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What do you think the basis of ethics is?

What do you base your ethical principles on? How do you know a specific behavior is right or wrong or ethically neutral?

Answer Question

Asked by SlightlyPerfect at 8:11 AM on Aug. 24, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 10 (473 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • ''do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'' luke 6.31 or
    ''treat others like you want to be treated.''
    most every action/behavior boils (or should) down to that. in the workplace, family, strangers in a grocery line, traffic, church, etc.. you know a behavior is wrong because it is..some people simply shrug it off with the thought, 'well, at least its not me.'...doesn't make it right because it isn't happening to you or by you. some people can't be bothered with ethical behavior because its more convenient or self-rewarding to look the other way. and just because a law allows something, through strange loopholes, doesn't make it ethical, either. ('double-dipping', anyone?)JMO

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:19 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • We are taught by our parents and society what is right and wrong, and it is then ingrained into us becoming common sense. Now whether one chooses to ignore their common sense is another matter...

    Answer by IhartU at 8:39 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • I agree with IHartU and would also add that empathy factors in quite a bit. When you can put yourself in other people's shoes often times the right thing to do becomes obvious.

    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:16 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Whether it is harmful to self/others or helpful to self/others. Harmful acts I would generally consider ethically wrong, helpful acts I would generally consider ethically right. It's essentially the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Answer by Freela at 9:25 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Putting myself in another's shoes, respect, and "Treating others the way I would want to be treated"

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 10:16 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • It all comes down to empathy and a conscience.  Simply put, I have to live with myself.  Do I want to live with guilt?  Hell no!


    Answer by beeky at 10:36 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Tribal memory, I think. Humans have ethics which relate to the communal good. Don't kill. Don't steal what is not yours. Don't lie about others. Get along with one another or get booted from the tribe. For myself, my mother taught us what her parents taught her. Religious values are just tribal values with a vengeful god and punishments attached. Whatever I do for others is me contributing to my human tribe. And I do it for myself.

    Answer by witchqueen at 11:45 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • We're taught by our elders what's right and what's wrong based on what was taught to them and our morals are also shaped on experience. The more intellgent of the species will modify what we were taught if those lessons don't play out with our experience. However, having a high level of empathy does help. Mirror neurons help us with this. I think that morality can be nebulous at times but at other times it's concrete. I'd like to think that our beliefs can be judged emperically. If the belief causes harm to others and generally has a negative outcome, than that belief (action) should be modified. I'm a big fan of Thomas Paine so I think that humans have natural rights. We should respect those rights and fight for those rights because history has shown us that when we respect those rights, we, as a species, are better off.
    We're it really "comes" from is a question left to evolutionary neurobiologists.

    Answer by MotherofIreland at 1:47 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Self-preservation.
    At our core, humans are pack animals. We follow the rules to avoid being punished, shunned or killed by the pack.

    Answer by DivaG at 3:05 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

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