Describe the difference between ethics and morality and provide an example to support this thought.

The difference between morality and ethics is subtle but distinct. Morality refers to personal values shaped by environment, while ethics refers to rules or guidelines that delineate right and wrong within specific groups or communities.

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It is difficult to determine the difference between ethics and morality, as many people use these words interchangeably. An article in Psychology Today defines ethics as a moral code, which further blurs the issue. However, most formal definitions make the distinction that morality refers to personal convictions as to what...

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It is difficult to determine the difference between ethics and morality, as many people use these words interchangeably. An article in Psychology Today defines ethics as a moral code, which further blurs the issue. However, most formal definitions make the distinction that morality refers to personal convictions as to what is good and right or bad and wrong. These values are formed by individuals, based on the environment in which they are surrounded as they are brought up, including their family, friends, religion, and culture. On the other hand, ethics refers to guidelines on right and wrong within specific groups or organizations. These can include businesses, professions, nations, religions, societies, or communities. With this distinction between ethics and morality, we can look at a few examples.

Some societies may consider abortion legally and medically ethical. However, within those societies, individuals may have been brought up to believe that abortion is morally wrong. In this instance, the ethics of the societies clash with the morality of their individual members.

Another situation in which ethics and morality might clash is in a courtroom. Legal ethics might compel a defense lawyer to defend a client even though the lawyer may be convinced that the client has done something morally wrong.

Personal morality and business ethics frequently clash in the workplace, where greed for profits overrides considerations of right and wrong. Workers have moral obligations to their families, but they may be forced by companies to work long hours and ignore the need to spend time with their dependents. According to business ethics, it is perfectly legitimate to work long hours in pursuit of profit, but this comes at the cost of personal morality.

We see, then, that morality is more personal, while ethics involve the rules or guidelines of communities or organizations.

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