Insights from the 19th Century: Moral vs Immoral
The theme of morality encircles around its foundations, standards of good and evil, ethical and unethical behaviour, as well as the shift and change it brings, which tend to appear arbitrary. The insights of the European 19th century enfold Glover’s understanding of moral resources such as, self-interest, humanity and moral identity. However, he also looks into traditional conceptions of morality, especially a challenge made by Nietzsche. Nietzsche stirs his argument from a “slave morality” perspective, where strong and robust is considered valiant, and weak and vulnerable is considered coward. Nietzsche argues that slave morality applauds all that is weakest, fragile and most unhealthy form of humanity.
In general, the realm of this discussion coerces our soul to ask, “Today, are we all the children of the 19th century?” With the passage of time, we humans have been revolutionized. Turning our heads back to the 19th century and putting our foot on the ground in the 21st century shows us a distinct picture. The term 'morality' raises abundant questions in mind and one wrestles to find an apt answer. The question is not, “How do we explain to ourselves why we should be moral rather than immoral?” Instead, the better question to ask is, “How do we expect from people to behave morally with us?” Do we expect all the time or some of the time? If the answer is, “Yes, all the time”, then should not most people would answer the same? Today, people want to be treated morally, which implies that everybody needs to behave morally toward all others. At least, the principle of reciprocity is good to think about. Morality asks us to examine from an objective point of view, rather than subjective. It is an absolute objective imperative.
There is a very thin line between moral and immoral. There are some unresolved questions to measure morality and immorality, as there is no yardstick to measure them. We live in a society where culture and environment play a pivotal role in shaping our morality, in shaping our upbringing and our identity. However, there is always a ‘good-conscience’ within us, which is the voice of our soul in telling us what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral, and what is ethical and unethical. Humanity still exists today. I agree that nothing is perfect in this world. We cannot have the definition of moral without immoral. It is because of the immorality that we were able to define morality. We humans are the product of our thoughts and it is our thoughts that shape our behaviour toward others. Therefore, understanding and weighing the salutary effects and the deleterious effects of a particular situation, can help us to define what is moral and what is immoral.
~ Copyright © Surabhi Kaura 2015
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