What is Ethics? By definition, ethics is “a discipline concerned with the assessment of how human beings make choices and choose to behave”. In this very broad sense, ethics can be seen as an area of research and scholarship on morality, social justice, or any other area where the interests of society as a whole are considered. In this broad sense, ethics can cover any area that is related to the conduct of human activity.
Ethical philosophers, like many of the other philosophers in today’s world, disagree about what is ethical and what is morally right and wrong. There are even individuals and groups who consider themselves as being ethical by all definitions of the term, while claiming that they are morally wrong in doing or acting a certain way. For instance, some may claim to be ethicicians, while practicing what is considered to be an immoral act, such as abortion. However, when they go about carrying out their ethical beliefs and principles, they are not guilty of wrongful acts. Therefore, ethics and moral judgements are often used as a way of saying that if you do x, then you are being ethical.
Many different answers have been offered for the question of what is ethics. For instance, one of the most common answers to the question of what is ethics, as related by many philosophers, is that ethics is the view that we should base our moral and ethical decisions on reasoning. According to this approach, ethics is essentially a philosophical view of how we should go about deciding what is right and what is wrong, based on the knowledge that we get through our reasoning. In this approach, ethics is seen as a descriptive rather than a prescriptive philosophy.
Another answer to the question of what is ethics comes from those who see ethics as a set of guidelines or a code, rather than a philosophical view of how we should live. According to this view, ethics is merely a set of rules that we follow in order to make our lives easier or more satisfying. We follow these rules in order to earn and to be better persons. Those who subscribe to this philosophy believe that moral conduct is just and right, irrespective of whether it benefits others or not. They also believe that there is no reason why we should adopt a stance of indifference, regarding other people’s right to live their lives as they wish.
One of the most influential philosophers who held that ethics is a philosophical view, opposed to some special view of how we should live came from Athens. The early Socrates taught that ethics is a way of knowing and a view about how we should relate to others. In his view, ethical behavior is a way of determining how we should respond to other people’s actions. In addition, Socrates also believed that right and justice are independent of knowledge, thus, making ethics as a subjective view, rather than objective one.
The second most influential philosopher who discussed ethics is Aristotle. In his view, ethics is defined by a person’s desire to be good, and by his ability to act according to this desire. Aristotle further explained that if a man would violate an ethical principle, he would be punished by the result of this action, regardless of his intentions or motivations.
In modern times, philosophers have provided different answers to the question, “what is ethics?” However, most of them agree on one important answer: that ethics is the view that we ought to treat other beings as we would want to be treated. Ethical theories provide us with various means or explanations as to why we should behave a certain way. These include reasons derived from obligation, necessity, respect, obligation, and justice.
In recent years, many philosophers have offered different views on the matter of what is ethics. For example, according to the ethicists Aristotle, ethics is the view that we should aim to be the best possible kind of beings, and the philosophers argue that some people are better than others and that there are various ways by which we can measure this quality. For example, it is said that goodness is the result of loving to others and the philosophers argue that the existence of justice ensures that this is so. Another school of philosophers hold that ethics is the view that morality is dependent on the will of individuals, a view which critics say does not entail ethical obligation. Other philosophers claim that ethics relies on the understanding of moral norms ascriptions, a view which they support by arguing that we do not have the power to decide for ourselves what is good or bad, and that ethical theories and moral obligations arise through social contract.