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LEVEL: 100.
The conception of man as “zoo politikon”, which means “political animal” by Aristotle, in his famous
book, politics, the books aim is to portray human beings as social beings. The portrayal of this book
suggests that no man is an Island that has everything. We need one another in order to pursue political,
social, spiritual, and economic goals. Aristotle was then agreed with “that he who is unable to live in
society, or who has no need because he is insufficient for himself must either be a beast or a god”. But
the actions of individuals which are unavoidable throw up challenges. The challenge being code of
conduct set to control and guides the actions of individuals in order to prevent “war against all” and
individuals are expected to adhere to these guides so as to promote wellbeing of everyone in the
The societal rules do not border strictly on how individuals should relate to one another; they are put
in practice to conduct how people should relate to other things and things that add value to the society.
The moral code every society has tells how people should relate with one another and even with
animals and celestial beings everywhere. The importance of moral rules has given rise to study what is
right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust called ethics.
Crucial questions like what is ethics? Of what importance is its study? Deserves our attention, Ethics is
a branch of philosophy where the analytic and critical tools of philosophy are focused on human actions.
It is a field that opens everything about morality. A definition of Ethics conceives it as an inquiry into the
moral worth of human conducts. This is the reason why nearly ethics of everything exists.The different
ethics recognize that there are diverse ethical challenges that lurk around in different facets and
disciplines of life that require effective response that is able to ensure that moral principles are
sustained in the various areas of human operations.
Ethics is not just any kind of inquiry. Rather it is a rational inquiry. It is a moral inquiry which consists
of everything about truth. It is practiced with the belief that humans are rational, and as rational beings
they will seek adequate concerning their actions in their quest to determine the proper way to act or
Ethicists have developed arguments that are meant to induce actors with reasoning about how to
evaluate moral actions to be undertaken and why a manner of thinking about an action is to be
preferred over and above other theoretical lens of viewing it. The main aim of ethics is to make ethics
realize the difference between good which is moral and bad which is immoral.
As ethics has drawn attention to acts that humans should avoid and embrace ,it highlights to the
principles of good behavior that people should subscribe their interaction with others in the society
,how to conduct themselves and treat others so as to live in peace and harmony. A good knowledge of
ethics could provide guides which leaders would use to govern the affairs of the people.
These main aims of ethics being to help humans have knowledge on hoe to known the difference
between good and bad actions, moral philosophers carryout two tasks which are presenting us with
better understanding of concepts employed in moral discourse and developing theories that people can
appeal to in making moral decisions .
According to bodurin, the first step in philosophical reasoning is conceptual analysis. This step allows
the philosopher to analyze the concept being discussed, thereby allowing the philosopher to discover
what the meaning of his terms linguistic confusion. The aim of metaethics is to make a better
understanding of concepts and terms used in ethical discourse so that people are better positioned to
create principles of actions in ethical reasoning. Metaethics has to do with terms like wrong, right, good,
bad, morally, moral judgment, and their meanings. It is also concerned with the meaning of ethical
statements such as proponents of emotivism ,i.e. stealing is wrong, as this is said it means that stealing
is wrong and everyone should deviate from stealing.
Some theories that are mataethical try to address issues that relate to the origin or justification for
moral standards. The aim is to understand a moral or immoral action .according to this theory, God is
the source of our moral codes. The other theory is ethical relativism which is based on the personality of
the person who acted in a right or wrong manner. Some explanations of ethics decrease all of ethics to
what is done in metaethics. This explains why Simon Blackburn defined ethics as the study of concepts
involved in practical reasoning, good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, freedom, choice, and rationality. The
second-order that may attend claims made in these terms. Philosophers help theories that would guide
moral decisions.
These are some actions that everyone would say are wrong, i.e. stealing, murder, and embezzlement.
But there are some which one can wonder whether is right or wrong like euthanasia which means killing
of someone who is suffering from a dangerous illness. Normative ethics is the sub-branch of moral
philosophy that deals with making an act moral or immoral into a moral judgment.
The first set of theories is called teleological ethical theories .These theories have the emphasis
placed on consequences placed of an action in determining its rightness or wrongness in common.
Philosophers have said it that anything right is what brings pleasure and anything wrong is what brings
about pain. Three different normative ethics theories are attempts to answer questions like happiness
or pleasure for whom, should the pleasure or happiness be for the performer or the action, or should it
be for others who receive the action; in other words in determining the rightness or wrongness of an
action the scale of preference should prioritise that action that will favor the individual performing the
action. Teleological ethical theories have some shortcomings.pne require that we foresee the outcome
of our actions which may bring bad or good results. Actions that one feels is favorable to one might
favor others and this is vice-versa. Another major failure of teleological theory is it that makes it appear
the end justifies the means .but the problem is that evil means cannot justify good end.
The inadequacies of consequentialist ethical theories made some philosophers to favor deontological
ethical theories, dentological ethical theories place importance on rules, motives and the nature of the
action itself in deciding the rightness and wrongness of an action.
Immanuel kant’s theory is an example of this moral theory, he is of view that the outcome of an
action matters less than the will or motive informing an action to be performed, he believes we are
responsible for our actions.
The focus of this has been on examining how ethics has influenced human conduct and ethics
influence can be in two dimensions. The first could be through enabling people to have a better
knowledge of terms in moral reasoning or discourse. It also makes available framework of actions in
form of normative theories that can guide human actions and make people act in good ways.