What is Ethics? Ethics is not science

Jun 21st, 2015
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Bemidji State University
Course: general
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Simply stated, ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, business people, teachers, professionals, and so on. Ethics is not the same as feelings-- Feelings provide important information for our ethical choices.

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What is Ethics?Simply stated, ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, business people, teachers, professionals, and so on.It is helpful to identify what ethics is NOT:Ethics is not the same as feelings-- Feelings provide important information for our ethical choices. Ethics is not religion-- Many people are not religious, but ethics applies to everyone. Most religions do advocate high ethical standards but sometimes do not address all the types of problems we face.Ethics is not following the law-- A good system of law does incorporate many ethical standards, but law can deviate from what is ethical. Law can become ethically corrupt, as some totalitarian regimes have made it. Law can be a function of power alone and designed to serve the interests of narrow groups. Law may have a difficult time designing or enforcing standards in some important areas, and may be slow to address new problems.Ethics is not following culturally accepted norms-- Some cultures are quite ethical, but others become corrupt -or blind to certain ethical concerns (as the United States was to slavery before the Civil War). "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is not a satisfactory ethical standard.Ethics is not science-- Social and natural science can provide important data to help us make better ethical choices. But science alone does not tell us what we ough

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