Definition of Ethics

Etymologically Ethics comes from the Greek language “Ethos” (nature, character, habits, ordinary places) and Ethikos (meaning, immorality, civilization, behavior and good deeds).

According to K Bertens in his book explains that ethics comes from ancient Greek. The word “ethos” in the singular has many meanings: ordinary dwelling, pasture, stable, habits, customs, character, character, feelings, attitude, way of thinking. While in the plural form it means custom.

In this case ethics is related to good living habits, good living procedures, both to oneself or to society.

Whereas in terminology ethics is called the science of good and bad or in other words the theory of values.

Ethics is also referred to as normative science, because in it there are ethical norms & values ​​with moral or character. Ethics is the study of human actions on the basis of the deepest obtained with human reason.

Meanwhile, according to the Big Indonesian Dictionary ( KBBI ), Ethics is a value about right and wrong that is adopted by a group or group of people.

There are several ethical definitions according to experts, including:

    • Soergarda Poerbakawatja

“Understanding ethics is a science that provides direction, teachings, references, and ground to a human action.”

    • James J. Spillane SJ

“Ethics is paying attention to human behavior in making decisions related to morals. Ethics is more directed at the use of reason with objectivity to determine right or wrong as well as one’s behavior towards others. “

    • Burhanudin Salam

“Ethics is a branch of philosophy that talks about values ​​and norms that can determine a human behavior in his life.

    • Mustafa

“Understanding ethics is a science that investigates good and bad behavior by observing human actions as far as what is known by human reason and mind.”

    • JS Poerwadarminto

“Ethics is the science of a human behavior or deeds which are seen from both the good and bad sides of which can be determined by human reason.”

From a number of notions above, it can be concluded that ethics is a science that studies the meaning of good and bad, right and wrong, and then humans use their minds and consciences to achieve better and true life goals in accordance with desired goals.

Characteristics of Ethics

There are ethical characteristics that can be distinguishing from other norms. The following are the characteristics of ethics, including:

    1. Ethics will continue to apply even though no one else is watching.
    2. Ethics has an absolute or absolute nature.
    3. In an ethic it has a perspective from the inner side of man.
    4. Ethics is very closely related to human actions or behavior.

Kinds of Ethics

Ethics are generally classified into two types, including:

Philosophical Ethics

Philosophical ethics is an ethics derived from the activity of thinking carried out by humans or it can also be said that ethics is part of the science of philosophy . Philosophical ethics has the following characteristics:

          • Empirical, is ethics that discusses something that exists or is concrete. For example, legal philosophy that studies about law .
          • Non-Empirical, is the ethics of the branch of philosophy that tries to go beyond the concrete by as if making the same thing that is behind all the concrete phenomena.

Theological Ethics

Theological ethics is ethics that is closely related to religion and contains elements of general ethics and can be understood when understanding ethics in general. Examples of theological ethics in Christianity are ethics derived from presuppositions about God or the Divine.

The Relationship of Philosophical Ethics and Theological Ethics

There is debate about the position of philosophical and theological ethics in the realm of ethics. During the history of the meeting between the two ethics namely philosophical ethics and theological ethics, there are three questions that most arise in responding to these differences, including:

          • Revisionism

The statement about Revisionism begins with Augustine (354 – 430) where he argues that theological ethics has a duty to revise or correct and correct philosophical ethics.

          • Synthesis

The response to synthesis was expressed by Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) where he synthesized between theological ethics and philosophical ethics. The result of this synthesis is a new entity in which philosophical ethics and theological ethics still emphasize their respective identities.

          • Diaparellelism

This response to ethics was put forward by FED Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834) where he argued that philosophical ethics and theological ethics were parallel phenomena. Can be likened to a pair of railroad tracks that always run side by side.

 Benefits of Ethics

There are several ethical benefits including the following:

    1. To help an establishment in a variety of views and morals.
    2. To help distinguish which ones should not be changed and which may be changed.
    3. To help someone in determining opinions.
    4. To bridge or mediate all dimensions or values

Example of Ethics

Below are some examples of ethics found in daily life, namely:

    • Respect parents by kissing hands before daily activities
    • Throw garbage in its place
    • Saying sorry when making a mistake
    • Eat using your right hand


Leave a Comment