Ethics is not just about how you feel, the sincerity of your beliefs, or your emotions; nor is it only about religious viewpoints. Feelings such as in the statement “I feel that capital punishment is wrong
The sincerity with which people hold their beliefs is also not an adequate reason when making an ethical decision. For example, Hitler sincerely believed that he was right in exterminating more than 6 million Jews. His sincerity did not make him right.
Emotional responses to ethical dilemmas are not sufficient either. Emotions may affect why people do certain things, such as the woman who kills her husband in a rage after discovering he had an affair. However, we should not let our emotions dictate how we make ethical decisions. We may have helplessly watched a loved one die a slow death from cancer, but our emotions should not cloud the issue of euthanasia and cause us to kill our ill patients.
Ethics is not just about religious beliefs. Many people associate ideas of right and wrong with their religious beliefs. While there is often an overlap between ethics and what a religion teaches as right and wrong, people can hold very strong ethical and moral beliefs without following any formal religion.