I was "Driving along in my automobile..." and out of the blue I was asked the difference between morals and ethics. BANG! What should have been a simple question set up a chain-reaction of thoughts that led me to say (feebly), I will look-it-up.
It's not that I needed help with the words themselves it's just that I realised, in that moment, that the way society regulates itself is changing so much that the question was worth a lot more thought.
For context: whilst waiting in a supermarket car park, I saw a 'decent' looking middle-aged woman load her upmarket car and then 'dump' her trolly right in the middle of the roadway (the trolly holder place thingy, was only a few yards away). My question was, if society has changed so much that apparently decent people think it's acceptable to act this way, what will real 'yobs' get up to?
So - having read about the rights of the individual, that morality may not be 'universalizable' and that the influence of christian morality may be diminishing, I have come up with my answer -
'Morals represent what is accepted as right and wrong within any given societal group. Ethics concerns how a societal group uses their 'moral-sense' to control the actions of it's members.'
The problem now is my wife has probably forgotten the question. Oh well, it keeps me off the streets.