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By prioritisation of ethics, I mean examples such as someone in WW2 lying to the authorities that they didn't hide Jews in their basement, therefore indicating that they value preserving lives more than not lying or breaking the law, even though they may view lying and breaking the law as generally unethical/"bad".

Or for the more religious-minded folk, a Christian who decides to be assertive and confront their parents about their abusive behaviour (in extreme cases, maybe fight against them if the parents are homicidal or molestors) even though this may constitute as "dishonoring one's father and mother".

  • This is generally called "conflicting duties" and is generally an issue to consider in deontology. – virmaior Jun 26 at 7:03
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    Welcome. You appear to have in mind 'priorisation in ethics' rather than the 'prioritsation of ethics' (moral considerations have priority over political or economic considerations, say). The cases you refer to are all moral dilemmas - cases of ethical conflict. One moral consideration conflicts with another and the question is how, if it is possible, to decide between them and to give one consideration priority over another. – Geoffrey Thomas Jun 26 at 9:10
  • There should be, but I am afraid there is not. Some authors use the expression "moral priorities", see e.g. Lee-Stronach, Moral priorities under risk. Robin Hanson came up with a catchy phrase "ranking the sacred", but that is not a term either. – Conifold Jun 26 at 11:15
  • "Value Function", also... the internal model that weights your values, allowing you to compare and prioritize. – kbelder Jun 27 at 21:44

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