Describe 'Ethics' in one word

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Describe 'Ethics' in one word

Postby Shaneen on November 28th, 2007, 4:01 pm 

This is a question I put forward to my uni students - anyone want to have a go (I had one word in mind) no one got it but they came up with some very relevant answers
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Postby Glen on November 28th, 2007, 4:48 pm 

Shaneen,

You asked for a description of "ethics." That would take more than one word. But if I were to "define" it with only one word, I would say: empathy.
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Postby Shaneen on November 28th, 2007, 6:16 pm 

Glen, thanks for your reply, an old professor used the word I am looking for once in a lecture as an undergrad and he still uses it today - I am going to keep this open to see how many replies I get and if someone guesses it I'll say so If the conversation dries up I will give the answer, cheers shaneen
But in response to your answer I would say ethics emcompasses empathy
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Postby Glen on November 28th, 2007, 10:18 pm 

Shaneen,

How about "civility?"
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Postby mtbturtle on November 29th, 2007, 12:15 am 

I'll take a guess...Eudaimonia.
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Postby Shaneen on November 29th, 2007, 12:43 am 

'Edaimonia' - Aristotle isn't it - for flourishing - I would say ethics encompasses Edaimonia, shaneen
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Re: Describe 'Ethics' in one word

Postby Unbreakable on November 29th, 2007, 6:39 am 

Shaneen wrote:This is a question I put forward to my uni students - anyone want to have a go (I had one word in mind) no one got it but they came up with some very relevant answers


Humanity.
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Postby Shaneen on November 29th, 2007, 6:45 am 

Unbreakable, thanks for your reply, we need humanity to have ethics, I like it - I haven't had this response before but it is not the word I am looking for, cheers, Shaneen
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Postby Hellbilly on November 29th, 2007, 12:46 pm 

For me Ethics is the study of what is right; that is to say what is the best solution to a dilemma. I don't believe that Ethics is limited to humans, nor even to biological constructs. I believe Ethics extends throughout the whole of our reality. Ethics is the study of values, and is just as well placed to examine human interaction as it is the interaction between molecules; Water is the result of an Ethical union between hydrogen and oxygen, for example...

With this in mind, my only answer to the question posed would be this word:

'Quality'
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Postby Shaneen on November 29th, 2007, 6:22 pm 

Thanks Hellbilly, it is not the answer I was looking for, but I haven't have this one before and it is good. Where you say that you don't believe that ethics is limited to humans - I thought you were going to on to say it includes all sentient beings which people often say and I kind of agree - having 9 chickens, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 budgies, 6 guinea pigs and one horse (an Arab that I don't think has heard of the word ethic when my daughter is riding him). But what you put in your message gives a vital clue to the answer that I am looking for - what I think you are talking about is how humans or humanity interact with the, say, environment, - here is a question what do humans have that enable them to do this, kind regards Shaneen
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Postby Glen on November 29th, 2007, 10:12 pm 

Shaneen,

The word is: Fairness.
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:39 am 

Glen, thanks for your answer, but no it is not fairness. But ethics includes fairness but I would say that fairness equates to justice. Here is a hint - what is it that we, as human beings, have that allows us to behave ethically, Shaneen
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Postby Forest_Dump on November 30th, 2007, 8:26 am 

Well, given the lead here, I would be tempted to say something like "conscience" but I am hesitent because of implications that this is in any way "universal" or some kind of metaphysic while I would argue that "ethics" are much more relative and nested in various ways.
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 8:41 am 

Forest_Dump wrote:Well, given the lead here, I would be tempted to say something like "conscience" but I am hesitent because of implications that this is in any way "universal" or some kind of metaphysic while I would argue that "ethics" are much more relative and nested in various ways.


good one but not what I am looking for - you would need a conscience to behave ethically but something else to enable you to act ethically.
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Postby Glen on November 30th, 2007, 9:40 am 

Shaneen,

It better not be "love." Perhaps "conviction?"
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Postby Sisyphus on November 30th, 2007, 12:33 pm 

Ethical.
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Postby alfmartinez on November 30th, 2007, 2:55 pm 

the only word that comes into my mind is

order

ethics give limited order to a society and to humans. that's is its only use and it may be even inconvenient in some cases.
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Postby Paul Anthony on November 30th, 2007, 4:57 pm 

Many people equate ethics with morality, but I hope that's not the answer you're looking for. If it is, I'll be writing a thesis-length response to dispute it! :-)

Ethics requires the ability to think logically. My answer is Logic, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you are looking for something like sentience.
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Postby tess on November 30th, 2007, 5:53 pm 

System, Regulations, Convention use any of those synonism.

If
ethics is a major branch of philosophy and encompasses right conduct , good living and what is right or wrong.

Then,
ethics is just a product of a human brain and as such subjective i.e. ethics is just rules giving human race a hope that one day we will be able to control our heritage /animal instinct to be successful in the evolution game/
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:03 pm 

[quote="Glen"]Shaneen,

It better not be "love." Perhaps "conviction?"[quote]

Nope, but this is good - I teach this to nurses and paramedics each year - about 300 of them per year. Dr Peter Isaacs my employer (or one of my employers at QUT) recites it over and over again in lectures, but unforuntately most people fall asleep, but to be fair to him they do that in my tutes too. But remember behaving ethically can be in a good way or a bad way - what is it that enables each and every human being to be able to behave in a good or bad way? Shaneen ( I am so pleased and heartened with all the respones)
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:08 pm 

Sisyphus wrote:Ethical.

Sorry no, but thanks Sisyphus - I am giving clues, I will keep giving clues so long as people keep being interested - and when someone gets it or I give it away - it might bring more discussion - and even disagreement, shaneen
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:14 pm 

tess wrote:System, Regulations, Convention use any of those synonism.

If
ethics is a major branch of philosophy and encompasses right conduct , good living and what is right or wrong.

Then,
ethics is just a product of a human brain and as such subjective i.e. ethics is just rules giving human race a hope that one day we will be able to control our heritage /animal instinct to be successful in the evolution game/



Tess, I think we are getting a bit too close to relativism here - think more pluralistic or in other words ,we as human beings have different values that are revelant solely to ourselves, another layer that we share as a family, community and so on but we also have universal values. For example, Society would not exist if there wasn't a need for other people and a need to survive. Keep going please, Shaneen
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:20 pm 

Paul Anthony wrote:Many people equate ethics with morality, but I hope that's not the answer you're looking for. If it is, I'll be writing a thesis-length response to dispute it! :-)

Ethics requires the ability to think logically. My answer is Logic, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you are looking for something like sentience.


No need for a thesis - some use it interchangeable - Peter Singer a famous philosopher at Princeton University claim morality is personal value - ethic is more public values or something like that - Charles Taylor another philosopher use the words interchangeably - but now it is not the word I am looking for, Shaneen ps it is not sentience - we would have to include animal as well then which we could in a limited sense. Human beings have ............to enable them to make changes, influence others, to become who they are etc.
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Postby Shaneen on November 30th, 2007, 6:25 pm 

alfmartinez wrote:the only word that comes into my mind is

order

ethics give limited order to a society and to humans. that's is its only use and it may be even inconvenient in some cases.


Or is it law that creates or destroys order or both ethics and law? What do we use when we are trying to create order, Shaneen
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Postby Hellbilly on November 30th, 2007, 7:46 pm 

Human beings have ............to enable them to make changes, influence others, to become who they are etc.


Blimey...

Ambition, creativity, imagination, control, humility, humour, intellect, values, filters...?
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Postby Hellbilly on November 30th, 2007, 7:48 pm 

Or is it law that creates or destroys order or both ethics and law? What do we use when we are trying to create order, Shaneen


Fear
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Postby tess on November 30th, 2007, 7:59 pm 

pluralistic, you say?

different values that are revelant solely to ourselves, another layer that we share as a family, community and so on but we also have universal values
.

Sure, we can come up with multiple explanations to account for their nature . However, when it comes to humans it comes down to our DNA , environment and and forces unknown to us.


Universal values


Give me an example pls but not the recent studies about universal morality because in the end of the day they are just speculations.


For example, Society would not exist if there wasn't a need for other people and a need to survive. Keep going please


Sure , you call it sophisticated instinct and sociology explains it.
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Postby sophist413 on November 30th, 2007, 9:45 pm 

are you looking for "freedom"

or,
principles
potential
aspiration/hope
imagination
reflectivity
persuasion
rationality
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Postby darey on November 30th, 2007, 11:21 pm 

Shaneen,

If you are looking for the correct answer to your question, then I don't think you will find it. There can be just as many different definitions to a word as there are people in the world. However, if you are just studying to see if, and how many, people can read minds or know what you are thinking, then proceed.
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Postby alfmartinez on November 30th, 2007, 11:29 pm 

Shaneen wrote:
Or is it law that creates or destroys order or both ethics and law? What do we use when we are trying to create order, Shaneen


laws intend to create order and laws derive from ethics or the other way round...

in each cases we use ethics as to bring a minimum of order between people by saying "killing is bad". So nobody kills, except "bad people".

my word is order, but well i don't consider myself an ethical master so i won't continue with this topic.
goodbye!
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