Ethics are reason. Man's greatest weapon is his reason.
The highest ethic level would be long-term survival concepts with minimal destruction.
In the modern dictionary we find that ethics are defined as "morals" and morals are defined as "ethics". These two words are not interchangeable.
Morals should be defined as a code of good conduct laid down out of the experience of the race to serve as a uniform yardstick for the conduct of individuals and groups.
Morals are actually laws.
The origin of a moral code comes about when it is discovered through actual experience that some act is more nonsurvival than prosurvival. The prohibition of this act then enters into the customs of the people and may eventually become a law.
In the absence of extended reasoning powers, moral codes, so long as they provide better survival for their group, are a vital and necessary part of any culture.
Morals, however, become burdensome and protested against when they become outmoded. And although a revolt against morals may have as its stated target the fact that the code no longer is as applicable as it once was, revolts against moral codes generally occur because individuals of the group or the group itself has become unethical to a point where it wishes to practice license against these moral codes, not because the codes themselves are unreasonable.
If a moral code were thoroughly reasonable, it could, at the same time, be considered thoroughly ethical. But only at this highest level could the two be called the same. The ultimate in reason is the ultimate in survival.
Ethical conduct includes the adherence to the
moral codes of the society in which we live.