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Ethics is defined as moral principles or ideals that guide our behavior as a society. These ideals are wise and practical teachings that are aimed at advancing social and economic prosperity. Ethical values are vital in every aspect of life, from business to academics. They are a necessary component of the foundation upon which a civilized society is founded and nurtured.
Since time immemorial, humankind has sought to define basic moral guidelines that govern society as a whole. The primary reason for this has been to preserve peace and promote a healthy standard of living.
Philosophers, throughout history have shouldered the responsibility to ponder on human values and assess what is right and wrong. From Aristotle and Confucious to Immanuel Kant, great philosophers have shaped society’s understanding of morality, values, and ethics. Their great thinking has helped develop our modern-day social standards and principles.
For a society to be ethical, moral principles must be taught to children at a young age. The educational curriculum strives to instill strong character traits such as discipline, self-control, integrity, compassion, empathy, teamwork, forgiveness, loyalty, hard work, perseverance, optimism, efficiency, patriotism, respect, dependability, and responsibility.
Ethics not only makes us empathetic towards others but also teaches us to be compassionate towards all living things and the environment. Being ethical goes beyond following standard social conventions; it is the courage to do what is right in the face of rigid norms and opposition. A great example of this is the slave trade.
The abhorrent practice was commonplace and widely accepted. But abolitionists fought against the slave trade on ethical grounds. Opponents of slavery voiced that maltreatment of one human being by another cannot be the will of God- a common argument made by the White owners to justify slavery.
Ethics are constantly evolving. Social trends, culture, and technological advancements significantly impact our ethical beliefs. Moreover, what’s ethical in one country can be unethical in another. Therefore, geographical and political dynamics also shape our ethics.
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