Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong. Comparison chart ETHICS MORALS What are they? The rules of conduct recognized Principles or habits with respect in respect to a particular class of to right or wrong conduct. While human actions or a particular morals also prescribe dos and group or culture. don’ts, morality is ultimately a personal compass of right and wrong. Where do they Social system – External Individual – Internal come from? Why we do it? Because society says it is the right thing Because we believe in something to do being right or wrong. Ethics are dependent on others for Usually consistent, although can Flexibility definition. They tend to be consistent change if an individual’s beliefs within a certain context, but can vary change. between contexts.
A person strictly following Ethical A Moral Person although perhaps Principles may not have any Morals at bound by a higher covenant, may The “Gray” all. Likewise, one could violate Ethical choose to follow a code of ethics Principles within a given system of rules as it would apply to a system in order to maintain Moral integrity. Origin Greek word “ethos” meaning”character” Latin word “mos” meaning “custom” Acceptability Ethics are governed by professional and Morality transcends cultural legal guidelines within a particular time norms. and place.
Morals are the principles on which one’s judgments of right and wrong are based. Ethics are principles of right conduct. So the two nouns are closely related and are often interchangeable. The main difference is that morals are more abstract, subjective, and often personal or religion-based, while ethics are more practical, conceived as shared principles promoting fairness in social and business interactions. For example, a politician’s sex scandal may involve a moral lapse (a subjective judgment), while a politician taking money from a company he is supposed to regulate is an ethical problem. But of course, both ethics and morals may have a part in both situations.