Morals vs. Ethics



Morals are the guiding beliefs that shape our behaviors. Ethics are the cultural guidelines that society places on us to determine acceptable behavior and expectations. Laws are man made edicts that society has deemed necessary for a functioning society. The difference between the three can be identified by the purpose each value serves. Morality serves the self. The moral beliefs that one adheres to shapes the character and identity of a person. It is part of the pathway that determines the trajectory of their life. One’s ethical beliefs are imposed externally such as one’s immediate environment. An example that comes to mind is the act of female genital mutilation which is practiced in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The mutilation is also called the female circumcision and cutting. This primitive practice is done to girls from the age of birth to 15 years and is erroneously believed to deem a girl “clean” and ready for marriage. In thirty one countries this egregious act is deemed ethical. Which is why it is still practiced to this day. Other countries deem this act as horrifying and a violation  of women’s human rights. Conflict arises when we as a society question is this cultural act as ethical? Answers would surely vary based on the society you live in. Laws are created by governing body. Laws differ by country. These man made regulations are made to ensure peace and order or it is created by those in power to continue to stay in power. How the law is perceived is determined by which side of the law one considers justice.



Female genital mutilation. United Nations Population Fund. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2022, from

Female genital mutilation (FGM) statistics. UNICEF DATA. (2022, June 17). Retrieved October 27, 2022, from 










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