Analytical Skill Building
The assignments and the research I have done in this course have equipped me with new knowledge and skills. I have learnt that there might be more to a text than what the author implies. This knowledge has enabled me to read materials differently. I not only consider what the author writes, but I try to understand the context of his writings and to look for keywords and phrases, and this has helped me to understand the reads at a deeper level. I not only think about what is obvious, but I try to have an open mind whenever I am reflecting upon an issue. The thoughts that I have and the knowledge acquired by reading determine the content of my writing.
My writing skills have improved significantly during this period. I have been able to understand the basics involved in writing in a clear and concise way. I no longer need to add unnecessary information in my work to prove a point. I have also realized the importance of writing in context and using simple words to explain complex ideas. This was different from the previous experiences I had. I thought that my writing would be impressive if I used the hardest vocabulary I could find. I have learnt that communication is more effective when people are able to understand what I say and not necessarily when I used complex ideas in an effort to impress. By reading widely and doing the assigned texts, I am able to learn from more experienced writers, and this has benefited me in my studies. I have increased and expanded on the knowledge I have by exposing myself to a wide variety of reading materials.
I have gained substantial knowledge of different ideas during this course. The course focuses on diverse theoretical issues, and gives illustrations on how a person can apply the lessons learnt on a practical level. It is not just a way of equipping students with knowledge, but it also ensures that students are able to apply that knowledge in their lives. The course has exposed me to different ethics, and this has given me a different understanding of moral issues. Some of the ethical theories focus on duty and consequences. However, virtue ethics differs significantly, as it focuses on an individual.
According to the utilitarianism approach to ethics, a person has to consider his or her actions to determine the decision to take. Ethical actions are those that tend to result to the most happiness and less suffering. A person should choose the action that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Determining how right or wrong an action is will depend on the consequences of the action and not on the deed itself. Consequences that reduce people’s happiness or increase their suffering are considered bad. The consequences that increase people’s happiness are considered good (MacKinnon, 2012).
Deontological ethics is concerned with the features of the action itself, and emphasize the concept of duty. A person should choose the actions that conform best to his recognized duties such as the duty to preserve and protect human life. Kant posited that people have a duty to perform a duty as long as it satisfies the categorical imperative. People should not use others as means to ends. When making decisions, a person should only use the principle, which he would wish to become a universal law. Ross advocated the idea of common sense intuition when determining the action to take (MacKinnon, 2012).
While consequential and deontology theories concentrate on the action itself to determine its morality, virtue ethics concentrates on the individual. The theory is concerned with the qualities that make a person good. The actions that a person takes are determined by who he is and not by the deed itself. Thus, a good person will make an ethical decision because he is good. Virtues are the good character traits such as generosity, kindness, and patience. Virtue ethics advocate the idea of developing the good traits and getting rid of the bad ones. Bad character traits include laziness, stinginess, and disloyalty among others (MacKinnon, 2012).
I have learnt how to connect what I learn from the course to the experiences I have in my life as well as to the contemporary society. I am able to analyze the decisions made by individuals and institutions after taking the course. I have a different perspective concerning how some of the issues learnt present themselves in the society, and how one can deal with them and manage them better. Ethics is an important aspect of learning as it affects a person’s academic, personal, and professional life. Learning ethics provides me with the knowledge I need to make decisions when facing moral dilemmas. Some situations may require a person to make difficult choices. It is up to someone to determine the choices to make based on the knowledge he has. Ethical principles can conflict, and it is up to an individual to prioritize and determine the moral weight of a decision.
MacKinnon, B. (2012). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues, concise edition. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
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