50).
Juxtaposing Aristotle and two selected websites on global ethics, I received an opportunity to get a better understanding of the very concept of ethics and to define what it deals from a global perspective. I was rather surprised by the fact that different parties have so diverse views on one thing. However, it was also interesting to get to know that different professionals use Aristotle’s ethical philosophy as the basis of their considerations. Even if their views oppose each other, some connection and at a list, a couple of basic similarities can be identified.
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I realized that regardless of all differences, professionals believe that the opportunity to reach the highest good is the best possible outcome of any ethical dilemma. Still, the attention paid to moral virtue is not the same, which can be explained by the fact that with time the environment in which the representatives of the general public were living altered as well as their perception of the world and its elements. In this way, it seems to be normal that the perception of ethics by various professionals is not the same. What is more, this subject is rather abstract and cannot be supported by any undoubtfully strong evidence, which means that all ideas described by philosophers can be accepted and followed when making a decision. Finally, it was rather useful to learn the characteristics of global ethics, especially to define the way it differs from the “local” one. However, even having an opportunity to use any of these two approaches, it seems to be more reasonable to unite them and resort to the capabilities approach, which tends to fill their gaps.
Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Global Ethics. The Institute for Global Ethics, 2017, Web.
“Global Ethics: Capabilities Approach.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2017, Web.