What is Ethics: Definition and 70 Discussions

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior". The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value; these fields comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology.Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. As a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.
Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are:
Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be determined;
Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action;
Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted) to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action.

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  1. russ_watters

    AI and Ethics in Journalism: The Sports Illustrated Scandal

    Interesting article about an AI writing scandal at Sports Illustrated: https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/29/opinions/sports-illustrated-ai-controversy-leitch/index.html I hadn't heard about it in real-time, which is probably indicative about how far SI has fallen*. In short, the article discusses...
  2. G

    Theatre & Ethics: Greek Comedy & Tragedy

    Not sure if this is the best way to ask, but the Classical Greeks put theatre and life between comedy and tragedy. Does theatre accommodate other modes of human life?, or are those two the 'essential two'? (This was an essay question I had no answer to.)
  3. T

    Guide to talking about AI Ethics

    Here are a few excerpts from an article I stumbled across on https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/04/13/1022568/big-tech-ai-ethics-guide/ The complete list of definitions runs about 50 items. It is sadly true to some extent, and a bit of a change-of-pace from this site.
  4. anorlunda

    Automation Ethics: Should your car serve you or serve society?

    Tesla’s Autopilot a ‘distant second’ to GM’s Super Cruise system in Consumer Reports testing I think this is very interesting because of Consumer Report's reason for their evaluation. The GM autopilot aggressively monitors the driver to make sure he/she is alert and paying attention. The GM...
  5. .Scott

    COVID Medical Science, Medical Ethics, COVID-19

    There is a COVID-19 issue that has been brewing for at least a couple of months: Is the primary COVID-19 communication vector aerosols? But only in the past couple of weeks has this issue started to come to a boil - as in this article...
  6. mastermechanic

    Is reverse engineering ethical?

    Suppose that there are 2 companies. One of them is yours and other company publishes a product which can affect your situation in marketplace.Is it ethical to buy the product and resolve it by reverse engineering to get an idea to counterattack? It's not about producing similar technology...
  7. C

    Should physician-assisted death be legalized in all countries?

    Where do you stand on the issue of physician-assisted death? In Canada this issue has been a leading news story over the last year or so. See for example: Alberta Doctors Prepare for 'Culture-Shift' Created by Physician Assisted Death. Physician-assisted death is where a competent person...
  8. ohwilleke

    LQG has not been shown to violate the holographic principle

    Backreaction has the story: http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2015/09/no-loop-quantum-gravity-has-not-been.html debunking this article: Violation of the Holographic Principle in the Loop Quantum Gravity Ozan Sargın, Mir Faizal http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.00843 and also showing the authors behaving...
  9. A

    Navigating Superstitions in Medical Ethics: A Case Study

    Hi everyone. I tried searching this up, but I could not come with anything conclusive. I was reading a medical ethics book that leaves this question as "food for thought": You live with your stepmother. You study medicine. You work very hard in the library, go to your classes and take air...
  10. P

    Germ Line Gene Therapy: Ethics and Regulations?

    Gene therapy consists of modifying the DNA sequence to replace the gene coding for the disease with a healthy gene. Germ line gene therapy does this by targeting the germ cells; this means that once the egg is fertilised, every cell which descends from the egg contains the modified gene, and...
  11. A

    Doctor Ethics: Saving a Life Without Consent

    A person needs to undergo surgery. Someone shot him. He will die in three hours. No one knows him. He has no family. He comes to the hospital and his mental situation is bad. He seems to be crazy and says irrational things. He can't think or make decisions for himself. You are a medical doctor...
  12. K

    Incident question - historical event with lack of ethics

    incident question -- historical event with lack of ethics I have to Write a report outlining an historical event in which a lack of ethics has caused the injury or loss of life. You should discuss the issues with reference to the Engineers Australia code of ethics. i can't find any events...
  13. S

    Is Studying Applied Ethics and Future Tech Beneficial for a Physics Career?

    Hello all, Thanks in advance for any thoughts and opinions on this. In short, I'm wondering if classes or a masters in applied ethics and future tech would be an asset for me. I took a 400 lvl class in a previous semester about applied ethics and future technologies. I was very interested...
  14. OmCheeto

    Medical Quiz for MD/Microbiologist/Medical Ethics students

    My first foray into MS... Diagnosis? Clues: Day 3 after inoculation: Day 4 after inoculation: http://home.europa.com/~garry/2012%2003%2028%20scan.jpg"][/PLAIN] ---------------------------------- stupid faux hidden om signature message. ;)
  15. Andre

    Explore Ethics in Science: Feynman's Cargo Cult & Popperian Falsification

    Been pondering a bit about ethics in science. Not sure where to post about it. It doesn’t seem to qualify for philosophy nor is it social science. It’s just how science should be conducted. But if it has to be moved elsewhere, sure go ahead. Basically we have of course the (Popperian type)...
  16. G

    Article in Journal of Medical Ethics on Post-Birth Abortion creating

    Article in Journal of Medical Ethics on "Post-Birth Abortion" creating http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.full?sid=3722e1a3-a440-4c6d-8a75-f8af41eebe19#ref-3 When I first read this, I assumed it was an inspired piece of satire, since the parallels to "A Modest...
  17. E

    What refs describe ethics evolving from human needs and instincts?

    I am looking for references that explain how ethics evolved from human needs (e.g., community) and instincts (e.g., fight/flight).
  18. lisab

    Do Ethics Influence Your Career Choices?

    How much thought do you give to morality/ethics when making your career choices? I mean, a person who is vegetarian based on ethics probably wouldn’t work as a butcher. A hardcore pacifist probably wouldn’t design weapons for a defense contractor. So what would you not do? Have you...
  19. B

    Hypothetical question on academia: credit and copyright vs ethics.

    Lets presuppose that you are a philosophy major, or a psychology major, or something else and through logic and creativity you have what you believe to be a universal field theory. Please put all likeliness of this situation aside and let's assume there is a very very good chance your theory...
  20. G

    Ethics of Nanotech: Research Risks & Weaponization

    I'm wondering because drug delivery and nanotech will be my primary area of research. Right now we have a professor at my school that has made breakthroughs in drug delivery across the mucosa in the lung with nanonparticles. Also, there is hordes of research with regards to DNA/RNA/drug...
  21. A

    Is Weapons Engineering Ethically Justifiable?

    I am currently doing my Physics BSc and I'm thinking about my future job. So far, I've decided that I would like to go to the U.S. and do a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, and then become a weapons engineer. Generally, this is met by people telling me I would be a killer, and shouldn't...
  22. J

    Social taboos, religion, ethics, absolute morality, God, etc.

    The below text is not a result of coherent thought. It consists of random pieces. I'm sure you would be able to connect them. If there is absolute religious system, then it's won't too much exaggeration to say that I live in a far too religious atmosphere where almost every individual takes...
  23. E

    Medical Where do you guys stand in the scientific/medical ethics debate?

    http://singularityhub.com/2010/06/07/hans-keirstead-transforms-embryonic-stem-cells-into-retinas/ I came across this article earlier today and I posted it on my facebook status because I thought it was interesting. After about an hour, I had a few people commenting who seemed concerend that I...
  24. N

    Discussing the Ethics of Eating Meat

    I need to hear your opinions on this video: http://www.meat.org/index-1.asp?c=gwtdba0410 (staff edit: warning, video is very graphic) streaming is slow so download and watch it; Until we make remarkable advances in nanotechnology and genetically modified food such that you would obtain the...
  25. J

    Ethics — What if we just keep asking why?

    In science, if we did that we would arrive to experience. Laws work because they make good predictions and that´s all there is to it. In Mathematics if we kept asking why we would arrive to axioms. But what about ethics? It´s not based on axioms or experience. Then, what is it based on? If...
  26. TheStatutoryApe

    How to Deal With Cheaters and the Ethics of Infidelity

    Since it is an interesting topic for a relationship forum which is derailing another thread I figured I would create one for it. I posted a thread a while back regarding how I had made a decision about how to deal with someone who had cheated on my via a bit of game theory. The logic I...
  27. N

    Ethics of withholding science data from the public

    I am a graduate student who works with a large science collaboration. The collaboration has built a very useful set of data which will, we are told, be released to the public at some future time when the collaborators are sure it is sufficiently free of errors. However, it is more or less an...
  28. A

    Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ethics

    OK, here's the deal: I was wondering, "what is the general opinion, ethically, on embryonic stem cell research?" so, I made a poll When you vote, use your own opinion, and afterwards, post what you voted and why. please be informed, or don't vote/post.
  29. baywax

    Common Ethics: A Natural Phenomenon

    By using the term "common ethics" I am referring somewhat to the idea of "common sense". You see it everyday in traffic, among pedestrians, in classrooms and everywhere there is human activity. We could say you can find it in the animal and plant kingdoms as well, but that would be an outright...
  30. Q

    Exploring Engineering Ethics: A Question and Answer Guide

    can someone help me with a questiom on engineering ethcis? thank you
  31. rootX

    How Did Corporations Compromise Safety for Profit in the Melamine Scandal?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7624498.stm How could those people risk toddlers' lives for making profits?
  32. H

    Resume Ethics: Co-Op Work Full-Time + School Full-Time What to say?

    I'm going to do a Co-Op with a research institute, full-time during the Fall semester. It will be a traditional 40 hour work experience. I will also be enrolling in school, fulltime during the Fall. I'll only be taking 8 real credits, and the other 4 are for an internship I'm doing this summer...
  33. G

    Ethics & Empathy in Medicine: Cold Logic or Warm Heart?

    This thread is regarding the need for ethics and empathy within the field of medicine. I would of course appreciate if some actual MDs would reply to this since they have the practical experience of medicine whereas my opinions are merely based on cold logic. Others are of course welcome to...
  34. 6

    Engineering Ethics: Struggles with Personal Ethics

    Not just the mundane business type ethics. As I'm nearing my B.S. in Mech/Aero engineering I have become very aware that its entierly possible I will be working in a defense type job building/fixing/improving war time machines. It really hit me when I recently went for an interview for a...
  35. N

    Mathematics & Ethics: Is Pursuing Beauty Useless?

    I have a question to those of you who plan their career in mathematics, esp. pure mathematics, or already work as mathematicians. Aren't you disconcerted by the possible lack of any meaningful application of your future work? I mean the ethical side of it - does the fact that your work might not...
  36. quasar987

    Ethics on approaching professors for masters

    Hi folks, It seems like time has come for me to hunt a master's director and I wish to understand what the correct social dynamics is for approaching a professor before I go in a screw it up. Tell me if this makes sense. I look at the professors' profiles and eliminate those who are working...
  37. baywax

    Ethics applies primarily to human situations

    The use of the word ethics applies primarily to human situations, actions and conditions. Ethics described: http://www.iep.utm.edu/e/ethics.htm Along with this explanation of the word ethics I wanted to explore whether the word also applied to mechanical systems. Can a mechanical system like...
  38. F

    Topics for electrical engineering ethics

    I am having trouble coming up with a topic for a research paper dealing with something related to the Eletrical engineering/ technology field. It has to be something that has happened within the last five years. Any idea's? Thanks
  39. R

    Is Aging Reversal Ethical in Health Care?

    I don't think we should try to reverse aging. Elderly dying of old age isn't quite as awful as babies dying of young age.
  40. 6

    The basis for relevence, ethics, and morality.

    Two topics to keep you awake at night... Q1. From what source or basis should one begin to define their morality? is morality a relevant term? Given the presupposition that there is no God is anything relevant and is it possible to truly help or hurt anyone? Q2.If their is a God how can we...
  41. T

    Exploring Absurdity of Human Ethics

    What do people mean when they say they are arguing from a moral point of view? Are moral views there, existing but consealed in our brain? do we have an inner idea of what ethical view like justics is suppose to be? For myself, i think judging each person in his or her own term is a ethical...
  42. marcus

    Einstein's poem to Spinoza's Ethics

    Einstein's poem On Spinoza's Ethics does anybody have a link to a legible online text of this poem? I would like a legible text of the German original and also a complete English translation if one exists. http://www.lorentz.leidenuniv.nl/history/Einsteins_poem/Spinozas_Ethik.jpg...
  43. R

    News This week in Congressional Ethics

    Who are the targets of a new House Ethics investigtion, as a result of information from Neil Volz's guilty plea? Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio Rep. William Jefferson, D-Lousiaina (Bipartisanship! Woo!) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060517/ap_on_go_co/ethics_abramoff Can you believe it! U.S...
  44. F

    A comparison of Homer's ethics vs the Bible's.

    In Homer's Odyssey, Odyssius has to deal with the seduction of eternal life with lots of women, but choses to go back home to his wife and son; this is what I got from watching it on sci-fi; I've yet to bye the time to read it myself even though I bought the Homer works awhile ago, but thumbing...
  45. V

    Currently studying Nicomachean Ethics

    Hello, Im currently studying Nicomachean Ethics, and was wondering someone can help me out with this question. I'm actually an Electrical Engineering major, so obviously I am not very good with this philosophy thing. If anyone could help me, it would greatly be appreciated. According to...
  46. S

    Are 'personhood' and 'ethics' in conflict?

  47. W

    What is the Basis of Cosmocentric Ethics? Valuing in the Universe and Beyond

    In the beginning, there was nothing but the Plasma. Everything was simple. What existed before the Plasma, science cannot yet say. The Plasma had a high energy density. It condensed into complex atoms of hydrogen and helium. Then there was Light. When the universe lit up, there was valuing going...
  48. TheStatutoryApe

    Are Corporate Ethics Training Programs Truly Effective?

    Whose Ethics?? I just finished doing an online ethics course for work. Lordy was it cheesy! One of the things that I thought was really funny was that they are trying to promote the sorts of ethics that they as a coporation want us to have. One of the scenarios outlined in their little...
  49. V

    Epistemology, metaphysic, ethics

    Hello all, How are the metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics of each philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Materialism, Sophists/Skepticism) connected or related to one another? Any help would be appreciated.
  50. D

    Exploring the Ethics of Alcohol and Drugs: How Can We Justify Their Use?

    How does one go about arguing against things of this nature? For me, alcohol is a way to reach a state of euphoria and to rid myself of my psychological barriers (such as shyness). Of course, i see the problem with excessive drinking, since that could result in some sort of addiction to the...