What is "Wrong"?
I visited a debate forum and someone asked the question, "What is wrong?" What is ethically or morally wrong and how do we decide this? Murder is wrong, but can you say why, without resorting to the Ten Commandments or other religious texts, or just saying that it's against the law or society? And how does this apply to gaming?
You are the final judge. This is your True Face.
The Japanese believe that each person has three faces. The first face is what they show the world. The second face is what they show their friends and family. Only the individual can see their true face. Morals and ethics operate in a very similar manner.
Everyone is imbued with the morals and ethics of their society (the first face). These societal morals are represented by Laws and enforced by police. Speeding, stealing and such are covered by these. This also includes institutions like work, church, and school.
Friends and family make up our moral and ethical second face. If you grew up with racist friends or family, you will more than likely be racist yourself. Peer pressure is a powerful thing, but familial pressure can be greater. If your family and friends are devoted church members, chances are you are too.
Last is yourself. In the end, you make you own decision of what is right and wrong. You are the final judge. This is your True Face.
...morals and ethics change with culture.
Please bear in mind that morals and ethics change with culture. Beating and hanging a man because of the color of his skin is accepted in certain parts of the world. So is ritual suicide, and having multiple wives.
So who gets to decide what is right and what's wrong? Why is having more than one wife wrong? How does ritual suicide harm society? Why is it accepted to have a channel devoted to Black Entertainment on TV but racist to have a channel devoted to White Entertainment? Why is a Women Only college permitted but not a Men Only school allowed?
Popular opinion, the views of prominent churches, and the reluctance to change old laws. That's what decides these questions.
I believe that attacking another person because of the color of their skin is wrong. I believe that BET and Women Only schools are racist and segregationist respectively, and that is wrong. I believe that polygamy and ritual suicide are not wrong. I believe that each of these are the choice of the individuals involved and no one else. But that's my own personal opinion based on my morals and ethics.
Remember, for the most part, ethics and morals boil down to the good of the many outweighing the good of the few or the one.
First you have to make a religion for your world. I prefer mixing existing religions to form a new one or adjusting an established church to fit my world (and so no one gets offended). Then I make the people's culture in a similar fashion. Once these two steps are completed, you should have a good understanding of that societies morals and ethics.
If I used the Catholic church as my religion and changed Jesus to Holy Usires and hung Usires upside down from a tree instead of a cross, then I doubt that any Catholics would get mad at me using their church. Especially if I changed the title Pope to something less recognizable, like Grand Cardinal. (This religion is invented by Tad William's church in his Memory, Sorrow, Thorn trilogy. I used it because it is a perfect example of what I was talking about).
If I then used Morroccan Spain mixed with Japanese Samurai I'd have an extremely civilized race of warriors who respect knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge as much as martial prowess. Scholars would be respected and cherished, as would those devoted to the arts. In this civilization, the use of slavery, especially criminals used as slaves for manual labor projects would be common. Having a wife and three concubines would not only be accepted, but seen as a measurement of status. After all, it takes quite a bit of money and... virility... to have a family that large.
This is a feudal society. It is ruled by a king and nobility (called Daimyo). Classes are strictly enforced with the freemen, scholars, and merchants being slightly above peasants. Only scholars, priests, and warriors have any real chance of elevating their status. Knights or Samurai act as police, judge, and executioner (when needed). What they say is law, although they may contradict each other. They are only answerable to their Daimyo, however, everything that they do reflects on their Daimyo and his honor. Thus if a Samurai raped a women, his Daimyo would have him captured, tortured, and killed in order to restore his (the Daimyo's) honor.
As you can see, the morals and ethics in this example are very different from ours. There are some similarities, rape and murder are still capital crimes, but the differences far outweigh the similarities.
In a Game World the GM decides what is right and wrong.
Now, taking this background that the characters grew up in under consideration and not your own, would it be morally or ethically wrong for a PC to have a sex slave? Someone who is working off a debt maybe? What about buying a young cute girl from a poor farmer so that your character can marry her later? Or ritual suicide in response to dishonoring yourself? (hara-kiri?) Or ordering someone to kill themselves? Or branding a thief? Or defeating a person in battle and making them your slave?
What happens when two groups of people from different cultures meet? What if the above example ran into the Egyptians with their multitiered religion? Or Vikings? Or Greeks? Imagine playing a Samurai Paladin who has to negotiate a treaty with Viking Lizard men?
How cool would it be to play in a world like this?
In a Game World the GM decides what is right and wrong. It' s up to the GM and the Players to explore the ethics and morals of this world.