Definition of Ethics, Morals, Virtue, and Quality

Larry Neal Gowdy Copyright©2006-2013

The following information is only meant to provide an improved set of basic definitions not found in dictionaries and philosophies. The brief information is not intended to imply that the definitions are complete. A fullness of definitions and explanations can be found in the author's other writings.

Gold existed before barter, money, and systems of economics were invented to use gold. Animals existed before zoology was invented to study animals. Ethics and morals existed before religions and philosophies were invented to use and study ethics and morals. No religion or philosophy invented ethics, nor can any religion or philosophy lay claim of being the source or measure of ethics.


Act of Creation: An ethic is a singular, logically deduced, self-created, self-chosen choice to think and behave as deemed most correct to the individual.

How of Creation: An ethic is a self-chosen standard of mental behavior based on logic.

Why of Creation: An ethic is a fixed mental reference point that logic uses for the associating and weighing of reasoning. As triangulation1 requires a fixed point of reference, and intelligence exists through analogous association, an ethic is the fixed point for associating.

Behavior of Creation: All further inward logic and externally expressed behavior is manipulated to conform to and be logically consistent with the self-created ethic.

In appearance, an ethic functions similarly to a belief system in that both influence the person's reasoning, perception, and behavior. A good ethic is the inwardly self-chosen act of self-control towards creative self-betterment without regard of external (social) standards, whereas a belief is the bad internal standard that accepts external (social) standards to be the standard of behavior, resulting in an illogical noncreative conformity.

An ethic is a sturdy triangulation point fixed solidly into the ground that resists all winds and floods, whereas beliefs are as toothpicks in sand, easily plucked up and rearranged to conform to the winds and waters of life. Ethics and beliefs are not the same things even though they may at times appear to produce similar behaviors.


Morals are the creation of ethics externally applied (logical-good or illogical-bad behavior).


Virtue is the sum creation of good ethics applied (logical behavior in creative harmony).


Depravity is the sum creation of bad ethics applied (illogical behavior not in creative harmony).


Quality is creative harmony relative to the object's environment and ultimately weighed relative to the laws of Nature.

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Update for March 22, 2013 — the new prodigies book is now available through Barnes&Noble.
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Addendum May 18, 2008

“There are few circumstances among those which make up the present condition of human knowledge, more unlike what might have been expected, or more significant of the backward state in which speculation on the most important subjects still lingers, than the little progress which has been made in the decision of the controversy respecting the criterion of right and wrong. From the dawn of philosophy, the question concerning the summum bonum, or, what is the same thing, concerning the foundation of morality, has been accounted the main problem in speculative thought, has occupied the most gifted intellects, and divided them into sects and schools, carrying on a vigorous warfare against one another. And after more than two thousand years the same discussions continue, philosophers are still ranged under the same contending banners, and neither thinkers nor mankind at large seem nearer to being unanimous on the subject, than when the youth Socrates listened to the old Protagoras, and asserted (if Plato’s dialogue be grounded on a real conversation) the theory of utilitarianism against the popular morality of the so-called sophist.” (John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, 1879.)

For most of my life I have curiously observed how the general public interprets the terms ethics and morals. During the past two years I have asked the public direct questions about ethics and morals, and from the answers I received I have verified three dominant trends. The first trend is that the general public does not know what ethics and morals are. As Mill wrote, the topic is not an easy one, and if the most gifted of men up to Mill’s era were unable to determine what ethics and morals are, then it is to be concluded that the general public would possess no greater knowledge. The second trend is that the general public truly believes that it knows what ethics and morals are. Though the general public has relatively little education and falls far short of the intellectual acuity of men like Mill, still the general public is confident that it knows more than the smartest men on earth. The third trend, which in part explains the first two trends, is that the general public has precious little interest in ethics and morals, and the general public therefore does not care to learn about the nature of ethics and morals.

The very whole of a person’s life revolves around a system of ethics that controls each individual’s logic, and yet the general public could not care less, and worse, the general public strongly opposes the knowledge. I am at a loss of words of how to express my thoughts about the general public. People claim that they are smart, people claim that they are well educated, and people claim that they know more knowledge than all of the world's smartest men combined, and yet it is so obvious that the claims are false. It is due to poor ethics that the general public keeps itself dumbed-down.

The brief definitions provided towards the top of this page are only meant to give the reader a small taste of the nature of ethics and morals. It is recommend that the Dialogues of Nodin and William are read so as to get a feel for the basics of Nature-based logic. If a person has a question, then it should be asked, and the person should not glean a ten-word definition and then believe himself sufficiently educated.

1 I have received comments that triangulation requires two fixed reference points. I had assumed that readers would know enough about triangulation and be sufficiently conscious of their own thoughts to recognize that the choosing of a behavior is derived by logically weighing a present perception along with the ethic to determine what a third thing (reaction/behavior) should be. The ethic remains the sole fixed point, whereas present perceptions change but remain the second point of reference.

Addendum March 23, 2013

Western philosophy has been debating ethics for thousands of years. Must the word "thousands" be spelled slowly so that the word can be sufficiently understood? Thousands, thousands of years, and though western philosophy still has not approached close to an understanding of what an ethic implies, still western philosophy continues to claim that it is the sole expert on the topic. If western philosophy has made no progress in over two-thousand years, then the method applied by western philosophy does not work, and the method never will work. The student of western philosophy should be aware that western philosophy does not possess the answer to any question; it never has, it never will, and if someday western philosophy should discover what an ethic is, then that will be the day that western philosophy dies and assumes a new name.

Related Links:

Logics Origin of Ethics, Morals, Virtue, and Quality at The Logics website.

Logics Origin of Ethics, Morals, Virtue, and Quality at the Woven Strings website.

Myths, Facts, and Lies About Prodigies - A Historiography of William James Sidis (The Logics site)

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