Early Greek thinkers such as Socrates explained Ethics as the 'Art of living.' He introduced profound concepts through questions like 'What is justice?', 'What is piety?', 'What is courage?', and 'What is virtue?' These questions laid the foundation for Ethics as Moral Philosophy, emphasizing the role of 'Reason' in understanding individual values. Reason was seen as the driving force behind actions and reactions.
Many people mistakenly equate Ethics with laws, but it is fundamentally different. Ethics deals with what is considered acceptable or unacceptable. While laws govern behavior, ethical norms are broader and more informal. Sociologist Raymond Baumhart once asked business people about their understanding of ethics, and their answers varied from relying on feelings, religious beliefs, to simply following the law.
Ethics applies to every individual, transcending any specific religion or societal norms. It aims to cultivate moral judgment for the common good. Ethics involves the continuous effort to study our own moral beliefs and conduct, striving to live up to reasonable and solidly-based standards.
Ethics is concerned with rights, responsibilities, language usage, living an ethical life, and moral decision-making. It is subjective and often driven by gut instincts and reactions. We should not overlook the importance of intentions behind actions, be it in writings, vocals, or physical protests. Although the right to protest is a fundamental aspect of democracy, not all protests may be ethical.
About the author: Noorien Karim is a resident of Poonch town. She's an alumnus of GDC Poonch. Views are personal.