Moral Norms: Definition, Characteristics and Examples

We explain what moral standards are, their characteristics and examples. Also, what is moral philosophy and more.

What are moral standards?

Moral norms are rules of conduct imposed by a society that govern the actions of people so that they can distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. They are rules based on ethics that allow directing a person’s life towards the good as the supreme value.

These norms are fulfilled voluntarily and their non-compliance lacks a specific sanction, although it entails rejection by society that can create remorse in the individual.

In the case of legal norms, which are also governed by ethics , their non-compliance does have legal weight because they are based on justice as the supreme social value and not only on good as the supreme value.

Morality is the mental capacity to recognize what is good and just and then act accordingly. Morality constitutes a set of norms and rules considered ethical and acceptable, which allows for a harmonious life in community .

Many moral norms are universal in nature, such as “do not kill” and “respect others”. However, many other norms depend on the social context and its cultural history.

What in one population is considered morally correct, in another could mean the opposite. For example, in certain cultures polygamy (that a person can marry several individuals at the same time) is accepted, while in other cultures this is unacceptable and only monogamy (one exclusive partner) applies.

Characteristics of moral norms

Moral norms are characterized by:

  • Be independent, that is, they do not require a legal apparatus to be put into practice by people.
  • Regulate the behavior of individuals living in society.
  • Not be written or documented. They are transmitted by habits, word and example through actions.
  • Emerge from the culture and customs of each society, so they can vary between different populations.
  • Being intrinsic values of human beings, such as solidarity.

Examples of moral standards

Examples of moral standards Many ethical values are shared by almost all societies.

Some examples of moral standards are:

  • Be kind to others.
  • Be sincere while maintaining respect for the other.
  • Give way when the road is narrow so that both can pass.
  • Be an honest person.
  • Say hello when entering a place where there are other people.
  • Give priority to an ambulance or essential service that needs to travel urgently.
  • Do not take advantage of the limitations that another person may have.
  • Do not throw waste on the street.
  • Help someone who needs it in a genuine way, without wanting to take advantage or take advantage of the situation.
  • Be tolerant with others, even if they think differently.
  • Achieve a job on your own merit and not because you have a close friend who favors hiring or doing a favor in exchange for the job.

Moral Philosophy

moral philosophy The categorical imperative raised by Kant refers to moral duty as the supreme principle.

Moral philosophy is the part of philosophical science that analyzes good and evil , inquiring from the origins of morality to the way of life of people. He was noted for the work of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) who introduced the term categorical imperative to refer to moral duty and which became a central concept in later modern ethics.

The categorical imperative concept , which refers to the supreme principle of morality, arises from two terms: imperative , which represents order and what is imposed in an imperative way , and categorical , which represents the absolute and the final. To apply it in everyday life, Kant cited the following example: “act in such a way that your will can consider itself as universally legislating.”

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.

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