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What is ethics?

Ethics and morality are often used interchangeably. For some the only difference between the two terms is that ethics is derived from Greek and morality is derived from Latin.

That said, for the purpose of this course, ethics is defined as a branch of philosophy concerned with what is right and what is wrong. But, given morality also deals with what is right and what is wrong, ethics then can be understood as the study of morality.

According to Peter Singer, ethics is not a set of prohibitions, or an ideal system which is good in theory but not so good in practice, or makes sense only in the context of religion. Ethics it is not relative, to a particular society, or subjective (my approval or disapproval vs. your approval or disapproval.

Ethics is about, among other things, making moral judgments based on reasoning that takes a universal point of view and living according to ethical standards that are universally binding.

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This article is from the free online course:

IT Ethics: Professionalism and Ethics in Computing

Charles Sturt University