Is there such thing as a moral compass?

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  1. Andi R profile image60
    Andi Rposted 12 years ago

    Is there such thing as a moral compass?

    Are morals something designed by culture or are there actions all humans know are right and wrong? What do you think?

  2. Neil Sperling profile image60
    Neil Sperlingposted 12 years ago

    We have past the university of learning good and evil and the time for traditions to be thrown away. We need to now go back to zero and design a new man from the inside out.

    No more traditions - no more judgements.

    the true moral compass is "follow your own heart"

  3. Teylina profile image60
    Teylinaposted 12 years ago

    I like Nell's "need ... design a new man from the inside out," but not sure "follow your own heart," is enough because too many bad hearts out there! Hah. I don't believe morals SHOULD be designed by culture. I do believe we should have and follow a "moral compass," but am not sure ALL humans are aware of the specific issues of right and wrong, or even choose to recognize them. What about "victimless crimes?" Where do they fit? The word "amoral" if I'm not mistaken, refers to one w/o any recognition of morals (right/wrong) at all-- so they'd have no moral compass. Just thought of an old phrase, whatever, about making deals, etc. i.e., "it went south." Applied to humans, I would think a person's reputation/name would "go south" if he/she chose not to follow a code of ethics/ morality of right and wrong. Obviously, some people will have a higher set of moral codes--stricter, if you will--in which case the needle is gonna waiver big-time if trying to "go north" as opposed to "south!"--as opposed to those more 'on-the-fence.' Since we don't have a literal compass, I would say most would use or claim to use the Bible or whatever decree their religious morals come from. Whatever, it would be from the basic belief system based on what one has learned/studied/accepted, etc. Culture could become a facet--but not the compass. Interesting question.

  4. keepitnatural profile image60
    keepitnaturalposted 12 years ago

    I think deep down, as we grow older, that we all develop our own true determination of right & wrong. Some may choose to blanket this under cultural upbringing if it appears to show a harder way out, or more difficult route, but those strong enough to do the right thing as they see it & understand it from experience are the ones who who truly are 'good people' & perhaps enlightened ones.

  5. SpiritPhilosopher profile image58
    SpiritPhilosopherposted 12 years ago

    Yes, there is a moral compass which is called the Moral Philosophy.
    But this Moral Philosophy is based on the Spiritual Philosophy, which is also based on the everlasting 'Truth'.
    Therefore, your actions must be according to your faith based on the everlasting 'Truth'.

  6. rwelton profile image60
    rweltonposted 12 years ago

    ...based on the culture in which you are raised, the guide should be to always do what you would do if everyone was watching all the time. 

    I would wager that man's moral compass adjusts to its constantly changing version of ' True North' as we gather experiences and consequences, magnets as it were, pushing and pulling.  Intent is always involved  - as children often innocently  say and do what would be unthinkable for an adult...with a hopefully more evolved moral compass.

    An unfortunate life filled with poor experiences can inevitably create a very skewed compass as viewed by normal society.


  7. WindMaestro profile image59
    WindMaestroposted 12 years ago

    A moral compass? Isn't that the thing that Captain Jack Sparrow has? Oh no, thats just what he DESIRES, not his morales. My bad. His morales would just include, rum, rum, and more rum, I suppose.

  8. edhan profile image37
    edhanposted 12 years ago

    We all have been taught since young and in school. By the time we grown up, we able to understand what is right and wrong. But there are always 2 sides of a coin even though we know that we are not supposed to do the wrong thing.

    It is all the upbringing of your kids when they are young and exposing them to see what is right and wrong while explaining when it is happening. This will help them to understand that we should all be doing the right thing. Let them know the action has consequence.

    I always believe that we should be teaching our kids on the spot when things happen and explaining the right & wrong. Why you should not be doing the wrong thing and the consequence of your action if you do it.

    We as parents will always do our best to guide our children in life so they will guide their own children on the right path.

  9. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    Although, for some people, the only thing that tells them right from wrong is someone else who talks about morality; there are people who have a natural kind of empathy and compassion that is, in itself, their moral compass (regardless of what any "written rules" are about morality).  Some morality may come from a person's reasoning ability and common sensed.  For example, the sixteen-year-old who decides she won't sleep with every date may be aware of the risk of serious, future-damaging, consequences of such carelessness.   Enough self-esteem, self-respect, and respect for others can also play a role in a person's refusal to do something s/he knows wouldn't be the wisest or healthiest for her or someone else.

    All that aside, I pretty much believe that empathy and compassion and a wish not to hurt anyone or anything, as well as a nurturing and protective instinct to others, are developed in the early childhood years when the brain is being developed.  I believe that if those things are well developed from early childhood on, that's when there can be more of a need, for some people, to be told right from wrong by someone who is respected.  Even when empathy, compassion, and a nurturing instinct are well developed in early childhood, though; I believe there's still the need to support and reinforce that by talking to children about what is right and wrong.

  10. gangly08 profile image60
    gangly08posted 12 years ago

    Everyone knows right and wrong though somethings are gray areas. Also people know somethings are wrong but are taught that they are actually good. They aren't totally separate but everyone knows when they are wrong.

  11. The Demon Writer profile image61
    The Demon Writerposted 12 years ago

    There is no such thing as evil, only difference of opinion.

    The definition of right and wrong changes so much from culture to culture, different times in history and on an individual level. You can live your life based on the morals of the society you live in, the religion you follow or just what you have been taught by your parents and family.
    In the end you need to decide what you really believe and if you want to acct upon those beliefs.

    Despite what a lot of people like to tell us, there is no right and wrong, only what you believe.

    There is no such thing as evil, only difference of opinion.

  12. zduckman profile image61
    zduckmanposted 12 years ago

    Yes, it is called your conscience...this is what guides you in making good decisions. Good decisions make you feel good....and when you know you have acted in weak moral charactar...that impacts us as well. ...sociopaths being the exception

  13. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 12 years ago

    I think of the Yahi Indian, Ishi when reading this question. The contrast of him being the last of a tribe in California, emerging into a society, of which he not only did not know, but experience was the destruction it dealt to his people. The throws of isolationism, his somewhat primitive lifestyle, and the principals of his now lost culture paint a different moral compass we know today. His friendship with a Berkley professor and the written story by Theodora Kroeber, author of Ishi in Two Worlds, may shed light onto this question.

  14. profile image0
    James E.posted 12 years ago

    I believe it is influenced by your culture or upbringing from child to adult, but there is some common sense applied to what is right and wrong.

    For example, I wouldn't run around naked in public, but there is groups/resorts and beaches that allow this sort of thing.  I wouldn't listen to heavy metal music on my ipod with lyrics talking about satan waiting for a church service.

    In the end, your initial influence is the family unit or cultural society you were raised.

  15. profile image0
    Robert Veightposted 12 years ago

    A society affects it's culture, which in turn, affects morals/values and norms.  However, principles are unchanging, universal.  You can think of morals/values to be somewhat subjective, where as principles are objective - they are the same regardless of how or who views them.   

    The founders of the United States of America believed this as they set forth in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, ....we are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...."

    Morals have become pliable over the years, but principles are unbending.  You may break a moral or value by your own interpretation of it. But you only break yourself against principle, and always suffer the consequences.

    Tapping into your intuition and educating your conscience is a good place to start in understanding this idea.

  16. akuigla profile image60
    akuiglaposted 12 years ago

    Yes,there is.
    Before you do something ask yourself "What would Jesus do"?
    If you are non-believer,you may ask yourself what the most respected person,in your opinion, would do.
    This is your moral compass.


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