Meta talk:Historical/Ethics vs. Morals
|This page was previously nominated for deletion. Before doing so again, please review these discussions. (k/d/n)
Hi Bruce, I see you're emboldened again--that's good. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but this ain't an encyclopedia article. It might be a brilliant article, for all I know, but it isn't an encyclopedia article. We've already discussed this. Hence, it needs to be renamed (e.g., "Bruce Hamilton on morals vs. ethics"), reworked (so that it is an encyclopedia article), or removed. --LMS
Fine with me. I can't rename it of course, lacking the administrator's buttons. How about "Essay on Morals vs Ethics" or something. I am not interested in having my name in the title.
You can replace the text on the page with
#REDIRECT Page name. "Essay on Morals vs. Ethics" doesn't uniquely identify your thoughts on the subject. What if someone else wants to write an essay on morals vs. ethics? The title I suggested is a perfect description of the contents, I thought. In fact, I think it would be best if you would make Bruce Hamilton and then put it in a subdirectory of that: Bruce Hamilton/Morals or Ethics. Then everyone would be happy, I dare say. --LMS
How about this - I make a subcategory called "commentary," so that if someone is looking for informal writing on the subject they can dive into that, and then I put my name on my article. I cannot for the life of me imagine someone reading anything because they saw my name, thought "aha!" and followed the link. However, by clearly labeling it commentary and placing it below the actual subject in heirarchy, we create an area where people may, if they wish, create a pool of their personal views.
OK, I made a Wikipedia commentary page, which is linked from the HomePage. I also made a rule which I will try to enforce :-) : essay-type stuff should be titled either Wikipedia commentary/Like this or as a subpage of the author's page: Larry Sanger/Like this. --LMS
Ethics and Morals 
In the vernacular is where to turn for guidance on a distinction between the two. What is intended by the use of one over an other. Think about the most common application of the term "ethical," it is usually refering to a set of guidlines agreed upon by a group for the purpose of creating mutually beneficial realtionships it implies an expectation by a group for the group. If something is "moral" or "immoral" it is usually in the context of a judgement, a personal expression of right or wrong. We voice or morals when we work as a group to define our ethics. Defining moral and ethics allow their to be conflict between the two ideas and so better enhances our ability to communicate complex thoughts. For example: Someone might believe homosexuality to be immoral but as a society we do not view it as unethical. In the process of everyone expressing their moral point of view we create the ethical guidlines that apply to the group, as in the case of evaluating gay marriages, and the extending of marriage rights to homosexual couples. Another example something can be moral but not ethical, if I refuse to testify against a freind or family memeber I am making a moral judgement about what is right for me to do, but in our society we agree that the pursuit of truth is more important. To say that ethics and morals are synonyms fails to not only express a trend evident in the usage of the terms, but denies the value of making a distinction between two related but unique ideas.
morals.... historical, culturally defined, deals with customs and traditions. nobody can adopt their "own" moral code, they can only choose between existing moral traditions. often there is an ethical rationale, but there need not be. for instance, many cultures have participated in sacrifice as a moral custom, but the ethics of this are questionable at best.
ethics.... arguably MUCH more platonic, ethics exist as an ultimate goal of personal human inquiries. ethics are questioned and defined on ones own terms, even if they are defined with moral codes in mind. completely relative to the individual. ethics are really a matter of philosophy, while morals are a matter of traditional practice. there are ethical debates of morals that concern their ethical worth (or lack thereof). morals ARE NOT a matter of good or evil... good/evil are ethical debates. moral customs are often derived from such ethical debates, or rationalized by such ethical debates.
i guess this might simplify it... MORALS: somebody participating in the custom of "put your napkin on your lap when you eat at the table" ETHICS: somebody questioning or buying into the worth of such a custom (note... as ethics are entirely theoretical entities, ethics can exist independent of tradition and custom)
Morals and Ethics are they the same? 
Morals consist of core beliefs that cross all or at least most belief systems. While Ethics are used to determine what is acceptable, within ones own sphere of living.
For example I know of no society that finds murdering of another person acceptable, thence a moral issue. Yet most societies will concede that to take another’s life in self defense is alright. Again, likely a moral issue. Though I personally believe it is for most people an ethics question. If one kills another person for food within the confines of a cannibalistic society then that is a ethics issue. For the reason that the person killed would be an outsider. And therefore, the person killed was not a member, of their own group.
Let's use also an example of a French man lying to German soldier about Jewish people that were hiding in their home, when asked, "Are there any Jews in your house?"
Lying can be both a ethical and moral issue. When is it lying? If one withholds the truth by silence that could be considered a moral issue, as it would be considered a lie by omission. Yet most courts of law allow one not to self incriminate themselves, so in that case it could be ethical issue, in that it was an ethically correct thing to do. Yet it would still be wrong morally.
Now back to the question of the German soldier. The French man says to the German soldier, "No sir, there are no German Jews here." He told the truth as there were no German Jews, there only a few Polish Jews. That would be ethical. However the French man morally lied because he understood that was not the question, that the soldier asked.
Or he could say, "No sir, there are no Jews in my house.” A lie? Lying is transgression in all socialites I believe? So this would most certainly be a moral issue in this case.
As this is getting quite long, I will sum it up this way. Morals are issues of right and wrong, of good and bad, or of good and evil that are considered the same across a vast number of belief systems. While, ethics consist of social and legal concepts of what is approved as acceptable within a certain society or subgroup of that society.