Narrowly defined, the moral essay speaks directly of issues of character—courage, compassion, loyalty, truthfulness, and so on. When Francis Bacon commends sagacity or Samuel Johnson derides indolence, we know we are in the presence of the moral essay.
However, the moral essay may exhibit a less didactic tone, particularly in its more modern manifestations. The rediscovery of classical sources in the Renaissance led to a resurgent interest in moral deliberation that was not limited to theological study. The 17th century engendered more narrowly religious essays. After the Restoration, the moral essay, as practiced by Abraham Cowley and Sir William Temple, returned to general reflections on life in the style of Montaigne.
Another powerful influence on the tradition of the moral essay was the revival of the Theophrastan character sketch modeled on his Characters. The moral essay soon found a place in the popular gazettes that prospered during the 18th century. Richard Steele and Joseph Addison wrote serious essays on topics such as death, education, and loyalty for the Tatler and the Spectator.
Their use of wit and satire to expose the foibles of the vain, the indolent, and the incompetent had a lasting impact on popular essayists.
The latter half of the 18th century was perhaps the pinnacle for the moral essay. The desire of the rising middle class for social improvement resulted in a ready market for pamphlets, sermons, and moral treatises of every kind.
The preeminent practitioner of this art was Samuel Johnson, who found in his Rambler and Idler essays an ideal form for his moral and philosophical inquiry. Although Johnson is not humorless in his essays, he evinces a formality of style and a high moral purpose in most of his work.
In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you can flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch? That is a basic template that researchers build off and test people with. They've found that many of the answers provided were encompassing feelings rather than morals, and some even reacted by stating that they were unsure of what morals even were.
The second sequence of questions provided answers that categorized people by their responses, and the notion that people often deviate from ethics and morals was examined. The last chain of questions was asked to volunteers and their neuroscience reactions were examined. These tests presented the concept that judgment was used when the volunteers came to their decision.
This shows how complex and difficult ethical and moral decision making is and what is involved. The thought process and steps in making an ethical and moral decision is far more complex then one would think.
There is actually an order involved with making ethical decisions. First one must recognize that something is unethical and determine whether or not they want to take responsibility for that action or event. Second, that person must determine what ethical rules or conduct would apply to this particular situation. Lastly, it must be ascertained which ethical rules will pertain to the probable solution to the dilemma and follow through with that decision.
However simple these steps may sound, the actual process involved with making an ethical decision is also dependent on the situation and outside sources. Influences Moral and ethical decisions are not universal, they depend on many different outliers.
Society, culture, media, and unpleasing circumstances can be a large determinate of ethical and moral values. Paul Boghossian mentions that to a lot of people, eating beef is seen as a normality, but to Hindus it is seen as immoral and unethical.
Media can also influence our decision making skills; the visual effects a picture can have a person's ethical and moral values can have vast impacts on a person. She points out that, "Shock can wear off As one can become habituated to horror in real life, one can become habituated to the horror of certain images" Sontag While society, culture, and media are impacting, expectations and pressures from peers can also greatly influence, and at times, drive our decisions.
A disease or debilitating circumstances, atrocious and dreadful personal experiences, a group of overbearing and judgmental peers, and even technology, politics, and economic powers can influence our responses.
With the great increase of technology and political and economical power in our society, it can be hard to value ethics and morals nowadays. People often ignore unethical and immoral events because we have become so engrossed in theses aspects of our culture. Technological advances have become such an influential portion of our society that it often times can be hard to escape.
At times, it can be thought to have taken over our lives which leaves little room for the things that used to matter, like ethics and morals. Politics is another piece of our culture that seems to have taken people under control. Corruption and immorality have, in a sense, seeped into the governmental section of society and is definitely affecting our abilities to defend our ethical and moral rights.
Ethics and morality seem to be the one massive thing that can keep technology and politics from taking over our lives completely. Conclusion When one is faced with a predicament that involves an ethical or moral related decision or action, there are many different factors that come into play. Society, culture, media exposure, and personal circumstances can have a great influence on the kind of ethical or moral mindset that person has.
Also technology, politics, and economical power have an impact on not only whether a person lives ethically or morally, but even if they are able to make those decisions. Ethics and morality, at times, feels like a less popular lifestyle for our civilization.
This may be a particular reason why we live in an uncertain and doubtful culture. Relativism is the theory that moral values are not universal and that they may differentiate from each other depending on the society or culture that the person grew up in.
How else would the absolute facts of right and wrong come about? What would make you help somebody that is in need? Boghossian goes on to talk about the belief in witches many years ago. He talks about when we decided that there were no such things as witches, we gave up talking about them instead of becoming relativists about them.
In another example that Boghossian talks about, he speaks of what Einstein taught us in his Special Theory of Relativity. Einstein proved that nothing ever happened absolutely simultaneously. This recommended that we become relativists of simultaneity. Boghossian goes on to ask what the difference between the witch case and the simultaneity case. Einstein showed that the world does not contain simultaneity, but it does contain simultaneity relative to a frame of reference.
In the witch cases, once we give up on witches, they just go away and have no relation to anything else. Most moral relativists state that there is a moral code in a community that states what is right and wrong. One example of this is the ability of that community to eat beef. In some communities, eating beef is not allowed because the beef is sacred. The wrongness of eating beef is claimed by the society of the Hindus, and according the moral code of the Hindus, everyone would agree that eating beef is wrong.
Boghossian tells the reader that the question on morality is more like the witch case than that of the simultaneity case. Another case that the author speaks about is the question of slurping your food. If you were in Buckingham Palace, it would be offensive to slurp your food, but if you were in China, not slurping your food would be offensive to the hosts because they would get the impression that the food is not very good.
In a Notre Dame sociologist named Christian Smith led a research that involved young adults and questioned their moral lives. It appeared that majority of the individuals involved in the study had almost no idea of what morality even is, let alone if they have morality in their own lives. Even when asked questions pertaining to drinking and driving or cheating, answers we should all know, they simply answered with round-about replies. Who am I to say? This goes to show that most young adults have almost no moral compass nowadays and simply go on their feelings to determine whether something is right or wrong.
For example, Buckley speaks of a time that he was in a crowded train cart. He tells of how it is below freezing outside, but for some reason, inside of the train cart, it is over 85 degrees. When the train conductor comes by for the tickets, he goes to complain about the heat, but instead, asks what time they will reach the destination. William Buckley goes on to tell of a time when he was at the movie theatres with his wife, and he started to notice that the picture was out of focus, and when he tried to complain to his wife, she told him to be quiet.
Buckley states that once we stop complaining, we have lost our ability as humans to have feelings. He also talks about whether or not morals are concrete, meaning if one has morals will they deviate from that code no matter what the circumstances? He uses a bunch of studies as evidence that show that people do have morals, and there does not seem to be set moral code, there is usually an exception.
The essay goes through its evolution of studies trying to figure out what a moral code is and what peoples are and what they are based off of.
They basically conclude that people choose a moral code that fits their own desires. The studies showed that people do in fact have morals, that they in fact could have more than one set, and they just make a decision based on the situation.
The author goes on to explain how she attempted to go through an entire week without telling a lie and it was nearly impossible. Through all of these lies, the notion of whether or not the lies hurt anything and if the lying has any merit. Examples of each are given and how they affect others. This gives readers a more in your face kind of read so they can actually see why each type of lie is important to know and understand.
Richard Gray goes on to name a few animals and tell about their moral views. The first mammal that he starts with is the wolf. He speaks of the close social groups that a pack of wolves has, and the rules that govern it. If a pack becomes too big, the pack will slowly start to disintegrate because the bond between them would not be close.
He also states that wolves show fairness. Morality, in the context of these different kinds of theories, can be defined only descriptively in relation to its purpose and to its function. People can only try to provide different answers based on their own assumptions, faiths, experiences and intuitions. Thus, morality, in the most practical sense, is a tool or way of life used to promote the common good of human beings and eliminate harmful actions that bring negative consequences in life, goals based on the principle of reciprocity and empathy, and a set of universally recognized human needs and capabilities.
In line with such grounding, I find that among different types of moral theories, moral pluralism can best serve the universal needs and well being of human kind. Pluralism recognizes that there is a plurality of moral points of view, and affirms that, among many moral points of view, no one is clearly superior to another.
However, the pluralistic nature of this theory and the fact that no complete objectivity is possible could be sources of its fallacies when it is put into practice.
No one can be completely objective in their judgments because every human being possesses different perceptions and principles of life that contribute to personal bias. Thus, to avoid these possible sources of error, moral pluralism needs to be governed by three principles: Moral values should be strictly distinguished from other categories of values such as cultural norms or community values.
Moral values, in their essence, should be geared only towards the goal of fulfilling universal needs of well being that are not governed by cultural practices or norms. For example, the prohibition against arbitrary killing can safely be categorized as a moral value. The lack of strict categorization of moral values, I believe, is one of the biggest problems to be resolved even before the debates between different moral theories can continue.
One common flaw among several forms of moral relativism is the failure to draw such clear distinctions between different categories of values. For instance, conventionalist relativism claims that secondary values are considered as relative and are dependent on conventions or social norms.
In this context, secondary values are no longer strictly moral, but adulterated by other categories of values which are non-moral. In Problems of Moral Philosophy, Ralph Barton Perry addresses the phenomenon of arbitrary categorization of values by pointing out a distinction between the question: Too often, because of such an ambiguity in distinguishing the nuances between definitions, cultural beliefs and physical needs are arbitrarily lumped into subcategories of moral values.
Equivocal overlapping of cultural values, community values, and moral values only jeopardizes the applicability of moral pluralism. Such a failure encourages abuse of the theory to justify actions for pure individual interests or social conventions. Thus, it is important to draw a clear boundary between pluralistic moral values and other categories of values, such as cultural pluralism or religious pluralism.
The establishment of a minimalist common ground is another important principle in the application of moral pluralism. A minimalist common ground requires that ethics be reduced to its most basic elements, those that are required for every human to behave ethically.
Moral and ethics are of high importance in determining the nature of a society or a culture. Morals and ethics are used as complimentary terms but they mean different in literal sense. Morals define personal character and refer to the beliefs that a person practices when he interacts in personal and.
Free morals papers, essays, and research papers. The Origins of Morals - Do the morals that people empower evolve from the society that they grow up in, or is there some inborn conscience that all posses.
The Importance of Moral Values in Our Life essay sample. The Importance of Moral Values essay example. Feel free to buy custom essays, term papers, research papers at . Example Essays. The greatest gift of human rationality is morality. The establishment of “morality” is based on the recognition that every human has a general set of basic needs to lead a life free of physical and psychological suffering.
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