Podcast – Episode 0070 – Ethics vs Morals

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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about ethics vs morals and how the near future will need us to be more mindful of their differences.

In this podcast on Ethics vs Morals you’ll find:

  • Morality is like an old way of dealing with technological problems that have no means of fixing it. It is basically created for the lack of technology.
  • Are these old ways of moral thinking still applicable today?
  • The concept of what’s moral are principles of what’s good and bad / what’s right and wrong.
  • What should we do when we get to a point when the moral stance no longer faces the technical difficulties? Do we maintain the same position as we did before if it’s no longer generating the same problem? Do we still see it the way we used to? An example would be the mosaic law which is mostly not applicable anymore these days.
  • Is it possible that the moral stance was made in order to solve problems? Create more problems? Or is it because of its moral universalism?
  • Oftentimes, people will transform personal preferences into morality.
  • Anytime we don’t have the technology to understand issues, we tend to build a moral stance around it.
  • We have to leave our weigh these complicated situations.
  • There a lot of useful and misleading information in the internet that you need to use your gut and intuition. These days, we don’t always have a definitive answer anymore.
  • Before the internet age, people used to rely on acquiring answers the traditional way like encyclopedias. Now, we have an surplus of information which, unfortunately also include misleading information. So when the question of morality comes up, we have a plethora of information available to us and we have to make a choice.
  • How you feel should be the right calibration of you showing up in the world. When morality fails us, it influences us to behave in ways that are not life affirming. It leaves us asking, “what’s the ethical thing to do?” When this happens, you need to reach out to your core. Your core values can be flexible and not a solid state of “right and wrong”.
  • If we can’t identify what our core values, or if we are solving a problem that’s no longer relevant, we end up being counterproductive in becoming productive and happy.
  • Referencing your own system of morality, is it rigid or is it possibly based on something that’s no longer relevant?
  • These days, information no longer comes from one source, it comes from a wide array of different sources. We have to claim our intuition and what make sense and meaningful to us as individuals.
  • When we have a rigid moral stance, we turn off information that goes contrary to it and we stop inputting information. If somebody is offering a different perspective, we tend to get offended and shut off any feedback/information that’s given to us.
  • Anybody who has complete total rigidity will get left behind in social technology.
  • The antidote to moral rigidity is actually being actively for information that goes contrary to your worldview.
  • Where do your ethics and morality heading? Leave your comments below.

Ethics vs. Morals

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  • Jesse

    Hi just a quick introverted intuitive response from a 28-year old historian (INTJ) from The Netherlands. You referred to the TEDx by Sam Harris on the relation between science and human values, also I noticef a regular referral to ‘life-affirming’ morality in this and other podcasts. This is clearly a Nietzschean (the Godfather of INTJs) term (not sure if it’s intentional) and therefore I can’t help looking at it from ‘beyond-and-evil’-perspective: although Harris makes some great points and is clearly both morally (at least to me) and rhetorically compelling, one simply has to disagree on the basis of pure systemic logic. I will assume the audience applauded his pro-active progressive moral stance, but not the consistency of his arguments – otherwise I might be branded ‘arrogant’ for believing they just didn’t get it. The argument was flawed because the speaker assumed some very obvious moral premisses, some of the most obvious ones being that murder is wrong and that suffering is bad for any individual and anything that removes this from us (using science) is thus morally right, objectively. Nietzsche, being the inventor of life-affirming moral philosophy, would have explained that it is sometimes precisely the unjust and often pointless suffering that makes us grow as humans, because it forces us to create meaning in a cold and unforgiving universe without any. He even goes as far as to blatantly contradict himself using the chess-dame analogy, as there he makes the same logical inference as Nietzsche would about suffering being also a good thing sometimes. In other words, although I agree with his moral values, I FUNDAMENTALLY disagree with his idea of objective moral truths, as compelling as it may be rhetorically. He is very good in manipulating his audience and is obviously a very intelligent intuitive personality (dare I say INTJ?), and therefore I think he knows this all to well. He is promoting a (compelling) agenda, but his argument does not hold up philosophically. Cheers from Holland 🙂

    • Antonia Dodge

      Thanks for the insight! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard and read from Sam Harris, though I’ll admit I haven’t followed all of his work intimately. I love having people who know their stuff add their perspective – please continue to do so! It fleshes out the conversations here beautifully.


  • Andy Spyros

    Sometimes I think you guys are pulling thoughts from my head! I was pondering the whole concept of judgment v rules which dovetails with some concepts in the podcast. Rules can be an easy fall back position and are totally socialized into our system not only in government but also schools families etc. They can make decision making easy for some people at some times (did I qualify that enough LOL) as no one has to think or decide for themselves. Using judgment requires consulting an Inner Authority as I like to call it and that requires for me thinking and feeling into the authenticity of what decision I want to make. When using judgment not only does a decision need to be made but also decision making criteria established (for me core values) and then also “technical” info about the subject. PHEW! That’s a lot of work for some people! That said, there are times for each on the spectrum. I used to be more toward the judgment is always better and now I see circumstances where personal rules can be helpful.
    I believe in vibrational alignment as well and yes, you both are speaking to and building a community of like-minded transformational leaders…it’s your empire in progress!

    • Charis Branson

      Hey Andy! Thanks for the awesome feedback! Rules vs judgment are very polarizing for me due to a strictly confined, rule-oriented past. I prefer to reject such rule-centric systems, but I can see how they are a necessary evil for some. Rules create structure…which can be good in a world where not everyone honors everyone else. Not everyone has a well trained “Inner Authority.”

      Maybe rule-oriented structures (e.g. gov’t, education, religion, dynasties, etc.) are there to draw those who like to be governed by rules, and those who prefer to use their own rubric can choose their own path. Maybe that is why some people are pulling away from traditional systems.

  • Jennifer Rodriguez

    An interesting discussion on ethics vs. morals but I feel that you misrepresented the anti-vaccine camp. People who are in this camp are NOT making it into a “moral” issue as your podcast claims. They are actually against the government FORCING them into vaccinating their children against their own (educated) individual beliefs, ideas, and suspicions about the science of vaccines being absolutely indisputable. It’s interesting that both of you guys talk about “moral rigidity” and present-day society not having ready-made “moral authorities” any more but you don’t see how many times in our so-called modern society, we look to “science” and “doctors” as the substitutes for that “moral authority” and “moral rigidity”. We accuse anyone that questions modern-day scientific doctrine, such as the belief that the science of vaccines has been absolutely established beyond any shadow of a doubt, as “anti-science” when issues that are being brought up the anti-vaccine camp are valid concerns. Your claim in the podcast that there are no studies showing a connection between vaccines and autism is not true; yes, there are studies showing a correlation, and this shows your bias in viewing anyone who questions vaccines as being “anti-science” and then you simple-mindedly paint them as “moralistic”.
    People in the anti-vaccine camp have valid concerns and do not want to be FORCED into doing something that according to their (educated) views and beliefs may put their children into danger. Right now, as I am writing this, Congress is seriously considering passing a law that makes vaccines MANDATORY and will no longer allow any personal or religious exemptions of any kind. In other words, we have the State taking away the individual’s right to decide what kind of health policy they should follow in good conscience. If you guys can’t see the moral absolutism or rigidity in that kind of legislation then you definitely don’t have a sincere understanding of what you are talking about in your podcast.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Thanks, Jennifer, for the comment. 🙂

      I’m totally sympathetic on both of those points – not wanting the government to force any decision on people and not wanting to fall for “lab coat mentality,” assuming that western medicine practitioners always have your best interests at heart. As we mentioned in the Tribal Leadership podcast, doctors often are Tribal 3 (“I’m awesome, you suck”) which means that they don’t have to be ill intended, they just might be a bit sloppy assuming they already have “the answer.”

      I just listened to the podcast segment on vaccines again (starting at 11 minutes). I don’t think we were unduly harsh toward anti-vaxers. We acknowledged that we all have to make the best choices possible working with the information available and what makes sense to us. I also was sympathetic toward not wanting to pump your children with chemicals without knowing how that will pan out in the long run. (I was actually against vaccines for a long time. I’ve never gotten a flu vaccine and I didn’t have my daughter get any of the vaccines that weren’t associated with a deadly or debilitating disease. At the time of her birth I did a lot of research and my research led me – someone against vaccines – to reevaluate my position. In particular, it was abundantly clear to me that the study that launched a thousand anti-vax campaigns, the one linking them to autism, was thoroughly debunked. Again, that was where my research led me.)

      Ultimately, it was used as an example of people taking a strong position before we have technology to solve the problem that vaccines are trying to solve. The context isn’t supporting the resoluteness of the conclusion. I don’t think we’re being inflexible or rigid pointing that out.


      • Andy Spyros

        Nope, you were not harsh on either side of the vaccine camp. Totally fair and the point was clear it was about a bigger issue of ethics v morals not which side of this or any issue you guys discussed. The energy with which you both share info is clearly in service to others and open to hearing all sides regardless of where you anyone listening lands on any given issue. I’d go so far as to say that neither of you need apologize for stepping on toes during this or any podcast.

  • Derick Butler

    Where do I see Morality and ethics headed currently as a transformation leader? I must say I love the topic and how you both are able to discuss potentially toxic-messy issues like “absolute vs. relative truth-right-wrong”. I must admit that going in to this podcast my world view sees this issue as being headed in a direction that more destructive than constructive today in society. (I departed the podcast inspired by the many opportunities to participate in the change.

    ***The comment about rhythms and vibrations attracting me to this podcast stood out to me in a meaningful way. It a message that has been showing up consistently in my life recently. I Am here for a reason not by chance***

    What this podcast help me with is articulating my ideals in a way that values others while i affirm my core values. The discussion on drugs and sexuality morals. The argument on the historical reason for biblical morals of the day no longer being relevant do to technological advances was interesting in causing me to re-examine my core beliefs. At this time I believe the premise and principle in The Bible are timeless. The application requires a on going timely discuss. I felt like it was communicated in the podcast ” morals are for inflexible thinkers (bad) and ethics are for free thinkers (good). I don’t say this to accuse anyone but myself and how i interrupted the information presented. I actually want to thank you guys for not taking sides on any issues; while reviling your personal options at times, you both did excellent at keeping the topic as objective as possible. I commend you skill and talent. Keep the podcast coming and transforming us up and coming leaders.

    • Antonia Dodge

      We also took massive liberties by choosing to use our own definitions for “morality” and “ethics.” :p

      It’s definitely my own personal bias to see morality as being set in stone and ethics being more flexible. That doesn’t mean at all that I’m right, though it’s helpful for me to create a distinction between a choice I’ve made once and have to superimpose over every situation (morals) versus a set of principles that can be questioned when they don’t fix the context (ethics).

      Thanks for being so fair minded and at the same time calling out incongruities as you see them. I love how high quality our audience is.


  • Barbara

    Very interesting discussion. As a 58 year old with many years spent in fundamental Christianity, I have to say I am in a phase where I am questioning a lot of things. I hope I am (or will be) a transformational leader as you say. I found the references to socialism, patriotism, and growing cannabis to be very good examples of areas in which people need to shake out their brains and think a little. I also appreciate you mentioning listening to alternative news sources different from your traditional position. I am trying to educate myself about alternative monetary systems. The economy is getting so difficult under capitalism! Something’s gotta give! I am an INFP, by the way.

    • Charis Branson

      Thank you for your feedback, Barbara!

      I find your comment exciting! I love it when people question the status-quo and start opening themselves up to transformation. Bravo to you!

      Keep up the good work, and thanks for listening!


  • Djémilah Hassani


    Thank you so much for this podcast, there were few major points that have been well made. We are currently living a massive shift in our history. I often call it the promethean era, where the individual is playing a major role and has never been so centered.

    This was great ! Thank you. Looking forwatd to hear more !


    • Charis Branson

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Djem!

      I agree with you. There are some shifts taking place. Promethean Era is a good way to refer to it.

      Thanks for listening to the podcasts and being a part of the Personality Hacker family.



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