A lawyer may find murder immoral, according to his personal moral code. However, ethics require that lawyer must defend their accused client to the best of their ability, even knowing their client is most likely guilty and that his acquittal could potentially result in additional crime. If lawyer begins to question his ability to adhere to these ethical principles then he must remove themselves from the practice, else he is damaging the ethics of this profession. This is a fundamental concept within our public service system that ethics must trump personal morals for the greater good of maintaining the integrity of a system.
WHY SHOULD HUMAN BEINGS BE MORAL?
- Argument from Enlightened Self-Interest – It is generally better to be good rather than bad and to create a world and society that is good rather than a bad one. As a matter of fact, self-interest is the sole basis of ethical egoism. It doesn’t mean that one ought to pursue one’s own self-interest, rather, if everyone tried to do and be good and tried to avoid and prevent bad, it would be in everyone’s self-interest. For example, if within a group of people no one killed, stole, lied or cheated then each member of the group would benefit.
- Argument from Tradition and Law – Since traditions and laws have governed the behaviour of human beings over the years and urge human beings to be moral rather than immoral. There are good reasons for being so. Self-interest is one reason, but another is respect for the human thought and effort that has gone into establishing such laws and traditions and transferring them across generations over the years.
Common Human Needs – Examination of human nature reveals that all human beings have many needs, desires, goals and objectives in common. For example, people generally seem to need friendship, love, happiness, freedom in their lives, not only for themselves but for others too. Thus, in order to satisfy these needs, people must establish and follow moral principles that encourage them to cooperate with one another.