It is universally agreed that it is wrong to betray your own conscience. If you truly believe something is wrong, you shouldn't do it. If your conscience is just the voice of your parents, society or upbringing, than it's fallible. Yet we treat our conscience as having absolute authority. Humanity as a whole has a natural tendency to think the thoughts about right and wrong that we have.
All concepts are, to a certain extent, an understanding of reality that we construct. So while a star may really exist, our mental associations of a star are built in our mind. There are certain objective ways of interacting that produce conflict, war and chaos and other ways that humans can relate to one another that objectively produce cooperation and prosperity. It seems to me that our attempts to define morality are attempts to grasp at these objective strategies of interacting with our fellows in a way that will produce more prosperity and happiness for all.
While our understanding of morality will always contain subjective elements, it seems that what we are grasping to understanding are strategies of social interaction that are objectively effective.The extent to which a giving individual's understanding of morality does not give rise to effective social interactions is the extent to which that person's understanding of morality is objectively flawed.
In much the same way that we can have a flawed understanding of what a star is.
This really isn't a hard question. If morality is relative then that would actually mean there is no objective difference between right and wrong. Interestingly enough that is one of the pillars of Satanism. There are natural rights and natural laws. I could have sworn that this was already established. People learn behavior yes. But does anybody really think slavery is moral JUST because the majority of the population says its ok? People's perceptions vary quite a bit, and so does people's perceptions of what moral and immoral actions. Because I say so has never been an excuse, that's what children say.
when we are growing up we seem to know if the actions of our friends and family members are right or wrong. No one taught us not to hit our friend because they will not give us the toy we want, we innately know is not the right action. We seem to just know that it goes against nature to be violent to get your way or resolve an issue.
The world is a beautiful place with many good and many horrible people. The thing that separates them is morals. Morals are what make us believe what is right and wrong. When a person looks at a person and gets angry at them they know they cant hit them it would be wrong, they were not taught, but they know its wrong. When a child hits a child they know they did something wrong not because they were taught that but they just know right from wrong.
i think morality is somewhat innate however it can be easily skewed into anything by various factors religion cults brainwashing etc. When the ramifications are taken away many people will not act morally and the more powerful and bulletproof they are usually the worse they will act. But i think people still know they are being immoral.
Then there is rationalization which results in people feeling able to justify immoral behavior which the sometimes be true when you look at it objectively. But its more when someone thinks subjectively things like"he believes in a different invisible man in the sky than me therefor its okay for me to kill him.
I do believe that some people have a natural sense of right and wrong. Morality, to some extent is related to nature as opposed to nurture. Moral inclinations are often evident with children who forgive quickly and forget transgressions. No one teaches a 3 year old to forgive another 3 year old, they have a natural moral inclination to do so.
There idea that morals exist naturally goes contrary to everything we know about evolution. Moral animals do not go on to reproduce. Only when humans rose to their top of their natural order did our society allow for their creation of a moral code that has evolved for thousands of years. If morals were found in nature then why are laws and opinions on what is morally right constantly changing. Liberals love to bash religion but never accept the fact that they are necessary for their institutions they create that govern an otherwise ungovernable world.
Morality is a complex concept that need to be learn, and even debated. In nature, most organism do not have a efficient and complex communication system as human so it is really doubtful that they could learn something complex like morality, nor they could hold a argument on topics related to morality.
What most organism does in nature is primarily to survive. It may thus appear that sometimes they perform some moral acts but, since they likely do not understand what morality is, their intention is therefore not out of moral concern but to increase their chance of survival.
Morality is socially constructed as is sexuality among other things. Think of cultures which don't eat meat, they would think it's morally wrong to eat meat where as those from cultures where is is accepted wouldn't at think of it as morally wrong. In todays capitalist society is naive to think morality is anything but socially constructed otherwise there would be a revolution.
A very good proof is this: http://www.Debate.Org/polls/what-would-you-do-if-you-found-a-genuine-death-note. 7 people would want to use it for their own selfish gains, none of which are morally right. We instil morality in order to make life more comfortable for everyone. But given the chance, we would all kill if it wasn't for the law.
Morality is a learned behavior, and a topic of much philosophical debate. If morality is a learned behavior and does not exist naturally (That is, it is learned), then we are born and we learn moral principles (part of human essence). This was part of Sartre's existentialist argument "existence precedes essence"
There was a recent experiment conducted on babies to see whether morality is natural. They found that at a young age, people are selfish and greedy. But the older they get the more mature and moral. Humans are shaped by society it is simply not true that morality exists naturally, that is why media plays such a large role in society today.
morality is what decides if something is "good" or "bad." in nature it would be absurd to say that a lion having forceful sex is "rape," or that hunting in another animals territory is "stealing." Morality is a man-made ideal that has no universality attached to it, although we would like to think it does. Hitler was changing the world for good, and Ghandi was a disruptive criminal. Whether you agree or disagree with the above statements, they are all true from a certain perspective. Nature is universal and does not form opinion like humans do. Just as a bush does not choose to grow because it "ought to," or just as a lion does not refuse to hunt because killing is "inhumane."
Morality is something that is observed and learned over time. Someone that grows up around a family that is intolerant to other races, for example, is much more likely to make an immoral decision involving a person of a different ethnicity. Children that never see kindness growing up, do not know how to confidently portray this to others. A lack of understanding often leads to the easier, but immoral choice.