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Thread: Are Ethics?

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    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Default Are Ethics?

    Spurred by a post entitled "is this ethical," I have made this thread to ask simply if we are in agreement that ethics are nonexistent. - They are only interpretations of phenomena or values ascribed thereto and are therefore void of reality. Can that which is void of reality be useful? Of course. But that is not the question I am asking. I am asking whether or not you believe that anyone can sufficiently answer the question "Is this ethical?" I am asking if ethics are necessarily, or ever, independent of rationality, or is this unreasonable? Irresponsible? Unethical?
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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Doctors take a hippocratic oath. Is that necessarily, or ever, independent of rationality, or is this unreasonable? Irresponsible? Unethical?
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    Doctors take a hippocratic oath. Is that necessarily, or ever, independent of rationality, or is this unreasonable? Irresponsible? Unethical?
    I don't know about Hippocrates?
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    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Well ethics and morality have to do with being human, so of course it's something internal. That doesn't mean they don't have a stronger force than our environment, though, especially if there's an all-pervasive God.

    Or maybe you're talking about ethics as distinct from morality?
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    Ethics are a product of the mind. They are imagined. So, if there were no minds in the world, there'd be no ethics. However, people's ethical beliefs make them do things that have tangible impact. As such, trends in ethical beliefs in society do effect its stability level.

    It's a metaphysical question, to ask if ethics "exist".
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    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Or if God exists, ethics can still exist regardless of whether we exist or not, and if he can never stop existing, then ethics can't, either. Again, if everything exists by virtue of God's existence, then ethics/morality are stronger than the temporal state of things since everything is in constant flux anyway.
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    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    It's a muddy question, and poorly phrased I admit. I guess it's just a train of thought that I would like to hear peoples ideas about, regardless of whether or not they answer my question.

    Yes, I see ethics as something distinct from morality. It is the line between morality and customs that is most difficult for me to see.

    Is it internal? Maybe. Morality appears to me to be a comparison of standards, and that which is accepted most commonly as morality, that is, what is customary, is necessarily external because it is not a system of internal beliefs but rather a creed which is to be obeyed, or at least agreed with, which implies internal acceptance, though I do wonder how someone is able to obey with conviction a creed that they did not originate.

    Is morality then the same as law? The difference between the two is that in the case of law, there is a distinct punishment for the refusal to obey, whereas in the case of morality, one may merely be demeaned or ostracized, or may sustain no punishment at all. Law and morality do not exist. They exist only inasmuch as there are a number of people insisting upon their existence, and reality may then be affected through such subjective truth - through such invisible absolutes. But those morals which are held sacred by many, such as that it is wrong to kill another even if they have wronged you - are these really based on rational analyses, or are morals like this one product of a bandwagon simply because they are intuitive? It is difficult for me to imagine coming to that kind of conclusion through rationality, but I am not so naturally rational as some of you.
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    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    Spurred by a post entitled "is this ethical," I have made this thread to ask simply if we are in agreement that ethics are nonexistent. - They are only interpretations of phenomena or values ascribed thereto and are therefore void of reality. Can that which is void of reality be useful? Of course. But that is not the question I am asking. I am asking whether or not you believe that anyone can sufficiently answer the question "Is this ethical?" I am asking if ethics are necessarily, or ever, independent of rationality, or is this unreasonable? Irresponsible? Unethical?
    Ethics exist to please the crowd. It behooves anyone with some fiduciary responsibility to behave ethically. If they don't they will pay when they get caught. They either don't think they will get caught or the perceived relative pain of the unethical behavior is less than the perceived pain of punishment when they get caught. Of course, that fallacy is revealed when they actually get caught. People are often only remorseful of their bad behavior after having been caught.

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    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Actually, I'd rather keep 'ethics' defined as societal mores, morality being something natural for us to feel, like somehow feeling like coldbloodedly cutting open a little kid's face is twisted and wrong.

    I do think that the latter has more reality to it than our surface impressions of nature. I consider the sensory world we normally percieve to merely be the props on the stage. The heart of reality is behind all that - it's what's 'really going on'.
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    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stellar renegade View Post
    Actually, I'd rather keep 'ethics' defined as societal mores, morality being something natural for us to feel, like somehow feeling like coldbloodedly cutting open a little kid's face is twisted and wrong.

    I do think that the latter has more reality to it than our surface impressions of nature. I consider the sensory world we normally percieve to merely be the props on the stage. The heart of reality is behind all that - it's what's 'really going on'.
    I believe this is more a question of morality than ethics.

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