Home Life of Value Books Values & Ethics Dialogues About
101 Good Ideas
Share Your Quote!
Message in a Bottle
Quotation Search
Mini Top Values Tool
The ValueSets
Ethical Decision-Making Guide

 

Quotation of the Day

"Having seen the sufferer suffer, I was ashamed for the sake of his shame; and when I helped him, I transgressed grievously against his pride."
  -- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

  Search the Wisdom Archive
 

 

Words of Wisdom from "The Wise Guy"
"The white visitor to the sacred circle asked the Great Spirit, "What do I tell my child when she asks, ‘What happened to the Indians?'" "Tell her the truth," was the reply."
  -- Jason Merchey

 

How do you approach ethical situations?
Take the Values of the Wise™ Ethical Decision-Making Guide.

Each statement below represents one of the 22 "Ethical Approaches" that together make up the entire Ethical Decision-Making Guide.

Please check the number that best describes your attraction to the following statements, with "1" meaning "absolutely none" and "10" meaning "an enthusiastic yes!" 

In other words, how much you agree with or appreciate the statements on a scale of 1-10. It should take no longer than thirty minutes.  When you have finished, you will receive immediate feedback ranking various ethical approaches.

 

* Indicates a required value..
1. Ethical Approach 1

    a) An act is right if I have a good reason for doing it
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I always know when something is wrong because it goes against what I believe to be right
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I trust myself to know when a decision I make is actually good, even when a lot of other people disagree with me
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) I have my own standards that help me decide what is right and what is wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) It's OK to know a lot of theories about what is right, but in the end you still have to do what you personally believe is right, even if you can't describe in words why it is
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

2. Ethical Approach 2

    a) It's the right thing to do if good things are likely to come from my decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) If you want to know what to do in any given situation you have to imagine what the outcome will be and then decide accordingly
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) What you intended your decision to do doesn't matter; it's the effects that count
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) If the consequences of a decision I make turn out good, then my decision was a good one
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) If I were to get rewarded or praised for my action, then it's the right thing to do
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

3. Ethical Approach 3

    a) I think a good act is when someone benefits more from what you do for them than it costs you to do it
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) What I do can only be said to be good if it actually makes someone else's situation a little better without making mine worse
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Before I do anything for someone else, I always give some thought to how it will affect my own life
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Certain considerations are much more important than others, such as animal testing that may find cures to human diseases
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) What is right is based on a calculation about what the decision will cost, for whom, what the rewards will be, and who will receive them
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

4. Ethical Approach 4

    a) Different cultures have different ways of deciding what is right
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I learned right from wrong in the country I was born in, and I still believe the same today even though it's different in the country where I now live
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Our country has the correct understanding of what is the right thing for us to do in a given situation, no matter what other countries may say
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) My religion or belief system has the only accurate perspective on what's right and wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) It's wrong to go against my country's laws and traditions
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

5. Ethical Approach 5

    a) It is best to consider how the consequences of my action will effect every thing that will be affected - humans and animals alike - when deciding what is the right thing to do
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) It would be wrong to save one drowning person and let the ship with many people crash into the rocks
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) It is acceptable to hurt one person in order to help many, such as torturing a suspect for information that will save many others
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) The goal of an ethical decision should be to behave in such a way that it will make the most people happy, even if it means leaving out one or two people
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) You can't please everyone, so being moral means that you try to create the greatest good for the most people possible
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

6. Ethical Approach 6

    a) You can't go wrong if you stick with the ethical rules you've been taught when you were young
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) If it's wrong to lie then it's wrong to lie,even if I believe things would turn out better if I told a harmless white lie
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) There is nothing abstract about deciding right and wrong; there’s a rule that applies to practically every situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Even if it felt good to break the rules I wouldn’t do it
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I try to imagine what rule I can apply to an ethical problem that will make the most people happy
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

7. Ethical Approach 7

    a) My love for my family and friends is the primary consideration in deciding what to do in a given situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I think about people's feelings very carefully and put primary emphasis on that when deciding what is right and wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Any act is wrong if it's going to hurt those I love
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) It's reasonable to make a decision that will benefit people I know more than it will benefit strangers
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) What is right is what will have the most positive effect on my relationships with other people
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

8. Ethical Approach 8

    a) In making an ethical decision I make sure everyone is in agreement, and no one's opinion is ignored
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) Having everyone agree on an ethical decision is much better than 'majority rule' or 'might makes right'
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I don't see the point in acting on a decision unless everyone agrees it's a good decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) The best course of action is the one you can eventually get everyone to agree to
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) An act is wrong when everyone in my community or country says that it is
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

9. Ethical Approach 9

    a) I look to my experiences from the past to decide how things are likely to go if I make a given decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) If I'm struggling with a problem, I ask my family and friends how they decided similar problems, and that helps my thinking
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I find the ethical stories in religious books, history texts, and even fictional novels are very helpful in making similar decisions
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) The best way to make an ethical decision is to research the outcome of decisions others have made along the same lines
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) What is right is based on how similar cases were resolved in the past so that they had good outcomes
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

10. Ethical Approach 10

    a) What may be wrong in one instance may not be wrong in some other instance
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) It's too hard to say what's right and what's wrong in the abstract; it depends on the situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Knowing the surrounding life circumstances and the people involved helps me decide if some action was wrong or not
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) There is really no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to my ethical decision-making, it all depends on what's happening at the time
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) Laws are often useless in deciding how to do the right thing because they can't account for the uniqueness of each situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

11. Ethical Approach 11

    a) An ethical decision is one that doesn't go contrary to the goodness in all of us
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) People know what the right thing to do is because we're all born with a fairly strong sense of it
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I believe God gave us all the ability to judge right from wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) A good decision is that which is in keeping with God's law, divine plan, and overarching rules of right and wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I believe there is a natural flow and order to everything, and a good decision is one that doesn't disrupt it
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

12. Ethical Approach 12

    a) A person's intention is not as important as what results actually come from their actions
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) If the decision I make works out well then I'll know it was the right decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) A ethical theory shouldn't just be a goal to aim for; it should be something you can actually put into practice
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) A decision is only as good as the actual, real-world results that it produces
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) What is right is based on whether the results of my decision actually bring the good I intended
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

13. Ethical Approach 13

    a) When trying to make a decision that will affect someone else I try to imagine what it would be like to be that person
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) An act is wrong if I would not want that person to do that to me if the roles were reversed
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I think about how I like to be treated and then act that way with others
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Before I do anything I always ask myself how I would feel if this were done to me
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I only do to others what I would wish them to do to me
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

14. Ethical Approach 14

    a) I just know what's right and wrong; it's not so much a matter of thinking as it is a feeling I get
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I let my conscience tell me what's right and wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Sometimes I just know that to do a certain thing is right because it just feels right
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) I rely on a voice inside-call it my 'gut'- to decide if something is wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) We all have a sense of right and wrong, almost from the time we're born, that we can follow
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    f) What I intuitively believe to be right is right
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

15. Ethical Approach 15

    a) Being ethical means never using others simply as a way to achieve your own goals
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) You can't be good by luck or accident; you have to choose to be good to be really good
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I do what I would wish everyone else in the world to do in the same situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Living up to your obligations to others is more important than just trying to be a 'good person'
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) If I do the right thing even when I don't really feel like putting forth the effort, that's when I know I'm being ethical
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

16. Ethical Approach 16

    a) In order to make an ethical decision you can't just follow some rule; you have to think for yourself and take responsibility for the rightness of your decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) If I'm comfortable taking responsibility for my decision then I know I've made the right decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) You can only make good ethical decisions involving others if, first of all, you really know yourself
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) There is no higher authority than me when it comes to making decisions about ethical issues
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I'm making the right decision when I'm being true to my self
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

17. Ethical Approach 17

    a) I like to discuss decisions I have to make with people I know and trust
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I might make a decision, only to change my mind after I talk it over with someone I'm close to
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) Sometimes I'll read a book to let the author offer some suggestions on making a right decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Because ethical decisions always involve and affect others, it's a good idea to talk over such a decision with other people
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) The best way to arrive at the best decision is by careful consultation with others
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

18. Ethical Approach 18

    a) It's not really correct to talk in terms of 'right' and 'wrong;' every person has the right to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt others
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) As long as someone doesn't tell me what I can and can't do, I'm comfortable with that lifestyle
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I think lying is wrong because it denies others the freedom to know the truth
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) A law is wrong when it restricts my freedom to say or do what I want
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I'm being ethical when my decisions don't restrict anyone else's freedom
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

19. Ethical Approach 19

    a) An act is wrong if God believes it's wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) The Holy books of all the great religions tell humankind what's right and what's wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I trust the leaders of our religion to teach us right from wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) When I have to make a difficult ethical decision I wait for an answer to my prayers
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I look to the scriptures for guidance in deciding between right and wrong
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

20. Ethical Approach 20

    a) More important than just doing the right thing is actually being a good person
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) Having been raised in a good household has given me the kind of personality that lets me make good ethical decisions
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) I believe a good person can't help but make good decisions simply because it's in their nature
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) If a child is raised properly it will grow up to do the right thing
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) The way I make an ethical decision is to imagine what a good person would do in my situation
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

21. Ethical Approach 21

    a) Being biased in favor or against someone without good cause almost always leads to unethical decision-making
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) I prize absolute objectivity; I take myself out of the situation as much as possible when deciding if something is right to do
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) To be really fair you have to be willing to make a decision that treats everyone equally
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) Being impartial is key: you can't even give friends or family members special consideration if you want to make a truly fair decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) I believe you can't play favorites with anyone if you want to make the right decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

22. Ethical Approach 22

    a) It's both rational and reasonable to consider my own welfare before the welfare of others
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    b) An ethical decision that benefits me is always a good ethical decision
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    c) You have a duty to take care of yourself before you spend your time worrying about other people
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    d) I think it's important to look out for myself first so that I can then help make the world a better place
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

    e) Most people only do good because it makes them feel good, and there's nothing wrong with that
 
no attraction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
strong attraction

Email *
First Name *
Last Name *


When you share your email address with us, you agree to allow us to contact you infrequently with information that Values of the Wise thinks you might be interested in. As per our privacy policy we will never share your email address with others.

Home | Life of Value Books | Values & Ethics Dialogues | About

© Copyright 2004 Values of the Wise.  All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy.   Terms of Use.

Powered by FullPartner