Some Basic Terminology:
Definition: 'Ethics' is the systematic philosophical study of morality.
Definition: 'Morality' is the code of accepted/prohibited behavior within a group.
NOTE: There are four related, but distinct, types of normative social systems:
- Moral Designators - terms used to label actions in an ethical system
- 'Right' - any action which is justified by and consistent with a moral framework; always implies an obligation on anyone within the moral system
- 'Wrong' - any action which fails to be justified by, or is inconsistent with a moral framework; an action forbidden to a anyone within the moral system
- 'Permissible' - any action which is justified by and consistent with a moral framework but which does not imply an obligation
- 'Neutral actions' - actions which have no moral implications (i.e., neither 'right' nor 'wrong')
- 'Supererogatory' - actions which are deemed good but which carry no obligations (ie., altruistic actions, good Semaritanism, etc.)
- Moral Principles - the foundational thesis of a moral code