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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: November 2009

2 - Ethical issues, welfare laws, and regulations

Summary

Introduction

The ethics, morals, and laws of any culture or nation are intimately interwoven and dependent upon each other for their continuation within that society. At the same time most cultures are under continual evolution, change, and development due to many factors, but usually due to ingress, influences, and pressures from other external factors and cultures. This is best illustrated by the notion that “developed” nations frequently bring about cultural changes in very old “traditional societies” through their presence and financial impact. Once there is cultural change, then almost certainly it will be followed by changes in the ethical and moral stances taken. Ultimately the laws and regulations will no longer reflect or uphold the current “values” of that society and will need modification.

This point is made to emphasize the fact that ethics and morals are not only diverse in a global sense but also dynamic. What was once ethically acceptable in history (e.g., slavery) may now be locally or globally seen as morally wrong and laws enacted to reflect those views.

With regard to laws it must also be acknowledged that as the “global village” becomes an increasing reality so does a meeting of minds on points of ethics and morals. As the meeting of minds becomes a reality, then it is possible to develop and implement international laws and regulations. This is particularly pertinent when considering the European position with regard to the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU).

References
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