Moral Compass Essay

1178 Words Feb 12th, 2013 5 Pages
Moral Compass Essay
Yuebo (Grace) Zhu
I. Introduction

A moral compass is the moral guide on which a person bases his/her decisions and distinguishes what is right from what is wrong. With our moral compass, we know what rules we should play by. When I was a child, I learnt Chinese traditional wisdom, Confucianism, from my parents and elementary school. The core of Confucianism is humanity, to be altruistic, upright and courteous within the society, from which I got to know the rules I should honor. Never cheat. Be kind and honest. Don't do anything that will hurt others. These become the foundation of my moral compass.

As I grow older, I have been introduced to other theories which cast light on the formation of my moral compass.
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According to my moral vision, I make my own code of conduct. First, don't judge. I shouldn't judge others’ choices because they have their own rights to choose freely. Second, don't do anything that will violate others’ basic rights. Examples are as covering my cough, not making noise when roommates are sleeping, etc. If I choose to do the opposite, it would make no difference to me, but it would put other people’s rights at stake. Third, others have no saying in my decisions. I expect people to respect my rights and not to control or disturb me. Just as the way I respect them, they should respect me.

III. Defining Moment

My moral compass gives me guidance on many decision making situations. However, chances are high that interests of different groups cannot always be saved at the same time. Under these circumstances, no matter which one I choose, there would always be someone whose rights would be violated. This is my defining moment.
There is no such thing as “absolute good” but “good for”. Whenever I meet my defining moment, I think about the question, “Whose good should I be serving?” I am not saying to evaluate whose interests are more valuable, but to evaluate whose interests are more important TO ME. There are three principles for me to evaluate different interests. The first is the interest’s indirect impact on the third party. For example, the police are investigating a theft and I know who the thief is. I must

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