Moral and ethic

The difference between ethics and morality is that morality refers to the set of norms and principles that are based on the culture and customs of a certain social group. On the other hand, ethics is the study and reflection on morality , which allows an individual to discern between what is right and what is wrong.

An easy way to remember the difference between morals and ethics is that morals apply to a group, such as those customs that must be obeyed for good behavior, while ethics comes from the individual’s reflection on which actions are moral and which ones. no.

Both concepts have been interpreted in different ways historically, by different currents of thought, and even vary according to the field in which they are used (morals in religion, ethics in business). In any case, this interpretation of ethics and morals is very common today.

DefinitionIt is the study and reflection on morality, the rules of conduct applied to any organization or society.It refers to the rules of conduct that apply to a certain group and their actions, relative to good, bad, acceptable or correct.
FlexibilityEthics are usually consistent, although it can change if an individual’s beliefs change or depending on a certain situation.Morality tends to be consistent within a certain context, being understood in the same way by all. However, each culture or human group has different morals.
ExceptionsA person can go against his ethics to conform to a certain moral principle, such as, for example, the code of conduct of his profession.A person who rigorously follows the moral principles of a society may not have any ethics. In the same way, to maintain their ethical integrity, this person may violate moral principles within a certain system of rules.
MeaningEthics comes from the Greek word ethos which means ‘conduct’, ‘way of being’.Moral comes from the Latin word moralis which means ‘custom’.
UseTheoretical: Why are there or what principles or actions are moral? – What are the parameters by which an individual governs his life?Practical: A person acts according to what is supposed to be “good”, according to the individual, a group or society.
ExampleThe reasons that justify whether it is a moral behavior that a society should have only one partner are analyzed.In Mexico it is immoral to have more than one wife, while in some countries like Nigeria it is morally accepted.

What is ethics?

Ethics refers to the study and analysis of morality to arrive at one’s own thinking as an individual or group about what is right and what is wrong. Thus, each person can have a criterion about the events that occur around him and behave in accordance with his thinking.

So, the concept of ethics can mean the knowledge drawn from the research of human behavior by trying to explain moral rules rationally .

Although an individual can use their ethics to question moral values ​​and disagree with certain approaches, also through it they can support and reflect other values ​​in their daily life. That is, you can confront or support these moral values.

In other words, ethics is generally understood as an internal, theoretical exercise , the purpose of which is to define what it is that makes something moral. This is why it is considered as a study of morals (practical, external and socially shared).

What is moral?

Morality is the set of values ​​and rules defined by a certain group or culture, which is common to all its members. This being the case, morality is what defines how people should behave in the social environment.

These customs guide each individual’s judgments on how to act, often unconsciously, in accordance with what was previously accepted as the norm among a certain group.

When we talk about morals, the definitions of what is right or wrong depend on where the individual is, on tradition, culture, education, and everyday life.

If a person comes to have a moral dilemma about their way of acting, challenging established morality, they may find themselves in a moment of ethical reflection on the morals of their society.

Where do moral and ethical principles come from?

Morality is an external pattern that can be provided by institutions, groups, or by the culture to which an individual belongs. It can also be considered a social system or framework for acceptable behavior.

Ethics, despite being influenced by culture and society, is shaped by personal principles created and sustained by individuals themselves.

Consistency and flexibility

Morality is very consistent within a certain context, but it can vary between cultures or eras.

For example, something morally accepted in today’s society might have been immoral in the 1970s.

Ethics is how the individual reflects on certain morality, being possible that certain events radically modify the beliefs and personal values ​​of an individual.

Origin of the concept of ethics and morals

Much of the confusion between these two words comes from their origins. The word “ethics” comes from the Latin ethical and refers to behaviors, to the way of being. The word moral comes from the Latin moralis , which refers to customs. So originally the two have very similar meanings.

The morals and ethics of the individual have been studied philosophically for over a thousand years. However, the idea of ​​ethics as a study of principles and those conditions that define and apply to morality is relatively new, dating from the seventeenth century.

Example of the use of ethics

The concept of ethics is used when we reflect on the morality accepted in a certain society, being able to accept or question it.

For example: “The code of ethics of the conservative political party establishes among its precepts that its members will demonstrate against abortion, regardless of the causes, even if therapeutic abortion has already been approved in the country.”

Example of the use of morals

Morality refers to certain norms and behaviors created and accepted in a certain social group, and may vary according to place or time.

For example: “In the past, it was immoral for women to wear pants, but today it is morally accepted.”

See also

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