Examples Of Normative Ethics

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The word ethics is a derivative from the Greek word, ethos, which means custom, habit, disposition or character, according to the BBC ethics guide (CITE BBC). “At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives,” (CITE BBC). Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. Today, ethical theories have been split into three primary roots; meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics. (CITE BBC). Based on the understanding and background of ethical philosophies, Meta-ethics is a division of ethics that pursues ethics based on attitudes, judgements, statements and properties. (CITE PRINCETON). In short, meta-ethics is a philosophy that attempts to understand the origin of what is right and wrong. Examples of meta-ethics are; ‘how can we know what is right and wrong?,’ or ‘whether ethics is relative or whether we always act from self-interest,’ (CITE ethical morals) Unlike meta-ethics, normative ethics specifically assess’ choices as good, bad, evil etc. Normative ethics is concerned with the content of moral judgements and the criteria for what is right or wrong. ‘Normative ethics is interested in determining the content of our moral behaviour (CITE CAAE). In other words, normative ethical theories try to deliver a guideline for people to do the right/moral thing. An example of normative ethics are asking; ‘what ought I to do,’ (CITE CAAE).

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