Difference Between Ethics and Morality

Ethics vs Morality | Ethics and Moral

Morality and ethics are two words that are closely interrelated. This is why it is common for people to make incorrect usage. It is better to understand the meanings of two words before highlighting their difference. While ethics refers to a code of behavior in reference to a group, whether it is family, community or a nation, morals are more personal in nature. Ethics in a social system refers to a philosophy morality finds application.

Ethics is a very broad term and you can have family ethics, company ethics, social ethics or even national ethics. These are socially accepted codes of behavior applicable in immediate surroundings. For example, there are do’s and don’ts in a company that makes up its ethics and when you are inside the premises of a company, you behave accordingly while you are much more relaxed when you are in your family where there might be another set of ethics. Ethics are principal when it comes to politics and social laws. These ethical standards set parameters for human behavior and help in preventing misconduct and misdeeds such as theft, rape, violence, fraud, and slander. On the other hand these ethics help in spreading feelings of compassion, loyalty and honesty as society has ways of praising such behavior while at the same time reprimanding conducts that are against ethical code of behavior.

Morality is more or less, a personalized form of these ethics as different people set different sets of morals for themselves. Morality refers to a set of beliefs that people believe in and practice accordingly. Morals help a person in choosing a course of action whenever he is in a dilemma. They become a guiding force in life and help in leading a decent, disciplined life.

The difference between ethics and morality gets highlighted when a person works in an organization where ethics are not in conformity with his morals. If the ethics of the company, or the codes of conduct are not in synch with the morality of the person, he may be torn between his morality and these ethics. In life in general, you may have your own views on homosexuality and consider it as immoral but you would be ethically wrong to discriminate against a person if you know he is homosexual.

Let us take another example. Abortion was considered both morally as well as ethically wrong in earlier times. But now that it has been legalized, it is ethically right though your morality may not allow it.


• Ethics are codes of conduct that pertain to a community, family, company or a nation. On the other hand, morality refers to personal sets of beliefs about what is right and wrong

• People have their own morals that may or may not be in sync with society’s ethics