What is the essence of ethics? If you refer to any standard text book for ethics (for civil services) then the content which is given there is absolutely irrelevant. In order to understand what is the essence of ethics, we need to take a close look at 'What is Ethics'. If you would observe it closely then you'll understand one thing that: the essence of ethics can be seen from multiple ways. Different theories states the essence differently. To get a clear idea on it, lets take a look at few theories:

  1. Utilitarian Theory: According this theory, one should follow ethics to maximise pleasure over pain and happiness over suffering.
  2. Deontology: This theory states that one should follow ethics because it their duty.
  3. Stoic Theory: According to this, following ethics is acting in accordance with your ideal nature as a rational and social being i.e., acting in accordance with nature.
  4. Other: Some other theory states that it is for following divine commands.

From above it is clear that essence of ethics varies from one theory to another. It is now your job to identify what all other theories are there and why they are emphasising one ethics.