Morality is included in all spheres of public life due to the ability of men and society to expose the moral assessment of all aspects of social life (economic, political, spiritual, and so on), and to give moral support to the economic, political, religious, scientific and aesthetic aspects of society.
There are some rules which require from people the service to society. Their appearance and existence are dictated by the objective necessity of collective life. Moral acts in the society as a set of three structural elements: moral activity, moral relations, and moral consciousness.
Moral consciousness has some stereotype of human behavior, which is recognized by the society as the best at this moment in history. The existence of morality can be interpreted as public recognition of the fact that the life and interests of the individual are guaranteed only if solid unity of society as a whole is provided. Thus, morality can be considered as manifestation of the collective will of the people, which, through a system of requirements, estimates and rules try to reconcile the interests of individuals to each other and to the interests of society as a whole.
Unlike other manifestations of the spiritual life of society (science, art, religion), morality is not the sphere of organized activities. There are no such institutions in a society which would ensure the functioning and development of morality. That is why it is impossible to manage the development of morality in the usual sense of the word. If we put some money into the development of science and art, over time we could expect tangible results. In the case with morality, it is impossible. Morality is comprehensive and elusive at the same time. Moral requirements and assessments permeate all spheres of human life and activity.
Most moral requirements appeal not to the outside of expediency, but to the moral duty. They have the form of an imperative (direct and unconditional command). People have been convinced that the strict implementation of moral rules does not always lead to success in life, although morality continues to insist on strict compliance with its requirements. We can explain this phenomenon only in one way: only in the scale of the whole society, the total execution of a moral prescription acquires its full meaning and meets certain social needs.
Human Behaviour – Moral Values or Law?
The problem of the relationship between morality and law is traditional for those specialties in which the subject of labor is a person. Law is a public institution for the translation of moral representations into clearly articulated, unambiguous rules of social behavior and the imposition of punishment for their violation. “Because every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality” (Bauman). In its various forms, it fixes ways of solving certain vital problems. The correlation between law and morality is obvious. The law directly deals with the regulation of relations of morality (trust, love, equality, dignity, freedom, power, responsibility, status, etc.). However, it can not be viewed as a reflection and embodiment of the moral standards of society. In their daily affairs, modern people deal with the variety of different essential and not essential problems. Most of us have to take decisions immediately. However, sometimes there is a great necessity to stop and think properly. In circumstances under pressure, there is no time to think properly as his conscious tells. Thus a person has to act as the law tells. This paper will argue on the concept that human behavior in modern society is influenced more by law than by moral values.
By definition, morality is the totality of the unwritten norms of behavior established in a given society that regulates relations between people. It is important to emphasize that it is in this society because in another society or another era these norms can be completely different. Moral assessment is always carried out by strangers: relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, finally, just a crowd. To start supporting the thesis, it should be noted that the thesis of this paper should not be applied to each particular individual. It covers the problem within modern globalized society and from the perspective of the majority of individuals’ consciousness.
Human behavior is primarily motivated by natural and social needs and by the specific circumstances of the individual. Socio-natural reality is the beginning of human behavior. But there is another reality – morality, moral necessity. It acts as a certain limitation for a person, carried out either by their own will or by the will of the collective (in a primitive society.)
The current situation is characterized by the fact that the process of globalization is everywhere, the formation of an integral world social system, the destruction of the “old” system, while there is a lack of a “new” morality – the moral values of a single humanity. The value structure of society is extremely complex, and its elements have different effects on the dynamics of society’s development.
Significant changes in morality take place in capitalist society, especially at the present stage of its development. If in pre-capitalist societies morality and religion played the most important role in human behavior, capitalism with its market relations, the thirst for profit and wealth is characterized by a moral fall. It is much immoral and dehumanized.
Unrestrained striving for profit turns into greed and leads to the deformation of human relations, the goals of man in a capitalist society. This situation leads to a break in the links between people, leads to isolation and individualism, immorality and crime, to deepening the split between the rich and the poor in different countries. Martin Wolf writes: “The liberal market economy is morally imperfect, not least because it reflects the tastes, desires, and motivations of imperfect human beings” (p.50). For example, in pursuit of profit, transnational corporations in poor countries restrain modernization, do not keep to safety regulations, use child labor, ignore the social problems of countries where they make a profit. The main thing for entrepreneurs is getting wealth and success in competition. For this, they sacrifice morality, and the only legal law is a regulator of relations in business. However, these legal laws often lag behind life, and entrepreneurs act on their own. Although moral norms that are unwritten in nature react to practical problems faster than legal laws, they are not taken into account by entrepreneurs.
It can be confidently asserted that modern capitalist society tends to the erosion of moral values, dehumanization of a person. The peculiarity of moral norms is that they are not fixed by state institutions and do not state norms like legal ones. They are carried out, since this is an internal representation of a person about oneself, and the evaluation of this behavior by others is an endorsement or condemnation.
To summarize the features of moral norms, they are reduced to the following: moral norms always lead to good. They are the result of goodwill, are independently accepted by a person. The choice of moral norms is not determined by their usefulness, but, on the contrary, norms direct the person and help them to set or choose goals. Norms dictate certain prohibitions, but at the same time, they oblige people to live together. Modern society shows less desire to live according to moral norms in comparison with pre-capitalistic societies. In conditions where material things define the social status of a person and the level of respect they deserve, morality looses its value. More and more people perceive life and business as a game. Thus, playing with the law is primarily important. It gives an opportunity to manipulate the facts and circumstances to win the battle for power and respect.
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My Moral Values
In the context of personal character, values are intangible qualities that are regarded as worth possessing due to their usefulness, importance or desirability. Virtually all values are morally relative in the sense that a particular value may seem good and beneficial to one person and yet be outright bad or inimical to others. So, values can be moral or otherwise depending on who is making the judgment. Moral values refer to a set of positive standards and principles that tend to guide or determine how a person distinguishes right from wrong, thus regulating his behaviours and choices. Great moral values have one thing in common – they dignify, enhance and protect life for the good of all.
What determines a person’s moral values?
There are three major sources from which we derive our moral values. One of these is from society and government. The customs, cultures and traditions of society as well as the laws enacted by governments all together shape and define the moral values of individuals within the community, whether we are looking at a small town, state, nation or the global community. Events as well as cultural and legal changes inevitably result in changes in the general moral value. Another source of moral value is religion, ideology or creed. The belief system or philosophical leanings of individuals leave in them a set of codes and list of dos and don’ts which shape and concretize their sense of good and evil, right and wrong. In spite of some of its variants with contradictory showings, Christianity rises well above all other religions and philosophies in going beyond a system of dos and don’ts, emphasizing a vital relationship with God through His Son and setting moral values that clearly transcend society’s mores and man’s selfish instincts. A final source from which moral value is derived is from within one’s own self. There is an innate, instinctive tendency to, from within one’s self, distinguish right from wrong. Evidence of this is ably demonstrated by toddlers who watch their parent before going for or against an instruction. As knowledge increases and an individual grows from childhood to adulthood, he strengthens his ability to make choices between the forbidden and acceptable, kind or cruel, generous or selfish, from within his own self. This ability, though untaught, is usually modified or tamed by the earlier two sources of moral values.
My Moral Values
My moral values have been largely influenced by my family upbringing, that is, what my parents taught me while growing up and my strong Christian faith. In addition to this, however, there is considerable contribution from my education, personal experience, my appreciation of how government works and cultural integration in our global village of diverse but same humanity. It may not be possible to list them all but the core of my moral values are represented by these few: integrity, love, courage, respect, obedience, responsibility, kindness, fairness, humility, politeness and modesty.
Moral values are only truly valuable when put into action. The essence of knowing and cultivating fine moral values is not to hold them deep within but to put them into action whenever and wherever they are required.