To put it simply, ethics consist of the moral code, or philosophy, that guides a person’s choices and behaviors throughout their life. The idea of a moral philosophy extends beyond the individual to include what is right (and what is wrong) for the community and society at large. Ethics is concerned with rights, responsibilities, use of language, what it means to live an ethical life and how people make moral decisions.
For a topic as subjective as morality, people certainly have strong and stubborn beliefs about what's right and wrong that can be in direct contrast to the moral beliefs of others. Yet even though morals can vary from person to person, religion to religion, and culture to culture, many are universal, as they stem from basic human emotions. We may think of moralizing as an intellectual exercise, but more frequently it's an attempt to make sense of our gut instincts.