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Understanding the Four Components of Moral Behavior and Moral Intent

Recognizing Ethical Issues

First, revisit the four components of moral behavior as cited in Ethics, an Overview. Then, review the process described in the video, Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent: “A person who wishes to act ethically must (1) recognize ethical issues when he or she runs across them (moral awareness); (2) have the ability to reach a defensible resolution of the question as to what is the right thing to do in that setting (moral decision-making); (3) desire to do the right thing (moral intent); and finally, (4) be able to act on that intent (moral action).” Although most people strive to do the right thing, sometimes mistakes are made. When this happens, we can often see in retrospect why the action was wrong, while at the time we were able to rationalize the decision. As noted in Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent, “Moral intent is the desire to act ethically when facing a decision and overcome the rationalization to not be ethical ‘this time.’” Using the content presented in this module and conducting your own research, write a 2- to 3-page paper (minimum of 500 words) in APA format that answers the following: Think about an experience in which a person (either yourself or someone you know) did something that in retrospect, they wish they hadn’t but were able to rationalize unethical conduct at the time. Explain the situation. How did the person rationalize the decision at the time? What do you think they would do if they had it to do over again? How might thinking about moral intent help you overcome the instinct we all have to rationalize unethical conduct when faced with an ethical dilemma in the future? How would Aristotle explain this in terms of his concept of “character” in his virtue ethics (Section 2.1)? How might you apply moral intent and virtue ethics to ethical decision-making at work in the future? resources:

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