Once one of my professors who I worked with said that he was amoral; that is, neither moral nor immoral. I guessed that there was some difference between amoral and immoral.

I have referred to the dictionaries and searched on the Google for the difference in meaning but in vain because both amoral and immoral mean almost the same.

The oxford dictionary says "amoral means behaving in a way that shows you don't care if what you are doing is wrong. It means immoral as morally wrong.

I have understood that a person who is amoral or immoral is not concerned with the morals so I could not understand the difference between amoral and immoral.

Orient longman's word master gives the meaning of amoral as having no understanding of the difference between right and wrong. It gives the meaning for immoral as "not in keeping with the principles of morality."

All these definitions have not clarified my doubt properly.

Could you please tell us the difference between the two with suitable examples and explanations.

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    I have edited your question so that it used proper capitalization and punctuation. We would appreciate it if you edited your question and tell us specifically which dictionaries you looked at, and also include what you found there. (It's not fair to the community to make us all repeat the same research you have already performed.)
    – J.R.
    Aug 16, 2019 at 14:15
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    @JR I have edited and added the definitions of amoral and immoral. i do not know why the question is put on hold when the topic irreligious and non religious is discussed so elaborately.The only reason seems to be that my reputation is low Aug 16, 2019 at 15:33
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    Jagatha: I can assure you, the moderation team never closes a question because someone's reputation is low. We only ask that you share your research, something that is discussed at length in our Details, Please meta post. Now that you have done just that, your question will be reopened. As I said in my initial comment, the question was put on hold to prevent other people from needlessly repeating the research that you had already done. P.S. I think your revised question is worth upvoting, not just reopening.
    – J.R.
    Aug 16, 2019 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


A person who calls themselves "immoral" is telling you that "I do bad things." People don't often say this about themselves but you could say

I used to be immoral. I lied and cheated. I was a bad person until found religion.

On the other hand, a person who says they are "amoral" rejects the concept of "good" and "evil".

I would call myself "amoral". I don't believe that good and evil exist beyond purely utilitarian notions of "the greatest happiness for the greatest number".

A person who says they are amoral is not saying that they are bad. They saying that they don't believe that "good" and "bad" are meaningful.

Of course, I don't know exactly your professor meant, perhaps you could ask them.

  • In our view both the persons are immoral Aug 17, 2019 at 1:46
  • That is "your view". Consider that your professor has a different view.
    – James K
    Aug 17, 2019 at 5:53

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