What Is the Importance of the Study of Ethics?

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In an article on the website of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Dr. David Resnik explains that the study of ethics is important because it sets the code for normative behavior in any profession. He also explains that ethics keep researchers and other professionals accountable to the public and focused on achieving the good of society as a whole.

Without the study of ethics, Dr. Resnik explains that various professions and society as a whole would fall prey to the vastly differing interpretations of societal norms that people tend to have. Ethics provide a standard of conduct that is generally agreed upon and empower professionals to promote moral values through their work.

The Rowan University website explains that the study of ethics is important because it allows humans to distinguish moral values from other types of values in their everyday lives. Ethics lend a sense of validation and justification to moral decisions and judgments, which helps ensure that decisions that affect many are not being made on purely subjective factors. While ethics are somewhat subjective among individuals, the academic discipline of ethics creates a sense of consistency and a standard to which various professions and groups can be held.