Critical Thinking: Ethics vs. Morality

Despite having differences, both morality and ethics are closely connected and influence one another. Ethics deals with the philosophy of morality, whereas morality ensures ethics are being followed and appropriately maintained through its constraints and determinants.

Morality is defined as a set of codes that prohibits individuals from engaging in wrong deeds. It clearly distinguishes between right and wrong. It is more of the personal obligation of an individual that stems from family, surroundings, and own perception. Morality varies with time, place, and culture. For example, while it is seen as moral for men to have several wives in some cultures, some cultures do not accept the idea of having multiple wives. Again, in ancient times, women were treated as men’s property; this idea is seen to be immoral now.

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On the other hand, ethics define morality by exploring the connection of morality with social norms and cultures and addressing questions about morality. It stems from a societal concept, which has rigor and structure. Ethics are defining tools for morality and are driven by moral laws.

One example can exhibit the connection and difference between morality and ethics. For example, in medicine, the moral code defines whether an individual act or intervention is right or wrong. In contrast, the set of morals that clearly defines the philosophy of right and wrong as pertinent to clinical practice is known as ethics. Like, morality prohibits abortion as long as it is not dangerous for the pregnant woman because it equals killing a person. Based on this moral code, medical ethics will be built, which will not allow abortion.

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