Conceptual juggling : What is the difference between ethics & integrity?

Integrity is being true to your word.

Ethics is making sure of the moral worth of that word.

Ethics tells us what is right/wrong & good/bad, but one has to stay on course ( be consistent) in living life one way or the other before we can reasonably evaluate the moral worth. This staying on course is achieved by living a life of integrity.

In cricketing terms, a batsman needs to stay at the wicket for being able to affect the outcome. This staying at the wicket is integrity. The outcome, the moral worth is ethics.

Integrity provides a sense of continuity/ permanence long enough for us to talk about ethics.

Integrity does not determine the content of ethics.

It keeps alive the process of adhering to ethics.

An individual full of integrity can be a die-hard communist one day but may become an equally fervent capitalist the next day. Narayan Murthy was a socialist-sympathizer until he was arrested & detained without legalities in a communist country. His integrity stayed the same ( sameness of thought-word-action) but the content of his ethical code changed from believing in the state to believing in the market.

This is a particular example.

What about a universal one?

After all, ethics does imply a universally consistent understanding of right & wrong.

We rarely find universal examples. Sanctity for human life is the strongest contender for a universal ethic. But even that is contested by the prevalence of capital punishment & abortion. Love for mother maybe. But along came Sigmund Freud with his Oedipus complex, and made even love for mother a wee bit complex!

More conceptual juggling will make me disoriented. I will drop the balls. Will stop here- for now!

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