Joined: 18 January 2006
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
If con is the opposite of pro, is congress the opposite of progress?
Poor jokes apart. The conflict of interest is a very relevant issue raised up. It is an issue which is of much more relevance today. In the past most people lived in somewhat isolated cultures that shared the same moral values. Today the world is a different place, people are traveling across the world for education, for work of just for a better life. Now we are having various groups, with different histories, with different cultural identities, with different moral sets trying to come together as one cohesive, cooperative society. Even those static in their places are no longer isolated, with media, internet everyone is exposed to a variety of different moral sets and values. Everyone is trying to find balance amidst these different and often times conflicting moral values.
For example some of our conservative cultures prescribe a moral code for women based on modesty. It is perceived as immoral for women to reveal themselves, make eye contact etc. More modern perspectives believe that women have the right to express themselves socially and sexually and it is immoral to restrict women. Different does not mean deficient. None of these moral expectations are superior or inferior. They are just that different. What would be the moral thing to do Ė it would be based on what you morally value more.
Most times we can reconcile our differences by live and let live, to each their own, one man's ceiling can be another man's floor. The world does not march to the beat of one drummer and to a certain extent we can live with everyone marching to their own drum. We draw the line when living one way does not let the other live, or when ones own denies another their own, when one man tries to deny another a floor, by setting his ceiling too high. Things like that.
In the case above on moral perspective of women, both perspectives can live harmoniously. A woman has the choice to be modest or open, and no one has the right to force modesty or openness on her.
I also think people misinterpret when someone says we cannot take tradition at face value and we need to think it through. As humans we are gifted not just with moral conscience, but the ability to reason to. Morality and reason cannot always be separate and isolated from another. Reason stems from morality, and morality stems from reason. Its interconnected. We rationalize to do something or not do something based on morals. We will also decide that something is moral or immoral based on reason. If we choose morality and completely dismiss reason, we are short selling ourselves by rejecting a whole lot of what we can do. Same goes for dismissing morality for only reason. It's a balance between the two and here too, one persons balance of morality and reason is different from another.
For example one family might feel that having a single mom, a live-in couple or homosexual couple in their neighborhood threatens traditional perspective and family. Morally they are opposed to it and they reasonably feel that such an environment is detrimental to their family. On the other hand a different family might be fine with it. They maybe morally opposed to it but they reasonably feel that the external environment has no impact on their family. We might have another family who does not care and think everything is fine and moral.
There can be so many perspectives on something and societies challenge is to balance these out. Usually it goes by majority consensus but every now and then political and judicial machines will go against majority consensus to do what they feel is morally and reasonably the right thing to do. (Abraham Lincon's stance on abolition, Roe v. Wade, Brown v Board of Education etc)
Joined: 12 February 2008
Define "morality" and "moral values" first, and then we can continue the discussion from there. Do you consider morality to be stringent and absolute or do you feel there is room for change depending on the time and context? Do you equate tradition with goodness and morality?
Tradition isn't always the best, and change isn't always for the worse. Some changes - like empowerment of women and the acceptance of minorities - actually had been for the better. You cannot run down a practice just because they are "new" (or newly accepted) and were taboos in the past. Some traditional values often tend to be downright outdated, regressive, misogynistic and even destructive for humanity in general. (Of course the opposite holds true as well). It is against my principle to accept such values in the name of tradition or modernity without scrutinizing these issues from top to bottom.
Joined: 24 September 2007
Came across this definition . Moral values is basically proper behaviour that forms our character.
Joined: 04 March 2009
Joined: 03 December 2005
Joined: 09 August 2008
Joined: 09 August 2008
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