Yet we can behave unethically and still have a moral compass. We know that stealing paperclips from work is against our moral compass but we do it anyway. Then we feel guilty about it or justify it in some way (I worked overtime and didn’t get paid, they’re so rich they won’t miss them, it’s too much trouble to go to the store and buy them, etc.). Even though we “know better,” we do it anyway.
Only sociopaths and psychopaths are without moral compasses. They do not think they are doing anything wrong when they cheat, steal, kill, injure, lie, or bully. They do not care about ethics and scoff at ethical people as being suckers.
But ethical people, those whose lives are based on good and constructive behavior, always have a moral compass—even if they turn it off or refuse to listen to it. It is their alarm system that lets them know if they are on course with the integrity of their lives. They don’t want to transgress it because it is too painful for them to live with themselves. Yet, they, too, even with the strongest moral compass, can behave unethically and suffer for it later.