Ethic(s)- the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
Moral(s)- of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior
Distinction without a difference?
In the research, several attempt to distinguish these concepts were noted; one of particular note.
“Ethics is the rules for deciding proper conduct. While not absolutely timeless, ethical principles change very little though the ages. Morality is the standards for behavior that exist at some point in time. Compared to ethics, morality undergoes changes frequently. Compared with ethics, morality is more like a snapshot taken of something moving. Since the principles of ethics are more fundamental and stable, ethics is bigger than morality. Ethics is able to call morality - the existing standards for conduct - into question, and cause morality to change. As an example, consider slavery. Once it was considered moral to own slaves. Over time, ethics called the morality of slavery into question and the eventual result was that slavery was no longer considered moral.” Ethics and Morality George Desnoyers
Another example could be the evolution of the swimsuit with respect to moral standards over the past 100 years in the US, Europe and Brazil.
How about this thought? Ethics are a standard; right wrong, good evil, Yankee fan, Red Sox fan; no shades of gray. Morals on the other hand, reflect a form of relativism, changing to reflect the current state acceptable behavior as defined in the selected population base.
While we are on the topic, how does integrity fit into the discussion? Ethics, morality, integrity are all parts of the same coin; how we want to operate, how we want to be perceived, how we want others to deal with us.
Consider this as the classical ethics and compliance discussion. Ethics are the standard; compliance is the legal interpretation of meeting the various rules set up to ensure ethical conduct.
These are incredibly challenging issues and you may find that only recourse to operate within fundamental values can you navigate in the challenging environment in which we all live.
More to follow. Your thoughts?