What Moral Obligation Is and What It Means

Last Updated: 17 May 2023
Essay type: Definition Essay
Pages: 4 Views: 114

Moral Obligation

Moral obligation is a duty that one ought to perform based on their values, but is not legally bound to fulfill. In the definition itself, it says that "one ought", meaning that one should do these actions. Many people however, believe that we have a moral obligation to help those in need. And most of the time, when they say "people in need", they mean people that are financially unstable. We do not have a moral obligation to help people that are in financial need because it can establish dependence on help, some people do not want help, and,by definition, moral obligation does not exist, only guilt.

Since a young age, we are slowly taught to stop depending on other things or people, For example, babies are taught to no longer depend on diapers and go to the toilet. When people grow up, they are taught to no longer depend on their parents' or guardians' income and have an income of their own. They are also taught that they have to no longer depend on their parents or guardians to drive them where they need to go and earn a driver's license of their own. So, when we help, for example, the homeless man by giving him money, he becomes dependent on the people that walk by him every day. However, if one day, people stop giving that man money for whatever reason, he could die because he had no personal income, for he lived off of other people's income. If that man were to get a job, he would not have to depend on other people and would have a reliable source of income.

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Other people do not even want help in the first place. Tom Leppard, also known as Leopard Man, loved living in solitude in a falling down shelter with no electricity or running water in the Scottish wilderness. When people would tell him to come back into society to become similar to the rest of them again, he simply declined. He even stated that,"As far as I'm concerned, if there is a paradise on Earth, I'm in it." He would go into town once a week for supplies and food, but he would cover up his colorful body. He felt happy right where he was, and by a lot of people, he could be considered homeless, since he does not live in what would be considered a proper house. And yet, that was just the way that he wanted to live.

Furthermore, moral obligation is different for everyone, and most of the time it is guilt,not moral obligation. Moral obligation is something that one does based on their beliefs or values. However, not everyone has the same values or beliefs. For example, an assassin does not value life the same a a fire fighter or a policeman would. Nor does a Christian and a Buddhist person have the same beliefs. Also, we should not have to do anything, because although we can help those people in need, we should not have to help those people. Some people could be extremely poor, but because they are morally obligated to help the homeless man on the corner, they would give him the little money that they have. Guilt happens more often than moral obligation. When we see people who are financially unstable, we can feel guilty for having something that the other person does not have.

I do understand that when people are in need, other people want to help that person. That not being at the same level, or to have inequality among people does not seem fair to many people. They state that wealth inequality is an unacceptable form of dehumanization. That their amount of wealth places their social status in society. In addition, many people wealth can mean more freedom and happiness for that person and the people connected to that person, such their family

Despite this, what many people don't realize is that inequality is not the worst thing in the world. Of course, it is bad when a person has no money to pay for food or for rent. However, to live in a country that had no inequalities is actually called a communist country. A communist country is when the people living in that state are all equal and no one has more nor less than anyone else. Communist can take turns for the worse, and can lead to a dictatorship, since there a ruler that is above everyone. Also, just because a person is wealthy, it does not automatically mean that they are free and happy. If that were the case, then a lot of famous people, who have more than enough money to spend, would not commit suicide.

In conclusion, we are not morally obligated to help people because some people do not want help, they could become dependent on that help, and,because by definition, moral obligation is different for everyone, and most of the time it is not even moral obligation, it is guilt.

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What Moral Obligation Is and What It Means. (2023, May 17). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/what-moral-obligation-is-and-what-it-means/

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