Things are the way they are because we decided that’s how they should be. For example, our morals. We say stealing is wrong, therefore it’s wrong. The way we serve justice is community service, jail time, sometimes even the death sentence. But why is that? Hammurabi’s Law was “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” If we still practiced this today, would we feel any guilt in allowing the punishment. Would our modern morals prevent us from treating others so cruelly?

Our modern morals had to develop from some place, and they are found universally. Every modern religion has some version of the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Even with that said, some people have little to no issue discriminating against certain people. Sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and more are extremely prevalent today. Do our morals only reach so far? Do we come to a point where we revert to getting even? Can we say, “Since your existence disturbs me, I must disturb your existence”?

The question of our morals arises a second questions, “what about ethics?” On one website, ethics was defined as having “to do with the pursuit of one’s own happiness or well-being and private lifestyle,” while morals was having “to do with other people’s interests and deontological constraints.” There are many ways to test your ethics, like the trolley car dilemma. But our ethics must be formed by our morals. So I suppose my question is are we good because we are innately good, or are we good because we have been taught this is the right way to act?  

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Morals by Cicely is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Bella 1 week ago

    Cicely,
    I found your article to be very intriguing. It was very interesting how you used The Golden Rule as an example of how we as individuals view morality and our own morals. I really liked the connection you made between morals and ethics too. Here is an article that highlights the connection between those two values http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/ethics-and-morality/distinguishing-between-morality-and-ethics/731.aspx

  2. Judge Thomas 1 week ago

    Cicely,
    If find the discussion and often argument surrounding the topic about morals and ethics very fascinating. I also wonder about how a society develops a view of morality and how a society should act, especially with respect to those morals. This site, http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/ethics-and-morality-moral-compass/3574.aspx , may hold some more insight in the way different people view values of morality and ethics. In addition, people may hold different moral values as different societies may hold different standpoints of ethical responsibilities. I would say that religion plays a pretty substantial role when differentiating the right and wrong of an action. This religious standpoint may be conflicting towards other religions as another religion might hold a different opinion on a moral conflict. An example of a moral issue is female infanticide and this source helps with addressing this: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/India-loses-3-million-girls-in-infanticide/article12551293.ece
    I really liked your topic and look forward to your next post.
    -Thomas K.

  3. Sophia 2 weeks ago

    Hi, Cicely Foley-

    I am a student at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City Utah. I thought that your post was very intriguing in that it addressed a topic that is greatly considered in pretty much all religions. I enjoyed reading this, because it brought the questions and ideas into my head on how one’s character is shaped through moral decisions. What to you is the most important moral principle? If you are religious, do you think that that would have any sort of effect on your opinion? I appreciated this post, and I hope to hear more from you on this topic.

    Thank you,
    Sophia Gross

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