Ethical Discussions Reflection

Ethical discussions, to me, are answered based off an individual’s personal beliefs, developed through past experiences, social upbringing, and logical reasoning.   It is through these tools that a person develops their own personal code of ethics.   This code of ethics can remain steady, or be changed abruptly when new experiences or logic is presented that challenge existing ethical beliefs.
Ethics is also defined by a collective agreement by a group of people as to what is right and wrong.   These are seen through governments and other bodies developed by others.   These collective ethics can also remain static for some time, and change abruptly.   Examples of this include laws that are changed as the people’s culture changes and becomes inconsistent with the new collective norms.
I follow a system similar to Immanuel Kant and base my moral system primarily on reasoned arguments.   If I do this action, will it hurt others?   Would I be hurt if someone else did this to me?   If so, then I probably shouldn’t do it.   I have followed this principle long before I considered ethics academically.   My work ethics revolve around the belief that if I hired someone, then they should work hard and efficiently for the money I pay them, therefore the company I work for should get a hard-working and effective employee.
There is, however, a significant difference between my beliefs and Kant’s.   According to Kant, human morality stems from something outside of the natural order of things.   That is, because humans reason and think, that they are somehow above or outside the natural world.   Scientifically, we know that humans are a subset of apes, and that we are only capable of reason due to evolutionary selection for large brains.   There is nothing transcendental about us.   Secondly, since the time of Kant, many mammals have shown tremendous cognitive capabilities, and demonstrate a working mind capable of thought and reasoning.   Because of this, I feel that humans are not a...