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The Limits of Human Freedom, Essay Example

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The limits of human freedom are best defined as being self-imposed. Every individual holds their own value for ethical and moral behavior, as well as the point where they chose to part from their personal human freedom. A secret, confided in an individual is a common practice, so is the betrayal of those who were expected to hold that information with confidential value too. “When the weather does not happen to be fair for sailing, we sit in distress and gaze out perpetually.” (Newton, p88)  The ability for a person to keep a secret could simply be described as a sacrificing point.  For one person, their loyalty may be far greater than minimum persecution and pain, but for another person, who holds less value, they may not be willing to accommodate any type of self-sacrifice to maintain secrecy.  For example, one of the traditions of ethics is the Biblical tradition.   This is “the most common of morality teachings.” (Newton, p32) The moral actions and rationale should be based on God’s law, and that is the determining factor for what guides human freedom.  However, history has shown that this is not always the case.  Judas betrayed secrecy of the Messiah’s true-self, simply for fear of persecution.  There is no way to clearly state what the boundaries for any one person could be, only the parameters for which individuals are motivated by.

A friend plays a duel role, to be a trustworthy friend, and to consider what is best for that person, even if it means you will be, in a way, betraying them.  The principles of ethical reasoning, deontological reasoning, states real or hypothetical, there is an obligation for your friend’s well-being.  The basic imperatives for moral reasoning’s and for centering welfare, says the general duty is to prevent harm. In order to keep my friend from sniffing cocaine, my moral obligation would be to tell a parent or professional who could help him break this life-threatening habit.

  1. This case is difficult because there are individuals with strong, ignorant opinions everywhere you turn, so to take on every single case would inevitably take away all personal ethical value and credibility.  Since this is a situation where feelings turn into actions, I would have to inform the manager of the federal project. The moral reasoning would be based on centering justice.  Treating all groups’ a like which classifies acting discriminately as unethical as well as illegal.
  2. A person who cheats on his wife is obviously operating on the utilitarian tradition, basing moral actions on the vulnerability of human flesh. However, this is a case where confidentiality should prevail, simply because there is no physical harm.  The second case, where the husband is beating the children and terrorizing his wife has to be addressed.  Referring the case to the local authorities would appropriate.  This refers back to the centering on welfare, and remedying harm.  Mean that if necessary, a moral person will have to advocate and step to offer help.
  3. A friend engaging in unethical practices, providing personal benefit to him, is illegal and morally wrong. As a friend I can advise that, however this is a position where confidentiality should prevail.  Centering justice advises the moral reasoning to be, obeying the law, however since there is no immediate life threatening repercussions, I would choose to avoid involvement until my personal knowledge is requested.
  4. This situation is sadly common practice with contractors. The specifications are created to provide a building that is ultimately safe for its people based on various possible occurrences.  The contractor has a ethical responsibility.  Deviating from that is, in essence, endangering individuals.  This would also be the moral reasoning of centering on welfare, preventing harm.  I would let the inspector know of the situation to let him address it further.

Work Cited

Newton, Lisa.  Ethics in America: Study Guide. Pearson Education, Inc. 2004.  Print.

Newton, Lisa.  Ethics in America: Source Reader. Pearson Education, Inc. 2004.  Print.

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