Back to Top Ethics or Moral Philosophy is concerned with questions of how people ought to act, and the search for a definition of right conduct identified as the one causing the greatest good and the good life in the sense of a life worth living or a life that is satisfying or happy. The word "ethics" is derived from the Greek "ethos" meaning "custom" or "habit". Ethics differs from morals and morality in that ethics denotes the theory of right action and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice. It asks questions like "How should people act?
Mythical accounts Introduction Philosophy ethicals moral codes When did ethics begin and how did it originate? If one has in mind ethics proper—i. This reflective stage emerged long after human societies had developed some kind of morality, usually in the form of customary standards of right and wrong conduct.
The process of reflection tended to arise from such customs, even if in the end it may Philosophy ethicals found them wanting. Accordingly, ethics began with the introduction of the first moral codes. Virtually every human society has some form of myth to explain the origin of morality.
In the Louvre in Paris there is a black Babylonian column with a relief showing the sun god Shamash presenting the code of laws to Hammurabi died c. To make up for these deficiencies, Zeus gave humans a moral sense and the capacity for law and justiceso that they could live in larger communities and cooperate with one another.
That morality should be invested with all the mystery and power of divine origin is not surprising. Nothing else could provide such Philosophy ethicals reasons for accepting the moral law.
By attributing a divine origin to morality, the priesthood became its interpreter and guardian and thereby secured for itself a power that it would not readily relinquish. This link between morality and religion has been so firmly forged that it is still sometimes asserted that there can be no morality without religion.
According to this view, ethics is not an independent field of study but rather a branch of theology see moral theology.
There is some difficulty, already known to Plato, with the view that morality was created by a divine power. In his dialogue EuthyphroPlato considered the suggestion that it is divine approval that makes an action good. Plato pointed out that, if this were the case, one could not say that the gods approve of such actions because they are good.
Why then do they approve of them? Is their approval entirely arbitrary? Plato considered this impossible and so held that there must be some standards of right or wrong that are independent of the likes and dislikes of the gods.
Problems of divine origin A modern theist see theism might say that, since God is good, God could not possibly approve of torturing children nor disapprove of helping neighbours. In saying this, however, the theist would have tacitly admitted that there is a standard of goodness that is independent of God.
Without an independent standard, it would be pointless to say that God is good; this could mean only that God is approved of by God. It seems therefore that, even for those who believe in the existence of God, it is impossible to give a satisfactory account of the origin of morality in terms of divine creation.
A different account is needed. There are other possible connections between religion and morality. It has been said that, even if standards of good and evil exist independently of God or the gods, divine revelation is the only reliable means of finding out what these standards are.
An obvious problem with this view is that those who receive divine revelations, or who consider themselves qualified to interpret them, do not always agree on what is good and what is evil. Without an accepted criterion for the authenticity of a revelation or an interpretation, people are no better off, so far as reaching moral agreement is concerned, than they would be if they were to decide on good and evil themselves, with no assistance from religion.
Traditionally, a more important link between religion and ethics was that religious teachings were thought to provide a reason for doing what is right. In its crudest form, the reason was that those who obey the moral law will be rewarded by an eternity of bliss while everyone else roasts in hell.
In more sophisticated versions, the motivation provided by religion was more inspirational and less blatantly self-interested. Whether in its crude or its sophisticated version, or something in between, religion does provide an answer to one of the great questions of ethics: As will be seen in the course of this article, however, the answer provided by religion is not the only one available.
Prehuman ethics Nonhuman behaviour Because, for obvious reasons, there is no historical record of a human society in the period before it had any standards of right and wrong, history cannot reveal the origins of morality.
Nor is anthropology of any help, because all the human societies that have been studied so far had their own forms of morality except perhaps in the most extreme circumstances.
Fortunately, another mode of inquiry is available. Because living in social groups is a characteristic that humans share with many other animal species—including their closest relatives, the apes—presumably the common ancestor of humans and apes also lived in social groups.
Here, then, in the social behaviour of nonhuman animals and in the theory of evolution that explains such behaviour may be found the origins of human morality.
Social life, even for nonhuman animals, requires constraints on behaviour.Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its . Browse philosophy & ethics MOOCS in a variety of disciplines and enroll now.
Study the philosophy of god, political ethics and more with in-depth online courses from leading institutions. Explore the moral philosophy and thought process behind major decisions or learn about the science of everyday thinking.
Ethics. The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.
Dec 15, · Ethics are a system of moral principles and a branch of philosophy which defines what is good for individuals and society. At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles.
They affect how.
Work ethics include not only how one feels about their job, career or vocation, but also how one does his/her job or responsibilities. This involves attitude, behavior, respect, communication, and interaction; how one gets along with others.
Work ethics demonstrate many things about whom and how a. Personal ethics is a category of philosophy that determines what an individual believes about morality and right and wrong.
This is usually distinguished from business ethics or legal barnweddingvt.com branches of ethics come from outside organizations or governments, not the individual’s conscience.