Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ethics, Moral and Value

What is Ethic?

According to Yahoo! Education, Ethic is a noun which mean:
a. A set of principles of right conduct.
b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" (Gregg Easterbrook).
2. ethics (used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.
3. ethics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics.
The word comes from the : Middle English ethik, from Old French ethique (from Late Latin thica, from Greek thika, ethics), and from Latin thic (from Greek thik ) both from Greek thikos, ethical, from thos, character; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots

Meanwhile from Wikipedia , Ethics (via Latin ethica from the Ancient Greek ἠθική [φιλοσοφία] "moral philosophy", from the adjective of ἤθος ēthos "custom, habit"), a major branch of philosophy, encompasses right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct. The major problem is the discovery of the summum bonum, the greatest good. The right act can be identified as the one causing the greatest good and the immoral act as the one impeding it.[1]
The meaning of ethic also which had developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer from Santa Clara University which
A few years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people, "What does ethics mean to you?" Among their replies were the following:
"Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong."
"Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs."
"Being ethical is doing what the law requires."
"Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts."
"I don't know what the word means."
These replies might be typical of our own. The meaning of "ethics" is hard to pin down, and the views many people have about ethics are shaky.
Like Baumhart's first respondent, many people tend to equate ethics with their feelings. But being ethical is clearly not a matter of following one's feelings. A person following his or her feelings may recoil from doing what is right. In fact, feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical.
Nor should one identify ethics with religion. Most religions, of course, advocate high ethical standards. Yet if ethics were confined to religion, then ethics would apply only to religious people. But ethics applies as much to the behavior of the atheist as to that of the saint. Religion can set high ethical standards and can provide intense motivations for ethical behavior. Ethics, however, cannot be confined to religion nor is it the same as religion.
Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. The law often incorporates ethical standards to which most citizens subscribe. But laws, like feelings, can deviate from what is ethical. Our own pre-Civil War slavery laws and the apartheid laws of present-day South Africa are grotesquely obvious examples of laws that deviate from what is ethical.
Finally, being ethical is not the same as doing "whatever society accepts." In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical. An entire society can become ethically corrupt. Nazi Germany is a good example of a morally corrupt society.
Moreover, if being ethical were doing "whatever society accepts," then to find out what is ethical, one would have to find out what society accepts. To decide what I should think about abortion, for example, I would have to take a survey of American society and then conform my beliefs to whatever society accepts. But no one ever tries to decide an ethical issue by doing a survey. Further, the lack of social consensus on many issues makes it impossible to equate ethics with whatever society accepts. Some people accept abortion but many others do not. If being ethical were doing whatever society accepts, one would have to find an agreement on issues which does not, in fact, exist.
What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well founded reasons.
Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. As mentioned above, feelings, laws, and social norms can deviate from what is ethical. So it is necessary to constantly examine one's standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means, then, the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to shape, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based.

Beside that from The Josephen Institute of Ethic, ‘Making Ethical Decision’ said that:
Ethics refers to standards of conduct, standards that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues, which themselves are derived from principles of right and wrong. In order to apply this definition to practical decision making it is necessary to specify the nature of the moral obligations considered intrinsic to ethical behavior.

Aspects of Ethics
There are two aspects to ethics: the first involves the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil, and propriety from impropriety; the second involves the commitment to do what is right, good and proper. Ethics is an action concept; it is not simply an idea to think and argue about.

Values vs. Ethics
The terms "values" and "ethics" are not interchangeable. Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave, whereas values simply concern the various beliefs and attitudes that determine how a person actually behaves. Some values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs as to what is right and wrong. Most values do not.

The False Notion of "Personal Ethics"
While every person inevitably must decide for himself/herself how to regard his moral obligations, to say that ethics are "personal" misconstrues the nature of ethics.
It is likely that personal conscience will embrace a wider range of values and beliefs than core, universal ethical norms. When these "extra" values simply supplement ethical norms with personal moral convictions that are compatible with the dictates of normative ethics, there is no conflict between universal ethics and personal ethics. Unfortunately, some people are "moral imperialists" who seek to impose their personal moral judgments on others as if they were universal ethical norms. A bigger, sometimes related problem is that some people adopt personal codes of conduct that are inconsistent with universal ethical norms. Clearly, not all choices and value systems, however dearly held, are equally "ethical." If they were, there would be no legitimate basis for distinguishing between Hitler and Gandhi.
A person who believes that certain races are inferior to others and therefore that it is "right" to oppress or persecute those races has adopted a personal value system that is inherently "unethical" according to the universal and consensus values associated with normative ethics. Similarly, an individual who has decided that lying is proper if it is necessary to achieve an important personal goal cannot assert personal ethics as a shield against impropriety.
Simply put, all individuals are morally autonomous beings with the power and right to choose their values, but it does not follow that all choices and all value systems have an equal claim to be called ethical.

Ethical Commitment
Ethical commitment refers to a strong desire to do the right thing, especially when behaving ethically imposes financial, social or emotional costs. Surveys taken by the Josephson Institute reveal that, regardless of profession, almost all people believe that they are, or should be, ethical. While most are not satisfied with the ethical quality of society as a whole, they believe that their profession is more ethical than others and that they are at least as ethical as those in their profession. Unfortunately, behavior does not consistently conform to self-image and moral ambitions. As a result, a substantial number of decent people, committed to ethical values, regularly compromise these values - often because they lack the fortitude to follow their conscience.

People need to understand that ethical principles are ground rules of decision making -not just factors to consider. It is OK to lose; in fact, it is preferable to lose than to lie, steal, or cheat in order to win. People who are unwilling to lose have to be willing to do whatever it takes to win. Ethics has a price and sometimes people must choose between what they want and what they want to be. But ethics also has a value, which makes self-restraint and sacrifice, service and charity, worthwhile

What is Moral?

According to Yahoo! Education, moral is :

1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim.
3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin m r lis, from m s , m r-, custom; see m - 1 in Indo-European roots

mor al•ly (Adverb)

moral , ethical , virtuous , righteous

These adjectives mean in accord with right or good conduct. Moral applies to personal character and behavior, especially sexual conduct: "Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights" (Jimmy Carter). Ethical stresses idealistic standards of right and wrong: "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants" (Omar N. Bradley). Virtuous implies moral excellence and loftiness of character: "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous" (Frederick Douglass). Righteous emphasizes moral uprightness; when it is applied to actions, reactions, or impulses, it often implies justifiable outrage: "He was . . . stirred by righteous wrath" (John Galsworthy).

Meanwhile from Merriem Webster

\ˈmȯr-əl, ˈmär-\
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin moralis, from mor-, mos custom
14th century

1 a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical (moral judgments)
b: expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior ,a moral poem
c: conforming to a standard of right behavior
d: sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment (a moral obligation
e: capable of right and wrong action (a moral agent)
2: probable though not proved : virtual (a moral certainty)
3: perceptual or psychological rather than tangible or practical in nature or effect (a moral victory) (moral support)

synonyms moral ethical virtuous righteous noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong the basic moral values of a community. ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity ,committed to the highest ethical principles. virtuous implies moral excellence in character ,not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless. righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious ,wished to be righteous before God and the world. noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character ,had the noblest of reasons for seeking office.

Meanwhile From the Biology online
1. Relating to duty or obligation; pertaining to those intentions and actions of which right and wrong, virtue and vice, are predicated, or to the rules by which such intentions and actions ought to be directed; relating to the practice, manners, or conduct of men as social beings in relation to each other, as respects right and wrong, so far as they are properly subject to rules. Keep at the least within the compass of moral actions, which have in them vice or virtue. Mankind is broken loose from moral bands. "She had wandered without rule or guidance in a moral wilderness.
2. Conformed to accepted rules of right; acting in conformity with such rules; virtuous; just; as, a moral man. Used sometimes in distinction from religious; as, a moral rather than a religious life. The wiser and more moral part of mankind".
3. Capable of right and wrong action or of being governed by a sense of right; subject to the law of duty. A moral agent is a being capable of those actions that have a moral quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a moral sense.
4. Acting upon or through one's moral nature or sense of right, or suited to act in such a manner; as, a moral arguments; moral considerations. Sometimes opposed to material and physical; as, moral pressure or support.
5. Supported by reason or probability; practically sufficient; opposed to legal or demonstrable; as, a moral evidence; a moral certainty.
6. Serving to teach or convey a moral; as, a moral lesson; moral tales. Moral agent, a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong. Moral certainty, a very high degree or probability, although not demonstrable as a certainty; a probability of so high a degree that it can be confidently acted upon in the affairs of life; as, there is a moral certainty of his guilt. Moral insanity, insanity, so called, of the moral system; badness alleged to be irresponsible. Moral philosophy, the science of duty; the science which treats of the nature and condition of man as a moral being, of the duties which result from his moral relations, and the reasons on which they are founded. Moral play, an allegorical play; a morality. Moral sense, the power of moral judgment and feeling; the capacity to perceive what is right or wrong in moral conduct, and to approve or disapprove, independently of education or the knowledge of any positive rule or law. Moral theology, theology applied to morals; practical theology; casuistry.
From WordNet dictionary
Definition of Moral:
1. [n] the significance of a story or event; "the moral of the story is to love thy neighbor"
2. [adj] concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles; "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life"
3. [adj] psychological rather than physical or tangible in effect; "a moral victory"; "moral support"
4. [adj] adhering to ethical and moral principles; "it seems ethical and right"; "followed the only honorable course of action"; "had the moral courage to stand alone"
5. [adj] arising from the sense of right and wrong; "a moral obligation"
6. [adj] relating to principles of right and wrong; i.e. to morals or ethics; "moral philosophy"
Synonyms: chaste, clean, clean-living, conscientious, ethical, incorrupt, lesson, mental, moralistic, right, righteous, virtuous
Antonyms: amoral, immoral, unmoral
See Also: good, honorable, honourable, import, meaning, significance, signification

What is value?

According to Yahoo! Education
Value is

1. An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
2. Monetary or material worth: the fluctuating value of gold and silver.
3. Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; utility or merit: the value of an education.
4. A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable: "The speech was a summons back to the patrician values of restraint and responsibility" (Jonathan Alter).
5. Precise meaning or import, as of a word.
6. Mathematics An assigned or calculated numerical quantity.
7. Music The relative duration of a tone or rest.
8. The relative darkness or lightness of a color. See Table at color.
9. Linguistics The sound quality of a letter or diphthong.
10. One of a series of specified values: issued a stamp of new value.
val•ued , val•u•ing , val•ues
1. To determine or estimate the worth or value of; appraise.
2. To regard highly; esteem. See Synonyms at appreciate.
3. To rate according to relative estimate of worth or desirability; evaluate: valued health above money.
4. To assign a value to (a unit of currency, for example).

Middle English, from Old French, from feminine past participle of valoir, to be strong, be worth, from Latin val re; see wal- in Indo-European roots

val u•er (Noun)

Main Entry:
Middle English, worth, high quality, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *valuta, from feminine of *valutus, past participle of Latin valēre to be of worth, be strong — more at wield
14th century
1: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged
2: the monetary worth of something : market price
3: relative worth, utility, or importance ,a good value at the price, the value of base stealing in baseball, had nothing of value to say
4: a numerical quantity that is assigned or is determined by calculation or measurement ,let x take on positive values, a value for the age of the earth
5: the relative duration of a musical note
6 a: relative lightness or darkness of a color : luminosity b: the relation of one part in a picture to another with respect to lightness and darkness
7: something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable, sought material values instead of human values— W. H. Jones
8: denomination 2
— val•ue•less \-(ˌ)yü-ləs, -yə-\ adjective
— val•ue•less•ness noun

From the WordNet dictionary, the definition of value:
1. [n] relative darkness or lightness of a color; "I establish the colors and principal values by organizing the painting into three values--dark, medium...and light"-Joe Hing Lowe
2. [n] the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable; "the Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world"
3. [n] a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed; "the value assigned was 16 milliseconds"
4. [n] an ideal accepted by some individual or group; "he has old-fashioned values"
5. [n] the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else; "he tried to estimate the value of the produce at normal prices"
6. [n] (music) the relative duration of a musical note
7. [v] estimate the value of; "How would you rate his chances to become President>"; "Gold was rated highly among the Romans"
8. [v] place a value on; judge the worth of something; "I will have the family jewels appraised by a professional"
9. [v] regard highly; think much of
10. [v] fix or determine the value of; assign a value to, as of jewelry or art work
11. [v] hold dear; "I prize these old photographs"
Synonyms: appreciate, economic value, esteem, note value, prise, prize, prize, rate, respect, time value, treasure Antonyms: disesteem, disrespect See Also: admire, amount, appraise, assess, book value, censor, color property, consider, consider, continuance, cost, darkness, determine, do justice, duration, evaluate, face value, fear, float, GDP, GNP, grade, gross domestic product, gross national product, ideal, importance, introject, invaluableness, judge, lightness, look up to, mark, market price, market value, measure, measure, monetary standard, monetary value, national income, nominal value, numerical quantity, overestimate, overvalue, par value, praise, preciousness, price, pricelessness, principle, quantity, quantum, reassess, reckon, reckon, recognise, recognize, reevaluate, regard, regard, revalue, revere, reverence, scale value, score, see, see, set, standard, standardise, standardize, think the world of, toll, underestimate, undervalue, unimportance, valuableness, valuate, value, venerate, view, view, worth


Dr Bano said...

Dear Nazrah
It'd be better if you write an overview of the articles read. Keep on blogging.
Dr Bano

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