What is Ethics?

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If you would ask people around about how they will define ethics, you would get different answers. What is ethics? Generally, ethics is defined to be the science of morality. To some it is simply a feeling that tells a person if a thing to do is right or wrong. There are disputes on the definition of ethics and philosophers and other professionals have their own ways of defining it.

Importance of Ethics

Philosophers believe that ethics is an important requirement for human life. It is through ethics the humans decide for a course of action. The absence of ethics would mean that human actions would be meaningless. Without ethics, it would be impossible to work on a goal. It is because people will have no principles to guide them towards achieving number of goals.

However, ethics would not be a guaranty for a successful achievement of any goal. There will be some circumstances that the degree of ethics we apply is not enough. Ethics help people to have set of standards that will organize your actions toward a certain goal. Flaws in a person’s ethics will mean a reduced rate of successful attainment of goals.

Three Divisions of Ethics


Metaethics deals with the study of the nature of ethical statements. It deals with the questions wherein a statement will be evaluated as true or false. If a statement is true, another question will be raised like what makes the statement true. Metaethics asks questions like what is good and what is right. This division of ethics often focuses on how ethical attitudes motivate people.

Normative Ethics

Normative ethics is traditionally known as moral theory. It is a study of what makes an action right or wrong. It helps a person resolve a difficult moral decision. It is said that normative ethics is responsible for bridging the gap between metaethics and applied ethics. Normative ethics teaches people to live a moral way of life.

There are two known branches of normative ethics:

Theory of conduct ‘“ this theory pertains to standards of morality. It studies right or wrong, obligations, and duty.
Theory of value ‘“ this focuses on the value of things. Things that are good may have better value than other things that are also good. Theory of value dictates us on how we should live our lives.

Applied Ethics

Applied ethics is also known as casuistry. This branch of ethics has more concerns on public policy. However, not all concerns are based on public policy. Simply put, applied ethics is more on the study of ethics that focuses on the ethical problems or issues of professions.

Applied ethics has been a broad subject and now have branches to discuss problems arising in the ethical codes of professions. Below are some of the most popular branches of applied ethics. They are just some of the branches of applied ethics that lead to new fields of study.

Legal and moral issues of abortion
Animal rights
Gay rights
Ethics in Business
Criminal Justice
Medical Ethics
Utilitarian Bioethics
Political Ethics
Ethics in Religion

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