Or “ethical” vs “moral”

  • @fubo@lemmy.world
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    276 months ago

    Morality is to do good and refrain from evil; to praise good and condemn evil; to seek out good and keep away from evil.

    Ethics is to figure out what makes something good or evil: understanding what we can mean by those words; and what sorts of actions, motives, or dispositions fall under those categories, and why.

    Justice is to build social systems that promote good and deter evil; including establishing the facts of what someone has done, and prescribing actions to be taken in response.

  • 1bluepixel
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    6 months ago

    I think simply put:

    Morality is an inherent classification of right and wrong behaviors, often the result of tradition, upbringing, and/or society.

    Ethics is a moral system at which one may arrive through philosophy and rational thought.

    Ethics tends to define right and wrong in terms of its impact on human well-being, and not just as a inherent sense of right and wrong. As such, it may arrive at conclusions that feel “morally wrong” but actually perpetuate a greater well-being. (One example being utilitarianism.) This is also its danger, as one may argue oneself into a behavior which is rationally ethical but inherently harmful (e.g. eugenics).

    The power of ethics is that it can be used to derive moral guidelines for new circumstances, such as AI or global ecological considerations. Such considerations can be derived from morality, but they have a tendency to not truly appreciate new variables and instead attempt to reduce new systems to familiar circumstances, thus often missing nuance.

    I’d argue that ultimately, a sound ethical system must be derived from rational ethical thought, gently guided by sound morality as a safeguard against dangerous fallacies.

    • @SeahorseTreble@lemmy.worldOP
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      6 months ago

      Thanks for your reply. :)

      Wouldn’t ethics then define right and wrong in terms of its impact on the well-being of sentient beings, rather than just human well-being?

      And I suppose the difference with morality might be that certain actions that don’t necessarily negatively impact other sentient beings, such as recreational drug use, might still be considered immoral by some due to cultural norms rather than practical considerations about the rightness or wrongness of them?

      • 1bluepixel
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        36 months ago

        I think generalizing the good of human beings to all sentient beings is a great example of how a rigorous ethical discourse can expand traditional morality. The idea of giving rights to great apes is a wonderful example and I hope we can get there soon.

        And likewise, a lot of traditionally “wrong” behaviors can be argued to be morally neutral if they don’t really diminish the well-being of human beings. Sex work is another example.

        • @SeahorseTreble@lemmy.worldOP
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          6 months ago

          I completely agree. Would you, in theory, be in support of giving rights to all sentient beings where possible, ensuring the best possible treatment and experiences of all individuals that have a conscious/subjective experience of life?

          I would ideally like to see humanity extend moral/ethical consideration beyond humans to all animals, hypothetical alien animals, sentient AI, or any other sentients that emerged in future. I believe sentientism is the core underlying philosophy behind this idea of ethics.

  • danhakimi
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    106 months ago

    Originally, ethics were supposed to be a field of philosophy dealing with right and wrong on an individual scale, like virtue ethics, and morals, on a social scale, see “social mores.” Over time, that distinction disappeared, and in some cases got flipped—see, an “ethics committee.” So don’t sweat it, they’re interchangeable, and everybody here is just talking about the connotations they’ve picked up in different contexts.

    • @xmunk@sh.itjust.works
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      16 months ago

      Either you’ve got it backwards or those definitions have effectively flipped. Ethics is the study of what a society finds acceptable - while morals are an internal measure. That is why we consider our own moral compass when making a decision that we know wouldn’t be judged by society at large and why we debate the ethics of laws - I.e. is the death penalty an ethical punishment.

      • danhakimi
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        56 months ago

        or those definitions have effectively flipped.

        Did you finish reading my comment?

      • kadu
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        46 months ago

        No, they’re correct. Ethics is a branch of philosophy, concerned with defining right or desirable behavior using the same rational foundations as philosophy as a whole.

        Morality tries to answer the same questions, but it’s based on societal customs, inherited beliefs, religion, and similar.

  • qevlarr
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    6 months ago

    This is covered in the beginning of this ethics lecture series (at 1:50). Ethics is about expressing your personal values in how you exist in the world, whereas morality is about being in harmony with society.

    Please watch this ethics professor, because I’m just a guy on the internet. The whole channel is worth a watch if you’re interested in philosophy.

    https://youtu.be/OCk4Advab54?si=v6BpavpTYxjeNAaX

  • @teawrecks
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    46 months ago

    Morality is the evolutionary selection pressure that human societies place on themselves.

    Ethics is an attempt to calculate the optimal response to an event, for some definition of “optimal”.

    It’s kinda like the difference between natural language and formal language. One is not designed, not static, and often not self consistent, but consistency isn’t the goal. The other is a rigorously defined system that is scrutinized for inconsistencies, because consistency is the goal.

    • @menturi@lemmy.ml
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      36 months ago

      If I were to concisely put it with a fews word each, would it be a close approxmation to say morality is an automatic response and ethics is a rational response?

      • @teawrecks
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        26 months ago

        Hah, I felt I was already trimming it down to be as concise as I could get it. Maybe ethical systems are always rational, but I wouldn’t take that to mean automatic responses are not rational.

        I think the important part is that morality doesn’t have a central goal and isn’t designed, and ethics does and is.

  • @Rivalarrival@lemmy.today
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    6 months ago

    Legality is a code of behavior shared by society at large.

    Ethicality is a code of behavior voluntarily adopted by disparate individuals as a condition of inclusion in a formally defined community.

    Morality is an individually defined code of behavior. However, morality is often shared by people of similar cultural background: that common background tends to lead them to adopt the same moral code.

  • ℕ𝕖𝕞𝕠
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    26 months ago

    Morality one component of ethics but not the whole. Ethics is the process of figuring out what to do. The other components are aesthetics and practicality.

  • @xmunk@sh.itjust.works
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    26 months ago

    In a philosophical discussion ethics are a societal code while morals are specific to the individual. In the early 90s it was considered unethical for gay men to marry in the US, but I found that prohibition morally repugnant. There is often a difference between ethics and morals but individuals are probably happiest when those two align.

    • @SeahorseTreble@lemmy.worldOP
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      26 months ago

      Interesting, other responses here say it’s the other way round, with morality being more societally-derived and ethics being either more personally interpreted, or more practical/logical in spite of culturally conventional moral ideas.

      Part of why I asked this question is because I seem to see morality and ethics defined to mean the opposite of each other in different places, and this kind of proves that to be the case lol

  • @grayman@lemmy.world
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    -36 months ago

    Ethics is right and wrong. Think stealing and lying.

    Morals are anything to do with life. Taking or creating life is a moral issue. Think kill, murder, rape.

    An issue is typically one or the other. eg It’s morally ok to kill someone in self defense. You wouldn’t say it’s ethical to kill someone in self defense.