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 explaination of the word ethics I wanted to explore whether the word also applied to mechanical systems. Can a mechanical system like a solar system or perhaps a transmission be described as ethical because of its good working order? If this were true then we could begin to answer the above question "where (do) our ethical principles come from, and what (do) they mean(?) Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? If the concept of ethics can be applied to mechanical structure as well as (or including) social, emotional and cultural structures then we can say that ethics is not just a human overlay on nature but a reflection of nature being used to help perpetuate and harmonize the human species. What do you think? Natural Ethics? ) A Physiological Basis for Ethics Reviewed Work(s): The Ethics of Hercules. A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values by Robert Chenault Givler Review author: H. M. Parshley Journal of Social Forces, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Nov., 1924), pp. 786-789 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1532-1282(192411)2:5<786:APBFE>2.0.CO;2-4&size=LARGE the 2nd link does a fair job of describing what I'm trying to point out. It is a study of the "mechanical ethics" or what is termed as the "physiological basis for Ethics" driving the ethical (or less-ethical) behavior of humans. Since basically human ethics are solely dependent upon physical conditions that support survival there seems to be a direct link to the mechanistic universe and the mechanism of ethics. Any comments are appreciated. While googling I found this thread with the same title on PF: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5253 You'll find that many of the discussions touch on what I've brought up here.