Ethics and Morality
“In philosophy we have a problem knowing the origin of right and wrong, there are various theories and ideas but we do not seem to have a definite answer to this question. ” By Jamee Ford In life people are brought up in different homes, surrounded by different people and are taught different ways of life. As we grow up we are taught the difference between what is considered right and what is considered wrong, which is based on what is socially acceptable.
We learn from a young age how we are expected to behave, the rules we have to abide by given from family and the morals we should have and grow up with. In this society it is difficult to find the origin of right and wrong for there are so many theories and ideas, but yet there is no definite answer. I believe morality comes from us citizens, the law, our feelings and our religion can give a certain indication to how we set our values, but I belive it is an objective fact that what is said to be wrong is wrong and what is said to be right is right.
A minority of people believe that morality comes from God. These people have a lot of faith and get their morals and understanding of right and wrong from their belief in god and their bible. For example in the Bible, there are the 10 Commandments, a list of what is acceptable and unacceptable according to God. But what if we don’t believe in god, where would our sense of right and wrong come from? If we can’t change people’s options and feelings on what is right and wrong just by saying that it is acceptable or unacceptable, then why is it okay to say God can.
Without god, would their still be morality? Because if god made it acceptable to kill other people, that still wouldn’t make it okay, so I believe this theory is unproven and morality and our right and wrongs can’t come from this theory. Another theory that has brought to the attention of the origin of right and wrong is The ‘Feeling Theory’ and the ‘Boo-hoorah’ theory. The feeling theory is an example of how morality does come from us. We make things right or wrong by approving or disproving of them. If a person has certain feelings about another person’s actions, it is saying something about them.
If they disprove of an action, it is considered morally wrong to that person. This theory is people making a claim about what they think; they are claiming whether the action is right or wrong. The ‘Boo-Hoorah Theory’ is another example of how morality comes from us but involves expressing what we think is right or wrong rather than making a claim about it. Something is neither true nor false and according to this theory there is no fact of the matter just an expression of what the person observing thinks.
The feeling theory and the boo-hoorah theory are both wrong for everyone is different and raised differently with different beliefs (everyone has different feelings). So technically one person can truly believe that it is okay to kill while another says it’s not okay, these two people are contradicting one another which rules out both theories. Some children are brought up in an abusive home environment; does this mean that morally they think its okay to treat people differently based on how they were raised?
All people are raised in a different environment, under different circumstances so if morality comes from us then morality would have to include a whole lot of different views. Another important theory is that morality and our right and wrongs come from the law. Morality and the law often correspond, our morals are what we consider right and wrong, While the law is what has been decided as right and wrong for us. Both murder and stealing are things we consider morally wrong and are also against the law. In the perfect world we all want the law to coincide with morality, but in reality most likely will never be like that.
For example drugs are illegal and the law will not accept any sort of behaviour involving drugs, but in some cases people justify that is morally acceptable to deal drugs use it for personal use because of financial situations and pleasure. So they morally justify it in their own head for it to be okay. Even though morality can be guided by the law, helping us understand the differences between right and wrong, morality can’t come from the law, for there are a lot of things the law accept but us civilians see it as wrong.
As we can see morality cannot come from the above theories, for they all leave the question of the origin of right and wrong UN answered. I believe that morality comes from us and that things are right and wrong anyway. I believe G. E Moores theory of the extra fact (the six sense) that can detect wrongness. I truly believe this for it is true that there is that something inside of us, guiding us and helping us know what is right and wrong. We on’t necessarily have to be taught about all the wrongs in life to just get that gut feeling that mugging an elderly person is just wrong, why do we feel that? Why don’t we do it? It is because it is something that is just there. Also everyone in the world is different, we all come from different backgrounds and everyone has been brought up differently, in different environments. So therefore we all have different feelings and beliefs, for someone can truly believe that stealing is acceptable, when another thinks it is wrong.
Morality is based on how you feel and how you treat people, expecting the same in return; you wouldn’t want someone to hurt you, so why would you want to hurt them. There are no proven facts to where right and wrong comes from but it is something that is just there. It changes over time, and things that were once believed as right are now seen as wrong. So therefore we cannot place judgements for we don’t know what morality and right and wrong will be seen as in ten years time, it’s based you as a person.