Difference Between Ethics & Morality

Ethics vs Morality

Morality and ethics are related terms, but they are not the same. Ethics refers to a code of behavior applicable to a group, such as a family, community, or nation. Morality, or morals, are more personal in nature. The relationship and distinction between the two can be understood as ethics referring to a philosophy within a social system, while morality pertains to its application.

What is Ethics?

Ethics is a broad term that applies to various contexts, such as family ethics, company ethics, social ethics, or national ethics. These are socially accepted codes of behavior applicable in the immediate surroundings. For example, a company has dos and don’ts that make up its ethics, and when you are within the premises of a company, you behave accordingly. Ethics in politics and social laws are principles that set parameters for human behavior, helping prevent misconduct and misdeeds such as theft, rape, violence, fraud, and slander. On the other hand, ethics helps spread feelings of compassion, loyalty, and honesty. Ethics is vital for a society because it has ways of praising such behavior while at the same time reprimanding conduct that goes against the ethical code of behavior.

What is Morality?

Morality is a more personalized form of ethics, as different people set different moral standards for themselves. Morality refers to a set of beliefs that people believe in and practice accordingly. Morals help a person choose a course of action when faced with a dilemma, guiding them in leading a decent, disciplined life. For example, in the past, abortion was considered both morally and ethically wrong. However, in most countries, it has been legalized, making it ethically correct. Despite this legalization, many people still believe it is morally incorrect. This shows that morality is more of an opinion or set of guidelines for an individual, rather than an agreed-upon set of rules.

The connection between ethics and morality can be understood through another example. The difference between them becomes apparent when a person works in an organization where ethics do not align with their morals. If the company’s ethics or codes of conduct are not in sync with the person’s morality, they may be torn between following their morals and adhering to the organization’s ethics. In general, an individual may have their views on homosexuality and consider it immoral, but they would be ethically wrong to discriminate against a person if they know they are homosexual.

Key Takeaways

  • Ethics is a code of conduct that applies to a group, while morality refers to personal sets of beliefs about what is right and wrong.
  • Ethics is accepted by a community, but morals are not necessarily agreed upon by everyone.
  • People’s morals may or may not be in sync with society’s ethics.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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