Morals Vs. Ethics : Distinguishing Between Morals And Ethics Essay

1491 Words Sep 30th, 2015 null Page
Morals vs. Ethics Distinguishing between morals and ethics can be a difficult thing to do. Even after presenting definitions of both words, scholars sometimes decide to use the two interchangeably. This may be because the definitions are so closely related. One definition of morals is “proper ideas and beliefs about how to behave in a way that is considered right and good by most people” (Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, n.d.). The same dictionary defines ethics as “ the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation”, “a set of moral principles” (Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, n.d.). The dictionary definition presents some help, but do not necessarily clear distinction between the two terms. The difference between the two may appear to be semantics, but there should be some distinct differences noted. Morals are subjective and intuitive. A person’s morals are not rational or critically examined. An individual’s morals are up to them, and can largely be based on their upbringing or religious foundations. The individual determines these internally. Ethics are objective. These are rational, clear cut, and impartial. They are drawn from an external system, governing body, or a society, and described by L.T. Hosmer (1994) as “the basic rules or first principles that have been proposed” to ensure a society “in which people willingly cooperate for the benefit of all” (p. 20). Whereas an individual can always maintain their…

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