Essay on Ethics and Morality

3598 Words Mar 13th, 2008 15 Pages

The paper delves into the topic of ethics and morality. It would try to understand the concept of ethics and morality and the difference between the two concepts. In the paper I would analyse what motivates human behaviour and choices and why those choices can never always be moral and ethical. I will analyse some ethical and moral theories that provide guidelines for ethical human behaviour and critically assess them with the aid of real life examples, to determine whether it is possible to have universally applicable rules that help humans to decide if a decision requires ethical/moral considerations or not. The paper would aim to prove that it is the needs of humans which may be at times materialistic and at other times
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So, if people often use the two words as if they have the same meaning, it should be no surprise. ‘While we may often use the two terms interchangeably, morals are generally understood to be the principles of right and wrong, whereas ethics involve an entire system of moral issues and focuses on right and wrong behaviour' (Eastwood et al.2006). Morality is an individual's perception of right and wrong which may be in disagreement with another individual's perception. Nevertheless, every individual's morality influences the values of the society. Ethics is the product of those collective moral values of all the individuals in the society (The oracle education foundation n.d). ‘The distinction between ethics and morality can be demonstrated by using the analogy of a conversation. If one imagines that ethics is a conversation that has arisen to answer the question, "What should a person do?", then moralities are the voices in that conversation' (St. James Ethics centre n.d.).
Morality and ethics talk about right and wrong behaviour. But what should be the standard of deciding what is right and what is wrong? Kant proposed a test for personal duty and good willing which eliminates self interest and helps decide whether an action is ethically correct (Eastwood et al.2006). The test requires an individual to ask himself whether he would be willing to have everyone in the world under similar circumstances

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