By Serwaa Ampaafo

Photo: wiki

Morality generally refers to a code of conduct, that an individual, group or society hold as authoritative, in distinguishing right from wrong. Such code of conduct is often adopted in preference to other alternatives.

Even though , good & evil may generally be considered relative concepts they also have some universal standards by which actions may be considered moral or immoral. 

Global examples: cheating in exams is not right , reaching top positions on the basis of merits only is correct, racism is wrong, and kindness to suffering refugees is highly ethical. The shady areas between right & wrong are very few, indeed.

For a topic as subjective as morality, people certainly have strong and stubborn beliefs about what’s right and wrong that can be in direct contrast to the moral beliefs of others. 

Although the morality of a group or society may be derived from its religion, morality and religion are not the same. In fact morality is way older than religion; morality existed before the invention of any religion in the world. 

Morality is only a guide to conduct, whereas religion is always more than this. For example, religion includes stories about events in the past, usually about supernatural beings, that are used to explain or justify the behavior that it prohibits or requires.  

There is often a considerable overlap in the conduct prohibited or required by religion and that prohibited or required by morality.  Religions may prohibit or require more than is prohibited or required by guides to behavior that are explicitly labeled as moral guides, and may allow some behavior that is prohibited by morality. 

In it is in this light that it is morally wrong to abuse women, engage in slavery, plagiarism etc. yet religion especially christianity and Islam endorse them. 

Religion is never a standard or a  determinant for what is right or wrong. Writers of the bible and the qu’ran incorporate universal moral standards such as do not kill, do not gossip, do not steal etc to make them appear as though they mean some good to build and gain trust of followers while they manipulate them.

In fact one of the reasons many cannot wrap their heads around religion is the fact that religion is intertwined with universally accepted morals. Many do not understand why a book that teaches them to be right is  equally propagating lies. 

There is no truth in religion especially Christianity and Islam and the ten commandments supposedly given to Moses by Yahweh are even a plagiarism of the forty two (42) principles of M’aat (the Egyptian Godess of balance)

it is possible for a society to have a morality that is concerned primarily with minimizing the harms that human beings can suffer. Such a society might claim that their morality is based on some universal features of human nature or of all rational beings. 

Although most philosophers do not use “morality” in a descriptive sense, some philosophers do. Ethical relativists such as Harman (1975), Westermarck (1960), Prinz (2007), and Wong (1984, 2006) deny that there is any universal normative morality and claim that the actual moralities of societies or individuals are the only moralities there are. 

These relativists hold that only when the term “morality” is used in this descriptive sense is there something that “morality” actually refers to: a code of conduct put forward by a society or accepted by an individual. 

They claim that it is a mistake to take “morality” to refer to a universal code of conduct that, under certain conditions, would be endorsed by all rational persons. 

Although ethical relativists admit that many speakers of English use “morality” to refer to such a universal code of conduct, they claim such persons are mistaken in thinking that there is anything that is the referent of the word “morality” taken in that sense.  

When used with its descriptive sense, “morality” can refer to codes of conduct with widely differing content, and still be used unambiguously. This parallels the way in which “law” is used unambiguously even though different societies have laws with widely differing content. 

Members of the society who are also members of a religious group may regard both guides as elements of morality and differ with respect to which of the conflicting elements of the moral guide they consider most important.

 There are likely to be significant moral disputes between those who consider different elements to be more important.

In conclusion, Morals are essential for every living entity born as a human being that inculcate a sense of understanding and enabling the individual and the society at large  to choose between right and wrong. 

One feature which differentiates humans from animals are  moral values. Morality is not absolute as every society has different values. One should try to follow the ones that make society progressive as much as possible.

 It help prevent us from committing any kind of misconduct, crime or any kind of cynical act.. All the crimes we see around us can be connected with decline in moral values.



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