Third: (Mi ayar) the Standard.

Mi ayar (Standard) in Arabic Language:

Mi ayar (standard) in Arabic language denotes everything that helps in measuring or weighing anything. (1)

Mi ayar (Standard) in Philosophy:

Standard in philosophy denotes a particular example or an absolute criterion that can measure the status of a thing that is proposed to be while standard in ethics means an ideal example that is criterion for defining the meaning of good.  (2)

It is noteworthy that some sciences are normative that exceed from studying what is to study what should be, such as: the science of logic, the science of ethics and the science of beauty. On the contrary, there are some descriptive sciences that are based on describing the object as it is without suggesting what should be. (6)

Normative and the Moral Values:

Previously, we have stated that scholars of ethics have differed in their opinion about the nature of ethics. (7) Some of them viewed that science of ethics is of the normative nature that suggests what the human behavior should be. This is the opinion of the majority of philosophers, while, some of them view that the science of ethics is a philosophy that describes the human behavior as it is. Therefore, it is a descriptive science.

It seems that the origin of the dispute in this issue is the conflicting views of researchers in the nature of the moral values. Whether the moral values are inherent in the nature of the words and deeds that never change due to the changes in the circumstances and situations as was concluded by the followers of rational idealism while the realistic school of philosophy concludes that ethical values are qualities added by the mind to the words and deeds. Therefore, they are of relative nature that differs depending on the time, place and circumstances. (8)




(1) Ibn Manzur , Lsan Al-Arab (4/623).

(6) Arabic Language Academy, Al-Mu ajam Al-Falsafi, p. 188.

(7) See: Ta arif Al-Qiyam Al-Falsafiyyah,(The Definition of the Philosophical Values), p. 9 of this research.


(8) See: Arabic Language Academy, Al-Mu ajam Al-Falsafi, p. 151. In addition, some researchers view that the origin of the dispute in the nature of the ethics, if it is descriptive or normative, returns to the difference in the ethical behavior whether it can be modified or not. Therefore, those scholars who view that ethical behavior can be modified regard the science of ethics as normative and those scholars who view that it could not be modified regard this science as a descriptive one. See: Hamdi  Abdul- Aal, Al-Akhlaq Wa Mi ayaru Ha Bayn Ad-Din Wal-Wadh iyyah,  (Ethics and their Criterion between Religion and Positivism) p. 27,  Dar Al-Qalam, Kuwait, edition 3rd,  the year 1405 A.H..

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