The Relationship Between Ethics and Responsibility

Explain The Relationship Between Ethics And Responsibility

Ethics is the concept of right and wrong. Ethics is a relationship between ones moral conscience and their willingness to understand that they can a will affect another’s well being. The text states that (Cooper) “the normative standards of conduct derived from the philosophical and religious traditions of society” (p. 1) which is a good way of saying we ought to do what’s right. What is right, of course, will vary from person to person and from culture to culture. When you look at the “consequentialist theories” of ethics and (Fieser) “consequentialism: an act is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favorable than unfavorable.” My question is: to whom are they more favorable and unfavorable for instance to murder someone here, in the United States, or any other Judeo-Christian culture, it is morally reprehensible, and of course, ethically and morally wrong. If you live in a Muslim country where they believe in the literal meaning of the Koran, strapping a bomb to your chest or the chest of a child and murdering someone is okay as long as it furthers the cause of Allah (Koran) Surah 9:123. To a westerner this sounds crazy, but to them it is great and wonderful “Shahada”.

Responsibility, on the other hand, is the action taken in response to an ethical problem. (Williams) “what is a person accountable for? Is a question most often asked by philosophers in connection with causation and accountability.” This means to me that a person must be accountable to themselves and to society for their actions. To be responsible in our society, a Judeo-Christian society, we must not murder. But to be responsible in an Islamic society one must be willing to murder in the name of Allah; if the person does not agree with you, which is commonly referred to as an infidel. Therefore, ethics is the mental state, while responsibility is the action taken in response to the mental state, which holds one accountable to their ethics and morals.



Cooper, Terry, L. The Responsible Administrator. (2006) Jossey-Bass a Wiley Imprint. San Francisco CA.

Koran “believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them.” Surah 9:123

Fieser, James. University of Tennessee at Martin (2009)

Williams, Garrath. Responsibility. Retrieved 03/07/2012

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