This is a very controversial statement. Some people may agree that people do the right thing because of their morals and ethics. However others may disagree and say that the only reason people do the correct thing is because they do not want to face up to the consequences of the law.
One side of the argument would be that some people do not look at consequences of actions; they do the right thing because they feel it is inhumane to do wrong. Doing the correct thing morally may be because of someone’s religion. A lot of religions teach morals and ethics, not because of the consequences but because it is deemed correct in the eyes of their lord. For example, Christians believe that abortion is the wrong thing to do in any situation. They believe this because they view it as murder which is unacceptable; however abortions are legal and face no legal punishment.
However, others believe that people only follow the rules of the law because they do not want to get into trouble and face up to any punishments. They believe without the law ethics and morals would not exist. This means that, for example, murder or rape would be socially accepted because there is no one to say it is wrong. Therefore the only reason people don’t do these unacceptable things is so they do not have to take any consequences such as going to court or prison.
In my opinion, I think that both views are partially correct. I think that everyone as humans know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore everyone would have some sort of morals with or without the law being in place. Also, I think that the standard of morals and ethics have been persuaded by certain laws being put in place. I think without the law, small crimes such as stealing a small amount of food, would be accepted without any kind of punishment.