Law, Ethics, and Professionalism

The question how one ought to behave is as old as civilization and as new as today’s headlines. Humans have for millennia been concerned about ethics both for its own sake—how should I make my way in the world?—and because life is better, safer, and happier when people follow certain rules. Generally speaking, morality can be thought of as a community’s set of rules for proper conduct. Ethics is the study or analysis of those rules, including reasons for following them, their interrelationships, and what to do if they are in conflict or when different communities (or cultures) have different rules.

Some people argue that good behavior is self-rewarding. That is, it is just a better way to live. But it also has ...

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