Ethical norms are behaviors that the society expects from people; these behaviors help people avoid bad behavior (Dewey, 2016). On the other hand, values help people determine what is right or wrong while beliefs are standards of thought that do not necessarily prompt action. All these contribute to ethical norms in that people have certain sets of values that they uphold, as such, this guides them to behave according to the societal expectations. Some of the shortcomings of values and beliefs are that they may influence people to behave in a way that other societies view as wrong. More so, they may influence people to become rigid and judgmental towards people who behave or believe differently. They may also increase the fear of change and distort spiritual growth. Customs are practices that are observed by people in a particular culture while traditions are customs that are passed on from one generation to another. They both contribute to ethical norms as they dictate how people should behave within a certain culture. The disadvantage of customs and traditions is that at times they may fail to evolve and may become discriminatory or restrictive in the modern world.
Faith is a strong belief towards a certain doctrine such as traditional or religion, on the other hand, science is a methodically arranged body of knowledge explaining various things about the universe. Faith and science contribute to ethical norms in the sense that they both define the manner of behavior, for instance, faith guides one to behave according to a given doctrine while science dictates certain behaviors following the knowledge that has been accumulated regarding a certain practice. The disadvantage of faith is that it may cause people to live in fear due to the consequences of failing to observe a certain doctrine, while science may prompt over-reliance. Additionally, a theory is a set of standards on which activity should be practised, while practice is the application of a belief or an idea. Theories and practices contribute to ethical norms as they both determine how people act. For instance, theories define how an activity should be done while practices define what people should do. The shortcoming of theories and practices is that they may not be applicable in all situations and therefore they can be misleading at times.
When people fail to observe ethical standards or disagree with them they may be subjected to legal action; courts allow people to sue for negligence especially when damages are involved or when the conduct of another individual falls below a logical standard of care (Dewey, 2016). More so, such people may also be put on probation where their behavior is examined for some time under a controlled environment. Another consequence may be bad publicity, as the entire society tends to view such a person in a negative way. As such, the individual may experience hate and isolation, which may lead to depressive symptoms such as stress, depression, and anxiety.
Resolving Ethical Disagreements at individual, societal and National level
Individuals and societies can resolve ethical disagreements by holding dialogues about the issues and reason their way to the right answers regarding their ethical differences. More so, the conclusions that the two parties arrive at may help encourage tolerance of the ethical discrepancies and a suitable hesitancy about moral judgments. Nations can resolve disagreements by respecting rules and cultures of individual countries this helps them appreciate their differences and therefore arriving at a certain level of understanding.