Throughout history, man has always struggled with the issue of right and wrong and ethics and justice. According to the dictionary, ethics is defined as “the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others”. In simple terms, ethics provides the evaluation mechanisms and theories, based on which a particular action is adjudged as right or wrong, or as good deed or bad deed. It tries to answer the questions “why is this good?" if something is judged as good or right and “why is this bad?" if something is judged as bad or wrong.
Knowing about ethics does not mean that one will always end up doing the morally correct thing. However, it makes you more capable of explaining your actions - like although you knew that this was wrong, you were forced to do it owing to the circumstances.
The moral absolutism approach presumes the existence of eternal moral values and principles that are applicable at all times and at all places and circumstances. It considers that the moral quality of the action or behavior lies on the quality of the act itself (which means that something which is right is always right and something which is wrong is always wrong) irrespective of the circumstances that cause the act or the consequences that result from the act.
The ethical relativism approach presumes that moral values and principles are not right or wrong, but can vary with different circumstances - moral views can vary depending on how different cultures or individuals perceive a particular action or behavior. It is a very flexible approach and considers that the moral quality of the action or behavior is based on the circumstances that cause the act or the consequences that result from the act rather than the actual act itself. For instance, an action is adjudged as right if it proves to be highly beneficial to a large number of people.
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