Ethics is more than taste, inclination or preference. It is good taste, the right inclination and appropriate preferences at the right time and place. Ethics is an approach to life that, as Aristotle said, calls for the proper combination of action, desire, and feeling. This requires the use of good judgment so that you may apply your values to what you believe to be right to the situation at hand.
While ethical principles are important, they alone aren’t enough. As legal scholar and philosopher David Luban explains, “You can’t teach good judgment through general rules, because you already need judgment to know how rules apply. Judgment is therefore always and irredeemably particular.”
In ethics you are one of the subjects of our own inquiry. You inevitably view things through our own interests and experiences. All of us are products of biology, history and social institutions, each of which shapes our understanding and beliefs regarding what it means to be human. We are therefore biased, and it is good judgment that can help us overcome self-serving conclusions.
Morality sometimes claims too much of us. There is always something more you could be doing to make the world a better place, more help to give a friend, another good cause to support. There is also commonly a conflict in our various values, as well as a gap between our ideals and our behavior.