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  Your Decision - Ethics Versus Morals 

March 2012 
Written by: Dame Wotta Tripp 

The Quality Of Your Life Depends On Them 

Many people imagine that morals and ethics refer to the same thing. Are you one of them?

It's true that they both carry a similar meaning, but that doesn't mean they are interchangeable.

At a deeper level, they are subjects which carry many subtle meanings and definitions the study of which represents a complex branch of philosophy and many years of hard work.

Although they both embody the idea of a code of conduct, that can be where the similarity ends, because the impact they each have on your existence might be quite different.

Changing the Moral View
Moving, even across town, can plunge a person into a world that seems alien and even sinister.

Relocating into an area where the majority of people come from a different culture than their own, with perhaps also religious beliefs that are not theirs, can make some people feel self-conscious and unsure of themselves.

This is understandable. It's all one big minefield over which people bravely, or perhaps rashly, fly the tattered remnants of their stained and muddied moral flags.

This has the effect of separating people still further one from another. Life is not very pretty and human beings have a collective habit of baying for blood when they perceive someone as 'not fitting in' or being 'different' from themselves in some way.

If you have recently moved across town to such an area you could well be out of your comfort zone. Out of your comfort zone is really anywhere that presents you with a particular type of culture shock.

Confusing And Difficult
It's simple when you get the hang of it. Or is it?

The application of a moral code may have totally different consequences to the application of an ethical code on the meaning and quality of a person's life.

The word morality translates roughly to 'proper behaviour'.

Morality is really all about the choices we make and what we believe to be 'right' or 'wrong'.

Morals are usually based on learned behaviour, that is the behaviour, the moral code, that we were taught as a working system within our specific family and community as we grew up. Morals are more subjective than ethics.

People who for one reason or another do not believe in the prevailing morals of their community will naturally remain indifferent to them, although many will pretend to care about or obey them for the sake of appearances.

This can lead to a stunningly varied selection of secret habits and lives, some of which are probably being led on the street where you live. Perhaps even by you, dear reader?

We must always remember in the spirit of open-minded tolerance however, that displaying a lack of prevailing moral standards does not always mean that the person or people concerned have no ethical standards. They often do. They are just a different set than the people around them generally use.

This could be because they are rooted in a different cultural or ethnic background, or because someone has thought long and hard about an issue and just plain-old concluded that they strongly disagree with the prevailing moral standard.

And as most people don't think to any real depth about issues, so caught up are they within the sticky webs of their own individually compelling culture-dreams, the one who is perceived as 'immoral' may often in fact be quite right.

A Different Moral CodeAmorality
An amoral person is someone who either doesn't know about or willfully ignores the moral code of the society they live within.

This isn't the same thing as immorality.

It's a fact that most people at some time or other, or even regularly, behave in an 'immoral' manner.

This is interesting, because that implies that people really don't agree with certain moral codes, but rather pretend for each other so that they can remain within the acceptable range of behaviour that everybody agrees on, even though most of them often really don't.

If this seems complicated, it is only because the human mind is a mazed and twisted dungeon of dark and tortuous conflicting ideas and ideals.

How do you like to be treated? At its most basic level, behaving ethically means acting honestly in your dealings with others and being scrupulously fair. It means not taking advantage of anyone.

Treat other people only as you would also like you and your loved ones to be treated and, unless you have masochistic tendencies, you can't go too far wrong.

It also includes having a no-harm policy wherever possible in your attitudes and actions towards the planet we live on and all the life that it sustains.

Examples of Morals and Ethics
Nearly everybody agrees that murder is wrong, both morally and ethically.
With a few notable exceptions it is considered inappropriate for almost all occasions on both moral and ethical grounds.

It is not ethical to steal from people. This happens to be generally true as far as moral standards go as well.

There are many people who believe that there is absolutely no reason why healthy consenting adults should not have safe sex together in private whenever they so please. There is not a single ethical reason why they should not do so.

And yet there are many other people, living dinosaurs, who believe that this shouldn't happen at all. They believe it is morally wrong to have sexual relations outside of a two-person, legally binding, heterosexual marriage, and that women should stay at home and have children too!

No doubt some of them would still burn people at the stake if they could find a way to legally do so. Heaven help all those who dream of freedom!

The Differences Between Us All
Oh how vastly are the bottomless chasms and yawning gulfs that separate humanity one from another!

How sad Dame Wotta Tripp is while she laughs most merrily!

That Simple
Living in a mindful way and never doing to someone else what you would not wish to happen to you or those you love, while doing for others only those things you would also like for you and yours sounds like a very good idea. It's ethical.

This necessarily includes respecting the beliefs and cultures of others and also suspending judgemental behaviour.

We live in a world where it would be absolutely impossible to please everybody.

Wotta Tripp will say it one more time:

We live in a world where it is absolutely impossible to please everybody.

Remember that fact!

So in the end this means that you have to be able to accurately assess a situation with a free and open heart and mind and then behave in a way that you consider to be ethical and which you can live with.

If your choices makes you feel better and help to fulfill you, and if you aren't harming anyone with your actions, then you should take a stand.

Go ahead and wear the strange costume you ordered that arrived in a plain brown wrapper. Get your tin-foil hat out. Have more than one wife or husband. Pursue your fetish for people of profound short stature, even though you stand at 6' 2" in your socked feet and slip before you put your heels on to go to work. Indulge your frightful desire for jellied eels.

Be an individual, but make sure you are accepting of others and help them when you are able, offering love with an *open heart.

Decent people will respect you for it!

Living in an ethical manner may just be that simple! Are you up for it?

*The term 'having an open heart' simply means that you have allowed your heart chakra to open by suspending judgement and offering love and respect to others instead. Energy then begins to flow properly, and loving people, even unconditionally, becomes much easier to do. This is what is responsible for the feeling of warmth that emanates from the heart area when we are deeply moved, uness we have inadvertetly set fire to something in a shirt pocket.
The old saying 'it warms the cockles of my heart' is an apt description. The cockles refer to the interior chambers of the heart.
Animals too are quite capable of feeling the e-motion (energy-in-motion) of love in amenable circumstances.
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Dame Wotta Tripp discusses the difference between morals and ethics and the impact that might have on your life.

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