We have been taught about ethics throughout our school life and in the society. An average citizen seems to have a good ethical perspective. However, do we really know what is right or wrong or are we just being influenced by norms and trends?
In the article Clive Thompson on How Group Think Rules What We Like, scientists Duncan Watts and Matthew Salganik ran a series of experiments about making a music-downloading Web site and creating fake trends and ratings on there. And the results turned out that different songs were popular with different groups of participants. It shows that participants were basically following the trend and downloaded the popular songs. People do follow norms while making ethical, or even everyday’s, judgements. So in my opinion, our ethical perspectives are biased to some extend based on what the trend is in the society that we live in. Another example would be people in different cultures make different ethical decisions and hold different ethical values. It is because people are influenced by their own cultures and therefore, they end up with different moral views. Americans are somehow being influenced by our American society, giving us mind sets of how is right or wrong by advertising, schooling, and communicating among individuals.
However, our ethical perspectives are not completely influenced by the norms. We as human beings share a very few identical moral standards in our mind without the influence of norms. In one