Difference Between Morals and Ethics

Main Difference

Ethics and morals are the words which are used interchangeably or are inalienable to each other. A common mindset regarding both these words is that both refer to the righteousness coming from an individual. Although, ethics and morals are quite different, they can be differentiated as ethics are the certain rules to know how to behave or act in different places or different situations. Ethics is also known as the moral philosophy as it is one of the major branches of philosophy that revolves around the principles of how to act or behave. On the other hand, morals are an individual’s principles of right or wrong. It should be kept mentioned that ethics are the certain types of rules which are termed good by the society, whereas morals are one’s principles regarding right and wrong.

Comparison Chart

MoralsEthics
OriginThe 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’.
DefinitionMorals are an individual’s principles of right or wrong.Ethics is one of the major branches of philosophy that revolves around how to act or behave in different conditions or circumstances.
AssociationMorals are one’s principles; as they are associated with one’s beliefs.Ethics are the definition of good and bad behaviors in different conditions that are set by the society.

What are Morals?

Morals are the one’s principles of right or wrong. They are mainly associated with the religious and other beliefs. In other words we can say that they are the inner principles of one that let him/her differentiate it between right and wrong. The change in the morals may take place if one’s belief or thinking gets changed. The word moral is derived from the Latin word ‘mos’, which means ‘custom’. The morals can be affiliated with one’s social, religious or cultural beliefs. By, his/her beliefs one opts whether it is a wrong or right conduct. Sometimes the word ‘moral’ refers to the gains one got from experiences. The morals are heavily influenced by the culture, society and religious views, although they are mainly dependent on whether an individual accepts them or deny them. The best example regarding morals is that in some societies of the world alcohol drinking is allowed or is not seen as a bad conduct, whereas in some societies of the world it is strongly condemned as it is perceived as a bad conduct. The other example of morals is that covering heads with veils is seen as a good moral in the Eastern world, whereas dressing in such a way has nothing to do with the morals in the West.

What are Ethics?

Ethics is one of the major branches of philosophy which deals with ‘study of action’, means it revolves around the question that how one should behave in different condition and different circumstances. It is purely dependent on the rules or certain codes set by the society. For example, using forks and knife for the eating purpose are seen ethically right in West, whereas in East using hands for the eating purpose is seen ethically right. To get a better know about the ethics, one should know that is based on the definition of society about right and wrong. In some cases it happens that an individual acts or behaves exactly what he/she is taught but that is seen as a bad conduct in that particular society. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ‘ethos’, which means ‘character’. Ethics are the moral principles that are based on society’s perception.

Morals vs. Ethics

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

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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