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Morality

March 29, 2018

 

HANNAH JONES
Staff Reporter | hej006@latech.edu

 

JONES

 

How is what is morally right or wrong determined?

 

Those who are religious have their own list of rules to follow, written or unwritten. Nations have laws (often influenced by religion) for the sake of order if not morality.

 

What an idea — does morality govern order? It is often viewed that when laws are broken and non-existent, a world will fall into chaos. But is that truly the case?

 

There seems to be an interwoven emergence of order in the presence of morality. Or is it the case of the opposite, that order and rules bring about morality? Which came first, the value of human life or “thou shalt not kill”?

 

It seems as though every person has a moral code, and most would agree this is the case. However, in the specifics, it appears everyone has a different take on that moral code.

 

Some would say that deception is bad regardless of circumstance. But what if the lie brings peace rather than unresolvable turmoil? Or if a continued lie for the sake of excitement is worth the disappointment later in life?

 

A commonly debated example (and spoiler alert) of this is whether or not children should believe in such things as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. Many parents spin these tales, going to great lengths in order to convince their children of the reality of these characters. (And while there is some truth to the tale of Santa Claus, he is certainly not still alive or living at the North Pole with his elves.) These same parents teach their children not to lie on a daily basis. Is this not an inconsistency?

 

Of course, everyone has their own perspective, but is this not the problem? Is the relativism mindset of at least most of modern civilization the very reason there is so much division in the world?

 

The moral codes of humankind must have something in common with which to unify humanity. Two suggested ends to the means of a moral code are: survival instinct of the individual or the preservation of human life. Some might say, why not both?

 

However, these two appear to be at odds with one another. Survival instinct would tell a person to rid themselves of unnatural stressors — but what if that unnatural stressor is a spouse? At that moment is the point of conflict with the preservation of human life.

 

So, which is the right one? Or is there a correct and achievable answer to the question of what unifies the morality of all humanity in regard to basic human rights?

 

Hannah Jones is a sophomore English major from Frisco, Texas, who serves as a staff reporter for The Tech Talk.

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