Ethics actually consists of rationality toward the highest level of survival for the individual, the family unit, the group, mankind, and the future race and extending to include all life forms, the planet itself and, ultimately, everything beyond that taken collectively. Ethics are reason. The highest ethic level would be very high level long-term survival concepts with minimal destruction, along any of the dynamics.
Ethics is a personal thing. When one is ethical it is always and only by one’s own determination and is done by oneself. One can never force a person to be ethical, because that subjection to force immediately removes from the person the element of self-determination and makes a slave of him. Without full self-determinism there is no real ethical conduct. Ethics rests on one’s faith in oneself, one’s belief in one’s own honour and good reason, and one’s freedom and ability to implement optimum solutions to survival along all dynamics.
More than anything else Ethics refers to the base from which one is operating. Ethics is the stance one takes in life, it is who and what one considers oneself to be. It is the position from which one acts. Ethics is the base.
A being is basically good. This is a fundamental axiom of life. A being wants to survive at a very high level and wants others to survive in this way too. It is only as a result of the errors and stresses of life that the being has moved away from this goodness and now seems at times to be evil or wrongheaded. The proof of this is that one can remedy the effects of these past stresses and errors and wind up with a very good, very high survival individual. But one cannot do the opposite – one cannot “remedy” the goodness in a person and wind up with an evil being. And even if one should try to “remedy” a person in this way one can then undo that and recover the basic goodness and strength that is inherent in the person. A being is basically good.
Ethics deals with the rehabilitation of that inherently good and strong person, and in the survival actions which then flow from him or her in acordance with and in harmony with their basic goodness and their goals.