How can I act equitably and balance legitimate interests?

Eight Key Questions:

Fairness – How can I act equitably and balance legitimate interests?

Outcomes – What achieves the best short- and long-term outcomes for me and all others?

Responsibilities – What duties and/or obligations apply?

Rights – What rights (e.g. innate, legal, social) apply?

Liberty – How does respect for freedom, personal autonomy, or consent apply?

Authority – What do legitimate authorities (e.g. experts, law, my religion/god) expect of me?

Character – What action best reflects who I am and the person I want to become?

Empathy – What would I do if I cared deeply about those involved?

Nine Ethical Principles:

1) The principle of autonomy (or liberty) is the reciprocal duty to respect the free will and decision-making capacities of autonomous persons insofar as this capacity is not used to harm others.

2) The principle of integrity upholds the practice of truth-telling and public disclosure of all necessary and essential information to safeguard those whose lives would otherwise be negatively impacted by deceit or unnecessary secrecy.

3) The principle of non-maleficence stipulates that we all have a duty to avoid causing needless harm or injury to other persons, whether directly and deliberately, or through carelessness, culpable negligence, or inexcusable ignorance.

4) The principle of beneficence (or professional care or service) says that we should act in ways that promote the welfare of other people, according to reasonable expectations and standards of due care.

5) The principle of respect for persons (or the principle of human dignity or value of life principle) is understood as a moral ideal that requires everyone to treat all other human beings in a way that recognizes and respects their inherent dignity and worth as unique, irreplaceable individuals. People should never be treated as something less than ends in themselves or as mere means for someone else’s interests. 

6) The principle of equality (or impartial and equal treatment of persons) is generally connected with some notion of justice or fairness and the impartial rule of law. The basic idea is that law-abiding citizens should be treated impartially and as having equal status before the law. 

7) The principle of privacy is understood as a legal immunity from unnecessary intrusion by the state (or any other political agency or civil authority) into the private lives of citizens. Privacy does not simply refer to private ownership of physical things and places, but also to one’s personal capacity to think and believe as one wants and to have the freedom or autonomy to make decisions that intimately affect one’s personal life. 

8) The principle of distributive justice says that human beings should treat each other fairly and justly when distributing risks, burdens, and benefits among themselves in civic society.

9) The principle of retributive justice broadly refers to the procedures for determining guilt or innocence and the application of just and fitting punishment for convicted criminals. 

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