Difference Between Morals and Ethics

Main difference

Ethics and morals are the words that are used interchangeably or are inalienable from each other. A common mindset regarding these two words is that they are both named for the righteousness that comes from an individual. Although ethics and morals are quite different, they can be differentiated and that ethics are the determined rules to know how to behave or act in different places or situations. Ethics is also known as moral philosophy as it is one of the main branches of philosophy that revolves around the principles of how to act or behave. On the other hand, morals are the principles of good or evil of an individual. It is worth mentioning that ethics are certain types of rules that society calls good, while morals are one’s principles about good and evil.

Comparison chart

Morality Ethics
Source The word moral is derived from the Latin word ‘mos’, which means ‘custom’. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which means “character”.
Definition Morals are the principles of good or evil of an individual. Ethics is one of the great branches of philosophy that revolves around how to act or behave in different conditions or circumstances.
Association Morality is one’s principles; as they are associated with one’s beliefs. Ethics is the definition of good and bad behaviors in different conditions that society marks.

What is morality?

Morals are the principles of good or evil. They are mostly associated with religious and other beliefs. In other words, we can say that it is one’s internal principles that allow one to differentiate between good and evil. Change in morals can take place if one’s belief or thought is changed. The word moral is derived from the Latin word ‘mos’, which means ‘custom’. Morality can be related to one’s social, religious, or cultural beliefs. By their beliefs one chooses whether it is wrong or right behavior. Sometimes the word “moral” refers to the benefits to be gained from experiences. Morality is heavily influenced by culture, society, and religious views, although they mostly depend on whether an individual accepts or denies them. The best example regarding morality is that in some societies of the world alcohol consumption is allowed or not seen as bad behavior, while in some societies of the world it is strongly condemned as being perceived as bad behavior. The other example of morality is that covering one’s head with veils is considered good morality in the Eastern world, while dressing that way has nothing to do with morality in the West.

What is ethics?

Ethics is one of the main branches of philosophy that deals with the “study of action,” meaning that it revolves around the question of how one should behave under different conditions and circumstances. It purely depends on the rules or certain codes established by the society. For example, using forks and knives to eat is considered ethically correct in the West, while using your hands to eat is considered ethically correct in the East. To better understand ethics, one must know that it is based on society’s definition of good and evil. In some cases, it happens that an individual acts or behaves exactly as he is taught, but that is seen as bad behavior in that particular society. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which means “character”.

moral vs. Ethics

  • The word moral is derived from the Latin word ‘mos’, which means ‘custom’, while the word ethics is derived from the Greek word ‘ethos’, which means ‘character‘.
  • Ethics is one of the great branches of philosophy that revolves around how to act or behave in different conditions or circumstances. On the other hand, morals are the principles of good or evil of an individual.
  • Morality is one’s principles; since they are associated with one’s beliefs, while ethics is the definition of good and bad behaviors in different conditions that society establishes.

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