Why is ethics called a normative science? Explain with suitable examples.
Normative science is a field of study that deals with the evaluation of actions, policies, or systems based on moral or normative standards. It is concerned with determining what ought to be rather than what is. Ethics is one of the most well-known examples of a normative science.
Ethics is a normative science that examines moral principles and behaviour. It is concerned with determining what is right and wrong, good and bad in human conduct. It does not just describe how people behave but it also evaluates and judges their behaviour based on moral standards. For example, one of the primary principles in ethics is the principle of autonomy, which holds that individuals have the right to make decisions for themselves. This principle is not just describing how people behave but it also evaluates and judges actions that restrict an individual’s autonomy as morally wrong.
Another example is the principle of non-maleficence which holds that one should not harm others. This principle not only describes how people should behave, but it also evaluates and judges actions that harm others as morally wrong.
In summary, Ethics as a normative science, evaluates and judges actions, policies, or systems based on moral or normative standards. It is concerned with determining what ought to be rather than what is. It provides a framework for moral evaluation and judgement, which is not just descriptive but prescriptive as well. It helps us to understand and justify moral principles and to guide moral action.
Topics: GS-IV: Ethics and Human Interface
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