The Importance of Ethics

When it comes to ethics, there are many questions the lay person may have. For starters, what, if any, is the difference between ethics and morals? For the record, the primary difference between the two is a matter of source. Morals are god given, while ethics are man made. The former is set in stone, the latter is up for debate. Beyond this potentially irrelevant question and answer, though, the field of ethics is one full of difficult questions and many questions that, as of this moment in history, don’t have clear answers. Though society has largely ceased to value philosophy, it’s a school of thought we all participate in, and, given that these issues affect us all, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to participate in philosophy in an informed and compassionate manner.

Many of society’s problems right now stem from the same, basic problem. A lack of empathy. Empathizing with others is a core factor in any relationship, be it intimate or that between members of a group small or large. For example, when we see a person of color being treated demonstrably different from a white person and, as is almost exclusively the case, in a more negative way, too many of us make excuses as to why the person of color had it coming. And, invariably, that will always be true here and there. However, a lack of empathy prevents us from seeing the truth, because there’s a lie available that makes us all feel better.

On the lighter side of ethics, which there thankfully is, are matters like whether or not you should repair your own car with parts from Advance Auto Parts instead of paying a mechanic way more money. While this problem is obviously much less pressing than the above example, it still requires some thought dedicated to it in order for us to better live our lives.