Theoretical Problems of Ethics


There are several theoretical problems of ethics but I have only discussed three of them that I deem to be very important. Their origin, objectives for solution and even how they shape my personal ethics are discussed in this paper.


A system that incorporates principles that are deemed moral by a given group of people is perceived to be ethics. This group of people has their lives and decision making process controlled by that kind of a system. Ethics can therefore be defined as the moral philosophy of a given group of individuals and general what they consider of benefit to their society. Cultures, religions and even philosophies form the basis of ethics of a given society (Fromm, 2013).

The first theoretical problem of ethics that is going to be discussed in this paper is the concept moral judgment. This ethical problem is derived from naturalism theory. Individuals normally have their own assertions of opinions or knowledge that we perceive to be moral when they pass judgment with respect to given scenarios but in real sense their moral judgments are controlled by their emotional feelings at that particular moment. My personal ethics were derived from this context to some extent. When I was still a little child, I was taught to react to certain things from certain contexts (Forsyth, 2013). For instance, I was taught to show sympathy to the less unfortunate in the society and therefore I should always help them if I have the capability to do so. In as much as I was taught to believe that it is right to give to them, I think it is wrong to give to them and instead they should be encouraged to work towards uplifting their status. This can be solved by application of logical reasoning before making judgments (Fromm, 2013).

The second theoretical problem that is discussed in this paper is characteristics that are deemed to be wrong-making and right-making. This kind of problem is pegged to contracts or agreements that are socially motivated. What actually defined the good or evil act? Is a question that proves difficult to answer (Hinman, 2012). When I was still growing up, I was made to understand that certain acts are either good or evil; some characteristics are either right or wrong. This has shaped my personal ethics so much that there are things I consider evil but to some individuals they are good (Hinman, 2012). It can be solved by considering each and every individual’s perception on certain issues. Society should encourage its members to understand that what can be wrong to them can be right to others.

The last problem of ethics is the function of motives in ethics. This problem is derived from authoritative voices. The consequences of a given act will either attract one to doing something or not (Hinman, 2012). My personal ethics is developed in such a way that I should not do something that will negatively affect someone else. It can be solved by encouraging individuals to avoid ill motives against others. The next objective to solving this problem is to ensure that each and every individual consider the plight others before satisfying their respective motives (Donaldson, 2008).


Ethical problems described that above are very important in shaping ones perception on certain ethical issues and make us understand ethics better. These problems are encountered in day-to-day lives of individuals and should therefore be well understood.


Donaldson, L. (2008). Ethics problems and problems with ethics: Toward a pro-management theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(3), 299-311.

Forsyth, D. R. (2013). Judging the morality of business practices: The influence of personal moral philosophies. In Citation Classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 265-277). Springer Netherlands

Fromm, E. (2013). Man for himself: An inquiry into the psychology of ethics. Routledge.

Hinman, L. (2012). Ethics: A pluralistic approach to moral theory. Cengage Learning.

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