Ethics Simple Definition: Ethics, Ethic and Ethical Defined and Contrasted to Moral and Morality in (Finally) a Simple Meaning (better than the dictionary)! Easy-Peasy Explanation of Basic Ethics. Get HELP w/ your ɆNGLISH paper for your professor!
- A Simple Definition of Ethics
- Ethics vs Moral
- Ethics vs Morality
- Ethics vs Ethic
- Ethics vs Ethical
- Ethics vs Applied Ethics/Business Ethics
- Ethics in Philosophy
- ** NEW Free Philosophy Courses **
Definitions of Ethics
The field of Ethics or Moral Philosophy is a section of philosophy that deals with making and arguing for systems of ideas and behavior that are considered right and/or wrong.
Etymology of the Word Ethics
Ethics comes from the Ancient Greek words for character ēthikós (ἠθικός) with the root word êthos (ἦθος) meaning a character’s moral nature. Etymologically it evolved into the Latin word ethica and then into the French as éthique, from where it is said it made it’s way into English usage.
Meta-Ethics deals with the questions of how we come to understand, prove, and justify particular normative ethical theories of what is morally Right and/or Wrong.
Particular ethical systems are called Normative Ethics, which is the study of moral behavior and actions, how to act and what one ought to do, because it is morally right or wrong to do.
Ethics Simple Definition: Ethics Defined As Simply as Possible
The simple definition of Ethics is this: Ethics is your morality. Your Ethics, is your daily moral history. Ask anybody, “What are your Ethics?” you basically mean "Are you moral?" I.e., What kind of people are you? Ethical, or not? Moral or not? What is your ethical behavior: Good or Bad? Do you help people daily or hurt people daily? Do you only care about money (for example) or do you care about people? Can you tell the difference between ethical (nice, good) or hurting people? This is true Ethics. Recent Professors claim Ethics is a system of moral principles. Or, Ethics is based on well-founded standards of Right and Wrong. Etc. Ethics simply is this: There is a standard morality, an ethical code of conduct, that a culture adheres to, and they expect for you to adhere to it too, in order to be "ethical" in their view. That's Ethics at it's simplest. Some things in that culture are considered morally good, or morally bad, (or morally neutral).
That's not so tricky. The tricky part in Ethics is that moral concepts like “Good” and “Bad”, the "most ethical system", or most well-founded "standard", are ALL totally subjective! And therein lies the problem of ethics!
And so, ETHICS IS THE STUDY OF "THE GOOD" as in: What’s truly morally Good or Bad. Virtuous or Evil. Etc. Good and bad enough that we praise regarding former (bring "good"), and blame regarding the latter (bad enough to be blamed for being "bad"). It is our ethics responsibility to bring maximal Good about, in so far as being responsible/responsibility is supposed to be good (and thus ethical)!
Ethics vs Moral, Ethical Reasoning vs Moral Reasoning
As I said, ones "ethics" are akin to their "Morality". Ethics or morality are rules, guidelines, formula, or facts you follow that supposedly make you morally good, because the rules or facts (supposedly) represent accurately the truth about what is morally good (or bad). And so the common story goes, you apply your “ethics” or “morality” to be ethical / moral. Ethical and moral are essentially synonyms. As is your "ethics / morality" (i.e., the reasons (whether they be rules or facts) you follow in order to be ethical/moral).
But what makes any of this true? Following The Good! At the end of the day, both Ethics and Morality are simply a search for The Good! What is of such positive value that is fully and completely worth praise. What's Maximally Good / Positive / Optimal / Idyllic / Appropriate, even Right or Just.
Else none of this: ethics, morality, ethical, moral, good (in any sense), is what is says it is!
This has been forgotten in society, which has now been bewitched by post-modernism, to think Goodness and Badness are subjective. They are not! They are relative (like gravity) to the people being affected. But not subjective. There is a difference.
Ethics vs Morality
Morality is not actually different from Ethics really at all. One has a “morality.” One has “ethics.” Because what's maximally "Good" (in all senses) is integral to both, they are really the same subject matter.
The only (mistaken) reason why even well-meaning theorists think there is a difference between Ethics and Morality, is because they think that some morality exceeds ethics, as if The Good could exceed The Good!
This is not possible. They are confused.
The Good is the
valuation concept. They think a "duty" or "obligation" concept self-evidently trumps
this, or can.
They are, sadly, incorrect.
Nothing is gooder than The Good (both conceptually, and actually). Nothing is superior to Superiority! Nothing is better than the Best! Thus, nothing is more moral or ethical than The Good either.
Else the moral is not moral/good. Nor the ethical ethical/good.
Even if you doubt this, that's fine. For if the moral and ethical are not maximally good/positive, then they are simply not worth doing! Do what is maximally good/positive instead.
Further explanation on this philosophy adapted from far wiser authors like Plato, can be found in this (bit.ly/DaoAgathos) work on Ethics/Morality and The Good. Why study it seperately and waste time? Study superior!
Ethics vs Ethic
Usually an ethic is one moral rule, lesson, even habit you have learned. Like, don’t assault people. Or seek The Good! If people agree with each ethic you carry, they typically say you are ethical. That you “have” ethics. In that you possess them. These ethics you supposedly posess are successfully learnt, and you act on them reliably.
Of course, this depends on whether they are ethical in the first place. That their ethics are justified and right.
People can judge you all they like. But if they themsleves do not have the correct ethics, then their vantage point is bad to make any ethical judgments.
Again as I said the problem of ethics is that it appears to be subjective; this is why it has so much debate. But ethics is not subjective. The esact Ethic of "Ethics" is, and can only be, the study of The Good. Our valuation concept. And what is truly Good is relative (like gravity) to the needs of the people involved and not violating them (as that would not be good), but not subjective.
The Good is perfectly objective.
Again, further explanation on this can be found right now for free in this (bit.ly/DaoAgathos) work on ethics and the good.
Dao is Chinese, and means the truth/path/method/way and
Agathos is Greek, and means The Good.
So this work spells out in simple terms the path, truth, and way of The Good. Not an opnion. The genuine artefact, which you can live your life by, and be just and right too.
Ethics vs Ethical
Being ethical is successfully acting in accordance with ethics. It is a synonym for good. “He is ethical”, and “He is good”, are nearly perfectly synonymous. And actually, perfectly, synonymous, if you have correct, sensible, accurate, good, ethics.
And if you don't have good ethics, then you don't have ethics! (Or any ethics that are worth following, if it's not good. In fact, maximally good!)
Why do you want to follow the bad ethics?
Ethics vs Applied/Business Ethics, Application of Ethics
"Applied" ethics refers to how to be ethical and apply each
ethic, in situations: like ethics in business, ethics in science, ethics in AI, etc. There is a lot of hoopla, but that is all it is. Please
note, one view is this: the fact that some feel the need to separate the concept of “ethics” from “applied ethics”, simply and sadly indicates their ethics are wrong!
Because, quite simply, no correct ethics would ever need any separate labelling when applied. If you are ethical, why do you need to talk about "applied" ethics? Of course you are ethical when you "apply it"? Else you were never ethical / you had incorrect ethics to begin with.
Case in point: applied ethics is usually talked about in business ethics circumstances, where the temptation to be unethical abides (for obvious reasons, like selfishness, dishonesty, corporate neglect, callous, ignorance, etc.). Thus the desire to brand out another "kind" of ethics, “applied ethics”, to make it seem like they have sufficient ethics, or they are ethical, when they are not/don't.
Real ethics is ethical (and unapologetically unviolated) in application, else it is just not real ethics. One view is: Anyone who studies "applied" ethics is just not really ethical - they want to have another kind of ethics which is easier on them, especially in business.
In that sense, “applied ethics” is actually somewhat disingenuous. And thus can be, and is best, ignored (if you truly want to be ethical, or know what ethics truily is). If you don't, if you are just writing a paper or assignment, then say whatever your professor wants to hear about ethics -- that's what they want anyways :-)
That's the secret on writing papers on ethics or anything else: just say what your ethics professor said in class. It's what they want to hear anyways.
Ethics in Philosophy, History of Ethics
Ethics has a long history in philosophy.In fact, both
ethics are old Greek words. Philosophy means the family-kind-of-love of wisdom (wisdom in this case means being really, truly wise; possessing and knowing justified, true, beliefs of and relating to (only) maximally good and useful things). Ethics comes from two old Greek words as well: éthos (pronounced ee-thaws )
meaning character/personality, and ethos (pronounced eth-aws) customs/norms. The relationship between these ideas is symbiotic: Customs and norms help form new characters, and new characters generate and reiterate customs and norms.
Of course, this is hopefully done to The Good. (For them, for us -- and in reality always. Else why do it? The superior logic of the Good/Positive/Optimal/Superior is implied and obvious).
How do all these concepts: wisdom, ethics, ethic, ethical, philosophy, and The Good work together? It works like this:
If you understand all this (i.e., the ethic of The Good, how maximally positive, idyllic, optimal, superior and moral it is), then you truly understand Ethics: i.e., what you should do (seek and live by The Good), and what you should not (anything less).
If you understand everything good, (what, why, and how) then you are wise, too.
And if you are truly wise, you are most likely a philosopher, and must have studied some “philosophy.” (whether that is the “canon” of accepted books by this or that group completely notwithstanding. Or that you read any books at all; you may have just lived life and reflected on it… who’d a thunk it? Answer: many wiser “philosophers” than we have now).
Nothing compares with the knowledge of Ethics and The Good!
Ethics in Decision making
Ethics in decision making is also problematic. For this area can mistakenly assume what is prudent and rational to do in decision making is not also what is moral and ethical.
When they are and must be the exact same thing.
In my view, these theorists ethics are just bloated/overextended. (Further explained here, (bit.ly/DaoAgathos)). They simply do not understand what’s (The) Good. Thus they fail to understand what’s prudent (getting that).
What’s rational (understanding/getting that).
And what’s ethical (revering that).
Again many would not like to hear their art is an apollogy art at best (so I do not suggest you write it in any academic papers; not if you care about your marks :-) Many failed acacdemics study applied or business ethics, and try and try to make the unethical, sound ethical. Or try and try to find what the truth about ethics is. And fail.
They are looking at a single tree, trying (once again) to find the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so they can bite the apple again, abd be reminded...
Instead they should have panned out, and been looking at the entire forrest.
At the end of the day, it cannot be denied: ethics of The Good taken as such (the guiding principle), is the ethic you need to study, and the philosophy you are looking for, applied everywhere and anywhere. To say there is a differnet kind of ethics in decision making, is only to seperate it out for the purposes of not perfectly understanding ethics to begin with.
Be warned reader, you are reading a rebel's point of view. I am no academic. (Although I have studied Ethics at some of the finest universities in the West. I have a Master's Degree in Ethics. Half a PhD (I quit in disgust). I have a TEDx talk on ethics (j.mp/joshtedx) and two books (bit.ly/DaoAgathos), and many other guides on it.
I am merely here to help you learn the true view on ethics. The Good-est one. The Ethical one.
Remember: The Good and Ethics are the same study. Else neither are worth studying.
Theories of Ethics
There are many theories of ethics. Just as there are many opinions on what is ethical. This is also another apology discipline, this time ruined by postmodernism. Nietzsche purposely created post-modernism (or hyjacked it) to trick us into thinking there is no truth, or moral / ethical truth. So we would all disagree and destroy ourselves (yes he said this was his purpose, because he thought weak democrats ugly) and we have bought into his attack, hook line and sinker.Now instead of studying What is Ethical/Good, we study opinions of ethics, or theories of ethics which is just as ridiculous and wrong as opinions of science, or personal theories on math. (And has also sadly leaked into politics with notions like "alternate facts", "post-truths", etc.
I don't care who you vote for. Just understand The Good is The Good, and it is what we need if we wish to live well.
So please understand: Ethics is ethics (a study of The Good).Theories of ethics, is only when you get ethics, wrong. When you stray from true ethics. When you misunderstand it.
When you do not understand The Good.
Having a “theory” of ethics is like having a personal opinion on 2+2=4 or physics. Either it is accurate, and you can show that, or it is not.Seek The Good! Feel The Good! Know The Good! Love The Good!
Those are your quick and easy definitions on Ethics! For any questions and more information feel free to email me joshbachynski at gmail.com. Be Good!