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morals and ethics, how are they different?

 
 
Sentience
 
  2  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 08:01 am
Morals are a set of actions or beliefs that you consider good as opposed to evil, ethics is the study of those actions or beliefs.
dpmartin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 09:24 am
@Sentience,
Sentience wrote:

Morals are a set of actions or beliefs that you consider good as opposed to evil, ethics is the study of those actions or beliefs.


Sentience

I would disagree my friend, if there be no agreement between men then there is only the individual choice of what is good and what is evil in accordance to one’s reasons for the choice. But if there be agreement between two or more, then ethics and morals come in to play, in the agreed desire of the fulfillment of the agreement, expressed in the agreement. But if one come into agreement, without the desire for the fulfillment of the agreement according to the agreement then there be lack of morals or ethics, or the desire to deceive. Hence those who desire the fulfillment of the agreement perceive that as good, rather then the fulfillment of their own choices of what is good or evil. And surly to seek the fulfillment of one’s own choices, would be contrary to the fulfillment of the agreement, but ethically the choice of action is the fulfillment of the agreement according to the agreement.

One’s own choice is not moral or ethical, one’s actions in the fulfillment in the spirit of the agreement, is moral or ethical. which has nothing to do with one's own choice of good and evil. other than one agrees that the fulfillment of the agreement is good.


But maybe a good question is; is the agreement one is in agreement with, the Truth?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 12:52 pm
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:
I like to say that morals are inherited
By this reasoning, a child cannot diverge from his parents senses of right n rong.
I found that not to be the case, n ofen debated n dissuaded
them from earlier notions.

I hope that u do not deem me rude in saying so.





David
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 02:14 pm
@Sentience,
Sentience wrote:

Morals are a set of actions or beliefs that you consider good as opposed to evil, ethics is the study of those actions or beliefs.


As a philosopher, I would endorse the first part of what Sentience wrote: one's "morals" refers to part of one's Self-image; the latter also includes one's self-identity and all of one's values. Sometimes the word "morals" refers to mores - the traditions and customs of a culture.

As for the term "Ethics" I would suggest you read ETHICAL EXPLORATIONS by Dr. M.C. Katz. Here is a link to it:
http://tinyurl.com/22ohd2x

Also check out the latest sequel, entitled ASPECTS OF ETHICS: Views through a new lens. Use this link: http://tinyurl.com/36u6gpo for Internet Explorer; or the following link, if you prefer Mozilla Firefox:
http://wadeharvey.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/Aspects%20of%20Ethics%20.pdf In the Bibliography to this paper you will find a link to A UNIFIED THEORY OF ETHICS, which not only defines the term 'ethics' but shows how it fits into an entire rational system. I speak of it as 'rational' because
1) It makes sense; and
2) It is do-able.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 02:22 pm
@deepthot,
Good delineation of morals and ethics. Thanks for sharing them.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 10:38 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Good delineation of morals and ethics. Thanks for sharing them.

There is no essential difference... Cicero coined the word morals to translate the idea of Ethics into Latin... It is like the difference between Pagan and Heathen... The country people of Italy whose traditional Gods worked for them were the last to convert to Christianity, and ditto for the people of the heath in England... A difference of place is no difference at all for ideas...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 02:59 am
@Fido,
There's a great deal of difference; morals are established by group think, but ethics is always based on right actions.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 05:40 am
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

There's a great deal of difference; morals are established by group think, but ethics is always based on right actions.

Since they were once identical in meaning; one literally coined to mean the other, where is your authority for such a radical change of meaning??? I do not doubt that their meaning has changed slightly with use, mis-use and misunderstanding; but you will have to sell me on the sort of difference you suggest..
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 12:16 pm
@Fido,
Fido, The following is from wisegeek.com (I agree with this explanation):
Quote:
The difference between ethics and morals can seem somewhat arbitrary to many, but there is a basic, albeit subtle, difference. Morals define personal character, while ethics stress a social system in which those morals are applied. In other words, ethics point to standards or codes of behavior expected by the group to which the individual belongs. This could be national ethics, social ethics, company ethics, professional ethics, or even family ethics. So while a person’s moral code is usually unchanging, the ethics he or she practices can be other-dependent.

plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 01:56 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Not rude but insufficiently thought out.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 02:07 pm
@cicerone imposter,
It seems quite acceptable. Morals being personal and character based while ethics is organizational i.e. the code of honor for military personnel like the Roman woud rather die with honor, the ethical code for doctors such as the Hippocratic Oath.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 02:55 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

It seems quite acceptable. Morals being personal and character based while ethics is organizational i.e. the code of honor for military personnel like the Roman woud rather die with honor, the ethical code for doctors such as the Hippocratic Oath.

Ethics has the meaning od custom or character, that like ones morals come from ones community, and reflect honor or dishonor back upon that community...What makes anyone think morals are personal??? I mean, would morals have any more meaning than any other form of relationship, or behavior if one was the last person on earth??? Morals have meaning because moral life is the sacrifice one makes for membership in ones community... Personal morality is nonsense...
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 02:58 pm
@Fido,
I don't have any views on morals or ethics. I am trying to learn from your responses. I think is character based coming from parents, ethnic community and so on while ethics is professional ie. military, medical, engineers, etc.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 03:45 pm
@cicerone imposter,
From Chapter one of The Origins of Christian Morality, by Wayne Meeks... "Ethics" and "Morality" are often (and correctly, agrees Fido) used synonymously- the one word comes from the Greek, the other from the word that Cicero coined to translate the Greek, but in common speech there is often a nuance of difference on which I want to capitalize in order to make a particular point. Some moral philosophers also distinguish between the two, but not always in the same way, nor usually for the purpose I have in view...I take ethics in the sense of a reflective, second order activity: it is morality rendered self conscious; it asks about the logic of moral discourse, about the grounds for judgement, about the anatomy of duty or the roots and structure of virtue... It is thus that the Oxford English Dictionary has it, "the science of morality" "Morality" on the other hand, names a demension of life, a pervasive and often, only partly conscious set of value laden disposition, inclinations, attitudes, and habits...

The meaning we accept for words is essential to the form of relationship that is language... I think it only adds to the confusion natural to communication if we make up meanings as we go.... The original meaning was the same for both morals and ethics and should remain so... It is because ethics as a study addresses the esprit de corp of any community, its spiritual health which if moral and not demoralized is one its members will literally die to keep, and defend... Morale as morals conveys the same notion, of the spiritual health of a body such as a corp of military...And morale is correctly opposed to physic, or the physical health of a unit... So the synonymous use of the word is absolutely correct...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 03:49 pm
@Fido,
Fido, It doesn't matter how different people define morals and ethics; it's how we perceive those words. Most people use your definitions, but there are nuances to the two words that most people do not bother to learn.

It's not an earth shattering issue; we live with our own perceptions, and we must learn to agree to disagree.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 04:19 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

I don't have any views on morals or ethics. I am trying to learn from your responses. I think is character based coming from parents, ethnic community and so on while ethics is professional ie. military, medical, engineers, etc.

I realize ethics as a word is often used for a code of honor, but the fact is that morals could be substituted for ethics in almost any conversation, and no one would think twice of it... People who try to distinguish between the two fail... The difference is one of perspective, and the result of unethical and immoral behavior is the same...

Both of these quasi concepts are themselves moral forms... There is no physical being in nature one can kill, cut up, and define as morals and ethics... These are meanings without being, and because of that, their meaning will always have a subjective quality that serves the cause of constant conflict... What is love??? It is another moral form... Is my Love, my notion of Love anything like yours, and if not then how will we resolve our difference??? Conflict is easy to find in moral forms and consensus is impossible to locate.... We can never even be sure that words like morals and ethic have even a nearly common meaning without asking... So define it as you will if you will, but there is no better definition than the original, since we may presume that the ancients, living as they did in moral and ethical communities at least had a good idea of what they were refering to...
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 05:03 pm
@Fido,
My initial reaction was that morals was related to religion but since I am not religious I didn't pin it as most cultures have their mores and codes from ancients wisdom and religion. I feel morals is internalized while ethics is externally enforced such as professional conduct boards. Don't mind me as I am feeling my way around based on all your responses.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 09:59 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

My initial reaction was that morals was related to religion but since I am not religious I didn't pin it as most cultures have their mores and codes from ancients wisdom and religion. I feel morals is internalized while ethics is externally enforced such as professional conduct boards. Don't mind me as I am feeling my way around based on all your responses.

The similarity of ethic as a word and ethnic is no accident... And it is cultural, as culture is knowledge, and whether one conceives as such knowledge as from God, or the gods is immaterial... Immorality resulted in disease or disruption of society.... In Oedipus Rex, the plague resulted from incest and paracide... In the story of Orestes, it was the god that demanded vengeance, and while the killing of a parent was thought the greatest of crimes, there is ample evidence that no one but the family could execute a guilty party because their death, whether guilty or not by any other person demanded blood vengeance...You see; society so feared the presence of a murderer that in Attica they would dispose of the body of the killer by throwing him over the border line...

Yes, they cast it all in supernatural terms, and in years with no crime they would select some one as a scapegoat for the unknown crimes of the community to show the gods they were virtuous beyond fault... Their culture told them that evil would result from evil... No one would willingly live beside the guilty because they accepted and practiced group responsibility, as did our early Christian ancestors... And it was for this very same reason that while freedom was nearly complete within ones territory and community, that every person was long schooled in their behavior with others so they did not bring down vengence upon the heads of the innocent... Honor was the quality they demanded of all others and expected from themselves...And to be less than courageous and long suffering was to invite attack from strangers...

Consider the Native Americans... There are accounts of them burning captives and eating them as they went... The Ojibway, for example, are called the Roasters... And their captives all took it in good spirits, and for an example in morality, because it was not for themselves that they accepted such treatment and welcomed more; but because to do less than show themselves courageous and enduring and honorable invited attack upon their homes and families...

We cannot comprehend what horrors people can inflict and endure without annodine, and from our perspective as individuals such acceptance of torture without complaint may well seem weird; but they were not individuals in the same sense as ourselves... Their identity was found and formed in their community, and it helped that they were surrounded by enemies who were thought little different from animals; and dress, behavior, culture, custom, and even bodily mutilation and tattoo were designed to draw a line between ones own, and the animals without... People needed to recognize their own at a glance, but that belonging was bought at the price of moral behavior... People did not do the evil they must themselves suffer, and they did not invite vengeance down upon their heads... That is the essence of morality... It is esprit de corp... It is the life of the community... Not with the greatest effort on earth could we be so moral as the ancients, but it was essential to their survival, as it one day may be essential to us to learn what humanity has long forgotten...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 10:25 pm
@Fido,
You are assigning specific disease and illness to what you consider immoral human activity. That is too simplistic; it's nature that is the culprit. If you have ever studied any disease, it has a tendency to grow out of any immunity humans may develop. Many strains of flu change from year to year, not because humans have "sinned," but because disease is a natural phenomenon of life.

Some disease spread by human contact, but most spread through natural means.

A simple thing like washing ones hand can be a good preventive measure for disease.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2010 10:54 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

You are assigning specific disease and illness to what you consider immoral human activity. That is too simplistic; it's nature that is the culprit. If you have ever studied any disease, it has a tendency to grow out of any immunity humans may develop. Many strains of flu change from year to year, not because humans have "sinned," but because disease is a natural phenomenon of life.

Some disease spread by human contact, but most spread through natural means.

A simple thing like washing ones hand can be a good preventive measure for disease.


Again, Incest results in birth defects, and it is almost a universal moral prohibition...
Uncontrolled sexual behavior spread disease, but also disatisfaction...
With murder and theft, the injury is not only to the immediate victim, but to family and friends...

But once again, look at your word... Disease is not all physical in cause... The word Dis- ease comes from a time when the cause of illness was not nearly so certain, but then, we are plagued with vast amonts of mental illness of one sort or another... Do we think such dis-ease results from no cause??? In fact we know better, and much behavior that could be classed as immoral is behind much of it...
 

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