“Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.” Buddha
This quote by Buddha holds many truths, for if we speak or act with a pure mind then happiness will indeed dwell in our souls. To show a certain amount of decency in our behavior towards our fellow human beings i.e. to portray love and respect with one another as we go about our daily lives in society will only strengthen our character with moral integrity.
The following excerpt from wikipedia encyclopedia is taken to define ethics.
Richard Paul and Linda Elder of the Foundation for Critical Thinking define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures ''[[Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy]]'' states that the word ethics is "commonly used interchangeably with '[[morality]]'& nbsp;... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group or individual ''The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy'', 1995.</ref> Paul and Elder state that, "most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs and the law", and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept
The word ethics in English can mean several things. It can refer to philosophical ethics—a project that attempts to use reason in order to answer various kinds of ethical questions. It can also be used to describe a particular person's own, idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has good ethics." It may also be used to characterize the questions of right-conduct in some specific sphere, even when such right-conduct is not examined philosophically: "business ethics or the ethics of child-rearing" may refer, but need not refer, to a philosophical examination of such issues.
According to Socrates “Virtue ethics” describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior, and is used to describe the ethics of [[Socrates]], [[Aristotle]], and other early Greek philosophers. [[Socrates]] (469 BC – 399 BC) was one of the first [[Greek philosophy to encourage both scholars and the common citizen to turn their attention from the outside world to the condition of humankind.
In this view, [[knowledge]] having a bearing on human life was placed highest, all other knowledge being secondary. [[Self-knowledge (psychology) |Self-knowledge]] was considered necessary for success and inherently an essential good. A self-aware person will act completely within his capabilities to his pinnacle, while an ignorant person will flounder and encounter difficulty.
To Socrates, a person must become aware of every fact (and its context) relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge. He posited that people will naturally do what is good, if they know what is right.
Evil or bad actions are the result of ignorance. If a criminal was truly aware of the intellectual and spiritual consequences of his actions, he would neither commit nor even consider committing those actions. Any person who knows what is truly right will automatically do it, according to Socrates. While he correlated knowledge with [[virtue]], he similarly equated virtue with [[joy]]. The truly wise man will know what is right, do what is good, and therefore be happy.
Wikipedia provides the following information on ethics