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Ethics. What are the BIG Questions? Think – Pair - Share. Some Ethical Questions In General. How should we act? What is right? What is wrong? What is just? What is reasonable?. Specifically. To what ethical standards should politicians be held? How should we help the poor?

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What are the BIG Questions?

Think – Pair - Share

some ethical questions in general

Some Ethical QuestionsIn General....

How should we act?

What is right?

What is wrong?

What is just?

What is reasonable?



To what ethical standards should politicians be held?

How should we help the poor?

How should we deal with individuals who break the law?

what is ethics to some
What is Ethics?To some....

“Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives” Ayn Rand

“Morality, when formal , devours.” Albert Camus

“A man without ethics is a wild beast loose upon this world” Manley Hall

“Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving of them.” Charles Darwin

“The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings” Albert Schweitzer

introduction to ethics
Introduction to Ethics

Ethics, or moral philosophy, is the study of how to live life and how to treat others

(good or bad – right or wrong)

Branch of philosophy most closely related to everyday life

history of ethics
History of Ethics:

Can be traced back to its founder, Socrates

Its study never waned and continues today

The polarity of its nature makes its study somewhat dangerous

It is susceptible to the “fad phenomenon”

ethical point of view varies greatly among individuals especially on controversial issues
Ethical point of view – varies greatly among individuals, especially on controversial issues

Causes of diverse opinions on ethics:

Dynamics of a dramatically changing world

Raised awareness of the ideas and values of others (concept of the global village)

religion – culture- customs – norms

Beliefs /values

acquired through nurture (upbringing)

adopted by influences or pressures

(peers, media)

uses of the study of ethics
Uses of the Study of Ethics

Determine and defend our own ethical


Understand the ethical position of others

Help us make well-reasoned decisions in

tough situations where many options are


Help us decide how we want to live our lives

philosophical study of ethics occurs on two levels
Philosophical study of Ethics occurs on two levels:

1. Deals with the questions of what we should do

how we should act in specific situations

Deals with the foundation upon which ethical positions and points are built

How we can explain and justify our own ethical positions while understanding those of others

key questions in the study of ethics
Key Questions in the Study of Ethics?

What is the origin of ethical principles?

Is it possible or even necessary to come to an ethical agreement

Do ethical absolutes exist or are ethics particular to a specific time and place?

Can we apply an ethical theory to a specific case and be sure of the answer?

How can we judge if an action is ethically correct?

Do we have the free will to act as we wish?