Definition of ethics:
According to Stephen Perle 2004, ethics comes from the Greek word ethos meaning moral, character or custom. According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, ethics is a branch of philosophy concern with the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong.
According to the philosophy dictionary, the term ethics is derived from the Greek word (ethos), which means character. It is the study of the concepts involved in practical reasoning: good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, freedom, rationality, choice.
BRANCHES OF ETHICS
1. APPLIED ETHICS
This branch of ethics seeks to address questions such as how a moral outcome can be achieved in a specific situation. Applied ethics, as the name applies, consists of the application of normative ethical theories to practical moral problems. Among the major fields ethics are bioethics, business ethics, legal ethics and medical ethics. Eg, the prohibition against taking human life is controversial with respect to capital punishment, abortion and wars of invasion.
2. NORMATIVE ETHICS
This branch of ethics deals with how moral values should be determined. Normative ethics seeks to establish norms and standards of conduct ; a crucial question in this field is whether actions are to be judged right or wrong based on their consequences or based on their conformity to some moral rules such as DON NOT TELL A LIE . a typical question might be whether a lie was told for the sake of protecting someone fron harm is justified or not.
3. META ETHICS
This branch of ethics deals with what the fundamental nature of ethics is or morality itself, including whether it has any objective justification. In meta-ethics, a key issue is the meaning of the terms right or wrong. Meta-ethics is concerned with the nature of ethical judgment and theories.
DEFINITION OF MORALITY
Morality means manner, character and proper behavior.
Morality is looking at how good or bad our conduct is, and our standards about conducts.
ROLE OF ETHICS IN SOCIETY
- Ethics has been applied to economics, politics, and political science, leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics
- Ethics has been applied to family structure, sexuality and how society views the role of individuals
- Ethics has been applied to war, particularly to the justification of engaging in war, leading to positions such as pacifism, militarism and non-violence
- Ethics has been applied to analyze human use of earths limited resources. This has led to the study of environmental ethics and social ecology
- There are several sub branches of applied ethics examining the ethical problems of different professions such as business ethics, medical ethics, journalism ethics, engineering ethics, museum ethics and legal ethics.
- One of the areas where ethicists practice is in the field of health care. This include medicine, nursing, pharmacy, genetics and other allied health profesions.
IMPOTANCE OF NORMS IN SOCIETY
- A norm is a specific guideline for action. It is rule that says how people should behave in particular situation
- Norms enhance conformity among people because to violet the norm can damage their self esteem or hurt their conscience
- They help an individual to fit well in the society hence promote a sense of belonging
FACTORS INFLUENCING ETHICS AND MORALS
- The political regime of a society
- Literacy levels
- Economic structure
- Socio-cultural environment
- Peer group
- Mass media