Professor Harvey Shapiro – Why We Should Understand Our Perspective on Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical questions such as knowing your position on abortion or euthanasia are questions which we often deal with in high school, and they have a purpose to push our minds in a certain way. Most people however don’t seem to care much about these issues once they reach adulthood, with regards to challenging their own beliefs on a regular basis. During my university years however, I learned from the brilliant Professor Harvey Shapiro, who taught me a lot about ethics.

What Mr Shapiro was getting at when he discussed ethics, is that as we go through life we should always challenge our own beliefs, and our own thoughts, and doing so with ethical questions was the best way to do just that. Here is why it is important then, that we all address where we land on ethical questions.

Decision Making Ability

When you debate an ethical quandary, you have to weight up all sides of the debate, challenge yourself to look past emotion and just focus on fact. At the end of having this debate with others, or indeed with yourself, you will be in a much better place to reach a decision. This is ultimately what we do each and every day, albeit for less important, or less meaty subjects. Understanding where we stand on ethics is a great help with regards to our decision making abilities.

Forcing You To Learn

If you take an ethical question and deal with it in a purely emotive way, it is unlikely that you are going to reach the answer that you truly feel. This is because emotions are rarely based in facts or knowledge. With this in mind, should you be pursuing the root of a debate, you are going to arm yourself to the teeth with information and knowledge on both sides of the argument. This is in fact how we should always address issues in our lives. This is not to say that you should leave emotion out, but you should combine it with a depth of knowledge that helps you to find the real answer inside you.

Personal Values

With regards to the values that we hold dear as people, it is critical that we have a well rounded view of the world which is what will eventually make up our character. If we simply cast aside any questions which are deemed important then we will end up losing the depth of our character. This is why we should always have an open mind to new ideas and it is also why we should always seek to question our true beliefs. The notion that we set our minds up at 18 or 21 years old and then stay the same forever is absurd. For us to become better characters and deeper humans, we have to always ensure that we are questioning that which we thought we believed.

These are just a handful of reasons why ethical questions are so important in our lives.