Morals vs Ethics – The Series (Part Three)

Introduction

 

In this series we have gone over the basics of morals, ethics and have shown the duality that exists between them when they face off. I’m confident that everyone reading this now has a clear understanding on the topic and how it’s up to you to decide your choices in life.

This part in the series in going to be taking a look at the issues that may arise when morals and ethics operate on vastly different levels and why that may happen. I am going to provide some examples, possible reasoning behind the different levels and leave it up to you to decode it how you wish. Showing complexities between morals and ethics is only showing you the choices and not forcing your hand one way to another despite how we may have vastly different opinions.

That is the great thing about this topic in general, no two opinions will be exactly the same and it leads to some great debates.

They Operate On Different Levels?

 

The issue of “why” has always been a personal favorite of mine in everything I do and this topic is no different. You may up until this point have been thinking that the level they operate on are related and most times they are in some degree. Everyone in society has vastly different opinions, life experiences and things to base there morals on but ethics tend to complicate this. Ethics as we have previously explored are very inflexible so we can have vastly different levels of the two relating to a single individual.

In order to specifically tackle the “why” some groundwork must be laid out first

  • Everything from this point forward will deal with societal ethics and not a specific organization unless otherwise stated
  • “High” morals in this context will be consistent with rarely ever doing anything that the individual feels is wrong with “low” being the opposite
  • “High” ethics will mean the individual almost always follows the rules set before them with “low” being the opposite

Take a few seconds to yourself and ponder why they may operate on different levels before I give you my take on the situation. This will help you better understand how much different our opinions may be.

 

Why does that happen?

There are countless reasons why it may happen but I will only touch on a few that I believe will be easy to grasp.

  1. Mental disorders will play a huge role in having them on completely different sides of the spectrum. It is not the end all and be all of the situation but it is one that can’t be changed very easily.
  2. Desensitized to internal or external changes is another one. It operates on a similar level as #1 but one does not need to have a mental disorder to be desensitized to information. This may be done through mental conditioning, they may simply not care or give there actions a second thought to name a few
  3. External pressure to do a certain action may be another possible explanation. We as a species are very susceptible to pressure from others if it is consistent and we tend to modify our behavior towards it.

 

High Morals, Low Ethics

 

Someone who has high morals and low ethics is an interesting choice for certain individuals to encounter. This type of person will feel very little wrong in the choices they are making but society tends to view them as immoral, unjust and sometimes down right evil. More often then not though “ethical duality” will exist which goes to further complicate the issue. An example of such a person can be displayed as follows…

A mobster “killer for hire” is a good example. They may treat society, those they encounter, with the down right sinister regard and they feel nothing about it. To them the choices they are making are just and there is nothing wrong with them. This may be due to a mental disorder, repeated actions dulling there original morals or just simply not having a high baseline moral ground to begin with among other possible explanations. The ethics come into play by society viewing killing as wrong especially when it involves money but it also introduces ethical duality.

As society views the individual as immoral there organization may have a completely different view on the subject and they may take great pride in adhering to that. Ethical duality is almost always at play when someone has high morals and low ethics. What may be considered low ethics to society may not be to an affiliated organization that individual belongs

 

High Ethics, Low Morals

 

Someone who has high ethics and low morals are dangerous individuals in the scope of the topic. Try to think of them as sheep that are simply following orders and without direction they will run amok. Examples such as what I will be showing are rather rare cases out in society but when they do happen anyone who interacts with the individual should be very wary. These types of individuals almost always have another motive at play.

A religious priest is an excellent example to lay the scene for this topic. They are bound by a very strict code of ethics by both the church and society in which they adhere too. They are being told completely what to do without a second thought about it; they have lost the ability to go against the ethics set before them.

The issue of morality comes into play when they have no desire or free will to make there own choices in life despite loathing every second they have to adhere to the ethics. They are not a “good” law abiding citizen by nature but due to there extreme sense to follow rules set before them they are stuck in an internal conflict. They have become a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and this is what makes them very dangerous people. They value there job, the ethics of the church above all else and societal ethics only go to reinforce that belief as sort of a crutch. If they were to loose the church’s reinforcement of societal ethics a tailspin would ensue but even without that duality conflict still rages. This is another type of ethical duality hinging on needing to have both to reinforce a point in which an individual lacks entirely to make up there own mind.

Ethical Duality Is Key

 

It is very unlikely to have such a drastic shift in the levels of morals without some type of ethical duality. Ethics are meant to set ground work for moral choices but they can be skewed in many different ways to the point where societal and organization ethics can be different or exactly the same. This is a huge grey area for many faced with such circumstances but there is no real answer to how an individual will respond to a given situation.

What you should take away from this is that even though mental disorders tend to play a huge part in drastic shifts of morals/ethics it is NOT the only reason and there will always be others at play. Duality is a strange and interesting beast that will touch all of us at some point in our lives. One should not live life avoiding duality but take some time to think about how it would affect you in the given the situation. The more you know about yourself the better prepared you will be to face a world full of conflicting topics.

 

Final Thoughts

 

This was a topic I had sitting on my mind for many months and writing it has been an absolute blast. Some of the debates I’ve had with friends while going on this journey have been fantastic and goes to show how many varying opinions it can bring to the surface. There is no right or wrong answer when talking about morals/ethics and that is the beauty of the process; everyone has there own opinion about what is right for them. I will revisit this topic at some point in the future but for now I plan to move on to other things.

I am not exactly sure what the next series will be or the direction this blog will take but I know for sure it’ll be an interesting ride. If you have an idea feel free to share it no matter the subject.

I hope everyone enjoyed reading “Morals vs. Ethics – The Series” and you took away something about yourself in the process!

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3 thoughts on “Morals vs Ethics – The Series (Part Three)

    • My original goal was to separate it into three distinct parts which has now been completed. There is much more to say about the topic but as of right now it lacks any sort of concrete direction which is needed.

      I’ll end up revisiting “Morals vs Ethics” at some point in the future regardless but it will depend on if concrete direction does happen or if there is an outpouring of questions.

      At least for the moment I plan on attempting to pick up another series or set of questions I feel I can break down properly. I have a few ideas currently but they’re kind of all over the place in my head unfortunately.

      If you have any ideas for future projects I’d love to hear it.

  1. This is a very enlightening piece of information but put up very haphazardly. The part 1 simply defines the two words, explaining how they are different. Agreed.

    Part 2 is the practical part. Would I give my moral values a upper hand or prefer ethics over them? When I was a medical student, a very great professor of mine gave us a scenario one day,” A prostitute comes to you (the doctor) and says she wants an abortion, what will you do? Then a 12 year old girl who was raped is brought by her mother for an abortion, what will you do? A 14 year old involved in illicit relations comes for an abortion, none of the family members know, if the father finds out he will kill both mother and daughter, what will you do?”

    In first scenario, whatever my moral values are, the medical ethics tell me to treat my patient, even if I feel I am committing a sin, religious wise, still… In second case, she is a minor brought in by an adult, my morals, my religion and my ethics all tell me to do the procedure because her pregnancy can be a health risk to her and her baby, they both can die. In third case, I loath the 14 yr old, but still I am not her priest, and I need a consent from an adult to treat her, in that case endangering her life, my medical ethics tell me I’ll be committing a crime if I don’t involve an adult….what should I do? My morals and ethics are on same page but against the child. And we can add a 4th scenario here where a happy couple comes to you, they just don’t want another child! Well, in that case I would never abort the pregnancy. I would prefer my morals over my ethics, they can go to another doctor if they want.

    Part 3 It’s all about conditioning and sensitivity. I believe a person with high morals will be an ethical person because they are prone to following law and order. A person who has low ethics in my view does not have high morals because he doesn’t respect rules. He can disagree with the rules, suggest amendments or find better ways of satisfying his moral values. And also, I do not agree that a priest has high ethics and low moral values. Because I believe religion teaches us morality first. Again if our moral values are high, our ethical values will be high too.

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