1. Religion & Spirituality

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

The Bible and Suicide

Guide to Ethics & Morality

Principles, Problems, and Questions

--> -->
• Ethics & Morality
• Intro to Ethics & Morality
• How to Think About Ethics
• Normative Ethical Systems
• Ethical Dilemmas & Problems

• Philosophy
• Introduction to Philosophy
• Biographies of Philosophers
• Schools of Philosophy
• Branches of Philosophy

• Site Resources
• Main Site Index

• What is Atheism?
• Religion & Theism
• Skepticism & Logic
• Arguments for / against Gods
• Evolution vs. Creationism
• Religious Timelines
• Hate Mail
• Glossary
• Book Reviews

• Chat Room
Join others in the Agnosticism/Atheism chat!

• Discussion Forum
Do you have an opinion about this page? Make it known on the Discussion Forum!

What are ethics? What is morality? How can one behave in a moral manner? These are among the most difficult and most interesting questions which face people of any age. Today, however, with advancing technology, difficult moral situations come upon us faster than we can even create the questions, much less find the answers. This FAQ will address both general issues and specific questions in the area of moral philosophy.

Introduction to Ethics
Just what are ethics and morality - and what is the difference between the two? How do our values impact our ethical decisions and moral standards? And why does the study of ethics and morality even matter - don't we already and inherently understand how to reason about morals and arrive at ethical decisions?

•  What are Ethics and Morality?
•  Ethics, Morals, and Values
•  Who Cares?

How To Think About Ethics
The field of ethics is usually broken down into three different ways of thinking about ethics: descriptive, normative and analytic. It isn't unusual for disagreements in debates over ethics to arise because people are approaching the topic from a different one of these three categories. Thus, learning what they are and how to recognize them might save you some grief later.

•  Descriptive Ethics
•  Normative Ethics
•  Analytic Ethics (Metaethics)

Normative Ethical Systems
Normative ethical systems can generally be broken down into three categories: deontological, teleological and virtue ethics. The first two are considered deontic or action-based theories of morality because they focus entirely upon the actions which a person performs. The third, virtue ethics, focuses upon what sort of person one wants to be.

•  Deontology and Ethics
•  Teleology and Ethics
•  Virtue Ethics

Ethical Dilemmas and Problems
Very often, the best way to learn how to reason through ethical dilemmas is by doing it - it's not a skill that can be completely taught in the abstract. You do need to understand the different types of ethical systems and how they work, but once that is complete you simply have to work through various ideas and positions to see what is logical and what isn't. Here you will find a large number of articles which exemplify how one can reason through ethical problems from a secular, atheistic, and humanistic perspective.

•  Bioethics
•  War and Morality
•  Modern Culture & Ethics
•  Privacy and Personal Autonomy
•  Affirmative Action


Below are links to biographies of philosophers who have played an important role in the development of ethical philosophy through the centuries.

Bentham, Jeremy
Camus, Albert
Clifford, William K.
Dewey, John
Hook, Sidney
Kant, Immanuel
Kierkegaard, Soren
Machiavelli, Niccolo
Milgram, Stanley
Mill, John Stuart
Moore, G.E,
Nagel, Ernest
Nietzsche, Friedrich
Rawls, John
Russell, Bertrand
Sartre, Jean-Paul
Schopenhauer, Arthur


©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.