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Amoral vs. Immoral: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Amoral means lacking moral awareness or neutrality towards moral concepts, whereas immoral refers to actions or behaviors that violate moral or ethical principles.
Amoral vs. Immoral

Key Differences

Amoral describes a state or condition where morality is not applicable or is irrelevant, indicating an absence of moral awareness. Immoral, in contrast, acknowledges the presence of moral standards but refers to actions or behavior that deliberately defy these standards.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
Amoral implies neither good nor bad judgment as it exists outside the spectrum of moral evaluation. Immoral implies a negative judgment, as it denotes actions or behaviors that are considered wrong or unethical according to societal norms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
Amoral is often used in the context of entities or situations where moral judgment is not applicable, like inanimate objects or animals. Immoral is used specifically in contexts where moral judgment is applicable, typically in reference to human actions or decisions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
In philosophy, being amoral reflects a neutral stance on morality, often used to describe actions performed without considering the concept of right or wrong. Immoral, however, is used to describe actions that are consciously against moral laws or principles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
The term amoral is neutral and does not carry a negative connotation, as it simply denotes a lack of moral consideration. Immoral, on the other hand, has a distinctly negative connotation, as it implies a violation of moral or ethical codes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Lacking moral awareness
Violating moral principles
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Moral Judgment

Neutral, no moral judgment
Negative, against moral standards
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Typical Context

Non-human entities, natural processes
Human actions and decisions
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Philosophical Implication

Neutral stance on morality
Conscious defiance of morality
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Connotation

Neutral
Negative
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Amoral and Immoral Definitions

Amoral

Without moral qualities or judgments.
His amoral stance on business led to purely profit-driven decisions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Immoral

Behaving unethically or wickedly.
His immoral behavior scandalized the community.
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Nov 16, 2023

Amoral

Indifferent to moral guidelines.
The computer's decision was amoral, based solely on algorithms.
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Nov 16, 2023

Immoral

Showing a lack of moral standards.
Spreading false rumors is considered an immoral action.
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Nov 16, 2023

Amoral

Lacking a moral sense or consciousness.
Animals are often considered amoral as they act on instinct.
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Nov 16, 2023
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Immoral

Deliberately violating moral norms.
The politician's corrupt practices were blatantly immoral.
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Nov 16, 2023

Amoral

Neutral in terms of morality.
The natural disaster was an amoral event, beyond good or evil.
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Nov 16, 2023

Immoral

Acting in a way that is ethically wrong.
Cheating in the exam was an immoral shortcut to success.
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Nov 16, 2023

Amoral

Existing outside the realm of moral evaluation.
In a purely scientific context, the experiment was amoral.
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Nov 16, 2023

Immoral

Contrary to established moral principles.
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Oct 19, 2023

Amoral

Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.
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Oct 19, 2023

Immoral

Breaching principles of natural law, rectitude, or justice, and so inconsistent with the demands of virtue, purity, or "good morals"; not right, not moral. Compare unethical, illegal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Amoral

Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.
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Oct 19, 2023

Immoral

Not moral; inconsistent with rectitude, purity, or good morals; contrary to conscience or the divine law; wicked; unjust; dishonest; vicious; licentious; as, an immoral man; an immoral deed.
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Amoral

(of acts) Neither moral nor immoral.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Immoral

Concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles;
Moral sense
A moral scrutiny
A moral lesson
A moral quandary
Moral convictions
A moral life
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Amoral

(of people) Not believing in or caring for morality and immorality.
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Oct 19, 2023

Immoral

Not adhering to ethical or moral principles;
Base and unpatriotic motives
A base, degrading way of life
Cheating is dishonorable
They considered colonialism immoral
Unethical practices in handling public funds
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Amoral

Without moral standards or principles;
A completely amoral person
Moral sense
A moral scrutiny
A moral lesson
A moral quandary
Moral convictions
A moral life
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Immoral

Morally unprincipled;
Immoral behavior
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Immoral

Characterized by wickedness or immorality;
Led a very bad life
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Immoral

Marked by immorality; deviating from what is considered right or proper or good;
Depraved criminals
A perverted sense of loyalty
The reprobate conduct of a gambling aristocrat
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a person be amoral?

Yes, if they lack understanding or concern for moral principles.
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Nov 21, 2023

Does immoral behavior always harm others?

Immoral behavior often results in harm or ethical violations against others.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is self-defense considered immoral or amoral?

Self-defense is generally considered a moral action taken in response to threat.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can a decision be both amoral and immoral?

No, amoral and immoral are mutually exclusive; one lacks moral consideration, the other defies it.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can a law be amoral?

Laws are typically moral or immoral; amoral is less applicable as laws involve ethical judgments.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can an action be immoral even if it's legal?

Yes, legality doesn't always align with morality.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can businesses operate in an amoral manner?

Yes, businesses can operate amoral by focusing solely on legalities and profits, ignoring ethical aspects.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is ignorance a defense for immoral actions?

Legally, sometimes; ethically, ignorance often doesn't excuse immoral behavior.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is being immoral always intentional?

Typically, immoral actions are taken with an understanding of their ethical implications.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are children considered amoral?

Young children can be considered amoral as they may not yet grasp moral concepts.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are all crimes considered immoral?

Most crimes are considered immoral, but some may be argued as amoral in certain philosophical contexts.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is amoral behavior subject to legal consequences?

Amoral behavior, if it doesn't violate laws, typically isn't subject to legal consequences.
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Nov 21, 2023

Is profit-driven business inherently amoral or immoral?

It's amoral if it disregards morality, but immoral if it actively violates ethical standards.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can laws change an action from immoral to amoral?

Laws can change the legal status of an action but not necessarily its moral standing.
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Nov 21, 2023

Are religious teachings amoral or immoral?

Religious teachings are generally based on moral principles, not amoral.
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Nov 21, 2023

Do cultural norms influence what is considered immoral?

Yes, cultural norms significantly influence perceptions of morality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Is it ethical to judge others by amoral standards?

Amoral standards lack ethical judgment, so they're not typically used to judge others.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can an amoral action become immoral?

If an action transcends from lacking moral consideration to violating moral principles, it can become immoral.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can a society be amoral?

Societies typically operate on some moral principles, so they're rarely amoral.
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Nov 21, 2023

Can an amoral viewpoint be beneficial?

In some scientific or legal contexts, an amoral viewpoint can allow for unbiased analysis.
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Nov 21, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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