Even though at first glance morals and ethics appear to be the same, when we study them a little we can see clearly that this is not the case. Morals pertain to or are concerned with the principles or rules of the correct conduct or the distinction between right and wrong. Ethics on the other hand, refer to a system of principles, or the rules of conduct recognised in a society or group of people. This is to say that ethics define the code of conduct in a society, while morals search more deeply into the fundamental difference between right and wrong â€“ they are more personal and spiritual. Ethics are flexible to a certain extent while morals are not.
Recently it has become fashionable to talk of ethics rather than morals as ethics provide an â€śescape routeâ€ť, and this is very useful in todayâ€™s society. Something that may be morally incorrect may be correct ethically.
An example that we can all understand is that of hunting. Hunting as a â€śsportâ€ť is legal in most places, and due to this fact is not considered ethically incorrect, but no one can argue that it is morally correct to kill for fun.
Itâ€™s very convenient today to talk of ethics and not morals; itâ€™s very convenient to live in a cloud of righteousness and to avoid focussing deeply on how exactly we live. Itâ€™s very convenient also to trick ourselves into believing that we live well, ethically speaking, and to think that this is enough.
But the world in which we live is in a lamentable situation and is worsening even as you read these lines. The code of ethics of our society are based on values that will not lead us to a positive future, neither health wise, nor economically speaking, and certainly not on a personal level. Never before has there been such a high level of people suffering from illnesses, both physical and mental. We must change.
Here, Iâ€™ve been speaking generally, as this subject is important for everyone. But speaking more locally, this weekend there are elections, and therefore itâ€™s the perfect time, for those of you who are able to vote, to think carefully before taking your decisions. You should analyse your motives, and those of the politicians, and not let yourselves be guided by a code of ethics, which may in fact be morally incorrect.
We are all responsible for our selves â€“ we shouldnâ€™t judge others, only be conscious and responsible of our own actions. Itâ€™s never too late to decide to live under a moral code.