Typically, the law tells us what we are prohibited from doing and what we are required to do. It is said that the law sets minimum standards of behavior while ethics sets maximum standards.
Ethics provides us with guides on what is the right thing to do in all aspects of life, while the law generally provides more specific rules so that societies and their institutions can be maintained. Ethics engages our thinking and also our feelings, including those of disgust and guilt.
Ethical behavior is not always best defined within the confines of the law.
Something may be legal but we may consider it unacceptable. And we may consider something right but it may not be legal. Many companies are facing a public backlash for not paying adequate tax in a number of jurisdictions. While this may not be an illegal activity, it is considered wrong and we are looking to the law to make sure it does not allow it.
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