Ethics: I think these are human constructs that bind us together and allow us to live and get along together.
As I have mentioned, some deities are human ancestors and as such will act in a similarly ethical fashion to the society they arose from. One needs only to look at the more ‘human’ gods to see this. Other gods – the wilder non human ones such as spirits of place or those who have come to personify primal or elemental forces – earthquakes, volcanoes, weather phenomenon – don’t really confirm to an ethical code as such. They will kill, destroy and act in a manner some might consider cruel and evil. What this doesn’t take into account is that people are then laying their own human ethical code upon something that isn’t human, it is no more human that an orca playing football with a baby seal. We don’t refer to animals murderers or call for the Lions to be hanged when they kill infant antelopes, why not? Because they are not humans, they are animals, they are different from us and ultimately the same ethical and moral codes we have constructed do not apply to them because there never has been an absolute ethical way of life. It varies; it changes and does so only in human societies.
The gods can be cruel, they can be bastards – but they are like Orca or Lion; not human and not subject to human ethics. Even those gods who are more personable and anthropomorphic can have a sting in the tail. I think probably because they no longer need be bound human ethics and as such have a whole new perspective on existence, as such, by being such a twat to one of us they are doing what is needed, the right thing perhaps. It is just to us at that time we cannot see that, we cannot perceive what is happening and what the outcome will be. The gods may know these things and as such realise that egg shells need breaking in order to bake us a cake.
I am so out of my depth here it is unreal.