What is Ethics?
Every human needs some sort of guidance on how to live, what to avoid, what to seek, how to get it. We need that guidance not only in isolated cases, but in the most fundamental questions in our lives: What kind of person do I want to be? What lifestyle do I want? What purpose or goals should I seek? Ethics is the branch of study dealing with what is the proper course of action for us as humans. It answers the question, "What do I do?" It is the study of right, wrong, good and bad, in human endeavors. It is the method by which we categorize our values and pursue them. Do we pursue our own happiness, or do we sacrifice ourselves to a greater cause? Is that foundation of ethics based on the Bible, or on the very nature of man himself, or neither?
Why study it?
Ethics involves the study of the principles of behavior that leads to the success of an individual and a society. Ethics is our means of deciding a course of action. Without it, our actions would be random and aimless. There would be no way to work towards a goal because there would be no way to pick between a limitless numbers of goals. Even with an ethical standard, we may be unable to pursue our goals with the possibility of success. With ethics we are able to correctly organize our goals and actions to accomplish our most important values.
Define the following: meta-ethics, descriptive claims, and normative judgments. Meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. Meta-ethics addresses questions such as "What is goodness?" and "How can we tell what is good from what is bad?” Meta-ethics is one of the three branches of ethics generally recognized by philosophers, the others being ethical theory and applied ethics. Ethical theory and applied ethics make up normative ethics....
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