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The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Ethics

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Critical thinking is essential to the success of every human activity, the quality of what we do in our daily lives depend on the effectiveness of our thought, morally or immorally.

Critical Thinking
“Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed – the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process – the reasoning that went into the conclusion we’ve arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.” Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 1996. Critical thinking occurs when individuals are allowed to analyze and evaluates evidence, argument, claim and beliefs of their task and draw conclusions. Critical thinking is what enhances our thoughts in the decision making process.

Richard William Paul and Linda Elder define ethics as “a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures”. (Paul, Richard; Elder, Linda (2006). The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning. United States: Foundation for Critical Thinking Free Press. p. np. ISBN 0-944583-17-2.) (wikipedia – 17/01/2015) URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics#cite_note-ReferenceA-4 Ethics is what helps us to determine what is morally right of wrong in our reasoning.

The Relationship between Critical thinking and Ethical Thinking I my view Critical thinking is what drives ethics in all aspects of lives whether in academia, professional, and or societal. As humans we decide the morality of our actions, whether or not something is ethical or unethical. In such a situation where an individual required to make a choice, critical thinking process is what is helps us in making an informed decision, which I call an ethical decision, this is what determines whether our choice is morally right or wrong. Some factors affects our reasoning in relation to ethical decisions, cultural beliefs, one’s religious background, and personal beliefs but when critical thinking skill which can be taught, is instill into their mindset of people, more ethical decisions can be achieved which will inform truths and verified information, rather than unknowns and variables. Decisions based on critical thinking and ethics is what transforms and brings development in every organization, institutions, nations and the society as a whole. Our character is determined by our ability to think critically and ethically which is what makes or unmake us.

Ethical lens Inventory
With reference to my Ethical Lens Inventory (ELI) Result, 1/17/2015 – ELI Ethical Lens Inventory, with Relationship and reputation being my preferred lens, I balance my reasoning skills (rationality) and intuition (sensibility) to determine what processes, systems, character traits and virtues will best serve the community by assuring fairness and justice for all (equality) I tend to prioritize the core values of equality and rationality. Based on the result, my blind spot identified me to be, overconfidence and unrealistic in role expectation, in that I tend to believe that that every consistent process will results in a just outcome for all, which makes me trust the process too much and forget that unequal access gives rise to unjust outcomes, even when the process itself is fair..

Personal Ethics Influence
Ethical influence involves determining whether an action is right or wrong according the action in question, if it conforms to certain values, such as truthfulness, responsibility, justice, temperance, courage, self-control, wisdom, magnanimity, pride, ambition, gentleness, frankness, self-interest, fidelity, gratitude, benevolence, self-improvement, non-maleficence, reparation, care, compassion, sensitivity, reciprocity, generosity, modesty, kindness, respect, patriotism, chauvinism, equality, and so on. The supporting general principle would be something like “It is morally right to be truthful” or “It is morally wrong not to accept responsibility for your own actions.” As I fall in the relationship and reputation lens, my ethic influence decision by focusing on setting examples to others and also be seen as a good role model and ensure all decision are fair to all. Professional and Societal Ethical Responsibilities

Every profession/society has some sort of rules and regulations or codes of conduct that guides members of the profession in their practice. These code of ethics establishes a standard of conduct that allows members of the profession/community to follow in protecting the interest and integrity of the profession, which maintains the public’s trust in the profession. When people become ethically responsible they abide by the laws of the land making the community safe for all.


Locke,E.A.,&Latham,G.P.(2002).Buildingapracticallyusefultheory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist , 57 , 705–717

Ethical Lens Inventory (ELI) Result, 1/17/2015 – ELI Ethical Lens Inventory

Fowler, B. (1996). Critical thinking definitions. Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project. Retrieved February 13, 2005, from

Paul, Richard; Elder, Linda (2006). The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning. United States: Foundation for Critical Thinking Free Press. p. np. ISBN 0-944583-17-2. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics#cite_note-ReferenceA-4


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