What is Morality? Essay

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What is Morality? Philosophers around the world have debated the meaning of morality for centuries. However, it is a word too subjective to be either denoted or defined. Aristotle, often referred to as the father of philosophy, advised that one could determine what is moral by examining the mean between two “less desirable” extremes. For example, courage is a mean between fear and thoughtless rashness; generosity, between extravagance and parsimony. Plato argued that “to know the good is to do the good.” In other words, those who behave immorally due so out of mere ignorance, not defiance. Furthermore, Plato believed that a moral person is a truly happy person; and because people always desire their own happiness, they always…show more content…
This reward system trains us to believe that what is legal is moral. Although a person may be a law-abiding citizen, he or she may not necessarily be moral. The morality of an individual is also based on his or her childhood. Parents have an immense effect on their children’s values. For instance, if parents teach their child at early ages to be a hard-worker, to be honest and true, and to have integrity, then it is likely that the child will grow up with these morals instilled within them. However, some children grow to be the antithesis of their parents. They see that their parents are immoral and so they intentionally grow to think and behave differently. If so, is the child immoral for defying his or her parents, or is the child moral for defying his or her immoral parents? Another factor in determining one’s morals is one’s religiosity. For instance, some religions, such as Hinduism, believe in animal sacrifices as a way of worshiping; however, other religions, such as Catholicism, do not. Thus, to a Catholic, the sacrifice of innocent animals may seem immoral whereas followers of the Hindu religion view the practice as sacred. Therefore, one cannot conclude that simply because a person is religious, he or she is also moral. There are thousands of religions throughout the world; who has the authority to determine whose
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