Ethical Principles in Government Policy Persuasive Essay by Nicky

Ethical Principles in Government Policy
An argument that elements of American legislation violate fundamental ethical standards.
# 149466 | 2,097 words | 4 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 18, 2011 in Political Science (U.S.) , Law (General) , Ethics (General)

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The paper explains the principal role of government ethical authority and looks at the ethical limits of governmental paternalism. The paper argues that the United States' ethical obligation to protect society is applied inconsistently and U.S. legislation also violates fundamental issues of constitutional law. The paper contends that the most serious ethical violations of government in recent U.S. history involve corporate and special-interest-group political lobbying.

Thesis Statement
The Source of Valid Democratic Governmental Ethical Authority
The Principal Role of Government Ethical Authority
The Ethical Limits of Governmental Paternalism
Unethical Government

From the Paper:

"The principal role of government ethical authority is in establishing and enforcing formal rules that prevent individuals and entities from causing harm to other individuals or entities without objective justification (Mill in Taylor, 2002). In so doing, an ethical government also has an inherent responsibility to avoid arbitrary distinctions or different characterization (and treatment) of behaviors that are comparable in their effect or purpose. In the contemporary interpretation and application of U.S. law, the constitutional concept of equal protection ensures that government largely fulfils its obligation to establish and enforce modern law fairly in terms of the individual (Dershowitz, 2002) but much less so in terms of specific ethical principles used to distinguish permitted behaviors from prohibited behaviors.
"In that regard, one of the best contemporary examples is the difference in legislation of certain so-called victimless vices. Consider the government-sanctioned production, sale, and use of alcohol, tobacco, and the illicit recreational use of drugs and other controlled substances. It is uncontested that cigarette smoking is responsible for more preventable death and disease and practically all other natural and artificial individual sources of human disease and mortality; yet the manufacture, sale, and consumption of cigarettes is permitted subject only to regulation and taxation."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dershowitz, A. (2002). Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York:Little Brown & Co.
  • Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. Hoboken, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Sekine, S., Wakabayashi, J. (2005). A Comparative Study of the Origins of Ethical Thought: Hellenism and Hebraism. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Taylor, R. (2002). Freedom, Anarchy, and the Law: An Introduction to Political Philosophy Buffalo: Prometheus.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Ethical Principles in Government Policy (2011, December 18) Retrieved August 10, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Principles in Government Policy" 18 December 2011. Web. 10 August. 2022. <>