Pepperdine places great value in its quest to instill ethics in its students. Its mission of preparing students to “ maintain the public’s trust” by preserving the highest ethical standards is the most important principle that lawyers’ adhere to. However, how is ethics defined? The term “ ethics” comes from the Greek word “ ethikos” which means customs. The philosopher Peter Singer defines ethics as “ the set of rules, principles, or ways of thinking that guide, or claim authority to guide, the actions of a particular group.” While there is no set formula to measure ethics, it can be described as the foundation of rational standards of right and wrong that signifies what humans should do, in terms of honesty, responsibility, public service, equality, or individual righteousness. For example, the standards that prevent criminal acts and immoral conduct are ethics. Therefore, when applied to the self, ethics include the principles of honesty, integrity, kindness, and devotion to uphold justice for mankind.
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Ethics can also be regarded as the study of ethical standards. It is a logical reasoning of what our actions should be. It is doing what is “ right.” However, in the real world, there are so many situations that can prevent us from doing what is right. There are compromises, distractions, and laws that can digress us from making the ethical choice. Thus, it is essential to continuously examine standards to ensure that they are reasonable and justifiable. It is likewise important that we constantly analyze our moral principles and demeanor in order for us, and the establishment we help to shape, to live up to standards that are proper and fair.