Ethics are a value system that elders like to complain are fading from the younger generation. Not quite true; the ethics of the current workforce are different, and therefore at odds with, the older generations. What are ethics? Ethics are unwritten laws that exist in human beings somewhere along the moral compass they possess. Thus, ethics can differ widely from culture to culture. A more general one is that a judge may not try someone or some case in which he/she has a vested interest in. An ethic that differs is the concept of a ‘bribe’ and exactly when it becomes a ‘bribe’ and not a ‘commission’ in big power deals.
Ethics change over time but are it true that they are actually fading? Let’s look at how and why.
At its heart and soul, ethics exist to afford us protection. Most of these unwritten laws are about protecting the reputation of individuals against a community which may otherwise accuse and even harm them. Some of these long-held ethics were eventually codified, resulting in documents and statements such as the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath (which binds them to a code of conduct a site safety management plan template which regulates worker behaviour in a high risk environment to prevent nasty accidents. These documents now exist because some of the rules were internalized and made common practice over the decades. Practices such as a doctor treating a patient regardless of caste or creed were common practice in society long before the Hippocratic Oath was accepted by modern society internationally.
Sociologists will tell you that society as a concept can only exist when there is a certain amount of order. If there are no rules guiding our behaviour and thought pattern whatsoever, societies will degenerate into anarchy. A set of commonly-held beliefs are what binds humans together, allowing us to live in peace. Thus, we have a free safe work method statement template governing our daily practices either formally or informally at work that has old roots. The ancient rule that ‘thou shalt not kill the messenger’ was revered for that reason; in a time where war was common, someone had to be immune so that there could be communication between parties in some way.
Similar ethics operate to this day. A refugee boarding a plane illegally with or without a visa and passport will be detained but never killed. Most are simply deported back to their country while some of them are given immunity and refuge.Ethics such as valuing life are what keep us human. We should not be worried about ethics disappearing from our life; we should be worried that with each succeeding generation, we may lose some of the ethics that kept us whole before.