If you agree with the definitions that follow, do freethinkers havr morals or ethics, or a combo?
Ethics: A system of thinking about correct behaviour that comes from personsl introspection.
Morals: A system of thought about behaviour that is based on some outward form od authority such as government ornreligion.
I agree: morality is "ideal", an essence. Ethics is how that plays out in the real world.
In the course of studying morality I've come across three separate, though complementary, ways of looking at it.
- a small set of moral values which are shared by almost everybody
- a specific set of behaviours which have co-evolved with us, to do with getting along with each other, and which are largely shared by the other social mammals
- an objective, almost mathematical essence which forms the basis of religion and spirituality.
There are also things that don't fit into any of those categories. Observations. Proverbs. Illustrations.