Interesting Ethics in a Nutshell: Ethics 101

Higher Motivation

Because fairness is in its place and everyone knows.

Visible Values

By opening up about your ideology.

Most Ethical

Viewing and judging based on moral arguments and standpoints. 

Ethics are moral principles regarding what is correct or not. You can picture it as a branch of philosophy that asks the practical question: ‘what is the right thing to do?’. This question is divided into four categories: Norms, values, beliefs, and principles. Ethics gives meaning to ‘right or wrong’ and ‘good or evil.’ It is trying to make a good choice, or rather the right choice while deciding which option is likely the best one. A lot of traditional scholars of philosophy have studied ethics. Usually, that is all that their way of thinking is about.


Don’t miss out on these mind-blowing ethics!
(Spoiler alert: they are amazing)


Deontology is a theory that suggests actions are good or bad according to a clear set of rules.

Divine Command Theory

The Divine Command Theory is the idea that things are right because God commands them to be. It outlines an action as good or bad, regarding whether it carries God’s commands or not.


Utilitarianism is a theory of righteousness, which supports actions that encourage happiness or pleasure and opposes actions that cause unhappiness or harm. Utilitarianism would say that an effort is right if it leads to the happiness of the most significant number of people in a community or a society.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics is arguably the oldest ethical theory globally. It defines good deeds as ones that display virtuous characteristics, such as courage, loyalty, or wisdom. Evil actions display the opposing, such as cowardice, ignorance, and betrayal.

Consequence Ethics

Consequence Ethics looks at the consequences of the greater good. Consequentialism is an ideology or theory that defines right or wrong based on the outcomes.

What is Ethical?

Ethics serve as a framework for interpreting and understanding right or wrong in our society. When someone is unethical, it usually means that a person lacks particular morals or principles. Ethics are a guideline to decide whether something is good or bad. 

In the TEDx talk video below, Burroughs explains the numerous kinds of ethical problems we encounter, opportunities for improving our ethical awareness as everyday ethicists, and the purpose of adding ethics and philosophical study in our schools. Burroughs further explains the purpose of ethics in the lives of children and how adults can try to follow and learn from children in ethical discussions.

Read more about Natural Law Theory

Natural Law Theory is the most popular Ethic on this website nowadays.

Natural Law Theory says that human beings possess fundamental values that dictate our rationalizing and behavior. Natural law states that these rules on ‘right and wrong’ are integrated into people and are not conceived by society or court judges.

Subcategories of Ethics

Ethics can be divided into four different types or categories. Firstly, there are norms which are behavioral rules. Secondly, some values are one’s standard for behavior. Thirdly, one’s beliefs are what one accepts as true—lastly, one’s principles.

1. Norms

Norms are like rules for behavior. Norms divine that what is considered to be natural and normal. They are like habits within a society that everyone knows and applies. A norm serves as a guideline on treating each other in a socially desirable way.

Certain uncomfortable emotions can arise when you act differently from your norms—shame and guilt, for example. How strongly one adheres to the different norms heavily depends on the behavior of their environment.

Ethics sunflower
Ethics white flower

2. Values

Values are what are essential in life for someone. It is a person’s principle or standard for behavior. Values are the standards by which people decide their priorities and courses of action. For one, that would be honesty, courage, and trust. Conversely, for someone else, it could be more towards fairness, respect, or caring.

Ordinarily, it’s divided into four categories: justice, family, knowledge, and equality. To clarify, we listed five core values here: Dependability, Reliability, Loyalty, Commitment, and Compassion.

3. Beliefs

The difference between values and beliefs is that values are the ideas and beliefs regarding essential. Beliefs are something that a person believes and accept as accurate. Additionally, it is sustained by a person or a group of people. You can envision it as an arranged set of principles. Identically to your ideology.

Ethics red flower
Flower of principles

4. Principles

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a principle is a moral rule or standard of good behavior. For instance, it means that one is true to their word. Some principles divine that one must act in people’s best interest. For example, someone can claim that they will never gamble, only as a matter of principle, because they consider it is wrong.

Difference between Ethics and Morals

Ethics is the study of morality. It is more based on the individual and knows the right thing to do. Morals emphasize the widely-shared collective and are more about doing the right thing. To put it simply, both of them embrace the right thing to do. 

Moral decisions

A moral decision is a choice made based on a person’s ethics, manners, character, and what they believe is proper behavior. These choices tend to affect not only our own well-being but the well-being of others.

So, Why the F*CK do we even need Ethics?

Wow, mind your language ;-). The word ethic descended from the Greek word ‘ethos,’ which means morality, showing moral character. To clarify, it is connected to the surface. It serves as a guideline for making the right decision. There are different types of ethics: deontology, divine command theory, natural law theory, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and consequence ethics.

We are constantly confronted with choices that influence the essence and quality of our lives. If there is no implementation in human civilization, any society will fall with absolute certainty. During its collapse, it might shatter into groups with one single ethic: being loyal to your group.

We are aware that our decisions have consequences not only for ourselves but also for others. So by knowing what would be the right choice to make. You can ask yourself the following questions: ‘why do we need friendship?’ or ‘what are friends for?’.