Where do morals come from?
Do morals come from the Bible, from man, from reason and logic or from somewhere else? I am intrigued with the concepts of good, evil and morality and how people come to define them in the context of their lives.
I believe that your morals come from many places. Each person is different as we are each sunjected to a different life-style and surrounding. Morals are of course passed down to us from our parents. If you grow in a home where morality is lax then unless you aquire those morals from another source, i.e. the Bible or friends or life experiences, then you will row with the same morals as your family.
The choice is ultimately ours as we become adults but there has to be some sort of teaching for us to know. There is an inside place that we develope as we grow also and the mind tells us that what we are doing is right or wrong. The same thoughts do not apply to everyone. Where one family views swearinbg as vulgar and sinful, others may grow in a family that curses a lot. This may lead them to feel that cursing is simply an extension of ones vocabulary.
Certainly, your religous up-bringing has a great deal to do with what you view as good and bad or right and wrong. Most of us fall short of the 10 commandments that God set before us. Morally, we may in fact Know that things we do are wrong but do them anyways. That is a life choice. I do believe that from the first time our little hands are slapped and we hear "No" that we begin our jouney to gain knowledge of what is right and wrong.
And yes, we have a brain and free choice. Logically, we can often see what is wrong and right. Ifg we see someone hurting another person, even if we have not been directly taught it is, our minds can make an assement of the situation and say "hey, that's just not right to treat someone that way." Where it all comes from in reality, no matter what moral we are speaking of, is simply from Life and learning and experience.
Personally I don't believe religion should be valued as the 'be all and end all' of moral values. I'm not an expert on this in any way shape or form but can recommend 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins. I believe he has a way of explaining the birth of morals in a charming, intelligent and assured manner.
Morals do come from many places, for each of us, and for all of us. There are some universal ethical or moral principles that exist in every society for the simple reason that, without them, society just would not work. How could a society work if murder was encouraged, or lying, or not keeping one's word.
There also seems to be a universal repugnance for incest, and it appears biological, though the definition of what exactly is incest varies from culture to culture.
Beyond that, morals develop in societies generation after generation. Sometimes, they change over time but people don't know that. For example, in Old Testament times, a man could have two wives, as Abraham did. And the law said that punishment was "an eye for an eye" and a life for a life. Well, those changed. Monogamy is now considered correct in Judaism and Christianity, and punishments are much more lenient than then.
And this happens in societies, as well. Less than 200 years ago, debtors went to prison. Not long before that, thieves might have their hands cut off, and stealing something worth just a few dollars was a major crime.
When we see the diversity of moral ideas, we learn to be open-minded. When we think about what really makes families, economies, and societies work, we contribute to the morals of our generation. And when we develop the clarity and discipline to live a life dedicated to the good - living morally and going beyond that, to living charitably, we heal the world.
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