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Lets look at an example of making a decision ethically.
The moral dimension is added when I recognise my decision affects others – my family, the community in which I live – in terms of being able to serve others, rather than simply earn an income.
Thus, I widen my own perspective and discuss with those around me how we should decide.
There is a difference between what I should do in an ethical dilemma, and what should do in a moral dilemma.
In ethical dilemmas, individual decision-making may draw on the frameworks of “must-do” imperatives, utility consequences, the seeking of goodness, or a guiding framework from God.
University of Newcastle provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations View the full list , and these collectively comprise morality – arguably the summation of our value system as human beings.In moral decisions, in which the importance of others and their actual situation in the world, is recognised, community decisions are based on dialogue between all those on whom the decision impacts.That dialogue should aim to be inclusive, non-coercive, self-reflective, and seek consensus among real people, rather than seek an elusive absolute moral truth.The relevance of the distinction is seen when questions such as “how should I act? ” are broadened to Socrates’ question, “how should we live? Granted modern society’s multiplicity of cultures and traditions, resulting in a diverse moral collage, with no single truth easily identifiable, the big moral question is surely, “how should we live together? In approaching such a question, the individual ethical answer can be limited by its essential egotism.It can be restricted to one’s own worldview rather than being inherently aware of the existence and relevance of others.So a conversation about ethical and moral decision-making is important.But problems arise when the terms “ethics” or “morals” are used interchangeably.Terry Lovat does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.Newcastle University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.According to this understanding, “ethics” leans towards decisions based upon individual character, and the more subjective understanding of right and wrong by individuals – whereas “morals” emphasises the widely-shared communal or societal norms about right and wrong.Put another way, ethics is a more individual assessment of values as relatively good or bad, while morality is a more intersubjective community assessment of what is good, right or just for all.