We explain what morality is, the types that exist and what moral codes are. Also, what are its characteristics and examples.
By morality or morality is understood a set of beliefs, customs, norms and values that serve as a guide to individual conduct within the framework of a particular culture , society or tradition. In other words, it is what makes it possible to distinguish between good and bad within a specific context: the values defended by a social group at a given moment in its history.
Morality encompasses all topics and contexts of the human being , as long as he is a free individual , of voluntary acts, and endowed with the capacity for self-determination. It should not be confused with ethics , despite being similar concepts.
Morality has to do with the free will of the human being and his adherence to certain codes of conduct formed historically and culturally. For example, religions impose certain codes of conduct, which order the daily lives of populations based on what is socially, culturally and spiritually acceptable, and what is not.
Morality has accompanied the human being in all stages of its history . Its content has not been unanimous, but quite the opposite: each human tradition, each religious school, each culture, has its own moral precepts and values, through which its concepts of "good" and "bad" are expressed. .
Probably, morality arose in ancient times as a way to organize communities and give them a certain stability. Based on clear rules of coexistence and conduct, they could prosper.
In fact, societies with moral codes prospered faster than anarchic societies, whatever the content of those codes. Eventually, morality ceased to be a set of pragmatic norms and became abstract concepts: good and evil.
There are different types of morals, such as:
Despite being similar concepts, morals and ethics are distinguished by the fact that the first is sustained based on abstract concepts of good and evil, as proposed by tradition, customs and the historical consensus of a society.
Instead, ethics aspires to a more universal appreciation of an individual's responsibility to the entire society, generally applied to a profession or the exercise of power.
Ethics is rationally arguable, it stems from social, legal and professional considerations , while morality comes from absolute and unquestionable values, although slowly changing over time .
A set of moral norms is often spoken of as an objective morality, that is, a morality put into practice socially, and that has nothing to do with whether the individual abides by them, or not. In this sense, it serves to distinguish between:
A moral code is nothing more than a formal or informal set of norms to which we adhere to order our society, according to the values of our tradition and to social and cultural consensus.
These codes can be collected in some type of writing , such as prohibitive posters in different institutions or situations (such as those that prohibit entering a church with certain clothing items).
In other cases they are unwritten codes, managed by the population even unconsciously. For example, this is the case of the moral codes of Christianity that persist in the modern and liberal West (sexual fidelity between couples, the rejection of homosexuality, etc.).
Individuals can abide by some or all of the moral norms of their respective codes, depending on the permissiveness of society and the cultural and emotional structure of each person.
Initially they operated as a first legal code, but in our societies it was relegated to a more intimate and cultural place, which in many cases the churches or secular institutions are in charge of. However, it should be noted that not all morality is religious , although all religion proposes a particular moral code.
The most influential religion in the formation of Western morality was Christianity, which ordered European society in the hands of the Church for 1500 years and then was imposed on the American one, where pre-Columbian cultures had their own religious and moral forms.
Morality is key in guaranteeing peace and social coexistence in human communities . A certain margin of prohibition, of behavioral discipline and of values has proven to be an advantage over anarchic social models, in which the force of the powerful is the one that implants social norms .
However, the most moralistic societies are not necessarily more prosperous, nor is progress exclusively conservative. In fact, as societies prosper, their moral codes change , adapting to the new living conditions that they have reached.
Immorality is the concept diametrically opposed to morality , and it is its complement. Actions that contradict a formal or informal moral code are considered immoral, that is, reprobate, indecent, worthy of criticism and contrary to "good customs".
One can thus speak of immoral actions, immoral people or immoral societies . However, many times what is immoral for some is simply governed by other foreign moral codes.
Unlike immorality, amorality does not constitute a judgment as to whether or not something or someone conforms to the prevailing norms of morality. What is amoral is that which is just not moral, which cannot be evaluated from a moral perspective, but rather from an ethical one .
For example, the science and knowledge technology are totally amoral : can be used for both good and evil, and are not inherently of one or another position. On the other hand, a certain technological advance or scientific practice can be ethical (when it is to the benefit of life ) or unethical (when it is to the detriment of life).
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