A Sunday school teacher was teaching her class about the difference between right and wrong. "All right children, let's take another example," she said. "If I were to get into a man's pocket and take his bill fold with all his money, what would I be? Little Johnny raises his hand, and with a confident smile, he blurts out, "You'd be his wife!" .
All joking aside Ethics describes the study of right vs. wrong and seeks to answer questions such as "What is the right thing to do in a given situation?" and "What is good behavior?" Is there any real right and wrong? The world, as we know, is full of wrongdoing. Crime, family violence, drug abuse, and employee fraud, each of these problems represents a collection of individual acts of wrong. And each individual wrong begins with someone's decision to do something other than right. Typically, we think of wrong in three ways: a violation of law, departure from truth and deviation from moral decency.
According to Webster, ethics is "the science of moral duty." He further describes it as "the science of ideal human character." The implication is that humans depend on right choices for security, and in many circumstances one must choose the greater good when more than one absolute appears upon the situation.
All of us are faced with ethical dilemmas in our daily lives. Few of us have trouble with the "right vs. wrong" choices; with some exceptions, we all recognize that killing, stealing, and lying are wrong, and we have little trouble when faced with choices about committing them. The dilemmas that make up the tough choices are the "right vs. right" dilemmas, in which neither choice is as clearly or widely accepted as wrong, and that's where we often need help.
The way we live, our behavior and the way we respond when people treat us, these things reveal what we really believe about right and wrong. For example, we believe it was morally wrong for the Nazis to torture and kill six million Jews during World War II.