The normative inquiry is what one asks oneself while deciding if one is compelled by a certain moral claim, and it simply helps to demonstrate the need of defending these statements in the first person. This inquiry is important because it allows us to understand which of our actions are right or wrong and to know how to act in specific situations.
In conclusion, the normative question of ethics is important for two reasons: first, because it helps us to understand which of our actions are right or wrong; second, because it helps us to know how to act in specific situations.
Normative ethics is the branch of moral philosophy or ethics concerned with moral justice and wrong. It comprises the development of moral norms with direct consequences for how human behaviors, institutions, and ways of life should be. Non-normative ethics, on the other hand, focuses on issues such as happiness and pain, meaning and purpose in life, and other what-if scenarios that may not necessarily lead to action but are important factors in guiding our decisions.
Normative ethics is also called "ethics as normative science". Philosophers usually start their investigations into normative ethics by asking questions about what it means to act morally or immorally, to make moral judgments, etc. They then go on to discuss different theories of morality (e.g., utilitarianism, deontology, virtue theory), analyze different concepts in moral terms (such as duty, right, obligation), and so forth. The aim is to develop an understanding of what it means to act morally that will help us to decide what course of action to take in specific situations.
Non-normative ethics is also called "meta-ethical" or "transcendental" ethics because it deals with the most fundamental aspects of ethical inquiry: what it is for something to be ethically relevant, what makes a situation ethical or not, and so forth.
The field of moral philosophy or ethics dealing with moral right and wrong standards is known as normative ethics. The goal is to determine what actions are right or wrong, good or bad.
Normative ethics begins with a definition of terms such as "right" and "wrong." A common starting point is the work of Immanuel Kant who defined morality as a set of principles that all rational beings must follow. He stated that these principles can only be determined by looking at various possible actions and their consequences and choosing which one(s) we would want everyone to follow. This process is called "categorizing actions" because we give them names like "wrong" and "right."
After defining "right" and "wrong," normative ethicists must also define other terms used in Kant's formulation such as "rational" and "irrational." Rational people are those that understand the need to use our minds to think things through and make decisions about what to do. Irrational people act without thinking first and may do things that hurt others or violate their rights. Normative ethicists study how people behave irrationally to learn more about what makes some actions right and others wrong.
Common assumptions include the claim that the central task of normative ethics is to define and defend an adequate theory for guiding conduct. The received taxonomy divides normative theories into three basic types: virtue theories, deontological theories, and consequentialist theories.
Virtue theories seek to identify which traits or qualities constitute virtues, and then seek to explain how one can reach moral excellence by developing these qualities.
Deontological theories deny that there are any good reasons for acting ethically; they merely describe what it is not acceptable to do. Thus, deontologists cannot give any explanation of why some actions are right and others wrong. They can only say that whatever acts are not prohibited by law or custom are permissible.
Consequentialist theories hold that what matters for determining what should be done is not our beliefs about what is virtuous or not but rather the consequences of taking certain actions. They thus aim to identify which courses of action will most likely lead to desirable outcomes and then to guide our behavior by considering only those options that will produce the best results.
These are only the most common ways in which normative theories divide into types; other classifications exist as well. For example, some theorists distinguish between mainstream and alternative versions of each type of theory; others make a similar distinction between local and global approaches.
The terms "ought" or "should" are used or implied in ethical problems. They include weighing competing moral choices and difficulties against a variety of possible solutions, each of which has some tough or problematic feature. They also include questioning certain basic assumptions about what morality requires of us.
An ethical problem can be described as a situation in which one must make a choice between two or more courses of action, such as different ways of dealing with a conflict of interest. Every choice involves a trade-off between different advantages and disadvantages of the options available. For example, if I were to choose either course A or B, I would be giving up some advantage when I chose either one over the other.
In an ethical dilemma, there is no clear right answer. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so none of them is clearly better than the others. What's more, even if we knew that one course of action was correct and another wrong, that wouldn't necessarily help us solve the problem. The reason is that both actions have their drawbacks. It's just a matter of weighing these issues up and finding a solution that works for you.