The principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group) “the Puritan ethic”; “a person with old-fashioned values” (a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct) motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
The philosophical study of moral values and rules known as moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, etc.
Major branches of ethics include:
Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth-values (if any) may be determined; Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action; Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations; Moral psychology, about how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is; and Descriptive ethics, about what moral values people actually abide by.
May be defined as the actions an individual takes on himself to ensure his continued survival across the dynamics. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical, it is something he does himself by his own choice.”  According to founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings, Scientology ethics is predicated on the idea that there are degrees of ethical conduct. morality (concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct) morality (motivation based on ideas of right and wrong)
Morality (from the Latin moralities “manner, character, proper behavior”) is a sense of behavioral conduct that differentiates intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Immorality is the active opposition to morality, while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. Morality has two principal meanings:
In its “descriptive” sense, morality refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores that distinguish between right and wrong in the human society. Describing morality in this way is not making a claim about what is objectively right or wrong, but only referring to what is considered right or wrong by people. For the most part right and wrong acts are classified as such because they are thought to cause benefit or harm, but it is possible that many moral beliefs are based on prejudice, ignorance or even hatred.[clarification needed] This sense of the term is addressed by descriptive ethics. In its “normative” sense, morality refers directly to what is right and wrong, regardless of what specific individuals think. It could be defined as the conduct of the ideal “moral” person in a certain situation. This usage of the term is characterized by “definitive” statements such as “That act is immoral” rather than descriptive ones such as “Many believe that act is immoral.”
It is often challenged by moral nihilism, which rejects the existence of an any moral truths, and supported by moral realism, which supports the existence of moral truths. The normative usage of the term “morality” is addressed by normative ethics. Islamic ethics (أخلاق إسلامية), defined as “good character,” historically took shape gradually from the 7th century and was finally established by the 11th century. It was eventually shaped as a successful amalgamation of the Qur’anic teachings, the teachings of the Sunnah of Muhammad, the precedents of Islamic jurists (see Sharia and Fiqh), the pre-Islamic Arabian tradition, and non-Arabic elements (including Persian and Greek ideas) embedded in or integrated with a generally Islamic structure.
Although Muhammad’s preaching produced a “radical change in moral values based on the sanctions of the new religion and the present religion, and fear of God and of the Last Judgment”, the tribal practice of Arabs did not completely die out. Later Muslim scholars expanded the religious ethic of the Qur’an and Hadith in immense detail. The core of the Western ethics is supposed to be Judeo Christian values. But, the real Judeo-Christian ethics has little difference from the Islamic ethics. This is because Muhammad (peace be upon him) came in the same line of prophetic religion, as Moses and Jesus; he taught the same morals, within the same framework of Semitic tradition. Muslims worship the same–One and Only–Creator, as Jews and Christians do.
If we adopt a more inclusive “Abrahamic” view, Islam can no more be considered “the other”
In short, there is little difference between the core ethics of the West and Islam. This is despite the materialism and utilitarianism is now dominant in certain circles, which is abhorrent to Islam. But, in fact, it is abhorrent to the real Judeo-Christian tradition too..
Hameed goes on to explain why there is no real difference between Islam and Western ethics, though relating to his arguments will require a whole different article. More basic, is to understand what Hameed is doing here. He’s playing with the terms used so they will fit his view. Of course, once you ignore the meaning of ‘Islam’, ‘Judeo-Christian’ and ‘Western’, you can come to the conclusion that their core ethics are the same.
Hameed is right that the core of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is similar. They are all based on the same Messianic laws that developed around 3000 years ago. However, the big difference between Judeo-Christian laws and Islamic laws is that the Judeo-Christian society developed.
Jewish scholars throughout the ages did not shy away from reinterpreting the Messianic laws in accordance with the current norms. And so, if it says in the Torah “an eye for an eye”, the Jewish scholars explained that this is merely an issue of payment.
Laws which were relevant to an earlier type of society, such as Levirate marriages (a custom which required that a man marry his brother’s widow if the deceased died childless) are now simply forbidden according to Jewish law.
It is enough to take a look at another one of Hameed’s answers about stoning to understand that in Islam that is not the case. If stoning was prescribed 1400 years ago as the punishment for adultery, then it will be the punishment today, no matter how barbaric it seems.
Hameed can go on and on about why stoning will only be used in certain cases and why adultery is so bad that it is requires stoning. That has nothing to do with ethics. Nobody today claims that adultery is ‘good’. However, stoning as a punishment, is seen as barbaric. No Jew today would consider stoning a person to death, despite it being clearly written as punishment in the Torah. In fact, death as punishment is not accepted today by Judaism, and the Jewish state does not punish serious offenders, such a serial murderers and terrorists, with the death sentence. Ethics: choosing principles of conduct as a guiding philosophy. Morals: conforming to a standard of right behavior.
Here is where I see the difference. Morals, to be sure, are rules and standards that we are told we must “conform” to when deciding what is “right” behavior. In other words, morals are dictated to us by either society or religion. We are not free to think and choose. You either accept or you don’t! We are taught by society and religion that you “shall not lie” or you should “give to the poor” or you must “love others as you would have others love you” or you must do something because it is “your moral obligation.” The key issue with “morals” is that you are expected to “conform to a standard of right behavior” and not question that “conforming” or you are not a “moral” person. But again, where do these “morals” come from to which we are expected to “conform”? Yep, from society and/or religion, but not from YOU, and that’s what bothers me.
Ethics, on the other hand, are “principles of conduct” that YOU CHOOSE to govern your life as a guiding philosophy that YOU have chosen for your life. Again, call it semantics if you want, but I see a big difference between “conforming” and “choosing.” With MORALS the “thinking has been done;” with ETHICS there’s a freedom to “think and choose” your personal philosophy for guiding the conduct of your life. I like to watch movies about the “mafia” or TV shows like the “Sopranos.” The people on these shows are extremely devoted people to their families and religions, but they have somehow “morally justified” their actions of killing, stealing, and lying. How is it that these extremely devoted family men and supposedly devoted members of the Catholic religion think that what they are doing is moral is a mystery to me. Yet they wear their “crosses,” cross themselves, love their kids, and dedicate themselves to the “family” while killing people who get in the way. Now that’s an interesting morality. But morals don’t stop there. Think of all the hundreds of cultures who have totally different ideas of morality. Some cultures think it is perfectly fine to have as many wives as they want; some think only one wife is moral in the eyes of God. Some cultures think that it is fine to steal if you need food; other cultures think that stealing is stealing and is never morally justified. Some cultures think that “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” judgment is fine; other cultures think that this type of moral thinking is barbaric.
When you leave MORAL THINKING to society and religion, there is no such thing as “absolute morality.” So, is there any such thing as a 100% MORAL PERSON? I think not, at least based on the criteria, culture, society, and religion telling us what our morals should be. ETHICS are a totally another matter. With ethics, you are free to choose your personal philosophy of conduct to guide your life. You are not dependent on the judgment of society or religion “based in fear” when making your ethical decisions. For example, I believe in telling the truth not because God may curse me, but because it is the right and best thing to do based on my personal ethics. I believe in being 100% faithful to my wife, not because adultery is a sin, but because being true to your wife is the smart and right thing to do. It is a better and happier way to live, again not because God will send me to hell if I commit adultery, but because it is the right and best way to live my life based on my ethical way of seeing things. I believe in keeping the laws of the land, however, I am not living my life based on the rules of society and religion, but solely based on a pragmatic and ethical way of living. I don’t refrain from stealing because I’m afraid I might go to jail.
I don’t steal because I have decided not to steal based on my ethics. I don’t have to be commanded to give to the poor. I concern myself with giving to and helping the poor based on my ethics.I have the freedom to choose and if I am smart, I will choose personal ethics that will enrich my life and the lives of others. As with all other freedoms, there is always the risk that I will make ethical decisions that could cause me to drift over to the “dark side.” That’s the problem with the freedom to choose or free agency. Anytime we allow people the freedom to choose, we also give them the freedom to make bad choices. If you want to make bad ethical decisions that will make you, and perhaps others, unhappy, then you can. However, if you want to make good ethical decision that will make you and others happier, you have the freedom to make those ethical decisions too. I choose personal ethics to govern my life that make me happier, while I strive to enrich the lives of others. It’s the ethical thing to do based on my personal ethics. You don’t have to tell me not to lie, not to steal, not to kill, not to commit adultery, etc. I have already made my ethical decisions to NOT do those things. You don’t have to tell me to give to the poor, love my neighbor and my enemies, use my free agency for good, etc. I have already made these personal ethical decisions.
I choose my principles of personal conduct because I have thought about them. My ethics are my ethics, and yet interestingly enough, they almost always agree with society and religion. The only difference is I made these decisions. My personal thinking determines my ethics. I made these ethical choices. Not because I was told by society or religion to think a certain way but because I thought it was the best way to live a complete and fulfilled life of happiness. Freedom to think is a great concept. We ought to use this freedom more often. Think about it. Larry John is the international author of Think Rich to Get Rich, a detailed outlining of the 4 pillars of wealth, and Larryisms, an introduction to pragmatic thinking. He owns a successful advertising agency and enjoys his many entrepreneurial plots and adventures including: real estate, sales and marketing, public relations, publishing, radio broadcasting ([http://www.radioarizona.net]), and many more.
He is also the founder of The Pragmatic Thinker found at ThePragmaticThinker.com. His first book has been reprinted in several different languages and the exposure continues to grow. His second book will be released in October of 2007 and is available at amazon.com and ThePragmaticThinker.com. It is also available through Baker & Taylor. Larry enjoys applying pragmatic principles of thinking to his business and his personal life and finds that through a greater understanding, a higher level of success and happiness is achieved. For instance fox hunting in England was ethical till the other day, because that was the tradition, and there was no law against it. But the recent legislation banning it made it illegal, and the widespread protests against the evil nature of the sport caused a cessation of the tradition supporting it, and therefore it became unethical. Morals on the other hand are made of sterner stuff, and usually do not change. It will for instance always be immoral to murder another human being, no matter who the person committing the act is.
Ethics are well defined and quite neatly laid down. Take the case of professionals like doctors and lawyers. They know what the ethics of their profession dictate. A doctor will never divulge his patient’s medical history to anyone other than the patient himself, unless authorized by the later, or required under law to do so. Similarly a lawyer will never compromise his client’s interest notwithstanding his own disposition towards his client. But morals are of a subliminal nature and deciding upon what constitutes them is not that easy. We know of moral dilemma, not an ethical one. Take the case of abortion. Is it moral? On the one hand there may be extremely compelling grounds in its favor, but is taking a human life, even if not fully formed, ever going to be considered a moral act? Following ethics is therefore a relatively simple affair; after all it only involves a set of socially acceptable guidelines which benefit all. Morals are however relatively difficult to adhere to.
The religious sect of Jains in India believes that the only matter which can be consumed by human beings is leaves and fruit which have fallen off trees. No grain, no dairy products, no eggs, nor any meat. Why they are supposed to cover their mouths and noses with a piece of cloth, so that they may not inadvertently kill microscopic organisms by the very act of breathing. Now those are tough morals to follow! We can clearly see that morals and ethics though seemingly similar are in fact quite distinct. While the former constitute a basic human marker of right conduct and behavior, the latter is more like a set of guidelines that defined accepted practices and behavior for a certain group of people.
1. Ethics relates to a society whereas morality relates to an individual person.
2. Ethics relate more in a professional life while morals are what individuals follow independently.
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