National Ethics Awareness Month – March 2023

National Ethics Awareness Month is observed in March every year. This is a time for all individuals and organizations to reflect on the ethics they adhere to and how they can improve upon them. Ethics is a discipline of philosophy that studies morality, moral notions (such as justice, virtue, and obligation), and moral language. Ethics, like aesthetics, is concerned with considerations of value, and hence belongs to the area of philosophy known as axiology. Various ethical theories offer different solutions to the question “What is the greatest good?” and lay out a comprehensive range of appropriate.

History of National Ethics Awareness Month

The study of ethics, which also includes the fundamental issues of practical decision-making, is concerned with the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human acts can be regarded as right or bad. Many people claim that there are no moral universals and that because cultures differ so greatly, no single moral principle or judgment can be accepted universally. This is not the case, however. Sure, there are significant differences in how the general principles articulated are put into practice. Children’s responsibilities to their parents, for example, are one thing in ancient Chinese cultures but quite another in modern Western countries. Concern for kin and reciprocity, on the other hand, are generally valued in practically all human cultures.

It’s tough to establish the exact year and location when it comes to the origin of ethics. The original ethical principles must have been passed down through the generations by word of mouth from parents and elders, but as civilizations learned to write, they began to record their ethical ideas. A collection of lists of precepts to be taught by youths of Egypt’s ruling elite, compiled approximately 3,000 years before the Christian Era, are the earliest surviving documents that may be considered ethics textbooks. They frequently contain sound advice about how to live peacefully, avoid unneeded problems, and succeed in one’s vocation by earning the respect of authorities. Several passages, on the other hand, advocate for more generally based principles of behavior that were more appropriate for the time, such as the following: rulers should treat their subjects fairly and evaluate them impartially.

Then came normative ethics, which intended to establish guidelines or standards for behavior. This refers to the discussion of norms about what one should do, which has been a key aspect of Western ethics throughout history. Since the mid-1960s, the most notable trend in the study of ethics has been the rise in interest among philosophers in practical, or applied, ethics — that is, the application of normative ethical theories to real-world situations.

Modern-day ethics revolve around normative ethics and their application in settings such as workplaces. National Ethics Awareness Month encourages companies and people to look at their code of ethics and what they can do to be fairer and just in their application.

National Ethics Awareness Month timeline

1500 B.C.
Indian Ethics

Writings called the “Vedas” are found stating the philosophical Indian ethical teachings.

1906
Right and Wrong

Finnish anthropologist Edward Westermarck compares differences in cultures in terms of duties and wrongness of actions.

1930s
Positivism and Emotivism

This period sees a rise in the positivism and emotivism schools of thought.

1960s
Applied Ethics

The application of normative ethical theories to practical problems begins to be explored.

National Ethics Awareness Month FAQs

What are ethics?

While there is no one definition of ethics, it broadly refers to a study of judgments of value, of good and evil, right and wrong, desirable and undesirable.

Are there different types of ethics?

Ethics can generally be divided into three main categories — metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.

What makes someone ethical?

An ethical person is usually someone who is honest and conducts themselves based on good moral standards.

How to Observe National Ethics Awareness Month

  1. Reflect on ethics

    Examine your current level of ethics and ethical behavior, as well as that of your organization. Assess its strengths and faults to determine what needs to be improved.

  2. Learn about ethics

    Research the different schools of thought in terms of ethics and see the code of ethics followed by other successful organizations. Analyze what is proven to be for the greater good of all in the workplace and learn more about it.

  3. Spread ethics awareness

    Organize ethics awareness workshops and seminars. Help spread awareness about the importance of ethics and ethical conduct for the benefit of everyone.

5 Ethics Phrases And What They Mean

  1. Moral supernaturalism

    The idea is that God or someone supernatural is the moral lawgiver.

  2. Moral secularism

    The idea is that moral laws come from no one but humans themselves.

  3. Morality

    The rightness or wrongness of an action.

  4. Relativism

    The idea is that the truth is relative to the knowing subject.

  5. Moral duty

    Something that we ought to do either because it is stated in some moral code or because of our moral consciousness.

Why National Ethics Awareness Month is Important

  1. It’s a chance to reflect

    This month allows us to reflect on what we and our businesses stand for, as well as assess the level of ethical compliance. Ethical behavior is critical for a workplace and its employees, and this provides us with an opportunity to check in.

  2. It’s educational

    There is a plethora of information out there when it comes to ethics and the different schools of thought for it. Spreading awareness and learning about them is a good way to increase knowledge and find something that truly resonates with you.

  3. It’s informative

    Often we can be blinded to the struggles and experiences of others if we are in a position of privilege. While things may be going smoothly for us, they may not be the same for your colleagues facing unethical treatment. This is a time to learn about those struggles and work together to fix them.

National Ethics Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2022March 1Tuesday
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
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