is the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation;
a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics> <Christianethics>.
is the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics
a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>, a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)<debated the ethics of human cloning>.
Origin of ETHIC: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latinethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos, first known use at 14th century.
The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics
investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves. Normative ethics
takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others. Finally, applied ethics
involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion
, infanticide, animal rights
, capital punishment
, or nuclear war