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Knowledge of Ethics - Impact on Being Ethical

This solution looks at whether a connection exists between having knowledge about ethics and acting ethically. The specific textbook questions are:

How do you explain the fact that morally evil people can be highly educated in terms of ethics and religion? In other words, how do you account for the gap that sometimes occurs between knowledge of ethics and being an ethical person?

The solution is 300 words and utilizes the example of an Army Sergeant who slaughtered more than a dozen villagers. He was quoted as saying his actions were just; as a form of "payback" for attacks. The analysis looks at how an educated individual, with what one would assume as a clear understanding of ethics - could act in such a manner.

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Individuals who are highly educated, in both ethics and religion, often view their own actions as justifiable. In the popular Showtime series Dexter, the lead character is a highly educated "blood splatter" Forensics Expert for the Miami Police Department. He is known for his professionalism and meticulous work. Dexter uses his access to unsolved police cases to pursue those who believe they got away with horrific crimes such as murder ...

Solution Summary

The solution is about 300 words and discusses whether one's knowledge of what is "ethical" impacts whether or not their actions are ethical. The scenario utilized in explaining this connection is an Army Sergeant who murdered more than a dozen villagers. This was an educated man, obviously trained in right versus wrong; yet he felt his actions were justified.