The question of ethics is oftentimes approached from the stand point of conditioned beliefs and/or ideology. Actually, such is impossible to avoid, for our daily lives are a synthesis of our natural intuition and our ongoing education/indoctrination. Even the most disciplined thinker is subject to the influence of upbringing, culture, and general surroundings. Consequently, party ideology can and in many cases does influence thoughts and theories regarding morals and ethics. A synthesis of politicial persuasion, religious convictions, and cultural worldview can further influence thinking regarding such matters. For example, those who identify themselves as political conservatives might cite scripture in order to explain their personal ethical code. A more progressive thinker might argue from a more seemingly subjective perspective. Thus, the question of ethics is one that will create debate at the very least.
So is there an actual, factual moral and ethical code?
It would be interesting to form a panel of unknown figures of a variety of backgrounds to contemplate and debate this very topic. Imagine an accumulation of folk for such a very purpose consisting of: A Protestant, a Jew, a Catholic, a Buddhist, an Occultist, a Hindu, a Confucianist, an Agnostic Humanist, a Feminist, a member of the LGBT community, and one who claims no persuasion whatsover (Note: The scenario being hypothetical I took the liberty to imagine the most fictional of all such characters in the latter referred to member of the council).
Further imagine one specific stipulation. Regardless of the time spent in deliberation as to the question of essential ethical thought and conduct, the only acceptable answers would be those of 100% consensus. Such would obviously be a short list of prospective ethical codes; in fact some might speculate that consensus amongst such a crew of characters might be impossible. Yet; I theorize otherwise, though I admit that few would be the synthesized areas of agreement, and very general would be the proposed codes.
In fact, the codes of acceptable conduct agreed to by such a panel of philosophers would likely amount to every person treating every other person as they themselves would wish to be treated. The frame of reference being diverse, this one moral and ethical code would likely be agreed to by all. The Christian, who terms such as “The Golden Rule” and attributes such teaching to the key character of the Judeo-Christian background, would no doubt be pleased with the results. The Confucianist, who regards such as the principle of Reciprocaty referred to several times by Confucius himself (some 500 years prior to Jesus), would be pleased to know that the philosophy of the ancient sage was alive and well even in contemporary times. In fact, I honestly cannot think of a single person on this hypothetical panel of philosophers who would disagree with such, thereby destroying the aforementioned prerequisite of mutual consent on any acceptable proposed code of morals and ethics.
Hypothetical though this scenario might seem, I suggest that the existence of such a community of folk is a given reality. In fact, the demographics of our society is so diverse that I merely mentioned a portion whose culture and perspective are truly represented therein. The diversity of persectives merely give credence to the practicality of such a moral and ethical code.
When we as human beings consult our own innate understanding of what really matters with regards to morals and ethics, then personal responsibility to be respectful and considerate of “the other person” is revealed to be the only necessary code of acceptable conduct. We do not need written material or revelations from exterior sources to educate or indoctrinate us as to what really matters. Our intuition is a natural guide, and our spontaneous inclinations towards kindness, courtesy, and concern for others regulate a moral and ethical code which if followed faithfully, renders social harmony on all scales as realistic and achievable.