A. First, we do not subscribe to the concept that anyone “should” or “should not” be anything.
We believe that people can, and usually will, do anything they want to do. We do not feel that we
have the right or knowledge to mandate what those actions ought to be.
However, your question implies another form of the question – “Is there a benefit to people in
general to be moral”? This is a question we can and will answer.
To begin, it is important to revisit the difference between moral and ethical. Morals are core
values and beliefs. These are things that you have, you can ‘be’ something that you have. Ethics
is how you act based upon your beliefs. Thus, you can be ethical.
So what are these core values? How is a moral belief different from a religious belief?
Core values are the basics, the very foundation from which personal decisions and actions derive.
Religious beliefs are statements concerning a condition of the unknown. For example, look at
these two statements:
“I believe in God.”
“I believe that God is good.”
The first is a religious statement or belief. It is a concept of an unknown but does not require
Core Chapter Learning Objectives for PSY 104 Developmental Psychology 1. Explain the role of theories in understanding human development, and describe three basic issues on which major theories take a stand. (pp. 5–7) 2. Describe recent theoretical perspectives on human development, noting the contributions of major theorists. (pp. 21–26) 3. Identify the stand that each contemporary theory takes ...
action or imply any action. It is effective a passive concept.
The second is a core value (moral) type of statement as it implies a certain standard of conduct.
The key phrasing is “I believe in -“ or “I believe that there is -“ These are always religious types
of belief statements.
Core value belief statements (morals) will begin “I believe that -“.
Ethics require morals because you cannot be ethical if you do have morals. Ethics is how you act
based upon your morals: thus, unethical or ethical.
So is there a reason, or benefit for people in general to have morals?
We think there is. This is because people in general live in communities, or societies. By their
nature, societies develop rules of conduct. Rules, however, can be interpreted in any number of
ways. This is one reason why we have judges, they are rule (law) interpreters. If a society has
well defined morals, and the majority of the people in that society agree to those morals, it is a lot
easier to decide how rules should be interpreted. In fact, it becomes a lot easier to know how to
act in that society.
The more clearly a society has defined its morals, and the more consistent the morals of its
individual members (people) are with those society morals, the fewer problems they will have.
Major issues in societies – increased criminal activity, uprising, rebellion, whatever, can usually
traced back to a significant breach or difference in core values – morals.
So people in general, if they have consciously developed morals, and share those morals with
others in their society, will find life considerably more pleasant than if they do have such.