Discuss the definition and the importance of Ethics. What is ethics? At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition. Ethics covers the following dilemmas: how to live a good life our rights and responsibilities the language of right and wrong moral decisions – what is good and bad?
Our concepts of ethics have been derived from religions, philosophies and ultras. They infuse debates on topics like abortion, human rights and professional conduct Approaches to ethics Philosophers nowadays tend to divide ethical theories into three areas: mathematics, normative ethics and applied ethics. Meta-ethics deals with the nature of moral judgment. It looks at the origins and meaning of ethical principles. Normative ethics is concerned with the content of moral judgments and the criteria for what is right or wrong.
Applied ethics looks at controversial topics like war, animal rights and capital punishment Ethics Act of Creation: An ethic is a singular, logically deduced, self-created, self- hoses choice to think and behave as deemed most correct to the individual. How of Creation: An ethic is a self-chosen standard Of mental behavior based on logic. Why of Creation: An ethic is a fixed mental reference-point that logic uses for the associating and weighing of reasoning. As triangulation requires a fixed point of reference, and intelligence exists through analogous association, an ethic is the fixed point for associating.
Behavior of Creation: All further inward logic and externally expressed behavior is manipulated to conform to and be logically consistent with the self-created ethic. In appearance, an ethic functions similarly to a belief system in that both influence the person’s reasoning, perception, and behavior. A good ethic is the inwardly self-chosen act of self-control towards creative self-betterment without regard of external (social) standards, whereas a belief is the bad internal standard that accepts external (social) standards to be the standard Of behavior, resulting in an illogical noncreative conformity.
An ethic is a sturdy triangulation point fixed solidly into the ground that resists all winds and floods, whereas beliefs are as toothpicks in sand, easily lucked up and rearranged to conform to the winds and waters of life. Ethics and beliefs are not the same things even though they may at times appear to produce similar behaviors. Ethics Ethics refers to standards of conduct, standards that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues, which themselves are derived from principles of right and wrong.
In order to apply this definition to practical decision making it is necessary to specify the nature of the moral obligations considered intrinsic to ethical behavior. Aspects of Ethics There are two aspects to ethics: the first involves the ability to discern right room wrong, good from evil, and propriety from impropriety; the second involves the commitment to do what is right, good and proper. Ethics is an action concept; it is not simply an idea to think and argue about. Values vs.. Ethics The terms “values” and “ethics” are not interchangeable.
Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave, whereas values simply concern the various beliefs and attitudes that determine how a person actually behaves. Some values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs as to what is right and wrong. Most values do not. The False Notion of “Personal Ethics” While every person inevitably must decide for himself/herself how to regard his moral obligations, to say that ethics are “personal” misconstrues the nature of ethics. It is likely that personal conscience will embrace a wider range of values and beliefs than core, universal ethical norms.
When these “extra” values simply supplement ethical norms with personal moral convictions that are compatible with the dictates of normative ethics, there is no conflict between universal ethics and personal ethics. Unfortunately, some people are “moral imperialists” who seek to impose their personal moral segments on others as if they were universal ethical norms. A bigger, sometimes related problem is that some people adopt personal codes of conduct that are inconsistent with universal ethical norms. Clearly, not all choices and value systems, however dearly held, are equally “ethical. If they were, there would be no legitimate basis for distinguishing between Hitler and Gandhi. A person who believes that certain races are inferior to others and therefore that it is “right” to oppress or persecute those races has adopted a personal value system that is inherently “unethical” according to he universal and consensus values associated with normative ethics. Similarly, an individual who has decided that lying is proper if it is necessary to achieve an important personal goal cannot assert personal ethics as a shield against impropriety.
Simply put, all individuals are morally autonomous beings with the power and right to choose their values, but it does not follow that all choices and all value systems have an equal claim to be called ethical. Ethical Commitment Ethical commitment refers to a strong desire to do the right thing, especially when behaving ethically imposes financial, social or emotional costs. Surveys taken by the Josephs Institute reveal that, regardless of profession, almost all people believe that they are, or should be, ethical.
While most are not satisfied with the ethical quality of society as a whole, they believe that their profession is more ethical than others and that they are at least as ethical as those in their profession. Unfortunately, behavior does not consistently conform to self-image and moral ambitions. As a result, a substantial number of decent people, committed to ethical values, regularly compromise these values – often because they lack the fortitude to follow their conscience. People need to understand that ethical principles are ground rules of decision making -not just factors to consider.
It is K to lose; in fact, it is preferable to lose than to lie, steal, or cheat in order to win. People who are unwilling to lose have to be willing to do whatever it takes to win. Ethics has a price and sometimes people must choose between what they want and what they want to be. But ethics also has a value, which makes self-restraint and sacrifice, service and charity, worthwhile. Ethics is the general term for attempts to State or determine what is good, tooth for the individual and for the society as a whole.
It is often termed the science of morality. Ethics deals with what is right or wrong in human behavior and conduct. Its ask such questions as what constitutes any person or action being good, bad, right or wrong and how do we know . Philosophy is concerned basically with three areas epistemology (the study of knowledge), metaphysics ( the study of the nature and reality) and ethics ( the study of morality). In philosophy, ethics is one of the three major traditional areas of investigation, alongside metaphysics and logic. The goal of a theory of ethics s to determine what is good, both for the individual and for the society as a whole. Philosophers have taken different positions in defining what is good, on how to deal with conflicting priorities of individuals versus the whole, over the universality of ethical principles versus “situation ethics” in which what is right depends upon the circumstances rather than on some general law, and over whether goodness is determined by the results of the action or the means by which results are achieved. 1 “Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their carnivorousness. ” – Bertrand Russell, 20th-century British mathematician and philosopher “Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives. ” – Any Rand, 20th-century Russian/American novelist and philosopher Divisions of Ethics In analytic philosophy, ethics is traditionally divided into three fields: Mathematics, Normative ethics and applied ethics.
Mathematics Mathematics is the investigation of the nature of ethical statements. It involves such questions as: Are ethical claims truth-apt, I. E. , capable of being true or false, or are they, for example, expressions of emotion? If they are truth-apt, are they ever true? (The position that all ethical statements are false is known as moral nihilism. ) If they are ever true, what is the nature of the facts that they express? And are they ever true absolutely, or always only relative to some individual, society, or culture? See moral relativism, cultural relativism. ) Mathematics is one of the most important fields in philosophy. Mathematics studies the nature of ethical sentences and attitudes. This includes such questions as what “good” and “right” mean, whether and how we know what is right and good, whether moral values are objective, and how ethical attitudes motivate us. Often this is derived from some list of moral absolutes, e. G. A religious moral code, whether explicit or not. Some would view aesthetics as itself a form of meta-ethics.
Normative Ethics Normative ethics bridges the gap be;en mathematics and applied ethics. It is the attempt to arrive at practical moral standards that tell us right from wrong, and how to live moral lives. One branch of normative ethics is theory of conduct; this is the study of right and wrong, of obligation and permissions, Of duty, Of what is above and beyond the call Of duty, and Of what is so wrong s to be evil. Theories of conduct propose standards of morality, or moral codes or rules.
For example, the following would be the sort of rules that a theory of conduct would discuss (though different theories will differ on the merit of each of these particular rules): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”; “The right action is the action that produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number”; “Stealing is wrong. ” Another branch of normative ethics is theory of value; this looks at what things are deemed to be valuable. Suppose we have decided that certain things are intrinsically DOD, or are more valuable than other things that are also intrinsically good.
Given this, the next big question is what would this imply about how we should live our lives? The theory of value also asks: What sorts of things are good? Or: What does “good” mean? It may literally define “good” and “bad” for a community or society. Theory of value asks questions like: What sorts Of situations are good? Is pleasure always good? Is it good for people to be equally well-off? Is it intrinsically good for beautiful objects to exist? Applied Teeth CICS Applied ethics applies normative ethics to specific controversial issues. Many of these ethical problems bear directly on public policy.
For example, the following would be questions of applied ethics: “Is getting an abortion ever moral? ; “, “Is euthanasia ever moral? “; “What are the ethical underpinnings of affirmative action policies? “; “Do animals have rights? ” The ability to formulate the questions are prior to rights balancing. Not all questions studied in applied ethics concern public policy. For example: Is lying always wrong? If not, when is it permissible? The ability to make these ethical judgments is prior to any etiquette. Examples of applied ethics include:
Abortion, legal and moral issues Animal rights Bioethics Business ethics Criminal justice Environmental ethics Feminism Gay rights Just war theory Medical ethics Utilitarian ethics Utilitarian Bioethics Ethics has been applied to economics, politics and political science, leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics, including: Business ethics and Marxism Ethics has been applied to family structure, sexuality, and how society views the roles of individuals; leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics, including feminism.
Ethics has been applied o war, leading to the fields Of pacifism and nonviolence. Ethics has been applied to analyze human use of Earth’s limited resources. This has led to the study of environmental ethics and social ecology. A growing trend has been to combine the study of both ecology and economics to help provide a basis for sustainable decisions on environmental use. This has led to the theories of ecological footprint and aboriginal autonomy. Political and social movements based on such ideas include echo-feminism, echo-anarchism, deep ecology, the green movement, and ideas about their possible integration into
Gaga philosophy. Ethics has been applied to criminology leading to the field of criminal justice. There are several sub-branches of applied ethics examining the ethical problems of different professions, such as business ethics, medical ethics, engineering ethics and legal ethics, while technology assessment and environmental assessment study the effects and implications of new technologies or projects on nature and society. Each branch characterizes common issues and problems that may arise, and define their common responsibility to the public, or to obey some social expectations of honest leanings and disclosure.
Being ethical is clearly not a matter of following one’s feelings. A person following his or her feelings may recoil from doing what is right. In fact, feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical. Nor should one identify ethics with religion. Most religions, of course, advocate high ethical standards. Yet if ethics were confined to religion, then ethics would apply only to religious people. But ethics applies as much to the behavior of the atheist as to that of the saint. Religion can set high ethical standards and can provide intense motivations for ethical behavior.
Ethics, however, cannot be confined to religion nor is it the same as religion. Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. The law often incorporates ethical standards to which most citizens subscribe. But laws, like feelings, can deviate from what is ethical. Our own pre-Civil War slavery laws and the apartheid laws of present-day South Africa are grotesquely obvious examples of laws that deviate from what is ethical. Finally, being ethical is not the same as doing “whatever society accepts. ” In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical.
But standards of behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical. An entire society can become ethically corrupt. Nazi Germany is a good example of a morally corrupt society. Moreover, if being ethical were doing “whatever society accepts,” then to find out what is ethical, one would have to find out what society accepts. To decide what I should think about abortion, for example, I would have to take a survey of American society and then conform my beliefs to whatever society accepts. But no one ever tries to decide an ethical issue by doing a survey.
Further, the lack of social consensus n many issues makes it impossible to equate ethics with whatever society accepts. Some people accept abortion but many others do not. If being ethical were doing whatever society accepts, one would have to find an agreement on issues which does not, in fact, exist. What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.
Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to afraid from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well founded reasons. Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one’s ethical standards.
As mentioned above, feelings, laws, and social norms can deviate from what is ethical. So it is necessary to instantly examine one’s standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means, then, the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to shape, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based. What use is ethics? Ethics needs to provide answers. Photo: Geoffrey Holman O If ethical theories are to be useful in practice, they need to affect the way human beings behave.
Some philosophers think that ethics does do this. They argue that if a person realizes that it would be morally good to do omitting then it would be irrational for that person not to do it. But human beings often behave irrationally – they follow their ‘gut instinct’ even when their head suggests a different course of action. However, ethics does provide good tools for thinking about moral issues. Ethics can provide a moral map Most moral issues get us pretty worked up – think of abortion and euthanasia for starters. Because these are such emotional issues we often let our hearts do the arguing while our brains just go with the flow.
But there’s another way of tackling these issues, and that’s where philosophers can come In – they offer us ethical rules and principles that enable us to take a cooler view of moral problems. So ethics provides us with a moral map, a framework that we can use to find our way through difficult issues. Ethics can pinpoint a disagreement using the framework of ethics, two people who are arguing a moral issue can often find that what they disagree about is just one particular part of the issue, and that they broadly agree on everything else.
That can take a lot of heat out of the argument, and sometimes even hint at a way for them to resolve their problem. But sometimes ethics doesn’t provide people with the rotor of help that they really want. Ethics doesn’t give right answers Ethics doesn’t always show the right answer to moral problems. Indeed more and more people think that for many ethical issues there isn’t a single right answer – just a set Of principles that can be applied to particular cases to give those involved some clear choices. Some philosophers go further and say that all ethics can do is eliminate confusion and clarify the issues.
After that it’s up to each individual to come to their own conclusions. Ethics can give several answers Many people want there to be a single right answer to ethical questions. They find moral ambiguity hard to live with because they genuinely want to do the ‘right’ thing, and even if they can’t work out what that right thing is, they like the idea that ‘somewhere’ there is one right answer. But often there isn’t one right answer – there may be several right answers, or just some least worst answers – and the individual must choose between them.
For others moral ambiguity is difficult because it forces them to take responsibility for their own choices and actions, rather than falling back on convenient rules and customs Ethics is about the ‘other’ Ethics is concerned with other people O At the heart of ethics is a concern about something or someone other than ourselves and our own desires and self-interest. Ethics is concerned with other people’s interests, with the interests of society, with God’s interests, with “ultimate goods”, and so on. So when a person ‘thinks ethically’ they are giving at least some thought to something beyond themselves.
Ethics as source of group strength One problem with ethics is the way it’s often used as a weapon. If a group believes that a particular activity is “wrong” it can then use morality as the justification for attacking those who practice that activity. When people do this, they often see those who they regard as immoral as in some way less human or deserving of respect than themselves; sometimes with tragic consequences. Good people as well as good actions Ethics is not only about the morality of particular courses of action, but it’s also about the goodness of individuals and what it means to live a good life.
Virtue Ethics is particularly concerned with the moral character of human beings. Searching for the source of right and wrong At times in the past some people thought that ethical problems could be loved in one of two ways: by discovering what God wanted people to do by thinking rigorously about moral principles and problems If a person did this properly they would be led to the right conclusion. But now even philosophers are less sure that it’s possible to devise a satisfactory and complete theory of ethics – at least not one that leads to conclusions.
Modern thinkers often teach that ethics leads people not to conclusions but to ‘decisions’. In this view, the role of ethics is limited to clarifying ‘what’s at stake’ in particular ethical problems. Philosophy can help identify the range of ethical methods, conversations and value systems that can be applied to a particular problem. But after these things have been made clear, each person must make their own individual decision as to what to do, and then react appropriately to the consequences.
Answer The term ethics describes the topic, idea, study, analysis, and discussion, of the hypothetical criteria for assessing the appropriateness of behaviors, decisions, actions, and/or intellectual positions. Some commonly sited ethical criteria might include culture, religion, philosophy, reason, logic, science, or nature. ANOTHER ANSWER ethics are kind of like morals and common sense. It is what you think is right or wrong. Being “ethical” means trying to be reasonable and doing what you think is right. Further more ethics can be considered as moral philosophy. It deals with critical analysis of morality. ethics searches a reasonable ground to our moral standards. It deals with answering questions such as ;what ought to be’, not ‘what is ; . ANOTHER ANSWER In it’s simplest form, ethics are the actions we take to accomplish the greater good. What is the greater good? In it’s simplest form it is the greatest good to the greatest amount. It is what constitutes the greatest good to the greatest amount that can become complicated. First of all we all operate on different levels of awareness and the greater good looks differently to people on each level of awareness. Secondly we are all to one degree or another compelled by our feelings.
There are some who are better than most at mastering and controlling their feelings. It seems that most people to one degree or another are hopelessly trapped inside their swirling emotions making decisions in day to day life based on how they’re feeling. The greater good looks differently depending on how your feeling. If it is true that the greater good looks differently on different levels and looks differently from different emotional view points, then it is possible that the lower our level of awareness, the lower and more morose our emotions the further we get from the greater good.
The higher the level of awareness and the higher and more serene our emotions the closer we get towards the greater good. When we look and listen to the wise men and women of today it is clear they are operating on a higher level of awareness than most of us. It is clear that they remain serene and happy consistently and rarely fall past anger in terms of emotional outbursts and when they do show anger it is usually righteous anger intended to improve the emotional states of others.
If their higher level of awareness and high emotional state are factors in their wisdom and if their wisdom is a factor in arriving at the greater good then it may theorized that it is important to be wise to optimize arrival at the greater good. It is important to keep raising our level of awareness and to stay emotionally serene or happy, at the very least have mild interest if we are to be wise. There are ethicists who’ve found a profession in today’s society and you will ear many professionals talk about what is ethical and what is unethical and people who will Offer up “ethical dilemmas” in order to show that ethics is folly.
These skeptics of ethics, these anti-ethicists can be easily spotted by the audacity of their arguments. Take note how most “ethical dilemmas’ presented are hypothetical situations that rarely happen in day to day life. Stranger than fictions scenarios where seemingly any move made is unethical. Of these hypothetical situations, like the three men in a two man boat lost at sea dilemma, most people will never find themselves stuck in such a situation to begin with and even if they did, it is not certain that every move is an unethical one.
These “ethical dilemma” arguments appeal to people who are operating on a lower level of awareness and need our help in getting them to understand that we are all more than capable of mastering our emotions and operating on a higher level of awareness. All of us. Ethics is a term. Many people think ethics has to do with a set of social conventions or a religious decree. In professional philosophy we do not typically consider this to be the definition of ethics. Philosophical ethics could be called the study of hat is good and bad.
Generally, philosophical ethics concerns itself with discovering a system one may use to determine who or what is good, or with evaluating systems that others have proposed. The pursuit of moral knowledge dates back to Ancient Greek philosophers, but it is mostly the influence of Enlightenment moral thought that continues to shape ethics today. There are many well-known figures in the history of ethics, including the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, but some of the most important modern influences include such people as Emmanuel Kant, Jeremy Beneath, John Stuart Mill, D. W. Ross, C.
L. Stevenson, Alasdair McIntyre, and John Rails. In ethics, a premium is placed upon defining “the good”. Different approaches to defining the good, the nature of moral properties, the source of moral knowledge, and the status of moral facts have played an important role in shaping various branches of moral theory. The three major divisions of ethical philosophy may be called Virtue Ethics, Demonology, and Consequentiality. Ethical mandates from society and church do not qualify as genuine philosophical ethics. This last statement causes concern in that it seeks of negative presuppositions.
First of all, ethical mandates ALWAYS have ethical undertones. It is inescapable. An ethical mandate may not fit certain schools of thought, but then certain schools of thought can be erroneous. All ethics are religious by nature, if one defines religion as an attempt to discover the good. Ethics stem from the question “What is right? ” Whoever decides the answer to that question is a law maker. Laws are always expressions of religious thought be they autonomic or autonomous. Ethics is the philosophical attempt to answer Socrates’ question of how one should live.
This is a very general question, which could for any individual translate to “How should live? ” It is important however to note that not all answers to this question are answers of the ethical type. One could conclude that one should live a self-indulgent life without any kind of logical contradiction. Moral philosophers study this idea, known as “egoism,” as well, and the question “Why be moral? ” is because of this distinct from Socrates’ question. It is also important to note that Socrates’ question not only allows for non;ethical answers but also answers from different ethical theories.
His question is not he same as Cant’s question “What is my duty? ” or the egoist/utilitarian question of “How can we be happy? ” There are many different ways of answering Socrates’ question, and answers from the Categorical Imperative to the imperative “Sit on the couch and watch television” are equally answers to it, but Ethics attempts to find through reason the best answer to the question. Ethics, often called Morality interchangeably, tries to answer .