The meaning of Ethics
O Ethics is the branch of study dealing with what
is the proper course of action for man. It
answers the question, "What do I do?" It is the
study of right and wrong in human endeavors.
WHY DO WE NEED ETHICS?
The answer is Because we
conflict about the term
O The term “good” is a value of Action. Now,
for understand distinctly, we should
consider term “good” compare with the term
1. This picture is drown by Paul Gauguin.
1. This picture is
2. Mr. Daeng is
3. This law is
VALUE OR FACT
Let we consider the term “Value and Fact”
1. This knife is good.
2. This doctor is good.
3. That girl is dam beautiful.
4. The dog is good.
Value : is desirable characteristics.
Fact : is the character of verified information
about past or present circumstances or
events which are presented as objective
THE TYPE OF VALUES
1. Intrinsic Value is an ethical and
philosophic property. It is the ethical or
philosophic value that an object has "in itself" or
"for its own sake", as an intrinsic property. An
object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an
end or end-in-itself.
2. Extrinsic Value : The ethical value exists outside,
does not exist in itself.
The Scope of Ethics
1. The value of human’s conduct
2. The goal of life
3. The Moral judgement
“Good” or “bad”
Now, we will examine what is good or
bad, because it concerns with human conduct,
and they always confuse about the meaning and
value of its.
we will debate the problem of this term
‘good or bad’ investigate the three theories as
Naturalism views that we can define the Ethical
value and what we use to define have to be
beyond the scope of Ethics, that is, it is in
For instance, ‘good thing is right thing’. In
this sentence we use the term ‘right’ define
the term ‘good’.
In concept of Naturalism, we cannot use the
‘right’ define the term ‘good’, because both have
the same ethical value.
Then the definition of ethical value, we have
to use the term which is beyond the scope of
Ex. The good thing is what the public like.
In this sentence, we define the term
‘good’ by the term ‘the view of public’, because
it is the phenomena which appears in the
society. This is not the phenomena of Ethics,
but it is phenomena of society. The society is a
part of the World, and the world is a part of
Hence, ‘the view of public’ is the
phenomena of the nature, we, therefore, in the
case, define the ethical value by nature.
Utilitarianism, ‘the good thing is the greatest
happiness or greatest felicity principle’. In this
sentence, the happiness is the natural phenomena.
It appear to human when they meet something
Then Utilitarianism is Naturalism because
define the term ‘good’ by the nature’. If there is
some who is insane define that ‘good is green’ or
‘good is what make it rains’. He is also naturalism.
But you agree with him, don’t you? It depend on
Naturalism views that the ethical value is relate with some
facts, such as, in the concept of Hedonism or
Utilitarianism, when we said that;
A. this is good
B. It can make the greatest happiness
Non-Naturalism determine that the ethical value
which is the moral property does not concern with
natural property. The terms ‘good’ or ‘bad’ are the
character of action. Then we cannot define it. But we
can know by intuition (Intuitionism).
O Human being know what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ by special faculty.
Eyes, ears, nose, tongue are the physical faculties, and form,
sound, smell and test are the physical properties. But these
are not the special faculty. The special faculty in concept of
Ethics is intellect (conscience). Some thinkers call it ‘moral
For Emotivism, when we said that
‘something is good or bad’, it does not mean
that ‘it has or does not has the ethical
character. We just show the feeling or
emotion toward that thing.
O Ex. We said that ‘yesterday Peter has stolen
the money at Wat Tallom’. This sentence is
the fact, we may argue that it is true or not
true. And suppose that we said that
‘yesterday Peter has stolen the money at
Wat Tallom, Peter do it wrong’.
O For Naturalism and Non-naturalism, we are
arguing “does the term ‘wrong’ has the
ethical value”. But for Emotivim, this sentence
is nonsense. Because we cannot argue that
‘who is wrong or good?’. It is just a feeling. It
does not specify any property of Ethical value.
GOOD OR BAD
IN CONCEPT OF RELIGIONS
Now, we will examine the good or bad in
concept of religions as follows;
O Buddhism, like any other Indian religion, does
not divorce knowledge from conduct, theory
from practice. Philosophy is meaningful only
as it provides an understanding of reality on
which to regulate one’s life. Therefore,
according to Buddhist ethics, any knowledge
cannot be separated from practice. Cause and
effect are related. However, the term “ethics”
during the time of the Buddha was not used.
OThe used terms in the Buddha’s time
were Brahmacariya, Dhamma-Vinaya and
Navagasatthussana. Now let us consider the
meanings and significance of them
OThe term “Brahmacariya” was used by
the Buddha when he sent out his sixty-one
disciples for the first missionary. He
O Caratha Bhikkhave Caravan Bahujanahitāya
Bahujanasukhāya Loknukampya Atthya Hitya
Sukhya Devamanussna …Brahmacariya
O Monks, you have to preach the Brahmacariya
(Doctrine, Code of ethics) for health and welfare of
mankind and gods… (Vin. 4/32/32).
Further, there is another evidence showing the code of ethics:
Ayameva Kho Bhikkhu Ariyo Ahagiko Maggo
Monk, the Noble Eightfold Path is Brahmacariya: Code of
O Therefore, Brahmacariya literally means the
sublime life. Here, it is called “Buddhist Ethics.” It
means the noble conduct or the noble behavior
because it leads those who practise and it society
to the highest virtue
O This is used before the passing away of the Buddha:
O Yo nanda May Dhammo ca Vinayo ca Desito Paatto
So Vo Mamaccayena Sattha.
O Dhamma-Vinaya: Teaching and Discipline taught and
established by me will be your teacher (S. 10/141/138).