Usually, the words ‘ethics’ and ‘morals’ are used in the same context. But there is a line of difference between the two. Ethics are guiding principles which help an individual in differentiating between a good and a bad thing. Morals are a set of beliefs of the person about right and wrong. The two words are related to ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ conduct. Ethics is something widely accepted, and morals are a personal preference for an individual.
Ethics are the set of laws for conduct acknowledged in a particular group. Ethics are widely accepted. We consider something unethical by its non-acceptance by the society. Ethics cannot vary from society to society. They are dependent on others for definition in different backgrounds. Ethics are the response of an individual in an organization. Since groups of people accept them, ethics are uniform, broad and abstract. Examples:
- An employee agrees to abide by the company’s ethics for the duration of her service
- It was an idea that raised ethical questions that continue to challenge the organ-transplantation system – The Wall Street Journal
Morals refer to the right and wrong actions of an individual and the goodness of a human character. Morality is a person’s choice to be right or wrong in their perspective. Morals are personal and brought about by belief. Morals can vary from person to person. They are expressed in general rules and statements. Examples:
- Children create their morals in compliance with their surroundings
- “My morals prohibit me from stealing,” said Vijay
- A person obeying all the ethics of a society can be considered immoral
- One can manipulate ethical norms of society to gain moral grounds
- Morals are concerned with right and wrong; Ethics are concerned with good and evil
- Morals change from society to society, but ethics do not belong to any culture, so they remain the same
- A person can offer changes in ethics but not morals
The principles of society and organization are made for the benefit of the population. A person must follow both of them but should know the differences. Ethics help the most in tough situations and morals define a person. People widely accept both ethics and morals. In a world of unlawful practices and selfish activities, the knowledge and application of both ethics and morals are required.