Law vs. Ethics

Difference between Law and Ethics

Law and ethics are terms that are associated with management science. These two are applicable to people from all walks of life, and are important in ensuring a peaceful society.

What is Law?

Laws are a set of universal rules that are consistent, published, accepted, and enforced. It comes in written form and has to be consistent so as not to confuse the people in which rule to follow. Since everyone is compelled to follow the law, it must be applicable to everyone. Disobeying the law can lead to punishment.

What is Ethics?

Ethics defines how individuals prefer to interact with each other. It comes from the Latin words ‘ethos’, meaning character, and ‘mores’, meaning customs. It involves right versus wrong. Unlike laws, ethics are not required to be in written form and therefore cannot be compelled unto people. It also doesn’t have to be applicable to everyone. In fact, ethics totally depends on how the individual chooses to interact with others. Although not punishable by law, ethical decisions also have different consequences and outcomes.

In summary:

  • Law and ethics are terms that are associated with management science
  • Laws come in written form while ethics do not
  • Everyone is compelled to follow the law while not everyone is compelled to follow ethics
  • Laws have to be applicable to everyone while ethics do not
  • Disobeying the law can lead to punishment while making unethical decisions can have different consequences and outcomes

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