Cite this article as:"Ethics & Law," in The Business Professor, updated January 30, 2015, last accessed June 1, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/ethics-law/.
Back to: BUSINESS ETHICS
What is the role of ethics in law?
- Both ethics and law deal with right and wrong and foster social cooperation.
- Society’s ethical values become law through legislation and we often associate complying with the law as ethically correct.
- That the state enforces law but that personal ethics are voluntarily observed.
- Ethical systems are a broader based commitment to proper behavior than law.
- The values found in ethics may be imposed on an individual, but motivation to observe moral rules comes from within.
- That ethical values frequently become law and that legal regulation reflects ethical values.
- –Ex. Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Legal regulation is a significant source of values for business.
- The motivation to observe the law come from outside oneself – i.e., legal consequences.
- Personal ethics is a much higher standard than legal compliance – which is a bare minimum.