Defining Ethics

April 23, 2011
Defining ethics is almost impossible.   As you read the history of the world you see the ethics of man has changed over time.   This change makes it almost impossible to lay a concrete definition on ethics.   You find ethics change as you travel from one culture to another.   This created the theory of ethical relativism.   This theory states that something can be morally wrong in one culture, but morally right in another culture, it is all based on the practices of society.   Ethics change based on religions.   It is unthinkable to most people of today’s society that killing, under any umbrella, is morally right, but look at the radical Muslims.   And don’t get too pious Christians, because there have been rivers of bloodshed under the blanket of Jesus Christ.   This all makes defining ethics a very difficult task.   You can say that following one’s religious beliefs is ethical but how about when religious beliefs lead to acts that are socially and lawfully unethical.   It is just as impossible to define ethics by society because society changes on the whims of individuals.   The Nazis believed they were the perfect race and all other races were substandard.   If social ethics were used to define ethics then it would be okay to slaughter millions of Jews as long as they were a Nazi.   Despite these challenges many have still have labored greatly to define ethics and determine what is ethical and what is unethical.   So what do ethics mean to me?   If I had to define ethics I would say it is right or wrong based on whatever go-no-gauge you decide to use.
Since ethics is difficult to define deciding whether something is ethical or not takes incredible focus and thought.   Critical thinking is used to make this difficult task manageable.   I compare critical thinking to a toolbox.   Tradesmen use a toolbox full of tools to make a difficult job easier.   How difficult would it be to build a set of cabinets with only a chisel?   This is the same with determining if...