Morals vs. Ethics

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Morals vs. Ethics

Postby Tyme_Brintain » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:29 pm

i thought that i would make a thread that had to do with the difference between morals and ethics because i had an argument over what the difference between them is...if anything at all...and i wanted to see what other people though as well.

my personal opinion is that morals are really something that you believe in purely and ethics are something that you have reasoned out.

i.e.: stealing
the morals behind not stealing would be that you heavily believe that it is wrong.
the ethics behind not stealing would be that you won't steal because you have a chance of getting caught and doing jail time and that is against what you want.

this also poses the thought that, unlike most people, some people use morals and ethics not only to back up their "good" ideals but also their "bad" ideals to make them feel better about doing something that could possibly get them into trouble or hurt.


feedback on my theory and original theories would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Jebus » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:18 pm

Hmm, ethics, that's a tough one. I just don't know. If only there was like this resource where we could look up the exact meanings of words instead of inventing half-baked theories about them.

Well, if such a resource were to exist, maybe it would tell you that ethics are:
Main Entry: eth·ic
Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos
Date: 14th century
1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics><Christian ethics> bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>

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Postby Tyme_Brintain » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:42 pm

i had created this thread in the hopes of actually stimulating people to think and create what you call "half-baked" theories rather than just quote some definition that uses either the same word in the definition or the other word in the definition which your post clearly uses the word "moral" in a definition for "ethics"

apparently i did something against your ethical thought process by trying to get people to think for themselves rather than use definitions set down by society.

i have my thoughts and others have their own, including you.
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Postby Jebus » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:45 am

i had created this thread in the hopes of actually stimulating people to think and create what you call "half-baked" theories rather than just quote some definition
Ah, sorry, I didn't realise you didn't actually want the right answer.

Ok, I think morals are spirit-beings that fly around us (but we can't see them because they're in the spirit world) and are constantly trying to direct our path towards doing what is the Good by communicating with us telepathically. I think this is what we believe to be our conscience.

Ethics, on the other hand, are small, miniature gnome creatures, about four inches tall, that hang from the hem of our trousers. Ethics can see morals, and they try and shoo them away so they can force us to act in more self-serving ways.

Really, it's the age old battle between good and evil.

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Postby locke » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:21 am

*Team Ethics!
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby Tyme_Brintain » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:20 pm

interesting theory and if this is true then i would like to catch and study said creatures.

as for right answers, people are entitled to their own thoughts...unless you think everything in society is correct and that every person should be like you and accept everything that is defined for them.
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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:01 am

I can assure you that that does not describe Jebus.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby Tyme_Brintain » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:06 am

I can assure you that that does not describe Jebus.
i sincerely hope that Jebus is not like that and is a free thinking individual but i do not appreciate that my attempt to stimulate others into thinking for themselves on this particular topic has been met with contempt. nor do i feel that someone who does not plan on being serious to the purpose of this thread has the right to be condescending to anyone who would, including myself, post here.
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Postby Jebus » Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 am

I don't know what you mean by society being "correct", I do however think that the dictionary is correct, and that words can't mean something they don't mean just cause you want 'em to, because then language becomes meaningless. I also think that yes, everyone should be just like me.

In all honesty though, Tuberculosis, the reason nobody has responded apart from mean old me is because not too many people are interested in your schoolyard philosophy. Ethics and morals are synonyms (I was trying to show you that by giving you the definition that used one of the words heavily to eplain what the other was), if any difference exists between them I would say that "ethics" is generally used in a more official and secular manner, while morals are more loosely defined.

But, now that you've had a bit of hazing from me; welcome to PWeb! I like being mean to people, but mostly everyone else likes being nice, so stick around!

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:47 am

There's a reason they're synonyms, as the etymology of the word explains.


The English word "ethics" came into being in the 17th century and meant, you guessed it, "the science of morals."

Some earlier history, if you care: ethics became the plural form of the Middle English ethik, meaning "study of morals." Ethik had derived itself from the Old French ethique, which had derived itself from the Late Latin ethica, which had derived itself from the Greek ethike philosophia, all of which meant "moral philosophy." And it all traces back to the Greek word "ethos," which means, you guessed it, "moral character." The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology is such a wonderful book.

Additionally, Cicero's de Fato would probably be helpful to you.
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