What's the difference between "immoral" and "amoral"? For example, can I interchange them in such sentence: I find fox hunting completely immoral. Can you give some examples to show the difference? Thanks in advance!
Feb 14, 2016 4:39 AM
Answers · 4
Guillaume got it right - amoral is an adjective that describes something, usually a persons view or behavior, that is neither moral or immoral. In other words such actions or views (policy, laws, judgements, etc.) to not raise the question of morality at all. It can also be used to describe a persons overall attitude as one that is not concerned, caring or believing for or in morality - to say someone is amoral means they do not consider the morality of their actions to be a valid cause for concern, others may believe that such a view is immoral. In my view, one had better watch out for moral people because they are likely to act in their own interests without considering the consequences to others - in other words, they likely to screw you over on a whim.
February 14, 2016
immoral (adjective) (1) (of people and their behaviour) not considered to be good or honest by most people It's immoral to steal. There's nothing immoral about wanting to earn more money. (2) not following accepted standards of sexual behaviour They were charged with living off immoral earnings (= money earned by working as a prostitute). amoral (adjective) not following any moral rules and not caring about right and wrong Guy was greedy, amoral and dishonest. Amoral is distinct in meaning from immoral: while immoral means ‘not conforming to accepted standards of morality’, amoral implies ‘not concerned with morality’. The difference is illustrated in the following two examples: the client pays for the amoral expertise of the lawyer; the council judged the film to be immoral and obscene.
February 14, 2016
"amoral" applies only when there is no sense of morality. When a cat plays with a bird, it's pointless to call the cat "evil" and to quality its as "immoral" because the cat itself doesn't (probably!) have a sense of morality that would fit within the human belief system. "immoral" is a judgement: when you qualify something as immoral you 1) imply that the subject performing the action has a sense of morality (or should, or is expected to have) and 2) that the act is bad as per the "common sense" of moral values. So, hunting foxes might be immoral, but it's not amoral, if the hunting is done by a human being (it's implied the hunters here are human). Note that the context is very important here, a baby killing a bug for fun is amoral, a grown up going out of his way to cause pain to small animals is immoral. Morality is a construct of society, so it's only natural that the words involving it have to do with "point of views" and "judgement" :)
February 14, 2016
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