Ethics: A Theoretical science or practical science? Bhagawad Gita teaches us "What to do, how to do". Ethics is not an Art Ethics is related to Values BY AYUSH HEALTH AND WELLNESS™

Ethics: A Theoretical science or practical science?

Many Western thinkers believe that Ethics is not a practical science. Practical science teaches us to know how to do. It is concerned with means for the realization of a definite end. In this sense, medical science is a practical science as it points out how the ideal of good health can be achieved. Ethics is not a practical science as it gives us knowledge of guiding principles but does not tell us how to apply them. As per western thinkers, ethics teaches us to know "Only what to do, not how to do."

However, in the Indian context, Ethics is a practical science. Different schools of Indian Philosophy prescribe the supreme end of life (mostly liberation) and prescribe the path to attain it. The ethics of Bhagawad Gita prescribes the duties of an individual. Bhagawad Gita teaches us to know "Not only what to do, but also how to do."

Ethics is not an Art

Ethics is concerned with conduct or behavior i.e. with the practical life of an individual. The question arises; can there be a skill, better skill, in being moral? Is Ethics an art? Human conduct and art, both are related to activities. Both are evaluated and declared as good or bad. If we compare ethics with art, we found that ethics is different from art.

Art is connected to a particular field of skill such as painting, dancing, etc. Ethics is connected with the whole life of an individual.

A good painter is one who can paint beautifully. Art is a capacity or potentiality of a specific skill. A good man is one who does act rightly. A moral person is one who practices it. Thus in moral sense goodness is related to an activity.

While evaluating a piece of art, the skill is evaluated. The intention of the artist is not at all considered. While evaluating human conduct, the intention and the volition of the individual also taken into consideration.

An artist can give up his art after some time. A retired singer is always a singer. However, a good man cannot give up virtues. There is no holiday from moral virtues.

In today days many courses are conducted for personality development. Whatever training is given in these courses is the presentation of oneself. Can we say that the training shapes the inner bent or the character of the individual? Is it an artificial makeover or true development of values from within?

Ethics is related to Values

Ethics is the study of what is good or right in human conduct. Ethical questions are value-oriented questions. Value judgments are complex products of intuition, sense experience, and reason. From the moral point of view, values are the beliefs about what is right, good, desirable, and important in human life. Values are necessarily associated with the choice of activities. We have to select the action that is consistent with the promotion of life, live organized rational life. Values emerge through the interaction between nature and spirit, reality, and mind. There is a process of growth into increasing complexity, into higher and higher levels of existence. Values are new characters of reality arising from the interaction of the human mind with its object.



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