What is more important education or ethics


The philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) demanded: Act in such a way that your rule of conduct could at any time be a general law. (& copy picture alliance / dpa)

Human action

Ethics is a science. It deals with human activity. One can think a lot about this: How should people act, which values ​​should they orientate themselves? What is good, what is bad action?

A good person, a bad person?

You have probably asked yourself the question of when a person is good or bad. That is not an easy one to answer. Because you not only have to know what this person did, but also how and why he did it. And when you ask these questions, you assume that in many situations people have the ability to do one way or another. It is true that we often act in a certain way because we want to obey a law. But often we can also freely decide whether we want to do something or not. For example, we can decide whether we want to help someone with a problem or whether we want to fool them, whether we want to share or rather be stingy.

Which basic values ​​do we use to make decisions?

How we act in a particular situation very often depends on which basic ethical values ​​we respect. For example, it has to do with the question of how much we rate personal happiness. Is it more important to me that I am okay or that my family or friends are okay? Ethical questions about good and bad, about the right life, about moral values ​​are of great importance for the coexistence of people. In the religions these questions are very often answered in connection with divine commandments.

Origin of the term

The term comes from the Greek word "ethos" and means something like "custom", "custom", "coming".

Source: Gerd Schneider / Christiane Toyka-Seid: The young politics encyclopedia from www.hanisauland.de, Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2021.