Descriptive ethics deals with the study of moral action and decision-making. The field focuses on peoples’ values and personal moral beliefs. It should be noted that this field is different from normative ethics. Normative ethics is the study of ethical action and how people should act.
When relating descriptive ethics to the case of evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland, consider how people view right and wrong in the situation. The statewide pause on evictions ended on July 25, 2020, and since then, Maryland courts have been hearing eviction cases. There is worldwide debate about whether it is right or wrong to evict people during such a crisis. Some people think that it is justified because landlords need to make money, but others think it is wrong because lots of people have been financially hurt by business closures during the pandemic.
Descriptive ethical questions on this topic should inquire about how people involved view morality. For example, what kind of moral arguments did state politicians use to justify lifting the pause on evictions? What values influence the decision to lift the ban? What do judges' rulings show about their moral beliefs regarding eviction? Do the people of Maryland think the government's approach to eviction or foreclosure is right or wrong?