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What is Morality?

Morality is right conduct. It comes in the form of


sympathy, empathy, moral philosophy and
adopting laws and traditions, it is what regulates
our behaviour. Morality is the highest standard
for human behaviour. It is also based upon self-
understanding because if you do not understand
yourself, you will not be able to understand
others, their behaviour and the nature of being
human. It is human nature that creates what we
are and our rules for behaviour.
All behaviour is judged based on how well or how
poorly it fulfils our basic and higher human
responsibilities. These obligations come in the
form of human instincts such as the
mothering/parental instincts, self-preservation
and others which create all of our most important
daily and life-long behavioural goals. The proper
behaviours that fulfil these human
responsibilities in turn then lead to newer, higher
goals to fulfil, to complete.
What is moral is behaviour that fulfils human
instinctual responsibility for oneself and all others
affected by ones behaviour for the longest period
of time, preferably a lifetime. What is right is to
fulfil the requirements of comfort, well-being and
social-acceptability, all facets of that instinct for
oneself and one’s family and neighbours. What
would be moral is to fulfil those same
responsibilities for oneself, one’s family,
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neighbours, community and others who would
benefit from that persons words, actions and
behaviours.

What is Ethics?
Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-
founded standards of right and wrong that
prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in
terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society,
fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example,
refers to those standards that impose the
reasonable obligations to refrain from stealing,
murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical
standards also include those that enjoin virtues
of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical
standards include standards relating to rights,
such as the right to life, the right to freedom from
injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards
are adequate standards of ethics because they
are supported by consistent and well-founded
reasons.

Secondly, ethics refers to the study and


development of one's ethical standards. Ethics
also means, then, the continuous effort of
studying our own moral beliefs and our moral
conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the
institutions we help to shape, live up to standards
that are reasonable and solidly-based.

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What is the relationship
between ethics and morality?
• Of the two terms, morality seems to carry a
more religious connotation. Many religions
impose their moral imperatives on their
followers which can be teachings on right and
wrong and how to treat your fellow man.
Ethics on the other hand can be man-made.
Ethics determine the practices and
procedures of the professions such as law,
medicine, and teaching.
• Both morality and ethics have roots in animal
instinct: ethics in the mechanisms that allow
peers to function consistently, and morality
in the responses that enable authorities
(parents, leaders, etc.) to draw obedience in
different situations.
• Ethical systems most often encapsulate
concepts of the responsibilities of peers
toward one another and the duties of the
“one-up” towards the “one-down” members

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in a relationship of unequals. Moral systems
most often encapsulate concepts of the
responsibilities of subjects to authorities.
• The core of an ethical system can be derived
from a combination of observation and
“rational self-interest”. By contrast, virtually
no part of a typical moral system can be
derived from any outside source, except the
dogma of an associated religion.
• Internalized moral values tend to be more
compelling than internalized ethical values.
Moral values produce a strong emotional
response. The response to behaviour
considered unethical is usually directly
related to its objective consequences.