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Balancing Personal and Professional Ethics


These five basic concepts—the principle of utility, moral community, the standard of rightness or oughtness, rule consequentialism, and the decision procedure—offer a complete system to guide us in ethical life at home and on the job. Applied properly, both represent stages in deciding which actions are right and what the possible results might be. Such ideas need to be taken into account. Moreover, the moral duties involved, effects on stakeholders, conforming to ethical guidelines, broader implications, and reasoning process must all be considered. A step-by-step ethics guide. To provide a reliable basis for truth and good, use the following guidelines to help you make well-reasoned decisions.

Principle of Utility

Under the principle of utility, right actions come from the greatest happiness and least misery for the greatest possible number. Based on this idea, When I come up against a moral dilemma, I can think through the possible consequences of each action and then realize which course involves causing the least pain and the most pleasure for everyone concerned. Thus, all possibilities for action have either short-term or long-term, good or evil emotional, psychological, social, and material consequences.

For example, a professional situation would require that one tell bosses about his mistake or slip-up, which might set back the whole team project—here you can save yourself embarrassment now; still, if you end up a compulsive liar to preserve your job, then both trust and honesty will suffer in general leading to less overall happiness. Taking responsibility is difficult initially, but it develops integrity and strengthens relationships. The utility principle is not so much an ethical maxim as sophisticated logistics. It requires one to foresee how it will affect things in the future. This is the principle with which we are compelled to expand our sense of consequences in ethical decision-making for the common good.

Moral Community

The moral community is the group of people who should be treated ethically and whose interests must be considered in decision-making. To decide the extent of a particular moral community, you must first establish what individuals and groups might be affected by the decision before you and whether they are entitled to a voice in its outcome. For example, if a business is devising a new form of production that would increase pollution, the moral community could include workers, clients, and shareholders; the residents; environmentalists; future generations; and other forms of life besides humanity. For instance, shareholders are concerned directly with financial results. However, all human and environmental stakeholders that may be affected should receive equal moral consideration.

Now that I have decided which categories are the moral community, then using this idea, I must first seriously reflect on my group and each affected group’s unique concerns and weaknesses so their interests can be especially well taken care of in making decisions. This might involve consulting with those groups’ representatives where possible. Faced with choices of great import, a conscious definition of the moral community as widely as possible encourages us to view matters from a perspective larger than our private interests. In this way, we will resist short-sighted opportunism for the sake of humanity and point it in the direction of justice and sustainability. Considering the moral community, the focus turns from narrow self-interest to serving the common good. Adding this idea to our ethical decision-making processes means we can make decisions as responsible moral actors with an awareness of this connectedness.

Standard of Rightness

Rightness describes a system of ethics or moral code by which actions can be judged as right or wrong. These judgments can be made based on standards of rightness, points by which to assess each option. The criteria include honesty, justice, fairness, respect for rights, and harm prohibition. Decisions against these moral norms can be assessed by questions such as: Does this action serve justice Or violate anybody’s rights? Each standard action must be revised to suggest the act was not ethically correct.

Fortunately, actions complying with standards of rightness rest on a firmer foundation in ethics. Standards for rightness. To clarify this, we need different ethical frameworks and codes of conduct. The idea belongs to our thinking about ethics; it demands we go beyond personal interest or routine in deciding what is right. It takes wisdom and shade to judge standards of rightness, but as far as we can appeal to moral norms, at least we won’t only be choosing the things that feel right but will also help build a more ethical world.

Rule Consequentialism

Rule-consequentialism is based on the principle that the moral value of an act depends upon how it would affect things if everyone acting were to follow such a rule. If it were such a case, I could ask: If everybody acted as I have and am about to do so in these circumstances, what kind of result might we see? It might shatter trust within the profession, as in the case of a professional situation if you were thinking about exaggerating something to win over a new client. I can understand exaggeration to my advantage for the moment. Still, if it becomes a moral principle, that will only create deception at consumers’ expense and undermine industry ethics.

Regarding the general consequences, one can look beyond private interests and consider the long-term effects on society. Allowing us to predict such general effects is just making educated guesses, but this idea becomes an ethical milestone. It is a place to stop and think about the ethics of harm occasioned by universal design. Pondering how the world would be if people acted the same leads to a sense of responsibility transcending oneself. If rule consequentialism becomes a component of decision-making processes, ethical consistency creates conditions conducive to the society in which norms are followed.

Decision Procedure

Therefore, making ethical choices is a matter of going through stages in a consecutive order. When faced with a moral dilemma, I can apply this concept by consciously moving through each phase of ethical decision-making, including only after securing the concrete facts about what is going on, determining which are moral problems and how many parties have a stake in them consulting codes of ethics and ethical principles formulating alternative plans of action but its different moral implications taking to heart an ethical course of conduct after having assumed total responsibility for the result.

For instance, in dealing with something so personal as whether to give back a lost wallet, approach it methodically, first explaining the particulars and circumstances of the case and then laying out obligations and consequences. Eventually, I’d do something about it and consider my choice. Orderly and diligent: Thoughtful decision procedure injects moral reasoning with order. This is a mindful process to avoid reactivity and choices determined by the purpose of ethics. Moral awareness and wisdom are nurtured by working through an ethical decision blueprint. If we carry out our decisions by following a well-defined procedure, we are confident they have been made in the light of right and wrong. It provides a process for maintaining ethics.


To choose what is ethically best, the five basic ethical concepts of utility, moral community, the standard of rightness, rule consequentialism, and decision procedure provide a multidimensional structure. These concepts are most important for guiding systematic ethical thinking to decide whether something is right or wrong. Seeking utility benefits the greater good. This enlarges our circle of concern by defining the moral community. Rightness determines decisions made according to ethical principles. Rule consequentialism weighs universal impacts. The decision process is a structured, step-by-step approach. Used properly, this ethical toolkit is the basis for thoughtful decisions that reveal character and wisdom and serve society. That can be a stimulant in both personal and business life.


Card, D., & Smith, N. A. (2020). On consequentialism and fairness. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, 3, 34.

Gracia, D. (2003). Ethical case deliberation and decision making. Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy, 6, 227-233.

Savulescu, J., Cameron, J., & Wilkinson, D. (2020). Equality or utility? Ethics and the law of rationing ventilators. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 125(1), 10-15.


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