The one thing that has separated humans from being the animals they are as stated in the evolution theory is that humans are civilized. To put it in layman’s terms, we are on a different level of social, cultural, and moral development and therefore considered to be more advanced. To be civilized, we have to learn to live together with the environment and ourselves while making sure that we know the differentiation of what is “good” and what is “bad”. We need knowledge and skills to be able to evaluate intentions, decisions, and actions between what is right and wrong. This is the essence of morality, the reference point from which the fundamental laws of human living is defined. Moral values uphold the right behavior and appropriate response to a given situation. For example, should a thief be caught stealing money from a shop, the offender will be handed over to the police rather than have him being beaten up by the shop owner. Another example would be the burning of forests to procur land for farming. Here, this action causes environmental and health issues. Financially speaking the land will generate money but morally will affect the health of the people affected by the pollution and displace wild animals from their habitat.
Why the moral values are important :
Moral values are the building blocks of our lives, the core of civilization where one good of a minority cannot over ride the greater good of a community. It does not condone individual acts either when it oppresses others’ rights. So what constitutes moral values? It includes honesty, justice, diligence, compassion, kindness, humility, forgiveness, generosity amongst many others. These are also not just behaviours but attitudes as well. Being moral requires courage that can guide us through life’s obstacles. Anyone who has courage can bravely face the world. It makes us better people when we learn to care more for others than ourselves. Through time moral values become our character, our person.
Understanding moral values :
However, what are the measurements needed to differentiate between the rights and the wrongs? Different cultures have different moral systems. Take for example those in under developed countries where child slavery still exists. To the child owners, they are helping to provide money to the poor family who is selling off their child but to the rest of the world this practice is cruel. The child’s basic human rights are abused. This has been practiced for a very long time and has been accepted by that society, so what is right to them may not be so with others. How then can we know what constitutes morality in this case? Moral values stems from understanding the reasons and the need for it. Without understanding, our intellect can only shape our thinking and not our desire to apply. Morality and understanding are like a lever and a fulcrum as they can only function if they are both present. This combination of reason and morality is needed for conviction to take place within oneself.
The basics of right, wrong, good and bad :
Moral studies can also help us in solving moral conflicts in our daily lives. A moral conflict is a dispute that is concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong. Someone’s moral values are related to their practice, thinking and language. Different people have different thoughts and practice. A person acts through what they their understand based upon their experience and upon what they think is valuable and important. The way each individual thinks shapes their self identity based on their understanding of facts and issues to help them cope with their problems. For instance, people sometimes differentiate rights and virtues. Each of these is associated with a particular form of society. People from the same cultural backgrounds have similar mindsets. Therefore, their values and behaviour are more or less the same....