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FIS 485

by: Dejia Braxton
Dejia Braxton
GPA 2.93

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second week of notes, including notes from first week
Professional Ethics in forensic science
Robin Bowen
75 ?




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This 17 page Bundle was uploaded by Dejia Braxton on Tuesday January 19, 2016. The Bundle belongs to 485 at West Virginia University taught by Robin Bowen in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 49 views. For similar materials see Professional Ethics in forensic science in Education and Teacher Studies at West Virginia University.


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Date Created: 01/19/16
What is Ethics? (ch.1) 01/17/2016 ▯ What is ethics?  A guided philosophy  Principles that govern an individual/group  Discipline dealing with what’s good and bad ▯ - “arbitrary rules that define appropriate behavior in personal/professional life”  specific to various groups  standards for behaviors ▯ Morals- personal guidelines, values ▯ Ethics- broader guidelines for groups  Accounts for individual morals  Legitimate expectations of one another  Guidance on how to live  Protect individuals rights/morals ▯ Model of morality ▯ - psychological process consistent with behaving morally ▯ - applies to standards and codes of conduct ▯ 1. moral sensitivity; should address any issues ▯ 2. moral reasoning; legitimate expectations ▯ 3. moral commitment; actions have consequences ▯ 4. moral perseverance; obligations/duties of protagonist ▯ Framework for decisions ▯ - inherent good > non-inherent good ▯ - non-inherent evil > inherent evil  select highest good, lowest evil ▯ Moral career ▯ - how a person changes in terms of morality/ethical behavior ▯ - no universally accepted morals ▯ - can be broken down in stages ▯ 1. Contingences – social pressures ▯ 2. Moral experiences – which values to follow ▯ 3. Apologia - resolving feelings between what happened and what should’ve happened ▯ Morality ▯ - based on triad of life:  faith  health  justice o peace and order o liberty and security o fulfillment and happiness ▯ Guide to moral life ▯ - treat everyone decently ▯ - Golden rule ▯ Norms – not all standards of conduct are considered “ethics” ▯ Law – actions are illegal but not unethical ▯ Types of ethics ▯ - applied: “most concerned with”, moral theory in a particular context, study of ethical dilemmas, choices, standards ▯ - normative: behaviors that are morally right/wrong ▯ - ▯ Context of ethics ▯ - personal: objective testing/questioning ▯ - social: based on conditions/environments ▯ - field specifics: “most concerned with”  Criminal Justice – creating/upholding law  Forensic science – objective testing ▯ - combines personal/social context; balance ▯ We learn morals from the time we’re kids ▯ - culture, religion, family, nationality ▯ - informal education; may have downfalls ▯ Formal education needed ▯ - most classes are “general” and more philosophical ▯ - nature of the field should be addressed ▯ - not intended to teach right from wrong ▯ - include discussions/scenarios ▯ Steps to study ethics ▯ 1. awareness of issues  appearance vs. reality ▯ 2. critical thinking skills  encourage openness  prevent “bad” solutions  good intentions ▯ 3. become personally involved  use our ability to respond to situations  see the “big picture” ▯ 4. recognize how the system works  abusing authority  force others to do something  checks and balances system ▯ Discussing ethics ▯ - inform people ▯ - negotiate the outcome ▯ - gain further perspective ▯ - use neutral, descriptive terms ▯ - be specific and clarify ▯ Merriam-Webster ▯ - the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life ▯ - a particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature, and meaning of life ▯ - a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live ▯ Egyptians: ▯ - boys in the ruling class ▯ - 3000 years before Christian era ▯ - advice on how to live happily, avoid unnecessary trouble, and advance one’s career ▯ - lists of precepts:  threat their people justly and judge impartially  aim to make their people prosperous  share with those who don’t have, or who have less  treat humble and lowly people with kindness  not laugh at the disabled ▯ Religion ▯ - ethical question came before religion ▯ - foundation of similarity:  attitudes toward work  desires for success  respect for authority  compassion for others ▯ - some ethical theories are taught in the Bible ▯ Ethics in the Bible: ▯ - ruler must be just ▯ - path to justice is the shining light ▯ - through knowledge, justice shall be delivered ▯ - is its joy to do justice ▯ - the just shall be protected form evil ▯ - the just shall increase in faith ▯ - all things should be done with charity ▯ Torah ▯ - Hebrew “teaching” ▯ - everything created in the world is for the purpose of carrying out the Torah ▯ - foundations of Jewish belief system stems from knowledge that the Lord is GOD Who created the world ▯ Islamic ▯ - basis: every human being is called to command the good and forbid the evil in all spheres of life ▯ - moral responsibility to submit to God’s will and to follow Islam as stated in the Qur’an ▯ Buddhist’s Ethics: ▯ - broader than religion: way of life : philosophy ▯ - philosophy means “love of wisdom”  lead a moral life  be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions  develop wisdom and understanding ▯ - foundation = Pancasila  no killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, or use of intoxicants ▯ - principles look at whether actions are likely to be harmful ▯ - skillful mind avoids harm and suffering  remorse, anguish, and guilt  cultivate calm and peace ▯ Greeks: - birthplace of Western philosophical ethics ▯ - code of moral correctness ▯ - “VERITAS” (the truth) was the focal point ▯ - Socrates>Plato>Aristotle ▯ -- Socrates:  most info about him, his life, his teaching were passed down form his disciples  dramatic accounts, not historical works  Plato – most reliable source, though his accounts changed over time  Self-awareness to identify moral characteristics  Search for wisdom about right conduct  Dialectic o Method of examining statements by pursuing their implications o Soul is a combo of waking consciousness and moral character  Holding knowledge and virtue to be identical, so no man knowingly does wrong  Evil could only be committed in error, when a person values the wrong things  Long term effects of actions are more important than short term gain Importance of morality = internal well being of the individual, not society First to recognize need to define ethical concepts and attempt to establish a universal standard 2 interrelated functions o establishment of the purpose of the phenomenon that is being examined o demonstration of the goodness of the phenomenon by fulfilling  what is it?  What good is it?  How do we know?  Devised by Aristotle  Still used in most American law schools ▯ -- Plato:  Student of Socrates  Mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, founder of Academy of Athens- first higher ed. institution  Just exists in the individual when 3 elements of the soul act in harmony o Intellect o Emotion o Desire  Republic o Most famous dialogue o “is it always better to be just than unjust?” o meaning of justice and impact on happiness o how to live a good life  People ought to be a reflection of the ethics of their government  4 cardinal virtues of human nature o temperance o wisdom o courage o justice o the first 3 should conclude in justice  divided people based on intelligence, strength, and courage o producers o auxiliaries o guardians o all three classes must exhibit moderation  Producers o Not overly intelligent, strong, or brave o Professions include farming, building o Overwhelming majority or people o Corresponds to the desiring part of the soul  Auxiliaries o Average intelligence, strength, and courage o Professions include military and policing o Courage defines this group o Corresponds to the spirited part of the soul  Guardians o Extraordinarily intelligent, virtuous, and brave o Best suited to run the state, aristocracy o Very small rare group o Wisdom is displayed in their lives and government o Corresponds to the rational part of the soul ▯ - Goodness is measured by his ideal ▯ -- Aristotle:  student of Plato and rival of influence on Western philosophy  agreed that a life of virtue was rewarding and beneficial  disagreed that in order to be good, a person must have knowledge of the principles of goodness  all living things have inherent potential and its their nature to develop that  ultimate goal of humans should be to develop their reasoning powers  human nature would show what one ought to do in a given situation  need to exercise the knowledge of good  each item, practice, or individual has a distinct ultimate goodness  generally, man knows what he ought to do in an ethical dilemma  desires and judgments in harmony to result in happiness  morally weak and strong is based on behaviors not desires  more realistic than Plato  character centered ethics  practical application- happiness is achieved through right actions ▯ ▯ ▯ - Socrates  universal standard  individual focus, not society  outcome based  no man knowingly does wrong ▯ - Plato  political order determines moral  problem solving ▯ - Aristotle  human nature is good, but people need to act on it  morality is based on behaviors not desires  practical application Natural Law - principles of human nature - sets the standard for conduct and laws - considered an ideal - “unwritten law” that is the same for everyone - peoples “good” - downside: humans have free will and do not always obey the law - not made by human beings - based on the structure of reality - same for everyone at all times - unchanging rule or pattern that is available for humans to discover - a means by which human being can guide themselves to their good - Thomas Aquinas (Christian philosopher) o Eternal law of God o Humans use the power of reason o Application to a particular social situation o Fundamentals of natural law (to follow) ▯ - given by God ▯ - naturally authoritative over human ▯ - knowledgable to all ▯ - right action is action that responds to the good ▯ - variety of ways action can be defective ▯ - can creat general rules but also allow for interpretation - morally binding IF: o reasonable o made by a person w/an appropriate authority o directed towards common good o disseminated o just ▯ -- John Locke (English philosopher): people are free and equal, yet insecure in freedom to fit into society, surrender only right that are necessary for security and common good difference between knowledge and belief o knowledge: direct awareness of facts o belief: taking some position to be true ▯ -- St. Augustine: doctrine learn from others, but only God can teach us to be ethical people are unethical without divine assistance people who don’t believe in a supreme being cant be ethical ▯ -- Karl Marx: morality as a social construct o dependent upon environment o one’s sense of goodness, justice or liberty is relative  impacted by social status ▯ ▯ Stoicism: ▯ - ethics of freedom from passion moral fortitude tranquility ▯ - philosophy of tranquility & indifference to pain ▯ - Fear and envy + false judgments ▯ - False judgments = no moral and intellectual perfection ▯ - “ master of my own fate” ▯ - When a person is on the right path, they are good ▯ - When a person is on the wrong path, they are bad ▯ - Bad luck is your fault ▯ - Life based on research ▯ Hedonism: ▯ - Ethical systems that advocate feelings of happiness are the goal of conduct Increasing pain = wrong Increasing good = right ▯ - Ethics of the pursuit of pleasure ▯ Virtue School: ▯ - ethics of knowledge and moral character ▯ - reflected in teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle ▯ - behavior is based on knowledge what guides us, what kind of person we are ▯ Religious School: ▯ - based on the love of God and beliefs St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas ▯ - are actions good or bad? Not judged by consequences Determined by will of GOD Good is the inherent state of nature Moral choices based on benefit for person or society ▯ Natural School: ▯ - ethics of egoism and power Thomas Hobbs and Friedrich Nietzsche ▯ - based on the Golden Rule ▯ - belief in life, creativity, health, and realities ▯ - humans are aggressive with a desire to dominate ▯ - life affirmation – honest questioning of whatever drains life’s energies ▯ - war against all no ethical pretense society cant prosper because no one can rely on each other constant fear of your neighbor come together to create societal norms ▯ Utilitarianism: - persons, actions, and institutions are measured by how well they promote happiness - Jeremy Bentham (father of criminology) and John Stuart Mill ends justify the means pleasure=good, pain=evil actions should have the greatest good not a sacrifice of desire to act in society’s best interest ▯ Ethics of duty and reason: ▯ - possibility of human knowledge assumes active participation of the mind Immanuel Kant ▯ - standard of rationality called the “categorical imperative” ▯ - Deontological: human intention, duty, obligation, rule based ▯ Duty/Reason formulas ▯ 1. act by maxims that should become a universal law ▯ 2. treat humanity as an end an never only as a means ▯ 3. all maxims ought to correspond with all possible ends ▯ Existential school: ▯ - ethics of moral individualism and freedom of choice Jean-Paul Sartre o Man was condemned to freedom from authority but will have to face the authority to become moral o Absence of divine entity o Human constructs its own ethic o Relies on authenticity of experience Simone de Beauvoir o women’s rights o start life in the world already endowed with meaning o limited in decision making by our situations o meaningful life requires a reconsideration of purpose ▯ - social justice society of free citizens, with basic rights, cooperating John Rawls Political power only acceptable when done so that citizens are free and equal Power only used in reasonable ways ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯


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