Rights: The University of Waikato Published 20 November 2007 Download

What is a key difference between ethics and morals?


Michael Reiss: A lot of people tend to think that ethics and morals are just the same thing. What other people tend to do is to think that morals are the sort of beliefs that everybody has about what is right and what is wrong.

To have an ethical viewpoint, you have to be able to give some reason for it. So you might feel morally it is wrong to eat animals, for example, but if you have an ethical viewpoint on it, you have to have some sort of analysis, some set of arguments about why it would be wrong to eat animals, or whether it might be wrong to eat certain animals, but acceptable to eat others.