Ethical formalism definition

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The theories known as "ethical formalism" describe natural judgments in terms of their logical structure rather than their content. According to this theory, something is right if and only if it is right at the time. This theory suggests that there isn't anything that could affect how accurately judgments are evaluated in terms of their degree of accuracy. The morality of a decision is determined by the motivation behind it. Moral laws, in the opinion of Roochnik (2015), serve as the foundation for people's beliefs. As a result, their behavior is governed by moral principles, which in turn reflect their beliefs. Constable Parker refused from an assignment to protect the abortion clinic because the actions performed in the clinic did not reflect his personal beliefs. In his family, Constable Parker held the same belief as his wife taking the stand against abortion. His refusal to perform the task reflected his personal views against the practice. The moral standards held by Parker could not allow him to protect an institution going against his moral ground (Hendrick, 2015, p. 187). Therefore, Constable Parker was right in refusing to protect the abortion clinic due to his moral ground.

The firm stand and unwillingness to refuse from his considerations signifies the strong moral authority of the constable. He was ready to lose his job for standing with his moral beliefs. Those protests and vandalism against the clinic showed that many people in the population held similar beliefs and supported his position (McDonald, 2004, p. 76). The intention of Constable Parker was to allow the people demonstrate against the clinic for a reduction of murders inflicted upon the unborn babies (Sedmak, 2017). Thus, his actions may be justified in the light of adherence to personal moral beliefs.


Hendrick, C. (2015). Perspectives on social psychology. London: Psychology Press.

McDonald, W. (2004). Russell Kirk and the age of ideology. Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press

Roochnik, D. (2015). Thinking philosophically: an introduction to the great debates. The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex , UK Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Sedmak, M. (2017). Unaccompanied Children in European Migration and Asylum Practices. Taylor and Francis.

May 10, 2023

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