What’s the Difference Between Morality and Ethics?

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What’s the Difference Between Morality and Ethics?

Post by ClintBarton » June 7th, 2018, 5:03 am


Generally, the terms ethics and morality are used interchangeably, although a few different communities (academic, legal, or religious, for example) will occasionally make a distinction. In fact, Britannica’s article on ethics considers the terms to be the same as moral philosophy. While understanding that most ethicists (that is, philosophers who study ethics) consider the terms interchangeable, let’s go ahead and dive into these distinctions.
Both morality and ethics loosely have to do with distinguishing the difference between “good and bad” or “right and wrong.” Many people think of morality as something that’s personal and normative, whereas ethics is the standards of “good and bad” distinguished by a certain community or social setting. For example, your local community may think adultery is immoral, and you personally may agree with that. However, the distinction can be useful if your local community has no strong feelings about adultery, but you consider adultery immoral on a personal level. By these definitions of the terms, your morality would contradict the ethics of your community. In popular discourse, however, we’ll often use the terms moral and immoral when talking about issues like adultery regardless of whether it’s being discussed in a personal or in a community-based situation. As you can see, the distinction can get a bit tricky.

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Re: What’s the Difference Between Morality and Ethics?

Post by Belindi » June 7th, 2018, 2:33 pm

This being a philosophy forum it's best to distinguish between the two. I favour using 'morality' in the sociological or social anthropological sense.
Ethics are criteria for evaluating good and may themselves be discarded according to other overarching ethics.

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