If it's legal, it's ethical...right?

timer Asked: Aug 20th, 2013

Question description

In his article, "If it's legal, it's ethical...right?" Weinstein provides several examples that show what is legal is not always ethical. He argues that when deciding how to behave, people should look to basic ethical standards to guide them, as ethics "transcend time, place, and the whims of politics" whereas laws often change. Gene Autry seems to have had a similar idea many, many years before Weinstein. In the "Cowboy Code," Autry offers 10 ethical principles to live by that are not laws. Why is it necessary to have ethical standards of behavior in addition to laws? Why aren't laws enough? Do you think, as Weinstein suggests, that societies would fall apart without the rule of law? You'll consider these issues in this discussion.

Consider the importance of the rule of law and the role of ethics in our society.

Reflect on Weinstein's five ethical principles—Do not harm; Make things better; Respect others; Be fair; and Be loving—and how these are similar to and different from the 10 principles in Gene Autry's "Cowboy Code." How relevant are these principles in modern society?

Think about why ethical standards of behavior are important to have in addition to laws. Why aren't laws enough to help people decide how to behave?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a paragraph explaining how Weinstein's five contemporary principles are similar to and different from Gene Autry's Cowboy Code from the early part of the century. Include whether you believe these principles are relevant in modern society and why. In a second paragraph, explain the importance of having ethical standards of behavior in addition to laws.

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