On SE you can often find questions like:

  • is something-something ethical?

  • is it ethical to do x, y, z?


For example:

Which makes morality seem inherently important. But why so?

  • Would you have links to specific questions? This might provide context to help someone provide an answer. Apr 4 '19 at 8:50
  • @FrankHubeny Edited.
    – Mou某
    Apr 4 '19 at 9:27
  • 1
    We’re just biologically prone to morally categorize things based on whether they bring suffering or pleasure because being able to do so theoretically provides an evolutionary advantage. The more knowledge we accrue the more things we attribute morality to.
    – user37181
    Apr 4 '19 at 10:00
  • if ethical behaviour is not intrinsically valuable then what is? perhaps extrinsic value (things we do because it achieves something else, e.g. brushing our teeth to avoid tooth decay) with no intrinsic values would be an infinite regress into nihilism (nothing has any value)
    – user38026
    Apr 4 '19 at 16:49
  • Because ethics/morality determines one's behavior, which others need to be able to anticipate to plan theirs. It is hard to tell what you are really asking, could you clarify?
    – Conifold
    Apr 4 '19 at 17:12

I'll have a stab at this.

  • Ethics can be viewed as a tool for social organization. As long as people, animal or living beings' wellbeings are concerned, our actions will be subject to ethical scrutiny by other agents capable of rational thinking. Because it ensures certain organizational benefits such as trust, transparency, and cooperation ethics has been highly valuable to human beings.

Now I might be wrong at this, the word inherently means 'in itself.'

There are two approaches to interpreting this word.

  • Nothing is inherently moral if there are no moral agents to act in the first place.

  • On the other hand, society may have been founded on cooperation and trust rather than deceit. Ethics is inherently fused with the structure of society because it acts as a meta-structure for governing the conducts of those who participate in activities of the society.

I have no direct answer to this question. But I have offered two possible answers. For me and in the context of your question, the second answer seems plausible to support the view that ethics is important because it keeps the society stable.


Which makes morality seem inherently important. But why so?

This question can be read a number of ways. Are you asking why ethical behaviour is intrinsically valuable, why anything is intrinsically valuable, why we behave ethically, or why people value morality over say culture or status? You might like this encyclopedia article if you're asking the former questions

the concept of extrinsic value, in all its varieties, is to be understood in terms of the concept of intrinsic value

whether or not intrinsically valuable things exist.

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