CHAPTER 3 - Ethical Dimension of Human ExistenceLesson 1Ethics and moralsSince we have already clarified our terms on ethics as a philosophical science, now let us investigate how and why ethics deals with the morality ofhuman acts.MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS – refers to the goodness or the badness, the rightness or the wrongness of human acts.THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ETHICS AND MORALITYOn the basis of etymology, there is no difference between ethics and morality.As cited earlier that ethics comes from the Greek word “ethos” meaning “custom”. Morality on the other hand comes from the Latin word “Mos” or “Moris”which also means “custom” In this regard, ethics is also called Moral Philosophy or precisely, the other name of ethics is moral philosophy.There is of course an undeniable affinity of ethics with moral philosophy and vice versa based on their etymological construction. However, there is a slight difference between the two. This difference can be traced, if not asserted, by way ofapplying the concept of theory and practice in ethics.Ethics as a normative philosophical science is a theoretical science of good and bad or right and wrong actions. So, ethics provides the principles on the morality of human acts; it equips man with a (theoretical) knowledge of the morality of human acts. We know, however that knowing is different from doing.It does not necessarily follow that does what he knows. This means that ethics does not actually guarantee that man will be moral or good. One can only become moral (or good human person) when one applies ethics.
In other words, when one does the theories of ethics, one actually performs the theory, meaning one is actually doing ethics. This is morality: the praxis of the theory (Ethics). If morality therefore is the practice of ethics, Morality should be then properly called APPLIED ETHICS.While Ethics (as a theoretical science) provides principles or bases of right and wrong and good or bad actions, morality actualizes the theory. As ethics outlines theories of right and wrong and good or bad actions, morality is nothing else but a doing of ethics.LESSON 2Issue, Decision, Judgment andDilemmaTo call something “right” in the abstract tells us little.To tell what the criteria are for making thatassessment, we need a context. Otherwise we simplydon’t know what it means. Value judgmentsand prescriptive judgments, although bothnormative may be either moral or non-moral. Thisstatement does not tells us what makes judgmentsmoral other of course, than that they are made on moral ground; that is a difficult and controversial issue. But is enough to indicate the importance of recognizing these distinctions.DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MORAL AND NON-MORAL STANDARDSMORAL STANDARD – refers to the norms which we have about types of actions which we believe to be morally acceptable and morally unacceptable.