Why Study Ethics?

There are several reasons to study ethics. All of us use ethics on a daily basis. “Ethics” is not some term grabbed out of thin air by philosophers trying to build castles in the air. Many individuals do not know what ethical behavior is. This course is not aimed at any one group or agency; anyone who lives or works on the reservation could benefit from this course. You will find yourself challenged to think about ethical decisions, you will have an opportunity to study the ethical decisions made and behaviors modeled by our ancestors.

No matter what your past experiences or educational level, you are never too old to learn. We have all heard the old sayings, you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks, and a leopard doesn’t change his spots. Indeed, I often hear tribal members saying something to the effect, it doesn’t matter who is elected they will (fill in the blank). It is true that important changes never come easily, but change is possible.

Studying ethics is one way of recapturing our heritage. Why teach ethics? This question would have confused our ancestors. Ethics were an inherent part of their daily lives. Today, however, we live in a different time, a time when ethical behavior appears to have diminished in our culture. As a result, an ethics course is appropriate, valuable and useful.