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Critical Thinking and Ethics Essay

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Critical Thinking and Ethics

Critical thinking has a unique and complementary relationship with ethics. Critical thinking is what makes ethics come to life. In fact, it is imperative to “…develop critical-thinking skills, to recognize behavior and to understand different philosophical approaches to moral reasoning” (Manias, Monroe, & Till, 2013, Para.2). The principles and rules of critical thinking are applicable to ethical reasoning because they enable a mental process of evaluation that helps guide us to decisions based on truths and information that is verified. Ultimately, “Ethical principles mean something only when manifested in behavior. They have force only when embodied in action” (Paul & Elder, 2011, Para.5). It is only through true critical thinking analysis that our ethical reasoning will translate into exemplary forms of actions. If everyone followed the rules and guidelines of logic, there would still be a need for ethical decision making. The reason is because, “the forces that shape us and the institutions that nurture us are complex and sometimes contradictory” (Manias, Monroe, & Till, 2013, Para. 1). Much like ethics (morals, values, individual beliefs and sense of right and wrong), our logic is largely influenced by our background and experiences. Therefore it is too overwhelmed with emotion, making it unreliable for ethical decision making. If a woman finds out that the powerplant she works for is guilty of illegal dumping, her logical thought process may lead her to make a bad ethical decision for the sake of keeping her job. However, her critical thinking analysis of the same scenario may lead her to take a more unselfish route in order to uphold her morals and promote a greater good.

References
Manias, N., Monroe, D., & Till, J. E. (2013). Ethics Applied (7th ed.). Pearson Learning Solutions.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2011, November 19). Ethical Reasoning Essential to Education. Retrieved from criticalthinking.org: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/ethical-reasoning-essential-to-education/1036

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