Theories of Ethics

We hear this all the time on the reservations,

"Nothing will change."
"They are just that way, the tribal council (or tribal employees or school board or ....) are just corrupt. There is nothing we can do about it."
"People are either ethical or not and, let's face it, the people we have are not."

Most philosophers agree that ethics can be taught. Actually, this issue is an old one for human beings. Almost 2500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates stated that,

“Ethics consists of knowing what we ought to do, and such knowledge can be taught”.

Two common thoughts on ethics, on how we justify what we do as right, are moral imperatives and relativism.