ETHICAL DECISION MAKING





"We do not quite say that the new is more valuable because it fits in; but its fitting in is a test of its value--a test, it is true, which can only be slowly and cautiously applied, for we are none of us infallible judges of conformity.", the famous poet T. S. Elliot once said. Ethics and conformity go hand in hand; it is hard to talk about one subject without involving the other. The past two weeks of this humanities course has been centered around the relationship which exists between these two subjects of matter. The course allowed us to receive an in-depth look at the decision making process, including moral and ethical decision making, and to compare this to that of other students and writers. The process of decision making varies from person to person, and is normally dependent on the value system of the person who is making the decision. With peer pressure, the pressures of conformity, and the need to fit in, the present generation is making decisions based on other peoples belief systems; thus, risking their future and well being to gain the acceptance of others, and subtracting from the beauty that ones personality possesses.
Ethics are personal issues that each person must determine for themselves. For example, would you let your two-year-old niece pick your hair color? Then why would you let just anybody determine if you should drink, do drugs, or have sex? This subject of decision making is very touchy to myself because there are so many variables that come into play. I could not say what my ethics would be on any given day. If approached with a situation I would be able to determine my stand point at that moment in time based on what I felt right then. Otherwise, it would be almost impossible to tell the truth. Do not be hasty when making decisions. First, decide if the decision/outcome has any level of importance to you. If it does decide carefully, for the outcome is yours to deal with. Each individual person has their own set of ethics. This set of moral principals can vary radically, depending on the subject, circumstance, or even upbringing. On any given day an individuals morals can change depending on the happenings of that day or previous days. One tiny event may have such a large impact on an individual that they may choose to rethink their whole ethical system. The ethics you determine are yours and yours alone. You do not need a book explaining why you feel the way you do. Each individual has suffered through different hardships and has breezed through different high periods in their life. Ethics build as a person ages and experiences more. The more you have seen and witnessed, the more able you are to draw conclusions as to whether you have a point of view on that particular subject.
In addition to individual and personal codes of ethics, each person also has their own method of making decisions. Hypothetically speaking, a college freshman is at a Fraternity party with her new girlfriends. While at the party her friends decide to try the drug ecstasy; she has never done drugs before. Her friends tell her that the fraternity guys said the drug makes you feel good all over. "C\'mon, don\'t be a chicken *censored*, if the guys do it then we can do it. It\'ll be so much fun", one girl exclaims. Another says, "Don\'t you want to fit in? The fraternity guys will love you if you party with \'em. We\'ll never have to worry about getting into another party again." After hearing this one starts to contemplate there final decision. Personally and foremost I would definitely not want to participate in this act. After hearing the comments of my friends, I would feel more obligation towards there point of view. I might begin to weigh the pros and cons of the situation but rarely do I do this. Normally I think about tomorrow. I often ask myself the question, " Tomorrow will this matter?". If the answer is no then it\'s probably not worth it. I make decisions based on my future. The choices that you make determine the life that you live. When it