Difference Between Law and Ethics
Ever since we were kids and became aware of our surroundings, our parents and elders have instilled in us a fundamental awareness of what is right and wrong. Â It is actually an inherent trait of all humans and grows from our desire to get along well with each other in order to live a harmonious life.
To achieve this goal we understand that we must do to other people what we expect them to do to us in return. Â For this, we try very hard to do what we feel and see as the right things to do in certain situations. Â Â This is the foundation of ethics. Â They are rules of conduct that shows how our society expects us to behave and are the guiding principles behind the creation of laws.
Based on society’s ethics, laws are created and enforced by governments to mediate in our relationships with each other. Â Laws are made by governments in order to protect its citizens. Â The judiciary, legislature, and public officials are the three main bodies in a government that are assigned to the task of the creation of laws.
Laws have to be approved and written by these three branches of government before they are implemented and enforced by the police and the military, with the help of the legal system consisting of lawyers and other government servants.
While laws carry with them a punishment for violations, ethics does not. Â In ethics everything depends on the person’s conscience and self worth. Â Driving carefully and within the speed limit because you don’t want to hurt someone is ethical, but if you drive slowly because you see a police car behind you, this suggests your fear of breaking the law and being punished for it.
Ethics comes from within a person’s moral sense and desire to preserve his self respect. Â It is not as strict as laws. Â Laws are codifications of certain ethical values meant to help regulate society, and punishments for breaking them can be harsh and sometimes even break ethical standards.
Take the case of the death penalty. Â We all know that killing someone is wrong, yet the law punishes people who break the law with death. Â Â With this comes the argument about whether laws are necessary at all. But it is important to note that without laws people are aware of the chaos that might reign in society.
Ethics and laws are therefore necessary to provide guidance and stability to people and society as a whole.
1. Ethics are rules of conduct. Â Laws are rules developed by governments in order to provide balance in society and protection to its citizens.
2. Ethics comes from people’s awareness of what is right and wrong. Â Laws are enforced by governments to its people.
3. Ethics are moral codes which every person must conform to. Â Laws are codifications of ethics meant to regulate society.
4. Ethics does not carry any punishment to anyone who violates it. Â The law will punish anyone who happens to violate it.
5. Ethics comes from within a person’s moral values. Â Laws are made with ethics as a guiding principle.
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