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The moral is one of the ways and means of individuals’ adaptation to life in society. It links the personal freedom with social necessity and responsibility. The moral may be defined as a particular form of evaluating and normative orientation of people in the society and as the primary form of a public will. Such aspects of morality as moral values, virtues, and judgments result in the notion called moral perfectionism (Yang, Stoeber. & Wanga, 2015). The mechanism of moral values functioning is a complicated matter. Moral values should be linked to the intentions and actions. Bagozzi, Sekerka, Hill, & Sguera (2013) claim that moral values “are the emotive mechanisms needed to create positive, sustained ethical action in human organizational systems” (p.70).
Moral Values Core
I think that the core of my moral values is family upbringing. I am sure that a decent example that you grow with is a hundred times worthier than any words heard or read at any time. My parents have always taught me to be honest. Honesty is a life credo of my father. It is important, to be honest with yourself first of all. You may fool the others, but not yourself. Of course, honesty about others is also necessary. If you live or work with people, you should not tell lies. You should not do it to extremes here. Your secrets are yours, but the deliberate lie is impossible. Another value I was observing since an early age is a respect. Respect for other people or their work is an integral component of a moral society. Responsibility is one more value to consider. I was taught for as long as I remember that I am responsible for everything I say or do. If I gave a toy to my neighbor and he broke it, it was my responsibility. I am grateful to my parents for these lessons. They were very helpful at school, at college and I am sure I can apply them at work. It is hardly possible to possess all the moral values. Unfortunately, moral perfectionists are not often met in contemporary society. If there were more people with higher moral values who possess more virtues, Earth could become a better place. My opinion is supported by the research which proved that those people are “more inclined to show forgiveness, are more willing to help in return if someone helps them, and are more self-critical of their wrongdoings compared to people who do not have such high moral standards” (Yang et al., 2015, p.232).
The Sources of Moral Values in the Course of History
I would mention the three primary sources of moral values. First of all, it is the society we live in. Its traditions and customs together with cultures influence the moral values of the people who work and live in this society. The laws that society follows should also be mentioned here. Society affects the moral values regardless of the size of a community. The changes in society, historical or political, reflect on the values. The second source of moral values which may be even more influential is religion. Every religion has a list of rules to follow by its supporters. Usually, it outlines what is good and what is not, thus introducing the moral values of the community. The last source which I think is considerably influenced by the first two is person’s self. It is responsible for the perception of moral values suggested by the society and religion. It is instinctive in some way, but the skill to see what is right and what is wrong is improved with gaining the life experience. Due to our inner moral source, we can distinguish what is good or bad, honest or not, kind or evil. All those sources undergo the influence of time. The rise and decline of civilizations, the change of political orders, the development of religions all have the impact on the values. In fact, the values of every society meet the demand of time.
The Influence of Ethics in Practice
There are numerous theoretical discussions on the sense of values, morality, and ethics. I have enjoyed reading a book presenting practical approaches to ethical issues. The concept of consequentialism is close to my beliefs. I believe that every action has its result, either good or bad. Shaw (2014) also states that “our actions are right or wrong because, and only because, of their consequences” (p.26). This paper recommends thinking well before acting and counting the possible outcomes. Another idea of consequentialism that interested me was that of motives. It is considered that good motives initiate the correct behavior and, as a result, good actions.
The notion of morality is closely connected to deontology. Deontology presupposes the “duties of special relationship” (McNaughton & Rawling, 2014, p.37). We may owe something to our close people or the ones we are connected at work. Deontology acknowledges the demanding nature of morality and a possibility of personal sacrifice in case of necessity” (McNaughton & Rawling, 2014).
The problem of morality will never have a unique solution. The moral values are influenced by numerous factors which are constantly changing. To my mind, a person should stand firm on what one believes. The surrounding is significant in the formation of moral values, but the major beliefs should come from inside.
Bagozzi, R.P., Sekerka, L.E., Hill, V., & Sguera, F. (2013). The role of moral values in instigating morally responsible decisions. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 49(1), 69-94. Web.
McNaughton, D., & Rawling, P. (2014). Deontology. In H. LaFollette (Ed.), Ethics in Practice (pp.36-47). (4th ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Shaw, W. (2014). Consequentialism. In H. LaFollette (Ed.), Ethics in Practice (pp.26-35). (4th ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Yang, H., Stoeber. J., & Wanga, Y. (2015). Moral perfectionism and moral values, virtues, and judgments: A preliminary investigation. Personality and Individual Differences, 78, 229-233. Web.