Ethics is a topic often taught in philosophy classes, although there are courses in business ethics, professional ethics, medical ethics, research ethics, environmental ethics, and even bio-ethics offered as well at various colleges and universities. In fact, ethics comes up in almost every course offered in college – ethics is important across the entire academic curriculum.
In essence, ethics is the study and practice of what is good – what is moral – what is best.
Ethics and truth are closely connected. An ethical person follows the path of truth and honesty. Great leaders adopted ethics as a way of life. They preached and practiced great virtue of truth and honesty. Mahatma Gandhi once remarked “God is Truth, and Truth is God”. Abraham Lincoln, a great follower of ethical standards once remarked “You can fool all people for some time, some people all time, but not all people all the time”.
Why Ethics is Important?
Ethics play an important role in development of individuals, groups and societies. High ethical standards are vital for personality development of an individual, and also for the wellbeing of groups and society. The importance of ethics is briefly explained as follows:
1. Dignified Life
Ethics enable a person to live with dignity. The general society appreciates a person who follows ethical practices. He attains a distinguished status in the society.
2. Peace of Mind
It is said that ‘truth makes you free’. A person who follows ethical practices is at peace with himself.
Truth always prevails. Those who are true and honest get rewards such as promotion or monetary incentives. They are held in high esteem by their colleagues, friends, neighbours and others.
4. Restricts Corruption
Ethical persons do not get involved in corrupt practices. They also discourage others to get involved in corrupt practices. At present, there is rampant corruption in every walk of life- in education, business, politics, defence, judiciary, police, etc. Corruption is a black-mark on the growth and prosperity of a nation. Therefore, we need ethical persons in every field. Teachers, religious leaders, and others can play a good role in developing ethics in the minds of people.
5. Reduces Social Exploitation
Ethics help to reduce social exploitation of workers, and other members of the society..
6. Social Upliftment
Ethical people work towards social upliftment of the weaker sections of the society.