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Ethical Responsibility in Human Communication

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  1. Ethical Responsibility in Human Communication Johannesen, Valde, & Whedbee

  2. P. 1 • Ethical judgments focus more precisely on degrees of rightness and wrongness, virtue and vice, and obligation. • The importance of choice • The difference of coercion • The distinction between morals and ethics.

  3. P.2 - Relativism • Everyone knows that this particular communication technique is unethical, so there is nothing to discuss • Since only success matters in communication, ethicality is irrelevant • After all ethical judgments are simply matters of individual personal opinion; so there are no final answers; • It is presumptuous, perhaps unethical, to judge the ethics of others.

  4. P.3 • All communication has ethical ramifications – my interpretation of what is said.

  5. P. 4 • An ethical system does not solve all one’s practical problems, but one cannot choose and act rationally without some explicit or implicit ethical system. An ethical theory does not tell a person what to do in any given situation, but neither is it completely silent; it tells one what to consider in making up one’s mind what to do. The practical function of an ethical system is primarily to direct our attention to the relevant considerations, the reasons that determine the rightness or wrongness of any act. Carl Wellman

  6. P.6-8 • Freedom and Responsibility • While we do have First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and press, each of us also has the responsibility to exercise that freedom in an ethical manner. • Respect for the word – to employ it with scrupulous care and an incorruptible heartfelt love of truth – is essential if there is to be any growth in a society or in the human race. To misuse the word is to show contempt for man. It undermines the bridges and poisons the wells. It causes Man to regress down the long path of his evolution. Dag Hammarskjold.

  7. Moral development p. 9 • Rest • Moral sensitivity • Moral judgment • Moral motivation • Moral Character

  8. Character and ethics p. 10 - 11 • Ethicists describe virtues variously as deep-rooted dispositions, habits, skills, or traits of character that incline persons to perceive, fell, and act in ethically right and sensitive ways. • Also, they describe virtues as learned, acquired, cultivated, reinforced, capable of modification, capable of confliction, and ideally coalesced into a harmonious cluster.

  9. DeGeorge, p. 11 • As human beings develop, they tend to adopt patterns of actions, and dispositions to act in certain ways. These dispositions, when viewed collectively, are sometimes called character A person who habitually tends to act as he morally should has a good character. If he resists strong temptation, he has a strong character. If he habitually acts immorally, he has a morally bad character. If despite good intentions he frequently succumbs to temptations, he has a weak character. Because character is formed by conscious actions, in general people are morally responsible for their characters as well as for their individual actions. Richard DeGeorge